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Tuesday, December 29, 2015
WND Publishes Book Denouncing Expertise
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here's the pitch for a new WorldNetDaily-published book:

The modern media is filled with “experts” who don’t seem to know very much about what they are talking about. Now, a self-described “average, working-class guy” has risen up to confront what he calls the “new religion” of faux sophistication.

Marc Fitch, an author, novelist, and WND contributor, challenges the priesthood of the new faith in “Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics Are Disguised As Science.”

He argues those called experts have far too much influence in our society and it is time to start “brushing some of it off.”

“We have a founded a new faith, a new religion, one not based on spirituality or on faith necessarily but one supposedly based on science,” Fitch told WND. “And we elected people who we deem the most rational and the most intelligent among us to serve as the priests and prophets of this new faith. Unfortunately, humankind, individuals, are at their very core irrational beings. We all are. We all have beliefs for which we cannot offer up scientific proofs or evidence that prove what we believe.”


Fitch argues those whom the media often call “experts” simply act as “politically correct gatekeepers” who impose only one point of view on the culture.

Paraphrasing Henry Kissinger’s observation that experts are simply those educated in the prevailing opinion, Fitch said many of the things conservatives hate about the media, universities, and other institutions can be explained by examining the way “expertise” is promoted.


Fitch said he wrote the book when he kept noticing how often the expectations of experts didn't meet the facts.

"Who are they representing?" Fitch asked. "Because they were getting everything wrong and telling us things should be good when things were actually bad. So I began thinking, 'Why are we listening to these experts?' And as I began investigating a little bit more, I found 'expert' is often just a moniker the media gives people who support a particular ideology or a particular way of thinking.'"

This has huge consequences for American society, even when it comes to something as important as presidential politics. Fitch contended the rise of "outsider" candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the Republican Party and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party is a perfect example of how many people are looking for answers beyond the supposedly "acceptable" alternatives.


One of the most important themes in Fitch's book is the value of humility. This virtue, Fitch said, is something often missing from the "experts" who presume to tell people how to live their lives.

"Just because you're educated in something doesn't mean that you're going to have had the humility necessary to understand the lessons life has brought to your door," Fitch told WND. "So much of being a 'shmexpert' is about arrogance. And what the book tries to teach is that we need humility to truly learn about the chaos and complexity of our world."

What Fitch and WND are basically saying is that anyone who does not agree with them cannot possibly be an expert. Fitch even goes on to admit he's noty really an expert on anything:

Fitch embraces an irreverent approach, jokingly dismissing today's "experts" as just "shmexperts." And he says the reason people should embrace his message is because he's writing for the common man. After all, he's one of them.

"People will often ask, 'Oh, are you an expert on experts?'" he joked. "No, I'm just a normal guy."

He told WND he wrote the book because, as a family man, he had concerns about the future direction of the culture and the country.

"The reason why I'm the right person to write "Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics Are Disguised As Science" is because I'm nobody. I'm just kind of an average, working class guy. You don't need to be somebody. You don't need to be an expert. You don't need to have multiple degrees to have an opinion that counts and is valid on so many of these important issues."

And because he’s living those issues, just like his readers, Fitch believes he is the man to lead the new rebellion against the tyranny of the "shmexperts."

"I'm just like everybody else," he said.

What Fitch and WND call "the tyranny of the 'schmexperts'" is really an attack on intellectuals (as well as anyone who disagrees with them). But don't take our word for it; a writer for the conservative website The Federalist has something to say on the subject:

I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.

This is a very bad thing. Yes, it’s true that experts can make mistakes, as disasters from thalidomide to the Challenger explosion tragically remind us. But mostly, experts have a pretty good batting average compared to laymen: doctors, whatever their errors, seem to do better with most illnesses than faith healers or your Aunt Ginny and her special chicken gut poultice. To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.

Worse, it’s dangerous. The death of expertise is a rejection not only of knowledge, but of the ways in which we gain knowledge and learn about things. Fundamentally, it’s a rejection of science and rationality, which are the foundations of Western civilization itself. Yes, I said “Western civilization”: that paternalistic, racist, ethnocentric approach to knowledge that created the nuclear bomb, the Edsel, and New Coke, but which also keeps diabetics alive, lands mammoth airliners in the dark, and writes documents like the Charter of the United Nations.

This isn’t just about politics, which would be bad enough. No, it’s worse than that: the perverse effect of the death of expertise is that without real experts, everyone is an expert on everything. To take but one horrifying example, we live today in an advanced post-industrial country that is now fighting a resurgence of whooping cough — a scourge nearly eliminated a century ago — merely because otherwise intelligent people have been second-guessing their doctors and refusing to vaccinate their kids after reading stuff written by people who know exactly zip about medicine.

That's the world Fitch seems to want, and WND has enabled him to spread his dangerous message.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST

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