Managerial state

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Managerial state is a paleoconservative critical description of current liberal democracies, by critics such as Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried. A related concept is Anarcho-tyranny.


The capitalist entrepreneurial class, which dominated the society and politics of the 19th century, is argued to have been displaced from power not by Marx’s proletariat, but by a new elite of managers, who in practice have little oversight from groups such as shareholders and voters.[1]

"The older type of businessman was a “rugged individualist” who championed an ethic of self-control (“a penny saved is a penny earned”) and personal responsibility. He had a strong interest in limiting the power of government and maintaining property rights. The manager, by contrast, is an “organization man” mainly interested in expanding the size of his operations by, for example, absorbing or driving out competitors. He is far less opposed to governmental regulation and less devoted to the maintenance of property rights because his own wealth comes not from private property but from the high salaries that his specialized skills command. He likes centralization, uniformity, and homogenization."[1]

The managerial elite is also argued to prefer "consumers who cannot vary in their tastes, values, and patterns of consumption, and who must consume if the planning of the corporations is to be effective. The moral formula of managerial capitalism is [therefore] a justification of mass, the legitimization of immediate gratification of appetites and desires, and the rejection of frugality, thrift, and the postponement of gratification. Mass advertising serves to articulate an ethic of hedonism, and modern credit devices and the manipulation of aggregate demand serve to encourage patterns of hedonistic behavior in the mass population."[1]

The managerial class, through methods such as advertising, culture, and education, is argued to have promoted the growth of such values and managerial forms of organization in society in general. One example is that the uniformity liked by managers is opposed by existence of race and racial identity, which are therefore opposed.[1]

Paul Gottfried, in After Liberalism, describes a managerial worldview as a series of social programs informed by a vague egalitarian spirit, and maintaining its power by pointing its finger accusingly at antiliberals. He calls it a new theocratic religion. In this view, when the managerial regime cannot get democratic support for its policies, it resorts to sanctimony and social engineering, via programs, court decisions and regulations. He has argued that "The managerial ruling class, lodged primarily in the state and the other massive bureaucratic structures that dominate the economy and mass culture, must undermine such institutions of traditional social life if its power and interests are to prevail. Disparities between races – rebaptized as "prejudice," "discrimination," "white supremacy," and "hate" to which state and local governments and private institutions are indifferent or in which they are allegedly complicit-provide constant targets of convenience for managerial attack on local, private, and social relationships. Seen in this perspective, as a means of subverting traditional society and enhancing the dominance of a new elite and its own social forms, the crusade for racial "liberation" is not distinctly different from other phases of the same conflict that involve attacks on the family, community, class, and religion."


Anarcho-tyranny is a related concept, where the managerial state is argued to be more interested in controlling citizens so that they do not oppose the managerial class (tyranny) rather than controlling real criminals (causing anarchy). Laws are argued to be enforced only selectively, depending on what is perceived to be beneficial for the ruling elite. One example is that illegal immigration is in practice often tolerated.

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