Thursday 15 July 2021

Bureaucracy kills the spirit - and bureaucracy is now (almost) everywhere

I find it hard to recognize that most people do not feel - immediately and without having to reflect upon it - the innate evil of bureaucracy; the soul-killing properties of a world of monitoring and control of ever more of life; the world of ever more regulations, procedures, check-lists. 

And the adverse effect that bureaucracy has upon people - on their thinking, behaviour - on their souls... I am astonished that this is not more widely recognized, and opposed.  

My own aversion to bureaucracy is spontaneous and powerful; and has shaped my life for several decades - and much of the 'activism' of my younger adult life was directed against it in medicine, universities and science.

For one example, I was the editor of what was apparently the last international academic journal Not to be (bureaucratically) peer reviewed (Medical Hypotheses). And the (official) reason for sacking me from this job was my refusal to introduce peer review. 

But what I did not recognize about bureaucracy until a few years ago - was that it was not just a result of evil choices; but more fundamentally a consequence of bad choices operating on changes in human consciousness

Past societies were never bureaucratic in the way that ours is - and officialdom lacked the parasitic and malignant tendency of modern bureaucracy, primarily because they could not be like that. The minds of Men could not operate in the ways necessary for a modern bureaucracy. 

When modern Man 'evolved' (developed deliberately; as part of God's creation, part of God's plan) bureaucratic thinking was always going to be a temptation; but it was one that Men were supposed to reject. 

A handful of the early (and Christian) romantics (e.g. Coleridge, Wordsworth, Novalis) showed the proper path, the God-intended and God-hoped-for path. But instead most Men chose the path of atheism, leftism and materialism - which leads inexorably to bureaucracy, death of the spirit, nihilism and despair.

Now bureaucracy is the public face of Ahrimanic evil: it has occupied the world, including the means of production and communication, and extends its tentacles almost daily. 

Now - if we reject bureaucracy, we also reject the System - and the System is what keeps us alive. 

Yet the ultimate evil motivation of bureaucracy is evident in the fact of its parasitic, malignant nature - that it will grow until it kills its host. 

And its evil is evident in that the bureaucratic leadership class - the leaders of major government, institutions and corporations; are advancing in corruption beyond the Ahrimanic; and into more purely negative evil of the spitefully-destructive.

In other words, because of their developing corruption - because of being ideological bureaucrats; They no longer serve The System - but instead serve Satan and themselves. 

Therefore the System - the global bureaucracy - is not only killing itself distally by parasitic colonization of the means of production... But also killing itself from within - by leaders implementing mandatory policies for enhanced group and interpersonal resentment; and multiple PSYOPS leading to destruction at all levels. 

The bureaucracy is, in other words, no longer internally-'rational', rule-based and systemic in nature;  but convulsed from within by contradictory objectives, compulsory incoherence, value-inversions and other manifestations of the most advanced forms of evil.  


This is why the individual must step-back from any affectation of concern with the System, with Politics, with Civilization or Society... These are not an answer, because these are destroying themselves from both external and internal reasons. 

We now have a global bureaucracy, which is a global system for evil; and the system evil is one that is atheist, leftist and materialist - and which therefore innately has the property of damning all those who live by it, believe it, endorse it. 

I think everybody knows this at some unconscious (and usually denied) level: i.e. that we are in the End Times - although what that phrase means in detail is unsure. But I mean the sense that things are going spiritually downwards and will continue to go inexorably downwards, to some kind of terminus.  

Thus hope is in opposition to optimism. 

Hope is spiritual - for salvation: for resurrection to life eternal. And hope depends on being spiritually separate from the System bureaucracy. 

Whereas optimism (expectation of positive outcomes) depends on wishing for the bureaucracy to continue - wishing for it not to be destroyed by inner-spite or by its own malignant tendencies - or not yet, at any rate. 

Optimism dictates that we defend and try to reform the System; hope dictates that we neither actively nor willingly participate in the work of evil; that we do identify, repent and reject evil. 

The System demands that we identify-with its evil - demands that we want and favour inclusion for our-selves and for all. 

But Romantic Christianity instead has it that our hope be located in divine creation rather than the System; beyond this world rather than in this world; beyond death rather than in mortal life. 

Our task is therefore to live from this transcendental root. 

This task is not easy - but it is possible. 


MagnusStout said...

Very true and hopeful post. I think one of your spiritual gifts is ability to articulate hope after looking into the mouth of the abyss, as opposed to the counterfeit of optimism often insincerely mouthed by religious leaders.

I was too much of a misfit to be placed in any bureaucracy. Now, I count my blessings for being self-employed. I wish your critique of bureaucracy was understood better in the US, where propaganda truncates it to government (rather than the System). Odd that only children and misfits instinctively chafe at the dictates of the Nurse Ratcheds of the world...(iconic embodiment of bureaucratic evil from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).

Bruce Charlton said...

@MS - Thanks. I feel that one potentially helpful thing is to prepare (mentally) for a future in which we will be asked/tempted to take sides in the civil war between different evils - in particular to help preserve (for a bit longer) the System that both damns-us and keeps-us-alive.

I think this could be a very difficult temptation, if we were unprepared. Although a good and simple soul would probably not be much tempted to take the side of the evil Establishment, whatever the circumstances; the short term incentive will be to try and keep-things-going by taking the side of corrupt order against sheer destruction.

I suppose - if direct action is what needs taking - it ought to be directly and personally taken against the greater evil, rather than indirectly by assisting the lesser evil (who only wants to suppress the greater evil so as to be able to continue corrupting and assimilating us into the System).

R.J.Cavazos said...

Across domains, be it "science", education, media, government, it is employees of large bureaucracies that set the tone of the culture..They are but cogs following orders and have no room for truth--have to comply, lie, distort and go along. I wonder if its any coincidence that they (the organization people) tend to dispise with a passion anyone resembling the independent yeomanry of old....

Bruce Charlton said...

I once commented a few years ago that one way to limit the growth of bureaucracy would be to limit it to eunuchs - as with the Byzantine Empire. .

However, the rapid growth of the eunuch class over the past decade suggests that now the operation would not be a sufficient deterrent - and may even work as a positive incentive. Just shows how much and how fast things change.

Jacob Gittes said...

What is the place of the "romantic rebel," an archetype we still admire and a few follow here in the states.

I still know and have friendships with independent men who rebel against the system, are self-employed, and have an admirably independent mind.

Also, the System itself still needs actual things done to keep the electricity flowing, water pipes fixed, etc. You seem to be suggesting that the Sorathic form of evil will eventually (or maybe is now) attacking the competent, proud independent men who keep things going, even though this will destroy the System.
If I read you right, one should (if one takes action) fight the sorathic evil somehow, but without aiding the Ahrimanic evil. I think that would only be possible in rural type settings, where people have still maintained some networks that aren't controlled by bureauracy.

Bruce Charlton said...

@J - The romantic rebel means nothing unless he is first and foremost Christian.

As I have often said, we cannot avoid sinning by helping the System because it is absolutely everywhere and *cannot* be escaped; but these sins (like any sins) must be recognized and repented.