The Managerial Class

In sum, the main goal or objective of American defense apparatchiks soon after World War II was to “make the world safe for limited war” in order for these American defense apparatchiks to keep their business running within an overarching strategic context defined by “Mutual Assured Destruction” (MAD) due to the advent of nuclear weapons. Although the economic and political clout of American defense apparatchiks has been weightier than that of anyone else since World War II, American defense officials are just a subclass or subgroup within a broader class or group of people known as “The Managerial Class.” On one hand, there is the “Managerial Class,” and on the other hand, there is everyone else.

There is also a palpable divide which can be exploited from within this managerial class, namely, the divide between war proponents or “war hawks” on one hand, and those with commercial and trade interests on the other hand. As Immanuel Kant argued, war and commerce cannot coexist. One must take precedence over the other. While certain state organs and personalities thrive off war, societies in general are at a loss due to war, and the prevailing interest of societies in general is to foster and sustain global commerce and trade. And despite the insistence of American defense apparatchiks that “limited war” would be the nature of the game and could be maintained, even a “limited war” contributes significantly to economic degeneration and decline, as demonstrated by the rise of inflation over the course of the last two decades. Moreover, one can argue that “limited war” is somewhat of an idiotic concept and term, given that war is an art that is qualitative and is not necessarily an exact science that can be quantified.

It is also important to note that the rise of a “Managerial Class” in the Western world coincides with the political and social phenomena which I have highlighted in the past, namely, the phenomena known as “mass bureaucratization” and “rationalization.” In turn, the economist and sociologist Max Weber highlighted the social consequences of such political and social phenomena when he wrote:

“Imagine the consequences of that comprehensive bureaucratization and rationalization which already today we see approaching. Already now, throughout private enterprise in wholesale manufacture, as well as in all other economic enterprises run on modern lines…rational calculation is manifest at every stage. By it, the performance of each individual worker is mathematically measured, each man becomes a little cog in the machine, and, aware of this, his one preoccupation is to become a bigger cog.”

Michael Lind argued: “Managerial elites are destined to dominate the economy and society of every modern nation. But if they are not checked, they will overreach and produce a destructive populist backlash in proportion to their excess.” Thus, a “class war” in America was inevitable due to the exclusive and extractive nature of the managerial class. Lind also argued that the “grim alternative” to inclusion and power-sharing is “a future of gated communities and mobs led by demagogues at their gates.” As has been argued before, education is key in avoiding such a grim future, and education is key in fostering inclusion and power-sharing whereby “everyone can be an insider.” I have shared personal anecdotes of overcoming the barriers to social mobility imposed by certain elements of the managerial class in Washington. And I am almost certain that I am not the only one who has faced such barriers to social mobility in the United States.

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