I observe that “authorities” are becoming much more strident and self-serving than ever before. They have become more lobbyists than authorities. They increasingly resort to advocacy – which is inevitably political – rather than being the objective disseminators of sound analysis – as they claim to be.
It applies to the World Bank, the IMF, many parts of the UN and virtually every NGO there is (WWF, Greenpeace, Amnesty….). Advocacy inevitably brings “spin”, and that leads, as I perceive it, to a loss of their credibility and their “authority”. But I also perceive a growing back-lash to this perversion of “authority”. The “establishment” view is facing an unprecedented loss of credibility.
This week it was the IMF coming out against Brexit. But it is so strident that it sounds more like scare-mongering than any reasoned analysis. The IMF has not covered itself in glory with their forecasts. They have been wrong in about 3 times as many cases as they have been right. I suspect that itself suggests that the Brits have much more to gain from Brexit than the “establishment” would have them believe.
Perhaps the “authorities” are turning strident to make themselves heard. But I suspect they are bucking a global “anti-establishment” phenomena that is just getting started. It was visible with all the various Arab spring events and it is increasingly visible in Europe and the US today. The EU is facing unprecedented opposition to its “establishment” positions; from Ukraine to refugees. Both the Democrats and the Republicans in the US are facing waves of ant-establishment protest. The stridency from the “establishment” or from “authority” is becoming counter-productive. The louder they shout, the less they are heard. When the ultimate establishment figure, the POTUS, attacks Trump, Trump’s numbers rise. When he supports Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ numbers rise. When the IMF attacks Brexit, the number in favour of Brexit increase.
I think the phenomenon arises from a resentment in being told what to think, by “establishments” and “authorities” trying to impose their politically correct beliefs (not analysis) onto others. The World Bank and the IMF write their conclusions before starting their analyses. Greenpeace and the WWF routinely exaggerate and Greenpeace even makes up facts. They have become no different in their tone to the Grand Mufti declaring that women who drive are exposed to evil or the Shankaracharya Swaroopanand warning that women will suffer rape now that they have entered forbidden parts of the Shani Shingnapur temple.