The beginning of the terrible events of the last seventeen months lay in a computer model. The experts that advised the British government in March 2020 used more extravagant hyperboles than you can find in an average dictionary and urged the government to do what had never before been done, attempted, or suggested: close society. Urgently and briefly, at first, but then longer than anyone could have imagined – as is the tendency for temporary government policies.
Article by Joakim Book from AIER.
The importance of the erudite technocrat, thus, cannot be understated.
Modeling, planning and manipulating society was always tied to the idea of the “expert,” a sage who knew things others didn’t; a boffin capable of uncovering the mysteries of the world and putting these to “good” use. With enough of them, we can push society’s levers, and get the outcomes that the policy-maker desires.
A new book by Erasmus University professor Erwin Dekker details the life and ideas of Jan Tinbergen, the Dutch economist and econometrician who is most famous for being the co-recipient of the first Nobel Prize in economics in 1969 – and might have been the first great expert in the new technocratic state. His name lingers in the economics literature and in monetary policy particularly as the requirement to have more instruments than you have targets (“Tinbergen’s rule”): you can’t hit two separate targets with one instrument (hint, Fed mandate and Phillips curve problems).
Trained as a physicist in the 1920s, he plunged into economics from a strong cultural-socialist desire to change society. He wanted to stabilize the business cycle he observed around him, improve the life of his fellow countrymen, and plan and order society into a better world. His political passion for socialism came “out of an awareness of social differences and an emotional commitment to eradicate such differences.”
Writing and working at a time when precisely the qualities that he inhabited rose in value, he mapped the Dutch shipbuilding industry, worked for the League of Nations in how to tame and control the international business cycle, and advised governments far and wide on how to best run their economies. During the occupation of the Netherlands, he even assisted the Nazi commanders with their wartime planning. Seven decades before the Nudge revolution and the UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team, Tinbergen tried to give his political leaders what they needed – always with an eye to organize the economy such that it could be steered and controlled by the erudite scientist.
Writes Dekker in the preface of the book: the best position for this new economic expert “is not on the throne, but right next to it.”
Tinbergen’s life was filled with irony and contradictions: a pacifist, saved by the proverbial bell from going to jail as a conscientious objector, ended up favoring a world government with its own “police” force. A quantitative physicist, who saw better opportunities to affect change in the world within the field of economics. An economist who pioneered mathematical models and measurement repeatedly raised institutional and cultural concerns in objection to his fellow quants. A young, strict, activist socialist who saw change happen as a bottom-up process of leading an exemplary life, spent a career planning entire economies from the very top. Though obsessed with the personal and cultural improvements of man, his policy work at home and in developing countries were largely concerned with material gains:
“He was fiercely opposed to fascism but attempted to analyze its economic system on purely technical grounds. He deeply believed in the transformative and emancipatory qualities of education, but modeled education in terms of years of schooling. He believed that economics had to be a quantitative science, devoid as much as possible of ideology and qualitative discussion, but it was vision and perspective that he hoped to generate in his economics.”
Like the computer model (since torn to shreds) that convinced Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors of lockdown in March 2020, accuracy or realism don’t much matter to the vision of the expert as capable of achieving outcomes in a system he thinks he controls. It’s the idea, so tempting for those in power and so comforting for those wanting to believe them, that an appointed expert with the right credentials can see through the mystery of the world, and with the help of government power, control it. Stabilize it. Dekker writes that it was the promise that economics could serve society that attracted Tinbergen to the role of economic expert: “the main responsibility of the state is to stabilize and steer the economy in the socially desired direction.”
Tinbergen’s most important contribution was to “show the politicians how they can achieve what they hope to achieve, and it shows the scientists how their knowledge can be put to use.”
Today, much of the aura of admiration for experts is waning, and the cracks in society are starting to emerge. The first casualty in the new war against experts was probably Brexit, quickly followed by Trump’s election as President. One expert after another – economists at the U.K. Treasury, economic commentators in the U.S., think tanks, editorial boards of major newspapers, and the experts at the Bank of England itself, experts of diplomacy and international law, experts on regulations and government – advised, nay urged, the British public not to leave the European Union, and the American public not to elect a pompous property mogul. And, with the slimmest of margins, the voters opted not to follow the experts’ advice.
Even before the pandemic, over a third of survey respondents say they almost never trust the British government. While Brits generally do trust scientists and doctors there’s a deep divide between affluent and well-educated groups, who are more trusting and supportive of information from scientists, and less affluent and educated groups, who are predominantly not. Leave voters are consistently less likely to trust experts of all fields, from doctors and weather forecasters to economists and civil servants. Americans’ trust in public officials and the media was always rather low, but at least before the pandemic, scientists and doctors got progressively more trusted. Early in the pandemic trust collapsed among everyone but self-identified Democrats, and seems only to have gotten worse since. The CDC seems to score the worst of all.
One of the major fault lines of our times is the question of whether people may govern their own affairs, or to what extent experts may rule for them – whether our societies permit the age-old learning device of the “burnt child dreads the fire.” That dispute is far from settled, blowing up as it has in the last few years, greatly exacerbated by the infectious societal conflicts over Brexit, Trump, and Covid-19.
This topic rests at the bottom of politics, for politics is the battle over the state and the state is the institution that issues those sorts of general commands. The 20th century was when the state as society’s prime institution came into being, following two World Wars – not coincidentally, one might add – and decades of heavily planned economies thereafter. In the midst of this violent transformation of affairs stood the experts: the technocrats, the scientists, and the learned men who thought themselves equipped with the skills and abilities to make our lives better.
The expert, as ushered into politics by people like Jan Tinbergen’s brand of highly capable and motivated scientists, has been here for a long time. Whether they’re here to stay is a different matter.
American Patriots Uniting to Fight Tyranny from, Well, Everywhere
We’re building a new conservative news network. Based on responses from fellow patriots, we’re heading in the right direction.
It may be hard to believe based on what we’re seeing around the nation today, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. First and foremost, the false narrative that most of America hates traditional values or the foundations of our nation are finally being proven false. Despite the best efforts of globalists and Neo-Marxists, patriotic Americans are starting to unify in droves. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster a half-filled auditorium to deliver his message to the scant few watching CNN and the paid shills in the “crowd.”
The “silent majority” that drove Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and 2020 (yes, he won by a landslide but was robbed along with the American people) is finally starting to realize we cannot stay silent any longer. We used to win with our votes, but those are being stolen. We used to win with truth, but the radical left and their agents in mainstream media, Big Tech, and academia are building a post-truth society to drown out reality. Today, we are waking up to the realization that only through direct action and fearlessly spreading the truth can we overcome the nefarious forces working against us.
We are proud to be working our way up to the tip of the conservative media spear. Our network is growing. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
All ORIGINAL content on this site is © 2021 NOQ Report. All REPUBLISHED content has received direct or implied permission for reproduction.
With that said, our content may be reproduced and distributed as long as it has a link to the original source and the author is credited prominently. We don’t mind you using our content as long as you help out by giving us credit with a prominent link. If you feel like giving us a tip for the content, we will not object!
JD Rucker – EIC