Friday 23 November 2018

Bureaucracy just-is totalitarian (and vice versa)

Bureaucracy is at the very heart of the modern world - it is the common factor that unites all organisations and nations and super-national organisations - because all such are primarily bureaucracies, and only secondarily whatever the organisation is supposed to be doing.

(Another surrent term for this is 'convergence' - because bureaucracy is intriniscally Leftist*.)

At an obvious level, the organisations become organised for the benefit of managers rather than doers: because there are more managers than functionaries, and the bureaucratic systems take all power to the managerial role.

This means that organisations do things that benefit (senior) managerial careers - things like reorganisations, initiatives, and publicity seeking activities.

But aside from providing an environment for a certain type of careerism; what does bureaucracy aim-at? Well, we can see for ourselves: control.

Bureaucracy aims-at an ideal of machine-like, computer-like organisation - and the main obstacle is human beings. So all bureaucracy intrinsically aims at first ever-closer monitoring and then ultimately at micro-control of the personnel (actions, attitudes, motivations - because all behavioural control aims-at thought-control).

Hence the vast apparatus by which people spend more time in data collection than in actually doing stuff.

As a single representative example: the engineers who come to maintain my central heating spend about half an hour on the job and a half hour afterwards filling forms and logging their activities so that the bureaucracy may monitor and control him. The cost is that he probably does only 2/3 of the maintenance work he could otherwise accomplish - productivity reduced by more than 30 percent.

Or, more extremely; after nearly thirty years of this stuff, the amount of actual medicine practised in a day by the average British doctor has halved (at least).

So, we can see that bureaucracy is aiming at something very different from doing any-kind-of-job; it is aiming at monitoring and control of... well, of every-thing and every-body, ultimately.

And because this trend is 1. across-the-board and 2. bureaucracy is unopposed, and indeed encouraged, by those with power and influence - we can infer that the ideal of total-control is 1. intrinsic to the nature of bureaucracy and 2. a strategic goal of those in power.

Now - the obvious 'functional' rejoinder is that bureaucracy is tending towards a situation of 100% monitoring and control, 0% functionality (a populace whose function is merely to-be-monitored, to-be-controlled) - and that is true; and great strides have been made towards this implicit goal.

Yet, obviously, this would be an end to human society, the death of human society. Yet still the process of bureaucratisation unrolls and is implemented... This implies first that those who are behind the process care nothing about whether human society continues or not; and that instead the goal of controlling actually-existing-humans - here and now, in the immediate term - is over-riding.

All this is no mystery if we recognise the Hidden Hand behind global bureaucracy as demonic.

My conclusion is that bureaucracy is both intrinsically and purposively evil; and this is The Reason why it is expanding so rapidly towards ever more complete totalitarianism.

*All bureaucratic organisations are substantially Leftist, and Left-tending - including churches; this being, indeed, a major mechanism for the Leftist corruption of churches.


John Fitzgerald said...

Yes, I work in a 'face to face' role, yet I'd say 50% of my time is taken up with form-filling. Quality control and accountability are the warchwords, I believe. There has to be a 'paper trail.'

Hrothgar said...

The present excuse given for this massive bureaucratic time-wasting, intrusion, and obstruction is (almost invariably), that complying with bureaucratic demands keeps us safer than we would otherwise be.

Truth be told, the real danger, most of the time, comes from the punitive measures taken towards the non-complying by the functionaries of the bureaucracy itself. But this cannot be stated openly, so the reason given (which actually does appear to convince quite a large proportion of people), is that the monitoring and control promotes greater safety in and of itself - by giving the bureaucracy more knowledge about us and our activities which it can turn to our good (it being obviously impossible that we could be the best human judges of our own good, independent of their intervention).

Supernatural evil, though, only works with the materials at its disposal, which are most essentially the besetting sins of each generation on whch it bends its malign will. Recent generations are particularly prone to cowardice due to having accepted highly materialisticic utiliatarian metaphysics and a concomitant loss of faith and hope; therefore, cowardice is what Evil works with and uses to achieve its ends of corruption, spiritual stagnation, and inversion of good. If our population were in general particularly prone to some other failing, they would use that instead (though perhaps something other than Bureaucracy might be the best tool with which to work on it).

Bruce Charlton said...

@H - I agree that this is a significant psychological aspect of the phenomenon - and explains why bureaucracy is amplified by feminisation of the workplace (and why feminisation of the workplace is always pushed by bureaucracy). But the phenomenon began before this - I suspect its roots are in the 'rational', secular Enlightenment mode of thinking; which regards society as an abstract machine (maybe the philosopher Hobbes was important in this?), and equates Goodness with the optimal functioning of this machine.

At a deeper level, it seems to be driven by the type of strategic demonic activity that Steiner calle Ahrimanic - a recognistion that bureaucracy was the best way to corrupt men at this stage in our development.

Without something rooted-in a countervailing embrace of the spirit of Christ, we are helpless against bureaucracy.

a_probst said...

Alexis de Tocqueville, from Democracy in America (1840):

"I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. ... Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances – what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things: it has predisposed men to endure them, and oftentimes to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned them at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a net-work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described, might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom; and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people."