Thursday, November 12, 2020

Inexcusable Oxygen Theft By The Professional Managerial Class

The professional managerial class lives in an Atlassian/Tableau fantasy world (formerly Powerpoint and Excel) Their ability to ‘model’ and then ‘pitch’ (and fund) a decision (read, allocation of Other People’s Money), using an elaborate smokescreen of elementary finance and decision science that masks a few dumbed down operating assumptions (or worse, ‘benchmarks and kpi's’) carries a far higher paycheck and prestige than the hard work, expertise and experience required to discover real world inputs.
 
In fact, real world experience is actively harmful in PMC world. After all, it tends to result in ‘FUDs’ (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), and therefore no greenlight and no remunerative follow on workstreams (see ‘Bu!!sh!t Jobs)

 
Having a degree does not make one a member of the PMC, it is being in an institutional or professional setting where you are subject to pressure about your work product and process, despite the appearance of some degree of autonomy by virtue of elite status. It most certainly is not just about credentials or pay. And you don’t have to be senior either. 
 
Increasingly, if you want to get and hang on to a PMC job, that job will involve dishonesty or exploitation of others in some way. Industries such as finance have seized and held onto larger and larger proportions of the economy.  The same disproportionate growth can be seen in financialised healthcare and finacialised education.
 
In other words, being a member of the PMC critically includes that you are sufficiently not in control of your work process or product that if you object to widespread practices (either in the industry or at your place of employment) that you find morally offensive, you can expect to suffer serious career or income costs. Most people believe they can’t afford that and so go along with the program.

nakedcapitalism  |  In the years 2016-2020:

1)The Professional Managerial Class (PMC) attained class consciousness.

2) The PMC was and is embubbled by a domestic psyop.

3) The press replaced reporting with advocacy.

4) Election legitimacy is determined by extra-Constitutional actors.

5) “Fascism” became an empty signifier, not an analytical tool.

Let us look at each of these claims.

1) The PMC attained class consciousness. As Thomas Frank has shown (Listen, Liberal!), the PMC has replaced the working class as the Democrat Party base[1]. During the period 2016-2020, the PMC, collectively, experienced Trump’s election as literal, actual trauma (as pain, as an energy suck, as constant stress, as depression, etc. Parents wept to tell their children, and so forth. That the burden of such trauma is — with respect to the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by, say, soldiers. abuse victims, or the homeless — quite slight may lead some — well, me — to mock it (“How was brunch?”), but the trauma is deeply felt and real). Importantly, as Steve Randy Waldman has urged, the class position — and hence the class consciousness — of the PMC is marked by “predatory precarity“; the predation comes from what a professional must do to maintain their class position in a financialized economy driven by rent-seeking; the precarity comes from the fact that their class position is maintained, not by the ownership of capital, or the inheritance of a title, but by expensive “positional goods” like credentials. Trump’s right-wing populism, with its distrust of experts — the same meritorious experts whose Esq.s were on every foreclosure notice or dunning letter, and whose M.D.s were on every surprise medical bill — struck directly at both exposed nerves. Not only might they not be consulted on how best to rule, their very credentials might turn out to be worthless. Hence the rage, the fear, the hate, certainly universally expressed in the press, but also in such organizations as Indivisible, the Women’s March, etc. The PMC as a class came to consciousness screaming Make it stop!

2) The PMC was and is embubbled by a domestic psyop. Make it stop! was, however, followed hard upon by I didn’t do it! Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, describes how Robbie Mook deployed RussiaGate to delegitimize the newly elected President in a meeting with the rest of the defeated Clinton camp the day after Election Day 2016. RussiaGate became the Goebbelsian propaganda operation that it was — if there had been anything to it, Pelosi would have impeached Trump for it, Mueller Report or no[2] — through an unholy alliance of the Democrat Party apparatus, the intelligence community, and the press. All were variously motivated — “There in stately splendor, far removed from the squalid village below, they fight their petty battles over power and money” (Bob and Ray) — but the effect on the PMC was extraordinary: To this very day, any opposing or dissenting force to the liberal Democrat orthodoxy of the day can be dismissed with a one-liner about Putin! I’ve never seen anything like it.[3] Both (1) and (2) combined to drive turnout, voluntering, donations, and everything else. (That the Democrat base is too slim to rule on its own is another issue entirely.)