Skip to comments.The Triumph Of Evil
Posted on 09/02/2008 8:36:43 AM PDT by ventanax5
It is one of the evils of evil tyrannies that they seek to implicate everyone in their system, by means of spying, the granting of privileges, etc. But it is not only tyrannies that do this: modern bureaucracies, even in liberal democratic states, do this also. For example, in the British state hospital system (and no modern state does entirely without public hospitals), doctors undergo a compulsory annual appraisal by a colleague, decreed and designed by the administration, without any evidence that it improves performance in any way whatever. Its purpose is not to improve performance; it purpose is to destroy independence.
The very fact of participating in a process that is universally recognised to be a useless is harmful, for everyone who does so is 'only obeying orders' for the sake of his own peace and quiet and for the sake of his career; in other words, by taking part, he has already lost some of his integrity.
(Excerpt) Read more at newenglishreview.org ...
I’ve always thought bureaucracies were a most oppressive enemy to the individual. Good article. Glad to see it posted on FR.
Dalrymple and New English Review ping.
Thanks for the post and ping, which I’ll pass along.
Even today, the interpretation of the ubiquitous black-marketeers under the Occupation is much disputed: were they ruthless predators concerned only for their own good, were they quietly undermining the occupiers (who were trying to extract as much economic surplus from France as possible, which diversion of goods on to the black market reduced, thereby improving the lot of ordinary Frenchmen), or were they in fact assisting the occupiers by making the whole system viable, which it would not have been without the black market? Or were they all of these things at once?
The latter, I think. The reason there is such moral ambiguity here is that there are two sources of guidance at play: principle in the absence of any knowledge other than the immediate conditions, and a perfect knowledge of outcomes of the alternatives, wherein the principle involved is which outcome is to be preferred. Both of these extremes are exceedingly rare in the real world.
My point is that these are two different principles. Hence our moral choices will always contain in them the seed of uncertainty. Because such principles conflict, as they did for the black marketeers, as they did for Dalrymple. The mind that can know all of this and infallibly choose the correct course is not, I think, the mind of Man.
Nighttime bump for an article and comment worth reading.
A point I have tried to make, though never as eloquently as this, my own self.
Thank you for the pass along.