April 12, 2021

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Experts Like Anthony Fauci Can’t Fight Fires, They Are the Fires.

More specifically, imagine that it’s Major League Baseball season yet again, which means consumers of self-regarding Washington, D.C. media could reasonably expect to read splashy news coverage about media-hungry immunologist Anthony Fauci at Nationals Park. Unknown at this juncture is whether he’ll be waving to a few thousand fans, or somewhere north of 40,000 — the Park’s capacity.

Whether it’s a few thousand or tens of thousands, Fauci’s attendance will be symbolic of issues beyond crowd size. In particular, it will reveal the folly of relying on experts to guide us during times of uncertainty. Put more bluntly, experts are the uncertainty. Experts are the crisis when they are losing their cool to varying degrees, and Fauci’s adoration of attention explains why. It’s a market phenomenon.

To see why, it’s essential that we imagine something that many readers will not agree with. Let’s not only think about Fauci sitting in the stands, perhaps wearing a mask, but let’s measure his supposedly formidable intelligence vis-à-vis the “others” inside the Park. At risk of causing readers to throw this book down in disgust, let’s assume for a moment that Fauci is the smartest individual in the Park. It’s certainly possible.

At the same time, Fauci’s mental capacity will be very small relative to the breadth of policy areas beyond COVID-19 itself and the combined intelligence of every cheering fan when we consider every other area of life — economic, social, philosophical, scientific, and religious. One remarkable mind in one category is no match for the collective wisdom of the masses across all categories. Their combined knowledge puts them at a major advantage against one, or for that matter, many.

Some know it, some don’t, but the previous paragraph neatly explains markets. It also neatly explains why central planning always fails. It also explains why Fauci’s rising influence inside the White House in the spring of 2020 resulted in broad desperation in the United States.

Earlier: Officials like Fauci have undermined trust in government institutions.

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