Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Fundamentalist Bureaucrat

I'm not the only one noticing the similarity between the secular and religious rule maker:

It is a fundamentalist faith in that if the world is out of line with the model, the world is wrong; that written rules and established methods are unquestionable from outside the tradition; and that forcing people to live within the categories determined by the faith is justifiable for a general and individual good that is evident to the elect.

It's not that control is sought for its own sake, more that they yearn for the best well-ordered and coherent society, and believe this can be determined and imposed given sufficient expertise and information. Hence joined up government. They really do believe that efficiency is achieved by connecting everything to everything else in a giant bureaucratic system. It is the Soviet illusion, dressed up in "new technology" and market-friendly initiatives that co-opt corporate bureaucracies into the dream rather than setting them up as enemies.
-Guy Herbert(London)

You may feel this is too strong, but if you listen to Robert Cialdini's lecture on how bureacrats should use persuasive means to get citizens to comply, you'll note the rather scary tendency he has to dismiss those who don't have the appropriate "social norms" as people who, well, from his tone, don't deserve to be considered people. There's another speech in between Caildini's speech and the Q&A by a british bureaucrat. Her religiosity with regard to her work is also quite informative.

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