“Sometimes the light’s all shining on me….” Part 2
June 10, 2014
Why is it that administrators or BOBs, Basic Old Bureaucrats, need enemies? That is, those who they consider to be “racist,” or “sexist,” or traditional, reactionary, or standpatters.
Partly, it is merely political, in the sense that administrators need allies to support their quest for power and this is one to get them. For each enemy there is an ally waiting.
But this need for enemies goes deeper than that. It is also how administrators seek to replace the cohesion of the community they displaced.
Make no mistake about it: Administrators are anti-community and communal values. Communities require, rest upon “irrational arrangements,” as it were, arrangements based on, say, tradition, personal connections, or just plain “having fun,” spontaneous, unplanned enjoyments such as that which takes place in bars or pubs, where the bartenders, the keepers of order, do not refer to their “clientele.”
But having displaced such arrangements, even the BOBs realize that they need replacements for there to be cohesion or some kind of unity. Hence, BOBs like “retreats,” where they go to “interact,” to “build trust,” to experience camaraderie. However, this stuff works, if at all, only among the BOBs. To “cohere” with the non-BOBs, their “clientele,’ as the BOBs call people they interact with, more is needed and “enemies” or “threats” are thought to work well.
So, the BOBs need “racists,” “sexists,” and other “others” and they will “look” high and low to find them. And as they look for these enemies, they will even create them, e.g., with such bogus concepts as “binge drinking” or very vague definitions of “sexual harassment.” And once these concepts are created, then those who embrace them will be said to “get it,” while those who do not embrace them “don’t get it,” and, hence, can be dismissed as simply ignorant reactionaries.
This is why there seems to have been “explosion” of behaviors that need addressing. And, of course, it is the BOBs who are equipped to address these behaviors.
Communities, on the other hand, are characterized by, not their opposition to others [“the other”], but by caring for each other. [See Aristotle’s use of “care” in connection with the polis in his Politics.] Modern states are not communities, however, and hence they are characterized by “opposition to,” even war against “the other,” both internally and externally. These others might be communists, socialists, sexists, racists, or merely traditionalists. But whoever they are, their “presence” is indispensable to the modern, administrative project.