In Hbl of last Sunday (3.02.19) the very appreciable Anna-Lena Laurén had a piece titled “Människovärdet i det forna Sovjet och Finland”, where she was refreshing her suspicion (on occasion of the events in that meanwhile ill-reputed Esperi Care-vårdhem) that “den bolsjevikiska logiken har funnit sin väg in till beslutsfattandet i Finland. I form av omfamnandet av New Public Management”. For an explanation she is a bit further on adding that “Utmärkande för den bolsjevikiska ideologin är et beslutsamt blundande inför verkligheten. Programmet ska genomföras, det spelar ingen roll om det fungerar”.
Well, it may well be that we are here dealing with an ideology which was very much alive among the bolsjeviks, but the term “New Publish Management” is certainly an English one and was presumably imported from the West. But the similarities to her description of the way of thinking are certainly there. Nor are the reasons for this very difficult to guess: Among the bolsjeviks (at least at the time of Stalin) any deviation from the party line could result in very serious consequences, so that, when there came some idiotic order from somewhere above, people preferred not to risk such consequences and rather followed the order. And in the USA (which is the Promised Land of our well-established political Right) you will at least be aware that you can very easily be fired (which is bad enough in a society which has practically no social security net) and, with bad luck, still ruined financially by being dragged to court (and be picked clean to the bare bones by the lawyers you have to pay for your defence). Thus, it is better for you if you train and practice “positive thinking”, i.e. the ability to display immediate and seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm for whatever might come to your superiors’ minds. – One can here remind of a comment by Chairman Mao, who said that when whenever Stalin is farting there will be people around who are praising that scent … . – Altogether, that presumed “bolsjevikiska” way of thinking is simply based on fear of one’s superiors in a hierarchy, in Finland perhaps enhanced by the tradition of “management by perkele”. The situation is that those at the top of the system will tell each other how marvellous they are and how very deserving of all those privileges they enjoy, and also how very burdened they are by having to look after those lazy and incompetent underlings whom they have to lead. And as also the owners of the media (at least in the Western democracies) are coming from this top layer of the system, they will tend to spread and cultivate their beliefs far and wide as “the political correct view” (not to say “religion”) which should be adopted without question by all good and honest people … . And if it is part of this cultivated belief that the Leaders of Free Enterprise anyway know and can everything better than anybody else, then it is only logical that New Public Management should be (and is) introduced simply EVERYwhere. Which is then called “bolsjevikisk” by Anna-Lena Laurén. – And if she thinks that it is a mistake to introduce New Public Management into the job of caring for old people, then the management will be astonished and say that there is certainly nothing wrong with selling a service to society. Which may even be correct. But then one has to supervise the matter really well, so that the capitalist habit of cutting down on the service in order to increase the profits of the shareholders does not lead to the consequences which were found in the vårdhem of Esperi Care.