Postmodern Management as a Principle of Macro-Cultural Analysis

22 Sep

[The following are the opening paragraphs of a paper to be presented at a global conference; my focus is on the matrix of State Control & Impoverishment vs plenty. The rest will be posted after publication of the paper].

Every kind of diplomacy is of a business nature, every business of a diplomatic…the prince or statesman wants to rule and the genuine merchant wants only to be wealthy.” [1]

This paper uses an interdisciplinary framework to consider the dyad of abundance and poverty or, more essentially, fertility and sterility. This approach includes the fields of ethics and geopolitics and the relationship of governance and governing institutions to business and finance. Fundamental insights also may be gained from the field of aesthetics particularly as regards imagery and marketing, from ‘news’ and sports to the marketing of national image or celebrity icons. For this hermeneutic, management is less a distinct field than a central thematic and operational – systemic issue, as a principle of macro-cultural analysis. Managing or control is the principle that pervades postmodern governance, politics, diplomacy, and marketing and that has transformed ethics and much of academia into its handmaiden. For example, situational ethics and utilitarianism are forms of management and control that, like the system of credit money or ‘fiat currency’ (idealization in the service of power, money-magic instrumentalized for power), shows the hegemony of the English system and its ‘god-game’ [2] in geopolitics, finance and cultural transformation. Utilitarian biases pervade modern economic and demographic thinking, offering moralistic cover to forms of human sacrifice.

I merely sketch the outlines of this hermeneutic for each field on which it is focused may generate a series or articles or book-length studies to elaborate its implications. Notable touchstones for this expansive view of management as the late or decadent style of western representation are the works, among many others, of Orwell, Burgess and Andrew Lobaczewski on hysteria and control as forms of social “pathocracy [which] progressively paralyzes everything,” a system that functions “by terror and forced indoctrination.” This occurs via public schools, media and sports and has “the goal of forcing minds into pathological habits of perception and thought patterns” through the use of slogans, clichés, and “moralisms” often deployed as scripted “conservative or liberal positions” whose contrived dialectic sets the parameters of permissible discourse [3]. This paralyzing cultural dynamic is as unsustainable as extractive models of rationalized business, a model that surges toward total control as epitomized in the now fashionable terms, “intervention” and “lockdown” drawn from the military, psychological and penal systems. Poverty, sterility and paralysis align with centralization, dogma and control.

For the last century, the evolving world system is a prime representation of the idealizing drive in western aesthetics. This is marked by a pattern of idyllic plans or projections and the forging of an eidolon or idealized image-identity and the growing dominance of the image-ideal over its generative host. This is an apocalyptic process at whose climax the host collapses and the image is reified as a lifeless, sterile petrifact, its promises, emptied of substance, maintained by increasing levels of coercion until at the point of total control of the deified image, message or ‘daily truth,’ the system collapses into general impoverishment. In this pathocratic process the managerial complex immolates itself for it is a hysterical reaction to and negation of life, of the culture on which it feeds….

1. Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (1922; one-volume abridged edition 1962 by Helmut Werner prepared by Arthur Helps from the English translation of Charles Francis Atkinson), 402, Chapter 20, “The Form-World of Economic Life: Money,” section 2, “Economics & Politics”

2. Ibid 398, “Economic Life” and John Fowles, The Magus (1965; revised 1978), chapter 75, p 637 passim

3. Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology (1984 Polish original; 1998 English translation corrected by the author, Red Pill Press, Canada), 133-4, 149; 59-156 inter alia. “Ponerology” is from the Greek poneros, “evil.” The thesis is that autocratic oppression and political correctness generate hysteria in societies a feature painfully evident in the postmodern West & its growing terrors, sterility and humorlessness, a grim triumph of the eugenics agenda.

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