You know the scene in mystery novels or movies a single throwaway phrase can suddenly bring the whole mystifying case into sharp relief? I had a similar experience the other day.
There has been a lot of data across the political spectrum: Los Indignados and their American spin-off Occupy Wall Street, Bernie Sanders’ candidacy (or rather its unexpected strength), Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the right wing populist parties from Alternative für Deutschland to even more rightwing proto-fascist parties like Golden Dawn.
At any rate I had assumed that these are all connected and was convinced that it was mostly about a realignment of the political spectrum into nationalist and globalist camps (both broadly defined).
Then I was skimming through twitter feeds after the election. And then I saw this tweet.
I won’t say that everything became blurry (except for the tweet of course) but it did start to explain things that hadn’t quite jelled before. In short, all these movements and events are part of a broader rejection of Technocracy, the system under which public policy decisions are made by “experts” on the basis of their technical knowledge. More specifically it is a rejection of a certain type of technocracy which does not take fundamental considerations of human nature into account when making decisions about people.
I should have realized this a long time ago as any discussion of the EU soon finds me ranting about idiotic, unelected technocrats who are going to ruin what could be a great thing.
It also strikes me that this particular type of technocracy doesn’t have a name and it should because some types of technocracy (to the extent that it’s transparent and meritocratic) is okay and we probably don’t want to throw away the baby with the bathwater. For the time being I’m going to call it globocracy (with derived forms like grobocrat and globocratic).
That name isn’t perfect but its good enough (and already in use by some). I don’t think that I was wrong about the emerging divide between globalist and nationalist factions. That’s happening but I do think I had the order reversed, globalism (and multiculturalism) are partly organic movements but they’re also by-products of globacratic decision makers, who think of humans as fungible goods like potatoes.
nb I’ve since adopted the term wonkocracy, with the derived terms wonkocrat and wonkocratic