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Encyclopedia > Managerial state

Managerial State is a paleoconservative concept used in critiquing modern social democracy in Western countries. The term takes a perjorative context as a manifestation of Western decline. Theorists Samuel Francis and Paul Gottfried say this is an ongoing regime that remains in power, regardless of what political party holds power. Variations include therapeutic managerial state[1], welfare-warfare state[2] or polite totalitarianism.[3] The term paleoconservative (sometimes shortened to paleo or paleocon when the context is clear) refers to an American branch of conservative Old Right thought that is frequently at odds with the current of conservative thought as espoused by the Republican Party elite. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... Samuel Todd Francis (April 29, 1947 – February 15, 2005) was a nationally syndicated paleoconservative columnist known for his opposition to immigration, multiculturalism, and his involvement in debates concerning other controversial issues of the day. ... Paul Gottfried Paul Edward Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient. ...

Francis, following James Burnham, said that under this historical process, “law is replaced by administrative decree, federalism is replaced by executive autocracy, and a limited government replaced by an unlimited state.”[4] It acts in the name of abstract goals, such as equality or positive rights, and uses its claim of moral superiority, power of taxation and wealth redistribution to keep itself in power. James Burnham (1905–1987) was an American popular political theorist, activist and intellectual, known for his work The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, which heavily influenced George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four. Burnham was of English Catholic stock, although he was an atheist for much of his life before converting...


The Managerial Worldview

Paul Gottfried, in After Liberalism, defines this worldview as a "series of social programs informed by a vague egalitarian spirit, and it maintains 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 social engineering, via programs, court decisions and regulations. This includes mass welfarism, positive rights, laws punishing "racism," "sexism" and "homophobia," and centralized control of public education. (While paleocons often criticize neoconservatism, they still see these opponents as just one of many power blocs that support this managerialism.) He elaborated that A Positive right is a right, either moral or decreed by law, to be provided with something so that it is incumbent upon another to act, as opposed to a negative right which is a right to not be subject to the action of another. ... // Public education is education mandated for the children of the general public by the government, whether national, regional, or local, provided by an institution of civil government, and paid for, in whole or in part, by taxes. ...

A regime engaged in behavior modification... [will] begin by appealing to unproved premises, which the reader is nudged into accepting, move on to therapeutic criteria for right reasoning, and finally, as seen in recent hate speech and anti-Holocaust revisionist laws, end by reverting to the argumentum baculinum, which may mean arresting those considered criminally insensitive. At stake here is not the idle pastime of scribes. It is an attempt undertaken by prominent intellectuals to elevate pluralism into behavioral coercion.[1]

Francis argued that this system oversees "the managed destruction of such relationships of civil society as property, patterns of association, education, and employment."[5] He elaborated:

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.[6]

In a more general way, Joesph Sobran argues that technology and false notions of progress give people a false sense of autonomy:

C. S. Lewis remarked that every increase in man's power over nature can turn out to mean an increase in the power of some men over others, with nature as its instrument. Given technological progress, we need to fight hard to retain our clarity about the nature and rights of human beings, or we face what Lewis called "the abolition of man." Abortion and totalitarianism both represent new possibilities of some men's power over others, and both are defended by certain ideologies of "progress." We hear of human "autonomy" and of man's "control of his own destiny." But the autonomy is enjoyed by a select (or self-selected) few, and the control is exercised by a shrinking elite; those who are powerless, whether unborn children or the subjects of a totalist dictatorship, simply don't count.[7]

Thomas Fleming argues that the managerial problem extends to issues of war, peace and international order:

I prefer the old Adam of strife and carnage to the new Prometheus of peace and human rights. Better a world torn apart by Husseins and Qaddafis, better a war to the knife between the PLO and the Likud Party, between Zulus and Afrikaaners, than a world run by George Balls and Dag Hammarskjölds, because a world made safe for democracy is a world in which no one dares to raise his voice for fear that mommy will put you away some place where you can be reeducated."[2]

Anarchy and tyranny

Samuel Francis argued that the problems of managerial state extend to issues of crime and justice. In 1992, he introduced the word “anarcho-tyranny” into the paleocon vocabulary.[8] He once defined it this way: “we refuse to control real criminals (that's the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that's the tyranny).”[9]

Francis argued that this situation extends across the U.S. and Europe. While the government functions normally, violent crime remains a constant, creating a climate of fear (anarchy). He says that “laws that are supposed to protect ordinary citizens against ordinary criminals” routinely go unenforced, even though the state is “perfectly capable” of doing so. While this problem rages on, government elites concentrate their interests on law-abiding citizens. In fact, Middle America winds up on the receiving end of both anarchy and tyranny.[10]

Other paleocons have expanded upon Francis’ original idea. Lew Rockwell extended it to foreign policy, saying that the U.S. military unleashed this condition on the Iraqis.[11] Some of the VDARE team, including Francis himself, use the term to describe illegal immigration.[12] Thomas Fleming argues that the breakdown of the American system leaves a "country with a civilized elite class sitting on top of a powder-keg of anarchic welfare-dependents who can defy the government. This gives "encouragement to our own domestic rabble," endangering Middle America: Peter Brimelow founder of VDARE VDare. ...

Does anyone remember the Rodney King riots? Watts? What happens every time a big city wins or loses a Superbowl or NBA championship? The next time you are in a large crowd -- at a downtown pop concert or metro station -- look around and imagine how many people on the street, if the lights went out and the cops disappeared, would be pulling the gold fillings out of the teeth in your dead body.[13]

Jerry Pournelle provides his own variation on this theme:

We do not live by rule of law, because no one can possibly go a day without breaking one or another of the goofy laws that have been imposed on us over the years. No one even knows all the laws that apply to almost anything we do now. We live in a time of selective enforcement of law.[14]

Francis argues that anarcho-tyranny is built into the managerial system and cannot be solved simply by fighting corruption or voting out incumbents. In fact, he says that the system generates a false “conservatism” that encourages people to act passively in the face of perpetual revolution. He concludes that only by devolving power back toward law-abiding citizens can sanity be restored. [15]

In addition, Thomas Fleming describes anarcho-tyranny as “law without order: a constant busybodying about behavior that does not at all derive from a shared moral consensus. He suggests stoicism as a survival skill. He wrote, "he only response to this regime is to follow the boxing referee's advice: protect yourself at all times..... The only freedom we have is the moral freedom that even ancient slaves enjoyed. Read Epictetus."[16]

The center-right

Gottfried says paleocons show contempt for the modern state, "not as an energizing force but as a leveling and homogenizing instrument."[3] Conversely, he says mainstream conservatives no longer challenge the managerial system, except at the extremes. For example, decades of activism rolled back neither the New Deal nor the Great Society. He argues that "classical conservatives wanted “traditional hierarchical society and a state that assumed the existing social arrangements,” both of which today’s center-right rejects and condemns, while reinforcing “Western self-hate and self-indulgence.” [4][5]He writes: Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: New Deal For other uses of New Deal and The New Deal, see New Deal (disambiguation). ... The Great Society was a set of domestic programs proposed or enacted in the United States on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969). ...

A political and cultural war has been fought and largely won by the social left against gender stereotyping and the nuclear family. Gay/lesbian and abortion rights, together with a powerful centralized administration enforcing them, are taken for granted by most members of Congress. Opposition to quotas and to the media's bashing of white males increasingly has become restricted to the political fringe. Only extremists now call for a debate on further immigration, which Beltway conservatives avoid bringing up lest they seem insensitive.[6]

Gottfried also argues that the democratic center-right, such as the GOP, is not a restraining force against the managerial state. He says that such political leaders espouse a dubious moderation and accommodate the Left, while treating traditional conservative positions as political liabilities.

The center-right has gradually embraced most of the Left’s historical positions but has merely restated them with apparent moderation, for example, by rallying to the original, less radicalized form of feminism, by advocating an extensive welfare state with lower marginal tax rates, and by praising Martin Luther King while lying about his endorsement of racial quotas…. Equally important, if the "conservative movement" were as concerned about small-government as it is about waging global democratic wars, it might be influencing public opinion accordingly. Movement conservative leaders and the Republican Party have opted for big government and leftist missionary wars but not because of public demand. Rather they have worked long and hard to manufacture a demand for their interests. [17]

In addition, Samuel Francis argued that since the center-right and center-left refuse to deal with major civilizational issues, they reduce domestic political debates to narrow economic issues. This preoccupation views human beings as “resources” and treats them like inanimate objects.[7] Using a phrase from Peter Drucker, he says this “reflects the myth of Economic Man - that human beings are mainly or entirely economic in their motivations and that therefore the business of America is business, even if it takes the federal leviathan to conduct it or regulate it.”[8] Peter Ferdinand Drucker (November 19, 1909–November 11, 2005) was an Austrian author of numerous economics-related literature. ...

See also

Paleoconservatism (sometimes shortened to paleo or paleocon when the context is clear) is an anti-authoritarian[1] right wing movement based primarily in the United States that stresses tradition, civil society and classical federalism, along with familial, religious, regional, national and Western identity. ... Samuel Todd Francis (April 29, 1947 – February 15, 2005) was a nationally syndicated paleoconservative columnist known for his opposition to immigration, multiculturalism, and his involvement in debates concerning other controversial issues of the day. ... Paul Gottfried Paul Edward Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient. ...


  • "The Cultural War for the Soul of America", by Patrick J. Buchanan, speech dated September 14, 1992.
  • "James Burnham, The New Class, And The Nation-State", by Samuel Francis. VDARE.com, August 23, 2001
  • Gottfried, Paul E., After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State, 1999. ISBN 0-691-05983-7
  • Gottfried, Paul E., Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy, 2003. ISBN 0-8262-1520-3
  • "The Tyranny of Liberalism", by James Kalb. (Originally published as “Liberalism, the Transcendent, and Restoration,” in Modern Age, Summer, 2000.)
  • "The Origins of Political Correctness" by William S. Lind, Accuracy in Academia, 2000.
  • Lukacs, John, The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age, 1993. ISBN 0-395-58472-8
  • Nisbet, Robert, The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America, 2003. ISBN 0-86597-409-8
  • Nisbet, Robert, Twilight of Authority. 2000. ISBN 0-86597-211-7
  • Roberts, Paul Craig and Lawrence Stratton, The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, 1997. ISBN 0-89526-423-4
  • "How Tyranny Came to America", by Joseph Sobran, Sobran's, n.d.

Patrick Buchanan Patrick Joseph Buchanan (born November 2, 1938), usually known as Pat Buchanan, is an American conservative journalist and a well known television political commentator. ... September 14 is the 257th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (258th in leap years). ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Samuel Todd Francis (April 29, 1947 – February 15, 2005) was a nationally syndicated paleoconservative columnist known for his opposition to immigration, multiculturalism, and his involvement in debates concerning other controversial issues of the day. ... August 23 is the 235th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (236th in leap years), with 130 days remaining. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... William S. Lind is director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... Joseph Sobran Joseph Sobran (born February 23, 1946, Michigan) is an American journalist and writer, formerly with National Review and currently a syndicated columnist. ...


  1. ^ After Liberalism, p. 85.
  2. ^ Thomas Fleming, "Further Reflections on Violence," Chronicles, November 1990, p. 15.
  3. ^ Conservative Movement, p. 153
  4. ^ “After three decades, has the conservative movement triumphed?” ‘’Insight’’, March 22, 1999.
  5. ^ See, for example, Gottfried’s "Solid Scholarship Undergirds Buchanan's Sober Predictions," ‘’Insight’’, March 11, 2002.
  6. ^ Gottfried, "Solid Scholarship"
  7. ^ “Immigration: The Republican taboo,” ‘’The Washington Times’’, May 30, 1995,
  8. ^ “ Biparitsan loser for GATT,” ‘’The Washington Times’’, December 2, 1994,



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