Pedro Gonzalez pessimistically describes the inexorable advance of the credentialed class of sophisters, calculators, and economists whose interests inevitably coincide with the cause of collectivist statism.
Before the storm of steel that was World War I, Robert Nisbet wrote that the federal government, for most Americans, was a strangerâ€”something they mainly encountered only on visits to the post office. This may be hard for us to fathom now, we who have been born and raised long after the chains of industrial and technological conglomeration crushed the social, cultural, and political independence middle America knew just a few generations ago.
Different thinkers gave different names to this revolution of mass and scale in virtually all areas of organized human activity. James Burnham heralded its rise, as a system that would replace capitalism not with socialism but â€œmanagerialism.â€
Burnham defined managerialism as the centralization of society in which the distinction between the state and the economy is eliminated, the separation of ownership and control is effected, and, most importantly, powerâ€”real powerâ€”rests in the hands of â€œmanagers.â€
If it seems there is little room for republicanism or constitutionalism in this scheme, thatâ€™s because there isnâ€™t. â€œAmerica still has a written constitution, but it is nearly impossible, theoretically or politically, to comprehend the distinction between the government and the Constitution,â€ John Marini writes. â€œThe theoretical foundations of social compact theory have been so undermined as to make constitutionalism obsolete as a political theory.â€
Demystified, the â€œmanagersâ€ of our post-constitutional cruise through the truculent waters at the end of history are business executives, technicians, bureaucrats, journalists, administrators; the whole host of technically trained experts who constitute the credentialed class which produces nothing and owns little but without whom mass society would not function.
â€œAgricultural and industrial societies always had their unhappy intellectualsâ€”lawyers, clerks, teachers, radical journalistsâ€”men whose profits lay in ideas rather than things, and who were thus in the vanguard of upheavals and demands for reform,â€ Kevin P. Phillips wrote in Mediacracy. â€œBut the intelligentsia was always a small subclass, influential at times when it could channel public unrest, otherwise subordinate.â€ Now the managers throttle their enemies with the levers of power and, to a large extent, manage unrest while overseeing the managed deconstruction of the civilization they did not build but inherited.
They are winning because they have accomplished the Gramscian Long March and control the institutions that define the Culture.