Oberscherli, SwitzerlandOberscherli, Switzerland

Fake evidence

This year we're just around the corner of a half century of unfreeze over the pre-68 conservative mindset. It is a stunning discovery to realize how relative the harvest was from that time of political conviction and curageous social resistance. To break free from behavioral conventions on all fronts has driven us all forward to believe that at last, the historic roots for conflict, inequity and injustice could be overcome with a determined global movement of solidarity, happiness, cultural uplift and breakdown of conventional barriers. It was the time to dismantle the dishonesty of interventionist capitalism under the pretext of fighting for peace, the ambiguity behind political correctness and rock-hard business interests and the hypocritical rift between familial harmony and societal greed and jealousy. The enemies were those who determined the boundaries between bad and good, between genuine and fake, between powerful and poor, black and white. We claimed a world in multi-colours, limitless, withous moral preachers telling us about right or wrong. In some way, the 68 generation evolved to become masters of their own value system, against all odds, laws and regulations.

Under totally incomparable circumstances, a similar thing is taking place lately in the political arena worldwide. Populist leaders manipulate electorates to take centre stage and start to re-define globally consolidated value systems. They argue in their own, not their nations' interests, they distort history and skew factual rationality into story-based political entertainment. What matters is not the resolution of an economic or societal problem, what matters is pure narcist self-interest through demagogy at its best.

Any lessons from this for us evaluators? Together with the guilde of research journalists, academicians and the wide spectrum of intellectually honest professionals, we share a common concern. And that is the fear to loose ground on the power of evidence, the strength to underpin convincing argumentation by solid examples, to consider rational explanation as a core value in itself. Take away the flour from the baker, how will he be able to produce tasty rolls? In whatever function we are engaged, we're challenged to defend the very foundations of the evaluation culture of evidence-based analysis against the hydra of decadent populism around us. Wish you all to keep going strong!
                                                                        Martin Sommer
                                                                        Owner Consultant devolutions Ltd.