Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likely to make a hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on the level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. (C S Lewis)
A government expert in a problem is someone who is paid to address that problem. Because he is not paid by his clients, but by the government, he has no incentive to fix the problem. On the contrary, he has a strong incentive to increase it. The greater the problem, the higher his professional prestige. He builds an empire on the misery of others. And he does so with a perfectly clear conscience, even with a sense of moral superiority, as he patiently tries to enlighten the masses about all the things for which they need his expert help.
This logic clearly applies to the special needs industry. State schools receive more funding based on how many special needs pupils they have. Managers also have to tick boxes on ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. So really, there had better be some special needs. Let’s go find ‘em.
The system is riddled with perverse incentives. But there’s another thing which keeps the army of special needs experts ever growing: the cult of evidence. By evidence, the experts mean large scale research projects, funded by the government, or sometimes by pharmaceutical companies with drugs to sell. These projects will be guided by . . . the experts. And these projects will find lots more problems that the experts need to fix.
Faced with this juggernaut, what is the ordinary person, the parent or classroom teacher, to do? Unless he is a multimillionaire, he can’t fund alternative research. So he must either submit to the experts, or stubbornly hold out, using his own reason and observation. If he does the latter, of course he will be accused of being unscientific, which is one of the mortal sins of the religion of the expert. Either that or he will be labelled uncaring, another mortal sin, this time anathema to the other side of our schizophrenic culture, the side which holds emotion to be decisive in all situations.
The stubborn ordinary person, accused on the one hand of coldness, on the other of unreason, has a battle on his hands which he can never really win. He can’t change national policy, but he can try to defend those in his care from its worst consequences. If he is a parent, he can refuse to allow his son to be hooked on addictive drugs to sort out his ‘hyperactivity’. If he is a teacher, he can do his best to frustrate the designs of the well meaning vultures who hang around every child not making ‘expected progress’, ready to inflict a thousand theories upon them and create permanent learned helplessness. As a son, he can keep his elderly parents out of the hands of the experts who want to solve their ‘quality of life’ issues by ‘helping’ them to die painlessly.
An expert advised my mother to abort me. Perhaps that’s why I keep fighting against the self-serving experts, in an attempt to keep the ordinary, messy, painful business of human life going, not crushed by their pills, needles and intervention strategies.