Friday 4 February 2011

Could 'the Fuhrerprinzip' save the West from death by red tape?


"The philosophy of [the Fuhrerprinzip - leader-principle] is that each organisation is seen as a hierarchy of leaders, where every leader... has absolute responsibility in his/her own area, and complete subordination.

"This idea was based on the function of military organisations where it is still used today.

"The notion behind the civil use of the F├╝hrerprinzip was that unquestioning obedience to superiors produces order and prosperity which would be shared by those deemed 'worthy'. Given the chaotic state of the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1933, this philosophy of 'cutting through red tape' was regarded by many Germans as a welcome change to what they had endured earlier.

"This principle was the law of the Nazi party and later transferred onto the whole German society.

"Most notable changes include the replacement of elected local governments by appointed mayors and the cancellation of associations and unions, whose leaders were elected, and their replacement by mandatory associations whose leaders were appointed."


Leaving aside the absurd and pejorative claim that 'unquestionaing obedience' has been or could ever be a principle of organization, the Fuhrerprincip [FP] has an different name: which is simply human leadership or leadership by humans: that is by individual persons.

And leadership by individual persons is the only form of leadership - anything else being control by non-humans processes.

The opposite of the FP, which we see around us everywhere in the modern world, is 'leadership' by committee vote - that is, 'leadership' not by humans but by whatever-happens-to-emerge-from an abstract process.

Which is not leadership at all.

And which involves the absolute subordination of humanity to bureaucracy.


Let's rewrite the former definition:

The philosophy of committee voting is that each organisation is seen as an hierarchy of committees, where every committee has absolute responsibility in its own area, and with complete subordination of lower committee decisions to the authority of higher committees.

This idea was based on the function of totalitarian state bureaucracies where it is still used today.

The notion behind the civil use of the committee vote principle was that unquestioning obedience to committee decisions produces order and prosperity which would be shared by those deemed 'worthy'.

Given its intrinsic tendency to generate and sustain work for themselves, this philosophy of 'creating ever more red tape' is regarded by many Leftists as a welcome change to what they had endured earlier.

This principle was the law of all mainstream democratic Leftist parties and later transferred onto the whole of Western society.

Most notable changes include the replacement of effective leaders (at every level and for every function) by committees.


What is interesting about the FP is that it was necessary to make it a principle, and to 'market' it (the Nazis being, initially, a mass populist party depending on mass popular support).

But of course what makes it necessary is the decades, now amounting to centuries, of propaganda for 'democracy' - that is, for choosing government by vote of a very large committee (of voters).

So in the modern world a committee of voters chooses a committee to govern it, and their policies are implemented by committees in public administration and - now - every aspect of life is regulated by committee vote which is (always and in every situation) regarded as morally superior to the individual.


How ironic that the only rational and efficient method of leadership is regarded as a creation of the Nazis! When it is actually, merely, the only rational and efficient method of leadership!

Of course, the trick is done by rhetoric, by the creation of straw men which automatically negate the rationality of common sense; such as 'absolute' responsibility and 'unquestioning' obedience.

This really means just responsibility and obedience; and naturally all complex human organizations are supposed to be organized on principle of responsibility and obedience - it is just that when decisions are made by committee vote the actuality is zero responsibility and obedience.

In a committee system, at most, there is only a patently unfair and arbitrary process of rewarding or scape-goating individuals for decisions which they did not make and which they could not control.


Might the Fuhrerprinzip make a comeback? To save the West from death by bureaucracy?

Indeed it might, because it is obviously superior as a principle of organization to committee voting; and obscuring this obviousness requires a vast and pervasive apparatus of propaganda which could, at any time, lose its effect and be usurped by spontaneous common sense.

And any Western society that did re-introduce 'the FP' (and replaced committees with individuals) would very rapidly be rewarded by a huge increase in power, efficiency and capability - as was Germany.


Why this almost certainly will not happen, does not happen, indeed why it has not already happened; provides an insight into what deeply wrong with the West at the level of functionality, and ultimately of spirituality.



nk said...

In practice the nazis did not dissolve bureaucracy. On the contarry : they doubled and tripled it.

For every problem under the sun were rivalling organizations of the state, the parte and the armed forces.

Admitted : Hitler put 'Sonderbeauftragte' into place to get anything done, but why were they required at all ? Because the german Reich was more of abureacracy than the EU.

josh said...

Bellamy's "industrial army". This is not the cure for bureaucracy. Believe it or not this actually is the historical origin of our bureaucracy (and Nazism).

Anonymous said...

I don't want a fuehrer, I want my hundreds back, since this was our legal organization before the state came to dominate everything.

By the way, Jesus did not die for our sins, White Christ killed the worm, the Germanic symbol for wyrd and how even the gods were forced to suffer their fate in an ethereal ring-dance of birth, justice, revenge, death and rebirth.

3 sec translation of ancient Scandinavian childrens song.

Take the ring and let it wander.
From the one and to the other.
The ring is hidden and can't be seen.
Just about now the ring is with you.


rightsaidfred said...

And leadership by individual persons is the only form of leadership - anything else being control by non-humans processes.

Sometimes there is wisdom in crowds.

It is vitally important that a competent individual gets the leadership position. We've made great advances in finding the competent: IQ, aptitude, and personality tests; record keeping in general. We've also gone massively in the other direction, with our smashing of traditional leadership aristocracies, the fetishizing of the exotic, and the embracing of feminism and the youth culture.

Bruce Charlton said...

RSF - is there wisdom in crowds? I'm not convinced; quite the opposite. I would see any such apparent effect as common sense operating through a majority of individuals.

The Byzantine empire confirmed a new Emperor (divinely chosen - or, at least, that was the aim and hope) by acclamation in the Hippodrome. I see this as a pragmatic check, no more. Checking that the new Emperor commands enough mass support to govern.

The Emperor could be (and was) removed if powerful groups regarded his appointment as having been a mistake: the army, the bureaucracy (mostly run by eunuchs; these more-or-less separated the Emperor from the rest of the world); mass popular disobedience, and of course the Orthodox hierarchy would sometimes oppose, and remove, an Emperor; and thereby induce a regime change.

This seems in most ways preferable to a 'democratic' system of periodic mob vote.

rightsaidfred said...

bgc, I had in mind this book. Not mob action but aggregation of individual decisions.

Bruce Charlton said...

I assumed that was what you meant - and that is what I think is mistaken!

After all, the book suggests no causal mechnism by which the Wisdom of Crowds is supposed to work, and the examples have alternative explanations.

In fact the book is nonsense, despite being interesting!

If WoC were accepted as a generally valid principle, it would lead to the Emperor's Nose fallacy... (I paraphrase)

"Nobody had ever seen the Emperor. But people wondered how long was his nose? So it was commanded that everybody in the Empire should guess its length, the civil service compiled all these guesses, and took an average. Thus they discovered the length of the Emperor's nose..."

rightsaidfred said...

Your example is unfair. The honest man would not hazard a guess, since he had not seen the proboscis. Government tyranny has made everyone a liar here, as usual.

I would see any such apparent effect as common sense operating through a majority of individuals.

I think this underlies what we see in "Wisdom of Crowds". Common sense is not that common. If we can keep the kooks away, better decisions can be made. Many judging panels for sporting events, appeals courts, etc. are three or more people to weed out the outlier opinion and capture more common sense.

Bruce Charlton said...

Averaging only increases precision (reduces random error) - it does nothing to remove or control systematic error.

This used to be obvious to scientists, but they seem to have 'lost it' on this as so many things: so I tried to argue the case here:

Bruce Charlton said...

The Emperor's nose has a real life example in recent 'climate science'. Nobody has a clue how to measure the 'average temperature' of the earth (or to check if the estimate is correct), nor can anybody predict the future climate (because they see no need to test the accuracy of predictions) - so the whole thing is merely an exercise in guessing the length of the unseen nose and manufacturing a consensus about the correct answer.