(previously published over at Orange, where they ignored it)
Here is an essay for those of you who are clinging to the status quo, who imagine that a few mild reforms, instituted by a managerial elite, will change society significantly enough to “make a difference” and “put America on the right track.” Let me be clear about this: I’m sure we have a lot of the same goals — but I am looking for a clear and unequivocal repudiation of “progressivism.”
Better management won’t change our society. Its problem is the one John Lennon sang about forty years ago: how can I go forward if I don’t know which way I’m facing?
If society is “facing the wrong way,” and headed for crisis for reasons internal to its functioning, then the point of planning within that social context is lost. Better management will then merely mitigate the resultant disaster without offering any real resistance to its happening. The fundamental reality is this: global capitalist society, which organizes the world economy to benefit 793 billionaires and ten million millionaires while marginalizing that half of humanity which lives on less than $2.50/day, is headed toward more growth, more intensive and more extensive exploitation of resources, toward an ultimate crisis of exhaustion. These tendencies are all built into the system. And you are all going to “plan around” this?
Below the fold I will give you all a short list of reasons why our managers don’t know which way they’re facing, and also of why real social change is more effectively accomplished by social movements than by managers.