Obeying Experts is More Dangerous Than Questioning Them

And it’s not even close.

Questioning experts might lead to some mistakes. Obeying them can lead to genocidal atrocities on a mass scale.

This is a consistent pattern in all of human history and it’s predictable into the future.

“Expert” implies some kind of institutional expert-conferring apparatus. Such intuitions are subject to Public Choice dynamics. They will always inevitably reward group loyalty and conformity and become cartelized and myopic. Always. Every time. You cannot prevent it with good people or good intentions.

The best way to reduce the harm of these tendencies is with outside pressure. Doubt in the institutions. Competing institutions. A free and open market for ideas, services, products, and expert-making.

A sure way to dramatically exacerbate the problem and raise the cost of its outcomes is to involve the state. Adding threats of violence to back and protect these institutions exponentially increases their evils and attracts even worse people to them.

Government-backed experts are a graver threat to mankind than any other in all of history. There is no amount of ignorance, arrogance, or stubborn refusal to listen to them that can hold a candle to the evils caused by obedience to experts. The worst outcomes of skepticism and defiance of experts are infinitesimally smaller than the median outcomes of blind obedience.

When someone says, “Just shut up and trust the experts and governments who tell you to”, especially in an environment where questioning them is shunned and banned, they are on a very very dark and dangerous path, whether they know it or not.

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Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, an awesome startup apprenticeship program. He is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning. When he’s not with his wife and kids or building his company, he can be found smoking cigars, playing guitars, singing, reading, writing, getting angry watching sports teams from his home state of Michigan, or enjoying the beach.

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1 year ago

Hear, hear! One could add that obeying politicians (who almost without exception have expertise in almost nothing) is even more of a risky proposition. Although, with “experts” like the inestimable Dr. Fauci, it’s hard to imagine how the bar could possibly be set any lower, so maybe it’s a dead heat.