The West's cherished dream of social harmony by numbers is today disrupting all our familiar legal frameworks - the state, democracy and law itself. Its scientistic vision shaped both Taylorism and Soviet Planning, and today, with 'globalisation', it is flourishing in the form of governance by numbers. Shunning the goal of governing by just laws, and empowered by the information and communication technologies, governance champions a new normative ideal of attaining measurable objectives. Programmes supplant legislation, and governance displaces government.
However, management by objectives revives forms of law typical of economic vassalage. When a person is no longer protected by a law applying equally to all, the only solution is to pledge allegiance to someone stronger than oneself. Rule by law had already secured the principle of impersonal power, but in taking this principle to extremes, governance by numbers has paradoxically spawned a world ruled by ties of allegiance.