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Against actual existing neoliberalism! (Policing Crowds)



Home » Jens Sambale: Is the FIFA on steroids?

Is the FIFA on steroids?

Given the recent news about the VIP-Ticket scandal (no data stripping for aristocrats, that is strictly for the plebian masses) or the prememtive cease and desist letters they send to blogs, this explanation seems to make sense. But ....


cease or desist

The FIFA seems to be seriously challenged these days. Their latest hare-brained scheme consisted of sending blogs a threadening letter, arguing they will "actively monitoring your website and others to identify unlawful activity" meaning: offering a videostream of world cup games. The letter was send by a London-based corporate law company and we were not really suprised to learn, that these laywers pretend they went to Harvard Business School, when they actually did not (read "undefined"this).

The mulitude of these tales of organizational failure made us wonder. What is going on here? They make a shitload of money after all, so it is not about mere failure and dumbass stupidity, there must be more to it.
So - we hold our breath and went for a deep dive thru our data bases and came up with this: The FIFA fits a rare sociological condition pretty well - they gain organizational success by programmatic and frequent program failure - duh!

How so? We found an old article1 in our data base explaining this. James Rooney uses the example of Skid Row Rescue Missions2 to illustrate this line of argueing:

According to their mission statements the programmatic aim of Rescue Missions is to overcome (urban) homelessness. But most of these Missions are well over one hundred years old and they obviously never achieved their aim. On the other hand they are a major organizational success with impressive growth rates their non-profit colleagues view with envy.

Same is true for the FIFA: The FIFA (or the ICO) consistently fails to deliver nice games to the general public. Instead they are getting on everybodies nerves, transforming cities into heavily guarded panopticums and generally acting with a brazenness that would put any porn queen to shame. But they certainly are an organizational success.

This is how far sociology gets you these days, any more sophisticated analysis needs an urban, spatial and political approach. We do that at the conference together with our guests!

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 1. Rooney, James (1980): Organizational Success Through Program Failure: Skid Row Rescue Missions, in: Social Forces, Vol 58, No 3, S. 904 - 924

2. If you are not from North America, don't even ask us about Skid Row  Rescue Missions - they are strange institutions indeed!