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Archive for March, 2017

“A Great Museum Begun,” The Canadian Courier. Vol. XV, No. 17, 1914. Page 12.

The opening of the Royal Ontario Museum.

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The history of policing is a series of retranslations of its objects and purposes.
One such retranslation stemmed from the adoption of a disciplinary discourse
in the movement to a bureaucratic organization in the mid-nineteenth
century. The purpose of policing was reframed to place emphasis on
adherence to rules, the cultivation of impersonal authority, and the develop- ment of technologies in the neutral delivery of service (cf. Walker, 1977).
Under occupational professionalization in the early twentieth century,
another retranslation was promoted. The crime-fighter was touted and
encouraged through the adoption of industry standards and professional ethics, self-regulation, and the continuation of highly stratified bureaucratic
structures. Recently, there has emerged a model which can be called new
managerial policing. 

New managerialism rests on a number of premises or assumptions. One of
these, which is sometimes the least obvious, is a privileging of the product producing
organization – assumptively a corporate and for-profit organization
– as the root unit of society. A related assumption of
a managerialist discourse is a de-emphasis of the state. As Enteman argues,
the ’social decisions’ produced by managements of corporate organizations are not oriented to the furtherance of a national ethos,
but are instead aimed at global markets, clients or consumers. Regulation, it
is the prevailing view in new managerialist literature, is best achieved in the
proactive (re)construction of the organization, and this requires not standardization,
rules and punishments in a (hopeful) representation of objective
and literal truth, but rather dialogue and engagement in a recognition of
dynamic processes and positive ’imaging’. New managerialism is given meaning through its putative evolution
out of bureaucratic organization. 

Various mechanisms give substance to this anti-bureaucratic ethos of new
managerialism. Drawing from Japanese corporate and organizational models
of the 1960s, and from the organizational systems work of the late 1960s and
early 1970s, management moves discipline and authority behind the lines and
diminishes their use as first-instance reasons for compliance. Instead, intermediary
devices are installed, implicating the worker in the managerial
agenda of the organization. These include peer review, organizational missions,
quality circles, team problem-solving, network-building and organizational
learning. In addition,
while bureaucracies are seen as punitive and past-possessed, new managerialism
is future (or loss prevention) focused.

New managerialism understands the corporate organization in terms of 

dynamic change or ’learning’, and individuals in terms of the tailored competency
profiling the organization needs. Key to the transformation of police
agencies according to a new managerialist ethic is the importance placed on
training, missions and competencies both at the organizational level and at
the level of the individual.
In this way, the discourse of new managerialism is consistent with neo-liberal
strategies of governance and is pushed ahead by them. Neo-liberalism ’reactivates
choice’ as the ’fundamental human faculty’. It is
through this ironic re-articulation of choice that the individual is seen as an
enterprise, an enterprise, moreover, who presumptively cares for her own self. Enterprising individuals are putatively free to
negotiate working conditions and continuously to adapt their competencies to changing demands in quickly saturated markets (Harvey, 1989). Work is
redefined as the translation of innate and learned competencies and skills into
value as enterprise. So fully is the individual responsibilized that leading edge
organizations develop rigorous training programmes which continuously test the worker’s ability to manifest pro-organizational values. During such
training workers ’freely choose’, as du Gay puts it, to partake in a ’reflexive
self-monitoring’ on their progress.

Neo-liberalism and new managerialism are thus close bedfellows in promoting
a compelling version of subjectivity. In these emphases new managerialism
takes a post-structuralist view to the continual (flexible) reproduction
of, not individual agents and social institutions, but corporate organizations
themselves. As Morgan puts it, ’images and ideas people hold of themselves
and their world have a fundamental impact on how their realities unfold’. Breaking from the public power/private enterprise distinction
of nineteenth-century liberalism, new managerialism, in language
and in emphasis, rejuvenates the power of ideas and creativity in the social
construction of reality. Neo-liberalism, appositely, understands personal choice not as opposed to, but of a piece with, corporate power. Neo-liberal
empowerment also sees the individual not as made up by others or as depen- dent on social-structural conditions, but as freely adapting to market transitions, a free adaptation favourably termed ’lifelong
learning’. 

But although appearing to promote individuality and creativity and the
unfettered enterprising visionary, new managerialism is a discourse directed
not at the articulation of the individual in society but at the organization in
the free market. While individuals and essences are not the foundation of
society, individuals can nevertheless be discursively made up in the service
of organizational ends. New managerialism likewise aligns all the virtues of
autonomy and enterprise with the character of the mission-driven ’learning
organization’. Against a neo-liberal backdrop, new managerialism offers an
antidote to the problem of the spirited ’individualist’ straining against an
external authority. Spirit, initiative, enterprise and charisma are recast as
qualities belonging not to the individual standing opposed to organizations
and their collective thinking, but rather as virtues which individuals acting within organizations may partake of. Today, one is most likely to encounter
words like ’iconoclast’ or ’rebel’ in the marketing or promotion of organizationally aligned individuality. Individual expression comes to be understood,
with empowerment politics, as the self’s maximization of corporate privilege.

 Indeed… we can better appreciate subjectivity under new managerialism by viewing it in contradistinction
to its cultivation under the bureaucratic organization. The manager in the
bureaucratic organization was ideally impersonal, objective, dispassionate, detached and knowledgeable: an expert. He was insulated by rules and by rank in a vertical hierarchy, and through clear delineations of diminishing authority which passed down through the ranks of the vertical pillar. In turn,
the worker in the bureaucratic organization was separated in his work and
life, bifurcated into reason and emotion and between pleasure and duty, and
knew very clearly the limits of his authority, knowledge and competence. 

An outcome of bureaucracy’s ’foundational exclusions’ and ’constitutive
splits’ was a worker who was said to lack initiative and was also ontologically
(as opposed to presentationally) under-identified with the public missions of
the organization. A rule-driven shaping of subjectivities rewards rote
adherence to procedure while punishing creative enterprise. Skolnick identified this dilemma as a key organizational problem of policing. A further
consequence (with further relevance in policing) has reputedly been a subjectivity
characterized in a split between a public self of impersonal proceduralism
and austerity and a private self of abuses and secret excesses
(where initiative finds expression).
Liberal oppositions have helped to shape subjects as neutral agents through the application of bureaucratic rules and in the distinction between public and
private expression. But in being so shaped, individual enterprise has been
understood as the cost, expression being associated with favouritism, abuse
of office and corruption. 

New managerialism has offered a new image of subjectivity, one which
is conceptualized in opposition to the rational separations and forced objectivity and neutrality of liberal oppositions and bureaucracy. The executive
in the new learning organization is characterized by risk-taking, entrepreneurship,
involvement and a ’calculatingly charismatic’ personality. Rather than being seen as a commander, he is seen explicitly as
a people- and organization-shaper: s/he shapes ’the conduct and self-image of employees … encouraging them to acquire capacities and dispositions that will enable them to become enterprising persons’.
In contrast to the foundational exclusions and subjectivity splitting of the
bureaucratic worker, the worker in a new managerialist organization is
made whole again through work-based participatory technologies such as
work teams, continuous learning and peer review procedures. S/he is made
up to be ’empowered’ and personally interested.
S/he is to find ‘pleasure in work’ rather than pleasure through work. Finally, s/he is to be made responsible or responsibilized to care for the self and take pleasure by making herself a project or enterprise.

– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” 

Social & Legal Studies.

Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 263-266

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“John, They Must Have The Same Landlord As We Do…” UE Canadian News, March 26, 1954.

Sign reads: “Rottenbottom Castle – Over 600 Years Old.  Not a Stone Has Been Touched – Nothing Altered, Nothing Replaced In All That Time.” Rottenbottom Historical Society.  Another great find by Doug.

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March 25, 2017: a new episode of The Anatomy Lesson at 11pm EST on CFRC 101.9 FM. Music by ornithomancy – letting birds do your divination work since time began! Music by Dedekind Cut, Earthen Sea, Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF, L / F / D / M, mouse on the keys, UMWELT, Goldfrapp, I.O, MR TC + more.  Check out the whole setlist below, tune in at 101.9 on your FM dial, stream at http://audio.cfrc.ca:8000/listen.pls or download the finished show at cfrc.ca or on mixcloud here.

Fifteen Years Old – “Ancho Mar: Seda”  Abecedario ‎(2015)
Dedekind Cut – “Das Expanded, Untitled Riff” The Expanding Domain
Jean-Michel Blais + CFCF – “Two Mirrors” Cascades
Mouse on the Keys – “Out of Body” Out of Body
Goldfrapp – “Become The One” Silver Eye
Mr. T.C. – “This Is A Dance Hit” Soundtrack for Strangers (2015)

O$VMV$M – “Surprise Sisters Devil Mix” O$VMV$M (2015)
i.o – “Redshift Nightmare” Burning Soul (2016)
B. Calloway – “Training Day” Black Grooves (2005)
Umwelt – “Density #4” Density
L/F/D/M – “God Loop” Under The Eyes of Augustus (2016)
Earthen Sea – “Also An Act Of Love” An Act of Love

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“Spring Must Be Here – The Suckers Are Running!” Toronto Globe. March 24, 1933. Page 09.

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Canada corporate tax rate.  Compiled by Doug Nesbitt from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/corporate-tax-rate

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“Fiverr, which had raised a hundred and ten million dollars in venture
capital by November, 2015, has more about the “In Doers We Trust”
campaign on its Web site. In one video, a peppy female voice-over urges
“doers” to “always be available,” to think about beating “the trust-fund
kids,” and to pitch themselves to everyone they see, including their
dentist. A Fiverr press release about “In Doers We Trust” states, “The
campaign positions Fiverr to seize today’s emerging zeitgeist of
entrepreneurial flexibility, rapid experimentation, and doing more with
less. It pushes against bureaucratic overthinking, analysis-paralysis,
and excessive whiteboarding.” This is the jargon through which the
essentially cannibalistic nature of the gig economy is dressed up as an
aesthetic. No one wants to eat coffee for lunch or go on a bender of
sleep deprivation—or answer a call from a client while having sex, as
recommended in the video. It’s a stretch to feel cheerful at all about
the Fiverr marketplace, perusing the thousands of listings of people who
will record any song, make any happy-birthday video, or design any book
cover for five dollars. I’d guess that plenty of the people who
advertise services on Fiverr would accept some “whiteboarding” in
exchange for employer-sponsored health insurance.

At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance,
which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working
himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to
death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the
gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and
killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of
dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our
thinking especially clear. Human-interest stories about the beauty of
some person standing up to the punishments of late capitalism are
regular features in the news, too. I’ve come to detest the local-news
set piece about the man who walks ten or eleven or twelve miles to
work—a story that’s been filed from Oxford, Alabama; from Detroit,
Michigan; from Plano, Texas. The story is always written as a
tearjerker, with praise for the person’s uncomplaining attitude; a car
is usually donated to the subject in the end. Never mentioned or even
implied is the shamefulness of a job that doesn’t permit a worker to
afford his own commute.”

Jia Tolentino, “The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death.” The New Yorker, March 22, 2017.

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