A feature of this age is lots of talk about the future, but not in the practical sense as was the case in the past. A century ago, industry would promise labor saving devices to make material life better for regular people. Today, the managerial elite talks about the future in vague terms, sometimes awful and sometimes glorious. In the future, we will go about in self-driving electric cars, unless Gaia burns creation to a crisp over the use of fossil fuels and inappropriate pronouns.
The fact is the managerial elite does not speak in specifics about the future because they do not have a clear vision for it. The only thing they are sure of is they will be in charge of it and as such, it will need their constant attention. Like the members of a committee, the managerial class can only imagine the next meeting. The future is always more of them doing what it is that makes them possible. As a result, the future they work towards is more of an aesthetic than a real place.
For example, the long running war on manufacturing in the West is not about the practical issues related to making things. It is mostly about removing these things from the view of the managerial elite. Note that in the 20th century the corporate office moved from where actual work was done to a corporate campus. The manager did not want to hear, see and smell the work. Something similar is happening in Western society where work is moved to the periphery.
This was a big part of the drive to ship manufacturing to low cast places like Asia and South America in the last century. Business took the incentives to leave, but those incentives were created by the managerial elite. The refrigeration maker did not lobby for trade deals that would force him to move his plant to Mexico. Those trade deals were made and business responded. Those ugly eyesores were then removed from the sight of the people who manage the world.
Now that some of this is coming back onshore due to the trade wars, supply chain issues and other problems, those businesses get stuffed on the fringe. Not a single voice in the managerial elite calls for rebuilding cities by rebuilding their manufacturing base or even encouraging reshoring back to the cities. Instead, the reshoring is going on in exurban industrial parks hidden from the sight of the rulers. The plans for the city, real or imagined, do not include the laboring classes.
The global crisis is due in no small part to this sensibility. The reason the violent Trotsky cult called neoconservatism keeps insisting Russia is nothing by a big gas station run by peasants is it has to be for the Great Reset to work. In order for the EU to be the leisurely playground imagined by the managerial elite, it is needs lots of cheap energy products from Russia. That can only happen if Russia knows its place and operates a giant gas station staffed by peasants.
Similarly, China is supposed to be a giant industrial park staffed by disposable people who all look alike to the managerial elite. The things that make the world look ugly and smell bad, like making steel, batteries, solar panels and Apple products, need to be made and made cheaply, but who wants to see it being made? No one in the managerial elite, so it gets sent abroad. China’s place in the scheme is to be a giant industrial zone for peasants to make cheap consumer goods.
Agriculture is coming under the same pressure. The push to end the growing of food in Western countries looks like madness. It is driven, however, by the same aesthetic that shipped manufacturing abroad. The beautiful people of the future do not want to think about how their food gets to their plate. Things like animal rights and bizarre dietary claims are just cover for an aversion to facing the reality of the food chain. They indulge these fads because they promise to hide the truth of life.
For European elites, this means food production gets shifted east to the Slavic lands and South to the MENA. In America, it means food production gets shifted south to Latin America and even China. This changing of the food supply is not better in a practical sense, but in an aesthetic sense. It is out of sight so therefore the managerial elite is not troubled by it. The corporate campus of the New World Order will be separate from the work that is required to maintain it.
The rise of the corporate campus in the last century was not driven by practical needs, but by the aesthetic of the people running the company. The guy who worked his way up from the bottom had been replaced by professional managers, trained at the best colleges and universities. The owners were now fund managers. This new breed of corporate manager did not want to be close to the work. In fact, she resented it as a reminder of why the business existed in the first place.
It is not unusual for the managers in a modern corporate office to not know how the company makes money. Few corporate managers have had a hand in making their products or delivering their service. The exception are the firms that work as middlemen in the new economy. Many managers work in areas that have no relationship to the business of the company. There is a physical and psychological gap between those who labor and those who facilitate labor.
Note that it is not always an economic gap. A hard working tradesman or a small businessman has a better material life than the corporate manager, but he lives in a different cultural, physical and psychological zone. The self-employed plumber with a couple of men working for him is not going to be playing golf with the assistant strategy director or the corporate success coach. These are people who do know one another or even know of each other’s existence.
This is the world the managerial elite is working toward. They do not need to know why plugging in the Tesla makes the red light inside turn green. They do not need to know how their soy latte came into being. The messy and unpleasant things about human existence have been moved off to the periphery. They just exist and no one needs think too much about how they work. The managerial class is liberated from the human condition because they no longer have to witness it.
This works fine as long as the bulk of Western people are fine being converted into a massive servant class, mingled in with foreigner imports. This works if Russia is happy to be a giant gas station run by peasants. As long as China is fine being an industrial park that makes no demands on management, it is all good. In other words, if the peasants never get any wild thoughts in their heads, the world imagined by the managerial elite is a glorious place.
It remains to be seen if such a world is possible. The Russians are not happy being a giant gas station run by peasants. The Chinese think their culture and civilization is more than a polluted industrial zone. Even the Indians seem to be tiring of their role as call center to the West. On the other hand, the managerial elite is smart and ruthless, mostly ruthless, so they cannot be discounted. These are people selected for their ability to impose their will on their host.
In the end, the future will be decided by who, not how. This may be the great flaw in the managerial system that has evolved to this point. A system that places all value on clever verbal tricks to control how things are done may not be much of a match for people who can actually do things. Baring some détente between the managerial elite and the rest of the world, like that which happened between labor and management in the 20th century, the crisis is headed for conflict.
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