E me lo dico da solo!
Pedante è (spregiativamente) “chi ostenta con presunzione la propria erudizione e si mantiene ottusamente ligio alle regole: un accademico pedante”. Anche “chi è eccessivamente pignolo e costantemente propenso a criticare, a sottilizzare” (De Mauro online).
Dalla radice greca paio- (“bambino”, la stessa del latino puer).
John Stuart Mill scrive che ogni burocrazia tende sempre a diventare una “pedantocrazia”. Qui sotto la citazione completa e il link per scaricare e leggere le Considerazioni sul governo rappresentativo dal Progetto Gutenberg. Un testo che anticipa Max Weber e che trovo tuttora di grande interesse.
The comparison […], as to the intellectual attributes of a government, has to be made between a representative democracy and a bureaucracy; all other governments may be left out of the account. And here it must be acknowledged that a bureaucratic government has, in some important respects, greatly the advantage. It accumulates experience, acquires well-tried and well-considered traditional maxims, and makes provision for appropriate practical knowledge in those who have the actual conduct of affairs. But it is not equally favorable to individual energy of mind. The disease which afflicts bureaucratic governments, and which they usually die of, is routine. They perish by the immutability of their maxims, and, still more, by the universal law that whatever becomes a routine loses its vital principle, and, having no longer a mind acting within it, goes on revolving mechanically, though the work it is intended to do remains undone. A bureaucracy always tends to become a pedantocracy. When the bureaucracy is the real government, the spirit of the corps (as with the Jesuits) bears down the individuality of its more distinguished members. In the profession of government, as in other professions, the sole idea of the majority is to do what they have been taught; and it requires a popular government to enable the conceptions of the man of original genius among them to prevail over the obstructive spirit of trained mediocrity. […] That the Roman aristocracy escaped this characteristic disease of a bureaucracy was evidently owing to its popular element. All special offices, both those which gave a seat in the Senate and those which were sought by senators, were conferred by popular election. The Russian government is a characteristic exemplification of both the good and bad side of bureaucracy: its fixed maxims, directed with Roman perseverance to the same unflinchingly-pursued ends from age to age; the remarkable skill with which those ends are generally pursued; the frightful internal corruption, and the permanent organized hostility to improvements from without, which even the autocratic power of a vigorous-minded emperor is seldom or never sufficient to overcome; the patient obstructiveness of the body being in the long run more than a match for the fitful energy of one man. The Chinese government, a bureaucracy of Mandarins, is, as far as known to us, another apparent example of the same qualities and defects. (John Stuart Mill. Considerations on Representative Government. Chapter VI: “Of the Infirmities and Dangers to which Representative Government is Liable”; le sottolineature sono mie).