Josh Marshall observes
the administration’s main obstacle has been the experts themselves–the economists who didn’t trust the budget projections, the generals who didn’t buy the troop estimates, intelligence analysts who questioned the existence of an active nuclear weapons program in Iraq. That has created a strong incentive to delegitimize the experts–a task that comes particularly easy to the revisionists who drive Bush administration policy. They tend to see experts as guardians of the status quo, who seek to block any and all change, no matter how necessary, and whose views are influenced and corrupted by the agendas and mindsets of their agencies. Like orthodox Marxists who pick apart mainstream economics and anthropology as the creations of ‘bourgeois ideology’ or Frenchified academic post-modernists who ‘deconstruct’ knowledge in a similar fashion, revisionist ideologues seek to expose “the facts” as nothing more than the spin of experts blinded by their own unacknowledged biases.
This is a point I’ve been making for some time.As the debates over Aboriginal history, global warming and even creationism show, the same is now true for large sections of the Australian right, most notably those who take their line from Quadrant. Of course, as Marshall points out, there are plenty of precedents for this kind of thing on the left, but with Marxism moribund and postmodernism in terminal decline, it’s now much more prevalent on the right.