with communism but to enhance thendomestic power of those who designed,nbought, built, and managed them andnthe bureaucracies that produced them.nInstead of war and repressionnthrough force, the managerial systemnrelies on the manipulative arts of modernncommunications, public administration,nadvertising, propaganda, andnmass entertainment. In order to extendnits reach to the fullest, it has to breakndown the institutional bonds and beliefsnthat resist such manipulation, andnhence it undermines family, class,nproperty, community, religious sects,nand racial and ethnic identities.nHaving now perfected the manipulativenarts to global scale, it is in thenprocess of extending its dominion tonthe entire world, actually disengagingnfrom its territorial base in the nationstatenand constructing a transnationalnapparatus of power by which nationsnand their populations, resources, andncultures can be managed. There is angood deal of talk about how computersnand other postindustrial technologiesnwill lead to a radical decentralization ofntransactionnorganizations. Don’t bet on it. Thentechnology works both ways. It can benused to promote decentralization, butnit also lends itself to tighter controlnfrom the center. Human nature seemsnto prefer more power and less responsibility,nand my own bet is that postindustrialntechnologies will accommodatenthat preference.nThe question, of course, is: will itnlast? Will human nature prove to be soneasily manipulable that elites dedicatednto infinite and eternal manipulationnendure? If Pareto’s analysis of thenpsychological anatomy of the regime ofnfoxes is useful in understanding hownand why it operates the way it does, hisnview of how it crumbles is also suggestive.nThe process of decline is almostnHegelian in its dialectic. Sooner ornlater, a regime based on the applicationnof force and appeal to collective solidaritynwithers in the face of challengesnto which its elite is unable to respond,ngiven its own psychological and behavioralntendencies. Last year this is exactlynwhat happened to the Soviet Union,nwhen its elite, utterly clueless as to thennature of the crises its regime wasnencountering and unable to manipulatenits way out of these crises, collapsednrather like the wonderful onenboss shay.nBy the same argument, sooner ornlater a regime based almost purely onnmanipulation and its arts will encounternchallenges that just can’t be manipulated.nLast year also, the Americannmanagerial system ran into exactly thatnsort of problem in Saddam Hussein,nwho simply ignored all the negotiations,nthreats, and peace marchesnmounted by his adversaries and whoneven succeeded in ignoring his adversaries’ndevastating military victory. Butnsooner or later, also, a manipulativenregime will even run into a challengenthat it not only can’t manipulate butnalso can’t even devastate or will refusento devastate, and when that happens,nthe manipulative regime crumbles nonless quickly than its counterpart basednon force. This is not a happy situation,nbut, if Pareto is right, it seems to be anlaw of history. At least it makes fornexciting adventure stories.
n^ ^ Learned, thoughtful,nVW and superbly ^ ^nwrittenn-Robert NisbetnNATIONAL REVIEWn”In this probing and thoughful book, ThomasnFleming has begun to address the principalnchallenge to our society and polity.”n-Elizabeth Fox-GenovesenCHRONICLESn”A thoughtful conservative of the old school.n. . . Progressives and radicals could benefitnfrom grappling with Fleming’s Intellectuallynstimulating presentation.”nISBN: 0-88738-189-8 (cloth) 276 pp. $32.95nTHE PROGRESSIVEnMajor credit cards accepted. Call (201) 932-2280nSend prepaid orders to:nF”^^ transaction publishersnI rÃ‚Â« I Department FLn^^jJ Rutgers-The State Universityntransaction New Brunswick, N.J. 08903nnnAPRIL 1992/13n
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