Bureaucracy Explained – Why Does It Exist And Does It Even Work?

Synonymous with paper work, group-think, doublespeak, and depersonalisation, on top of inefficiency and the same level of compassion as a lazy psychopath it seems like a fair question is why does bureaucracy exist?

Bureaucracies are simply administrative systems, and developed along with the ideas of rationalism. A bureaucracy is intended to be logical, fair, and efficient. Well, that’s the theory.


  1. Libertarian Socialism can defeat bureaucracy, organizing the distribution based off need rather than bloodline or ownership of money. The destruction of hierarchy, and replacing it with solidarity is the core of libertarian socialist thinking, or as it was originally known, Anarchism, as understood by writers like Voltairine De Cleyre and Peter Kropotkin.

  2. He wears a smoking jacket, yet never smokes…..What crooked and distressing symbolism IS this??

    I had to momentarily cease with considering the various merits of all the detergent brands found in ASDA aisle 4 to think this wily symbological quandry over,

  3. I don't think it's possible to implement bureaucracy correctly. The nature of bureaucracy is such that people who wish to avoid responsibility will naturally gravitate to places where they can do that. Further, people who want to be petty tyrants will find their place within any hierarchy. It doesn't take very many people gumming up the works to dramatically lower the amount of actual achievements. There is an old saying that there is no metric that cannot be gamed, and I think that really comes to the fore in a bureaucracy, since those metrics are how you quantify a bureaucrat's performance. That means that those who game the system are the ones that come out ahead, which adds a third problem that bureaucracies have.

    In fact, I agree with you that bureaucracies exist to fill a necessary role. It's a way of organizing people to accomplish even larger tasks than smaller organizations. However, that organization necessarily makes that organization less efficient for the reason I mention.

  4. Not Bureacracy, but one of those lovely little irksome foibles. When I was 19, I stopped of at the pub after a stressfull day at work. I'm in full suit, tie namebadge larnyard etc. The Barman, in hindsight quite rightly asked for my ID. I only had my work pass and debit card. 
    No these are no good. I needed a passport or driving licence. So I argued the logic that so in order to purchase a pint, I have to be coming to or from the airport and or drink driving? – Today everyone's scrambling for tracing apps thanks to Covid. Then a standardized ID card was unthinkably Fascist.

  5. My experience with bureaucracy was that after going AWOL from the Army after the murder of my fiance and reappearance of my brother that had been missing for 7 years (hectic year). I re-enlisted so I could fight in Afghanistan and that's when I was told I had to my combat wages would be garnished to pay back my $20,000 enlistment bonus for not serving my 6 year term. I'd served 4 years and had just signed up for another 6 but it didn't matter. Since I didn't show up to argue my side, (I was in Afghanistan at the time of the decision) and I notified their office but the info wasn't catalogued. Every time I sought counsel I was advised that if I completed a packet of paperwork and turned it in to a certain dept/agency they'd get it all sorted out. These packets consisted of sworn statements from me, my commanding officers, legal institutions, contracts from my previous and current enlistments, tax information, records of the wages garnished, and legal affidavits so they required a lot of work to run down (while being in a warzone). After submitting this packet I'd hear "Wrong form, wrong department. Department X DEFINITELY will help you if you submit packet 73A." This happened 7 times before I gave up. Lost money going to war.

  6. My favorite writer, Robert Anton Wilson, Wrote in depth about this sort of thing. This particular one is the "2nd law of celine", a character in the Illuminatus Trilogy. I've quoted it to my superiors when they dont listen to feedback and step on my toes.

    Wilson rephrases this himself many times as "communication occurs only between equals". Celine calls this law "a simple statement of the obvious" and refers to the fact that everyone who labors under an authority figure tends to lie to and flatter that authority figure in order to protect themselves either from violence or from deprivation of security (such as losing one's job). In essence, it is usually more in the interests of any worker to tell his boss what he wants to hear, not what is true.

    In any hierarchy, every level below the highest carries a subtle burden to see the world in the way their superiors expect it to be seen and to provide feedback to their superiors that their superiors want to hear. In the end, any hierarchical organization supports what its leaders already think is true more than it challenges them to think differently. The levels below the leaders are more interested in keeping their jobs than telling the truth.

  7. 1:40 — RE: "…Combating Corruption…." — That is a simply huge assumption I cannot share with you. I will point at the Code of Hammurabi for why it isn't sufficient as an explanation; Hammurabi replaced an earlier code of laws with a vastly updated one, and this was attributed to the God of Justice, not the priests of the God of Justice.

  8. 3:30 — But Yes, we do see eye to eye on many things. I too agree that Woodrow Wilson was instrumental in establishing 20th century bureaucratic forms, particularly International ones; FDR was the one who ran with it all the way to a United Nations assembly, though, not living to see the Promised Land at the end, like Moses.

  9. This whole world is just too sad, too pointless. Our civilisation has eroded beyond repair. What can be done by the deceived bolb of a society we are a part of?