Because you’re worth it!

Posted: March 30, 2007 in Theo/Philo


A few days ago I had a health screening ,I was asked to wander about in a dressing gown and my trainers !I found myself asking the nurse if I could put my shoes back on, after being weighed. I felt vulnerable and dependant on the medical staff to tell me what to do and when. I didnt realise it, but I had regressed!How quickly and seamlessly is the ‘decision making’ person reduced to the patient who cannot make any decision for themselves. There is a need to reduce people down to something less than on an equal footing with there ministering expert. Ivan Illich claimed that patients are defenceless, and are encouraged covertly to become dependant on the system.The implication is that the expert knows best and from the expert our needs are not only met but initially prescribed.

The growth of the ‘Expert’ has been spectacular in recent years; specialists have sprouted up in the most unlikely places, due in part to the increasing technical nature of society.Witness the number of Quangos (Quasi Autonomous Non Government organisations) made up of non elected members making decisions, often of a technical nature, which affect the lives of the electorate. So maybe the technocrats are really running the show?

Ivan Illich regarding the power the expert may weald:

Experts and an expert culture always call for more experts. Experts also have a tendency to cartelize themselves by creating ‘institutional barricades’ – for example proclaiming themselves gatekeepers, as well as self-selecting themselves. Finally, experts control knowledge production, as they decide what valid and legitimate knowledge is, and how its acquisition is sanctioned.’

Here then is the danger, as experts are ever increasing and ubiquitous, so as a society we have to ask if we can put our shoes back on.Witness the green lobby, or the potency of the materialistic evolutionary paradigm which is so powerful that to question the underlying assumptions, can lead to ridicule and possible career suicide for those within science.We have been prescribed too by experts, that global warming is our fault and so we need to do something, that something, the technocrats prescribe.

For the life of the Christian in church, the rise of the expert can mean the notion of personal ministry is overlooked and recedes, as we depend on the ‘full time’ professional.Os Guinness: “The old priesthood is dead! Long live the new power-pastors and pundit-priests!”

.Another reason for the loss of individual power, in tandem with an increasing technical society is, the growth of the expert as a response to our needs led, consuming society. Tony Walters considers that a reversal of the Beatles song “All you love is need” is the foundation upon which society operates.


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