The Bottleneck is Always at the Top
Why does bureaucracy cover the world? Because bureaucracy is the most efficient form of organization ever devised. Max Weber first pointed out the defining traits of a bureaucracy calling it the ideal type of organization because it’s rational, efficient and practical. Before his definition this form of organization was called common sense.
As with most things in life the foundational elements of bureaucracy, the things which make it good, can also make it bad. Division of labor which allows the best adapted to concentrate on appropriate tasks producing efficiency also produces people who can only do one thing. Layers of authority make it clear who’s in command also deprives those below a role in decisions and facilitates the concealment of mistakes. Written rules and regulations which allow everyone to know what’s expected also stifles individual initiative and imagination. Impersonality which reduces personal bias also makes people feel like faceless numbers and fosters feelings of alienation.
Employment based on technical qualifications discourages favoritism and also discourages ambition. Maintenance of position as the primary occupation of office holder, which produces continuity also breeds stagnation. Promotion based on seniority institutionalizes stability, but it also brings those who can survive in the system to the top instead of innovators. All of which equals the bottleneck is always at the top.
The Leviathan of national government has grown far beyond anything our founders would’ve envisioned. Spreading across the landscape inserting tentacles into everything from who does what to who gets what. Americans stand before the drones making up the business end of the federal bureaucracy hat in hand waiting for service.
We’re in the midst of a transaction wherein we’re expected to trade in our freedom for cradle-to-grave security and individual liberty for bureaucratic regimentation. The problem is that when our Progressive collectivist leaders herded us toward giving them total control of our lives the American people have risen up in Tea Parties, Town Halls and State governments declaring, “We the People will not go quietly into that dark night!”
The more the President flexes his media-enhanced, teleprompter-controlled, highly-reverberated communication skills the more people don’t want what he’s selling. Using procedure and manipulation the same 50+ 1 strategy candidate Obama said should not be used to pass health care was used to pass health care while the rest of the agenda stands waiting in the wings. With an overwhelming majority in Congress and enough votes to make the Progressive’s evolution/revolution happen, watch as the total transformation of America metastasizes before the people get a chance to speak in November.
What a travesty! First the best Congress money can buy passes bills without reading them. Now we’re bluntly told we don’t get to know what’s in them until they pass them. It is hard to imagine such arrogance. After taking control of GM, Chrysler and the largest insurance company the Progressives reformed America’s medical system into who knows what and are now moving on to and the financial sector. What will they bail-out (take over) next? The unions? The fossil press? This is no spur of the moment off the cuff solution to immediate problems. This is not just a case of an imperial president passing collectivist legislation against the wishes of the electorate. This is the culmination of a long march by the Progressives. They’ve pretended to be one thing or another: liberals, unions, advocacy groups, or whatever it took to slip past the voters. And let’s face it, they’ve been much more dedicated and disciplined than those who want a nation based on free enterprise and individualism.
From Teddy Roosevelt to Barak Obama we’ve had one Trojan horse after another: one more Federal mandate, one more dependency creating entitlement, and each one a step closer to total government control. Luckily the American spirit of individualism and tradition of liberty hasn’t been completely cowed by 100 years of the Progressive’s evolution/revolution. Not only are the Tea Party and the Town Hall Patriots continuing to stand up for liberty many states are lining up to resist these naked power grabs. Congress refuses to have open debates on the implementation of legislation designed to fundamentally transform America. The Pelosi-Reid Congress following their leader have instituted what in effect is a one-party government seeking no input from the minority party and ignoring the outcry of citizens. They’ve bludgeoned their collectivist bills through to the President’s desk, but when he signed them he signed the marching orders for a legion of awakened voters who will troop to the polls and guide the way home to the America we’ve known and loved. The night may be dark, the way may be long, but if we keep the faith and keep the peace we shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System.
© 2010 Robert R. Owens