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Who voted for you, Mario Monti ? - Ballot Box removed for Italy - U R Next !

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EvadingGrid

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Who voted for you, Mario Monti?
The technocrats have taken charge in Italy and Greece but it’s not the first time they have supplanted elected politicians – often with unhappy results.


As a young man, the utopian socialist Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) insisted that his valet wake him each morning with the exhortation: “Remember, monsieur le comte, that you have great things to do.”

Saint-Simon was the first systematic advocate of rule by industrialists who made things and scientists who knew things. He was an apostle of “technocracy”, that is the belief that we would all be better off if only experts were allowed to rule. “The role of the talkers is approaching its end, that of the doers will not be long delayed in making its appearance,” he warned the 30,000 clerics and rentiers he thought France could do without.

Technocracy has suddenly become all the rage amidst the debt crisis of the eurozone. In Greece, prime minister George Papandreou was ousted in favour of the unelected former central banker Lucas Papademos, after he had the effrontery to call the referendum that never was. In Italy, Mario Monti, the unelected former EU commissioner, has anointed a cabinet of academics, bankers and an admiral, without a single representative of Italy’s political parties. This novel step is designed to reassure international bond markets, which have recently pushed Italy’s yields to perilous levels.

Leaving aside the notorious petty-mindedness and hopeless indecision that characterises any academic meeting I’ve ever attended, the example of the Soviet Union, 89 per cent of whose politburo consisted of graduate engineers, should give us pause for thought.

Other governments and regimes have experimented with technocracy. In the 1920s, Republican and Democrat US governments dispatched Wall Street’s finest, the banker Charles Dawes and industrialist Owen Young, to resolve the war debts and reparations crises that twice reduced Weimar Germany to an economic basket case.
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