Monday, 1 March 2021

Those Who Claim To Know

In public life, two sorts of man exist,

The man who claims to know the way that others are,

And those who claim to know how man should be. 

The rest of us must choose who does least harm.

In public life, two sorts of man enlist

The expertise of those whose star

Is brilliant in ascendancy.  

Who with authority and intellectual calm,

Proclaim they know, as great psychologists,

How to bring their fellows home when they stray far

Into such territories as politicians see

Allow them too much agency, where oily charm

And brainwashing have no effect.

Else they recruit great scientists,

Who claim to deal in fact and fact alone,

Such statisticians, mathematicians, physicists,

Who theorise and claim they can detect

Such patterns in the ways their fellow men will act,

That they are easily predictable, each one a drone,

Or worker bee.

And the politician, always hoping to manipulate,

Seeks out such academics who care naught

For how complexity reduced to the absurd

Might be applied by those with power to legislate,

See not how with great danger fraught

Their theories, no longer just in written word,

But tested out on others’ lives will not substantiate

As they predict, for politicians always must select

And cherry pick. 

And on the other hand there is the expert,

Who wants to mould man, and being strong,

Uninterested in ‘scientific truth’, cares

Only for the one idea, ‘ought’.

And encourages the politician to exert

Such force as is required, to subdue the man who dares

To question ideology, or flick

Two fingers at authority, and hurt,

Destroy, abuse, put down, eliminate,

Those pesky beings who must prove his theory wrong. 

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