Sunday, September 11, 2005

Warning: Contains Flattery of David Brooks

David Brooks is on a roll. Today, he presents the official New Orleans evacuation plan, which in theory is perfect, but was bungled by all levels of government.

For the brutal fact is, government tends toward bureaucracy, which means elaborate paper flow but ineffective action. Liberals who think this disaster is going to set off a progressive revival need to explain how a comprehensive governmental failure is going to restore America's faith in big government.

"Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area," said Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish. "And bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress." Well, who's complicit in that crime? Certainly he doesn't exempt himself?

I don't know why bureaucracy isn't taught in every high school social studies class. You can't teach democracy without teaching bureaucracy. Max Weber should be part of the core curriculum in any social studies class. But I'm not surprised he's not; best to keep the proles docile, because we know what's best, right?

"Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret. Bureaucratic administration always tends to be an administration of 'secret sessions': in so far as it can, it hides its knowledge and action from criticism." - Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1922
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