The Practical Rules of Bureaucracy

ESSAY
from The Friesian School

To Hegel, bureaucrats were the “universal class” whose interests were identical to those of the state. This was questioned by Marx, who expected that bureaucrats simply pursued their own interest, regardless of that of the state, or of anyone else. Now this is a large part of modern economics, Public Choice Theory, which is discussed here with Rent Seeking. I was in a candidate forum, running for California State Assembly, in the mid-90’s, when one of the participants asserted that things done by government are always done more efficiently than when done by private business. There were so many ways in which this assertion was preposterous, but I did want to be able to give one essential reason why it was impossible. This first rule of bureaucracy provides us with that reason. Read on »

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