A post such as this is has to be decidedly sketchy, but perhaps even a sketchy outline is worth the effort. The issue may be complex but in outline it isn’t and is far from being unfamiliar.
It concerns the problems faced by a ruling class when widespread objectivity becomes the ideal against which any kind of analysis is carried out. This would be social, political, technical, scientific or artistic analysis. Which includes analysis of the ruling class and its activities of course.
It is worth adding that objectivity may be an elusive ideal, but it is made less elusive by scepticism. We mostly identify what is not objective. Scepticism is built into the ideal of objectivity and usually comes first. People who tend not to be sceptical tend not to be objective either.
With that out of the way, we return to the problem this poses for any ruling class. When any assertion or assumption may be analysed objectively, how does a ruling class control important public debates? Apart from censorship, how does it react when a chosen course turns out to be wrong or uncertain? How does it cope with being wrong without loss of status?
If we simply begin with Galileo and move on to Darwin, we remind ourselves that objective analysis of the real world can profoundly damage ruling class mystique. The ruling class becomes fallible, just like everyone else. It is not a class of special individuals with exclusive access to objectivity.
The details of the impact made by Galileo and Darwin are comparatively unimportant if we restrict ourselves to making this wider point about human fallibility within any ruling class. Its mystique is bound to be threatened by the ideal of objectivity which is now available to any moderately educated person.
In the UK we could begin by considering the monarchy and the Archbishop of Canterbury and work down from there. We soon realise we don’t have far to go.
To resolve this comparatively recent weakness, a ruling class must either use censorship or undermine the ideal of objective analysis. In both cases it must favour its chosen experts and accept the likelihood that this will attract experts who are not wholly wedded to objective analysis.
Over recent decades there have been a number of familiar examples of this problem. The official climate change narrative has been a fairly obvious assault of both objectivity and scepticism, apparently in pursuit of long-established Malthusian political fears. One clue is how defence of the climate narrative has been consistently and ruthlessly emotional.
It is also worth pointing out that totalitarian regimes can afford to be sceptical about the climate narrative - their mystique is not undermined by it. The climate narrative seems to be one of the issues pushing former democracies such as the UK in a totalitarian direction.
In floundering their way through the problem of climate change, democracies appear willing to embark on a more general but piecemeal assault on objectivity and scepticism. The absurdities of gender politics give us an example of what may be this unintentional floundering. We could almost see it as collateral damage in the assault on objectivity.
There are in the UK, some signs of official attempts to limit the damage done by gender politics, but attempts made without the assistance of objective analysis seem to be problematic. It is an interesting problem because the tools to correct it are simple facts. Yet official use of those facts could be seen as a victory for objectivity.
In other words, we could make a working assumption that much of the assault on objectivity is partly unintentional and partly a consequence of attracting the wrong kind of people, particularly the wrong kind of experts.
It is not necessarily a grand plan to oppress the masses, but the operation of a genuine political problem which our representatives are poorly equipped to tackle. It is made worse because our establishment does not view the totalitarian approach with disfavour. Why would it?
As ever, the problem is exacerbated by voters voting for anything but cool analytical objectivity in their political representatives. Not that this is easy, but it can be obvious enough that a candidate is a party hack, inexperienced, too young or too wedded to political fashions. The assault on objectivity is a pervasive assault, voters do it too.