If there is one man who is the epitome of ProleSpeak and its cousin ProleThink, that is Frederick Taylor. The British created the concept of industrial manufacture; Taylor perfected the psychology.
Taylor’s scientific management consisted of four principles:
- Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.
- Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.
- Provide “Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker’s discrete task”
- Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.
These rules appear benign; they are actually familiar in any industrial/retail setting. On a factory line, there is efficiency auditing and management. Now we have brought them into the clinic, and expect them to work.
The licensed proles are the workers; in the main office, the managers who control them.
A clinic visit is no longer a clinic visit – it is a 99214 which has certain checklists, like “Is your grandmother still dead from ovarian cancer?”
One assumes that a physician or a nurse is not “trained” in the local methods of practice. (S)he must accommodate to the feeble electronic brain which we call an EMR.
There are far worse Taylorisms. I always note about Taylorism that it was implemented during WWI in Massachusetts at the Watertown Arsenal. The workers, skilled at making small arms and other instruments of war, immediately went on strike as their working conditions had become intolerable. Remember, they were loyal Americans striking during a war. It must have been really awful.
Congress investigated – and forbade Taylor’s methods to be used in any Federal arsenal, or Federal manufacturing facility, or any contract manufacturing facility which supplied the Federal Government. Congress must have been horrified indeed.
But Taylorism’s far too sexy to the Masters. We’ll see more later.
There is a difference between the Nietzschean Master, and the Free Spirit. We’ll show how that applies here.