Under continuous revision.
The following commentary contains vulgar language.
The "smart: bureaucrat is where the action is.
The stupid assholes remain near the perceived seat of power. Close to the seat of power there is sure to be at least one significant asshole. I believe this to be technically correct even if stated in the vernacular. Some of these people consider themselves intellectuals. They probably have good reasons for this self image.
I do not mean to be nasty, I just want to get down to nitty gritty real fast.
Does the senior bureaucrat live in a semi social cultural limbo?. No feelings, no loyalties, no friends, just lust for power without front line responsibility. this may not be such a bad thing as it might appear at first glance. Point out some exceptions; these guys are scapegoats on standby. In our political system, can the important long term agendas be carried out under the threat of a complete housecleaning every four years?
What is a bureaucrat anyway? Well you won't recognise one if you see one. They look like ordinary people, real "blend in" guys. Most of them couldn't sell a used car but can change your belief system. A bureaucrat is any person that "buys" a system of management which is essentially fascist and works within that system at any level to support the system. There is one significant difference. between a political bureaucracy and a religious bureaucracy . A political bureaucracy is seldom subject to persecution; it might have happened once in China. This begs he question of which has the greater secular power and influence. Pondering that might be enlightening. Group behaviour parameters are built in through our genetic coding. There may be cultural variations in the routine procedures and established rituals but the mechanics are always the same. A lot of people will accept that as fact, a lot of people will reject or challenge such a potential belief. Extensive research and scientific data processing will not elevate conjecture from belief to fact.
If you must have nice neat answers this is the wrong realm of conjecture. Here the delineation of conundrums takes priority.
A bureaucrat's rewards for their efforts are known and recognised by themselves; money is not the name of the game. The immediate plight of the masses does not seem to have significant impact on their decision making. Perhaps it is essential that they have no real allegiance to the people they ostensibly report to. but hew to their own vision immune to political misfortune.
Take a good look at the current state of the genetic engineering of plants and the consequences to the farmers heirs. Some of them will become very rich. I think I heard that 'the popular concept of the "farmer" is a historical blip. Farming has become too important to be left in the hands of individuals'. I just love that expression "the new paradigm"; which I paraphrase as "If you think in the old way you are toast".
The political, financial, and social power of the large corporations is enhanced by the new breed of bureaucrat; an increasingly available type usually with an MBA. These people are essential. You cannot push all the buttons by yourself. The modern breed are the heirs and successors of the great administrative eunuchs of history. These new guys get to keep their balls (maybe).
Does anyone understand and have the ability to explain the interactive role of the police and other government bureaucracies in our times. They are currently essential bureaucracies, but why? They are necessary but some times they lose sight of the reason for their functions; and when we find out it is too late, except for holding a public inquiry. I tend to think they are supposed to be there to help us. The Associations of Chiefs of Police seem to be evolving self policing guilds with more clout than their respective Attorney Generals. Little bureaucracies supporting larger bureaucracies perhaps. The Attorney General is usually elected before appointment. He is not supposed to be a bureaucrat.
These are matters that could not be addressed in grade school or in high school when I went through, but it may be different now. It is safer to disclose how things work to a trained duck. At this juncture in time Common sense is getting a bad name. As distinct from conventional or popular wisdom, common sense seemed to be a real parameter in political decision making not so long ago. Now it is a buzz word. But as a great author said "The old order changes least one good thing corrupt ......." or something like that.
But do we want everyone and their dog examining the activities and agenda of of all our government departments, secular institutions and so on. Surely we can trust our elected representatives to take care of such matters.
Well one responsibility of a Department of Education is to foster the notion that there are people somewhere in the system that are more qualified than you or me to look after such matters.
Theology is another area the "uneducated" are supposed to keep out of. Look around and examine the fruits of their labours (the theologians not the ignorant, dammit). A crack pot can achieve a greater following than most theologians. So if these guys have any methodology how come it does not trickle down. No admittance to their closet. Only the elite have the capacity for massive destruction. This is as it should be. How do you get to be an elite?
What is the connection between theology, politics, business administration, and finance, in the context of this diatribe? Simply put the "expertise" in each area is confined to suitable people. That is anyone that will submit to and pay for exposure to the neurotic transfer process in academia and adopt the politically correct mind set. We can take as read that they have good brains. I make these statements with the "knowledge" that the Universities and Colleges are supposedly the repositories of our accumulated knowledge and cultural heritage, in trust for future generations. I think that smell is ancient bullshit. It is faint but it is there.
Having dealt glancing blows to some of the concepts necessary to appreciate the function and needs of bureaucracies; I will try to describe the generic bureaucracy, without recourse to evolving theories of group behavior or using four syllable or four letter words. This will be very concise, but may be difficult to defend.
All bureaucracies are the same bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is made up of a group of people that look after the detail that is too boring and/or too complex for the chiefs or other leaders to manage personally. The work or tasks must be simplified, so rules are made to aid the decision making it is assumed these people are engaged in. It is unfortunate that few rule makers have much forward vision. The poor buggers cannot handle new events. All bureaucracies will go for as much as they can get away with. Bureaucrats do not need name tags, tatoos or secret handshakes to recognise one another. These are the guys that build cities. I am not drunk at the moment; but as I keep thinking about this the idea looks better and better. I do not mean building cities.
Being a peasant is much better than being an aristocrat. The aristocrat has very little political head room. Would you like to have your kids raised by a high profile aristocrat. Breeding is not essential to enjoy privilege and wealth. That Mr. Ortega y Gasset the Spanish aristocrat who wrote about the revolution of the masses was right on the button in the early part of this century. The significance is that every person has to get politically involved to the extent that they can handle it, because there are not enough capable aristocrats around to look after the interests of the populace. These guys are of the elite anyway, and the elite have a damn poor track record where the interests of the non elite are at stake. Elected officials look after everyone's interests now. Elected officials are the prey of bureaucrats, because the elected officials seldom come from a heritage of power management with training in decision making methods. Once into politics they are just pragmatic empiricists. They need help. Communicate with your elected representatives. If they are susceptible to information overload the best thing to do is neutralise them with information. They carry your message to the bureaucracy. Information overload stuns. You must have heard the expression "I was stunned when I heard that".
You depend on the integrity of the people you elect. You do not get to vote for the bureaucracy which is essential for continuity. We can effect removal of defective chiefs, kings, priests and elected representatives without killing them. Getting rid of a lousy department manager is something else.
The fact that I do not always think clearly and effectively does not stop me from trying every once in a while.
"A lot of scrutiny of the bureaucracy will reduce taxes". I got that notion watching Televised excerpts of contemporary public inquiries; which are a consequence of neglecting bureaucracies.
Yes I am trying to foster specific discussions, to encourage analysis and hone decision making skills. I also admit to enjoying a mild controversy if I am on the winning side.
Once in while I buy a financial newspaper. You know what, some of those writers are pretty smart. What I do not understand is why they are so ineffective. Part of the reason may be because I do not buy enough newspapers.
The beauty of electronic media is that we can all cry in the wilderness while enjoying the benefit of information catharsis. If you do not know what a cathartic is; it is something like an enema.
To be continued. See if I paint myself into a corner. I reserve the right to change my views at any time without reason or notice. That does not mean that I seek municipal office.
It is now 8:30 P.M. Friday, September 13. 1996 and all is well somewhere.
To stir the soup:
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or go back to the Olde Tsaeler's main menu and check the soup.