Three Cultural Influences on Leadership: The Compulsion, the Shock and the Dataism

Olaf Lange*

Three Cultural Influences on Leadership: The Compulsion, the Shock and the Dataism.

In this brief review I summarize what the philosopher ByungChul Han, a student of Sloterdijk, presents in his book “Psychopolitics”. I would like to recommend Byung-Chul Han’s books
to everyone! Especially the three volumes “Fatigue Society”, “The Expulsion of the Other” and “Psychopolitics”.

Han refers to the book by Naomi Klein on the subject of “neoliberalism” published in 2007 titled, “The Shock Strategy”. One protagonist in it is Doctor Schock, actually Doctor Ewen Cameron, a
psychiatrist and torturer. Doctor Cameron’s “shock-torture research” was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Doctor dreamed of being able to erase people’s psychie first by electric shocks and then to reprogram them.

Another protagonist is Milton Friedman, “the theologian of the neoliberal market”. Han says, “For Milton Friedman, the social state of shock after disasters is the opportunity, indeed the supreme moment, for the neoliberal reprogramming of society!” Such “shock deprives and empties the
soul. It renders it defenceless, so that it willingly submits to radical reprogramming.

But this freedom turns into compulsion! He writes, “The ego as a project, which believes it has freed itself from external constraints and external compulsions, now submits to internal constraints and self-compulsions in the form of compulsions to perform and optimise.” Moreover, Han
adds, “We live in a special historical phase in which freedom itself gives rise to constraints.

Han suggests that “quantified optimised self” takes on pornographic features. Dataists copulate with data, think data is sexy. One speaks of “relentless digital datasexuals”. “The digitus approaches the phallus”.

Soc Behav Res Pract Open J
. 2021; 6(1): 12-13. doi: 10.17140/SBRPOJ-6-131