Managerial Society

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In this essay I argue that managerialism has constituted a silent social revolution that has expanded to all institutions, not simply economic ones. Further, managerialism is a direct and subtle threat to the democratic way of life, shutting out participation and consensus. Finally, managerialism threatens the remaining wilderness since it treats the wild as a giant resource. Managerialism in the economy is the attempt to plan economic developments and outcomes. The epitome is the Federal Reserve Bank, which, by raising or lowering interest rates, can control the entire economy. Upper management in corporations plans production to maximize profits. In sum we have a planned economy, the ironic goal of socialists—but not one with near equal incomes. On the contrary, we have planned inequality. The function of management should be to serve the public, not rule it. One standard for their effectiveness should be participation by employees and stockholders in decisions. Another, since the society they have managed has resulted in gross income inequities, would be that the economy be planned to make incomes more equitable. Last but not least, managers should refuse to enter where they are not needed, as in the forests. This would be a true managerial revolution.