The Professionals

The charade of appearances.

Witness the arrival, if perhaps nothing new, of insular communities of professionals that are each and all existentially oriented towards the replication and self-validation that tribal membership provides. The self-replicating and self-validating patterns and symmetries as games of practice and behavioural grammar become both the symbol of membership to a specific group and the self-conscious (if generally unacknowledged) role that is played in any particular context.

What defines the professional now – and agnostic of class and technical or administrative purpose – is not so much or only the role they play or function they fulfill so much as their capacity and eloquent aptitude to demonstrate their possession of a knowledge, a socially-validated function or skill set.

The professional becomes the demonstration of possession of a rules-set and concession to the practice(s) of it, no less than clothing or mannerisms and linguistic affectations of contextual sub-sets of speech indicate membership if any other tribe.

The contemporary professional is for these (and many other reasons) not purely a role or sociotechnical and economic function. They are the manifest presence and practice of the spectacle that is the appearance if possessing a skill and belonging to a unique and potentially privileged minority.

It should be no surprise that this game of hollow tokens and transient superficialities primes the transmission medium of culture and organisations for the ascendancy of idiots. All one need possess is the appearance of an aptitude and in case you missed it – this masquerade is precisely is what is produced by the contemporary business and entrepreneurial opportunisms of vocational training that Universities (among many others) have become.

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