Saturday 26 January 2019

Bureaucracy and the Mass Media are causes

To expand on a post from yesterday; people treat bureaucracy and the mass media as 'effects' (consequences of other, primary, social influences); when on the contrary - as we know from direct and personal experience - they are more like 'causes'.

We can argue over how and why B and the MM got to be as they are; but from where we stand now they are colossal Facts Of Life.

Not only that - but it is clear that both have a tendency to grow - and by similar mechanisms; because bureaucracy and the mass media Feed Upon the functional social systems - in other words they are parasitic, with a strong tendency to kill the host, before they themselves will die.

This happens because bureaucracy and the mass media can feed upon a wide range of hosts - they can even feed upon each other (although, so long as other hosts exist, that seems to have the effect of strengthening both).

Thus the media can happily feed upon politics, education, business, industry, the armed forces, the police, the health services, churches, the legal system... everything!

The media relate to other media - journalists and editors seek to influence and respond-to other journalists and editors. The major news stories in the most massive of the media move in lock-step.

The international media forms a single web, with a single - massively-amplified - voice.

And at the same time, all of these named functions have been infiltrated, colonised and subverted by bureaucracy - so that they are by now mainly 'generic bureaucracies'; each linked to all the others by rules, regulations and laws; and only to a limited degree is a hospital different from a school; or a civil service office different from the police or fire fighting forces.

All modern organisations consist mostly of managers, and are controlled by managers - and within-organisations, the managers look to satisfy the demands of other managers in other bureaucracies.

There is thus a single, linked, bureaucratic system - and it covers the world.

So that whether you look at government, schools, hospitals or the military - most of the activity in which people engage is bureaucratic; and only a small and diminishing percentage of personnel, man hours; resources of money, time and effort will be expended on the functional activity.

Although there is indeed a sense in which bureaucracy and the mass media began as 'means to an end' there is - here and now - a more important sense in which they have become (and overwhelmingly so!), ends in themselves; as when a useful epithelial tissue will break from control of the organism, become locally invasive, turn malignant, and metastasise lethally. 

The big question is why - to what purpose? If there is one massive and growing media system; one massive linked bureaucracy. And if - as we observe - both global phenomena share the same secular, leftist (= nihilistic hedonic) ideology... then what are they aiming-at?

Totalitarianism is the answer.

That is, total monitoring and control of human thinking and behaviour - the media is mostly concerned with controlling minds and the bureaucracy with controlling bodies, and the two reinforce synergistically.

The mass media and bureaucracy are aiming at totalitarianism; and they are themselves actually-existing totalitarianism: totalitarianism in action.

And who wants totalitarianism? The usual answer is 'those at the top' - but all humans are, sooner or later, brought-within the totalitarian system; indeed those at or near the top are the most closely regulated and monitored...

Every-one, every-body, all humans, stand within the system of control; only those who stand outside it will truly benefit from it.

It is not humans who benefit from a global totalitarian system, it is the immortal immaterial demonic beings who stand outside The System, that really want, aim-at, strategise-for, and stand to benefit-from totalitarianism.

And there is our answer; and the answer to why The System (the global web of media and bureaucracy) are by-their-nature secular and leftist: since secular leftism is the 'religion' invented by demons for the malefit of Man (although not, of course, shared by them).    


Bardsey said...

It would be difficult to overstate the effects this blog has had on me over the last three months, though I've been a semi-regular reader for years. While I agreed with much of what you wrote, I still attempted to dabble in alternative politics through social media. Two lessons learned, I suppose, and your work on mass media and the folly of attempting to use committees to change a world whose problems stem from a committee-mindset helped me step back a few steps to revisit some more basic questions, like how one is to be a Christian in the world. My own reflection on this also means "what does it mean to be a Catholic convert?" and wondering how much the Church erred in stressing its own form of gnosis (which you recently wrote about) as the correct way to follow Christ, rather than love.

My question for you is if you're familiar with the writings of Ivan Illich, or Jacques Ellul or Harold Innis? Or Simone Weil? While Barfield and Steiner have heavily influenced my thought, my concern with the acceleration of technocratic-managerial processes keeps me returning to those writers most frequently. The reality of the Gospels was a core part of their lives and seemed to shape their responses to modernity more than almost any other modern Christian writer I know (and, tough for me to grapple with, all chose to leave or stay outside the Catholic Church which was seen in their lifetime as one of the best places to resist modernity). As you share concerns and interests with them, I wondered if you had thoughts on their work. Thank you!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Annie T - Thanks for the comment. I read Illich about thirty years ago (before I was a Christian), and a short biography of Weil more recently, but none of the other authors you mention. I don't actually read a great volume of stuff at present - and a lot that I do read is re-reading; this just seems to be my current phase.