Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Managers rule!

 “Western society today is openly ruled by a managerial class.

“Where kings once claimed a divine right to rule, and the bolsheviks of old claimed a right to rule as messiahs of a future kingdom on this earth (bearing a conspicuously strong resemblance to a very old tradition of messianic Christianity with the serial numbers filed off, by the way) the technocrats of today base their claims to lordship not necessarily on the idea of the democratic will of the people, but on the historical inevitability of technocracy as such. 

“Just as there once was a properly ”socialist” way to understand great literature, there is today a properly technical, scientific, or ‘critical’ (in the academic sense of the term) way of understanding war, nation building, cinema, primitive marriage rituals, or whatever else.

“Our managerial leaders deserve to rule us, because managerialism as a world ethos is the only means of effecting functional rule in the context of a modern, international, post-national, information driven, knowledge economy, rules-based… well, you probably already know all the familiar buzzwords beloved by this class of people.

“Kings ruled in the epoch of monarchies, because only kings could rule, or at least so they all claimed. Technocrats rule our post-Soviet era for very much the same reason; they are, according to the legitimating narrative of our age, the only ones that can rule. Much like you can’t put a monkey in charge of a battleship, you can’t possibly hope to rule a modern country without being part of the educated managerial class.

“And just like the kings of old, our technocrats at one point claimed (and even enjoyed) a form of quasi-magical power in the eyes of their peasantry; a view once commonly shared that they could use the very thing that made them rightful rulers – science, logic, rationality, data – to lay on hands, cure ills, and improve society.

Malcom Kyeyune at Never Yet Melted.

(A couple or three decades ago, there were writings on the danger of technocrats running the European Common Market. Those people, so the argument went, owed no allegiance to political party nor to any nation-state. Theories and formula would govern (or rule) without emotion. Technocracy requires organization. Organization requires managers. Technocrats are good at developing theories and plugging in numbers and data until the desired mathematical or scientific answer is achieved. (“Scientific” in the sense of modernity, not the classic meaning.) But, technocrats are not so good at producing schedules and agenda; ergo, managers.)

No comments:

Post a Comment