Note: The Taki post is up. I find the whole anti-Nazi thing interesting as it seems to be a subculture now, rather than just ham-fisted sloganeering. It is becoming an anti-religion in which the believers are defined by their opposition to the imaginary. For something lighter, I have some posts behind the green door about pop culture. Over Christmas I watched The French Connection, Star Trek: Diversity and The Expanse.
Most people on this side of the great divide have little interest in sports entertainment, as it is seen as part of the head game the system plays on people. Instead of investing in things that are important to their community and family, men invest their energy in rooting for the local corporate sports team. For most on this side of the divide, there is something unseemly about seeing a man wearing a sports team jersey in public or putting his favorite sports team in his social media profile.
That is, however, what makes sports entertainment a useful window into the psychology of the managerial state. Sports entertainment is a microcosm of what is happening in more subtle ways across the culture. College sports are particularly useful as that is where the ideology of this age slams into reality. On the one hand, players are supposed to be “scholar-athletes” and on the other hand college sports is a great celebration of diversity. None of it, of course, makes sense.
An example is this announcement from the Atlantic Coast Conference about a corporate program called “the coach’s academy” that is “an eight-week virtual and immersive development program that equips coaches with information, tools, and skills of a humanistic approach to better support the needs of the student-athlete.” Anyone who has worked in corporate America recognizes the creepy bureaucratic language that defines modern managerialism.
The hallmark of the modern managerial class is the creepy, dehumanized language they inflict on us. How does one “equip a coach with information, tools, and skills of a humanistic approach”? A normal way of saying this is “train coaches to be more empathetic to their players” but that is too direct and it lacks the signaling that is so important in the managerial class. The word salad says that the writer has been to graduate school and has the appropriate credentials.
The proof of that is the third paragraph. ” ‘The response to the ACC Coaches’ Academy has been terrific,’ said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D.” A normal person would wonder why that academic credential is listed, but inside the world of the managerial class, credentials are everything. This is why they are so cheap. Phillips earned a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University.
Another thing you see in managerial language is the appropriation of terms and concepts from business and science. These are fields in which there is a right answer and accomplishment can be objectively measured. College presidents now call themselves CEO’s, for example. In this announcement they use the term “cohort” rather than group, suggesting things about the first group of coaches forced into this seminar that are certainly not true, but the word “cohort” sounds cool.
Later on, we learn that the coaches learn “emotional intelligence competencies to enhance trust and connection.” A normal person would wonder what exactly is an “emotional intelligence competency” and the long answer is nothing. There is no such thing as emotional intelligence. It is another racket where “experts” on “emotional intelligence” sell their services to corporate trainers. The idea is to train staff to control their emotions like a sociopath.
Also note the word competency. This is a very popular word in the managerial class, because it implies that all knowledge is acquirable. You just have to sit quietly in the class, repeat what you heard and get the credentials. Now you have that competency, which you can put in your trophy case. This is a product of the blank slate, which assumes anyone can learn anything. The strivers festooned with credentials are not naturally better. They just want it more.
Perhaps the most amusing bit of language in this press release is the phrase “transformational leadership approach.” This is another example of how the managerial class loves neologism, especially those that borrow words and phrases from the productive sector of society. They also love the idea that natural ability, like leadership, can be acquired, like a new car or a new couch. They also need to feel like they are leaders, even if they sit in a cubicle all day.
Like emotional intelligence, transformational leadership is popular in the corporate space, mostly because it is a good way to avoid reality. That reality is there are people good at the things needed in a corporation and there is a finite number of them, which means there is never enough of these people. Consultants make a nice living telling senior managers that there is a way to spin the straw they can afford into the gold that will make the company successful.
This line is typical. “Through personal reflection, peer discussion and interactive activities such as role play and case studies, coaches developed an action plan for practical implementation of new strategies within their teams and integrated program concepts to evolve their coaching philosophy.” The action plan is the proof that the employee attended the seminar. Usually, they end up in the trash or maybe in a drawer with the other nonsense credentials.
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, people have complained about the dehumanizing aspects of large corporate entities. Marxism was driven in large part by the dehumanizing aspects of large scale manufacturing. Writers and comedians have mocked corporate culture. The corporation is a creepy form of fascism in that the people in charge imagine themselves to be something other than autocrats and they demand their employees play along with the charade.
The social phenomenon of managerialism is the application of corporate self-delusion to society as a whole. The administrative state embraces the same bizarre language and internal activities as the modern corporation. Popular culture spreads the language and concepts, normalizing this stuff in areas like sports, of all places. Managerialism seeks to turn society into an integrated corporate entity. The only thing missing from that press release is the phrase “resistance is futile.”
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