Skip to comments.Our cage is your cage
Posted on 09/09/2010 5:51:19 PM PDT by ancientart
German sociologist Max Weber was in many ways a fan of bureaucracy, which, he argued, is by far the most efficient way of organizing a society.
But Weber realized that there were some potential drawbacks to the (in his view) inevitable growth of bureaucracy. An over-bureaucratized society might well become what he called an iron cage, where bureaucratic attempts at control create a depersonalized society where individuality and personal liberty are crushed - and where bureaucratic decisions foster the interests of bureaucrats but not society as a whole.
It's clear we have reached that stage. One good example: No Child Left Behind. NCLB depersonalizes education, forces a dumbing-down of the curriculum and makes education more expensive - while doing nothing at all to promote its intended goal of improving American schools. And so what do we do with an obviously failed program? The educational bureaucrats are now hard at work expanding the program and giving it more teeth: a logical idea only if one considers strengthening bureaucracy to be an end in itself.
Then there are the little annoying bureaucratic interferences with life, like the little-by-little moving up of the start of the school year. And then there's daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin as a joke. But to the bureaucratic mentality it's a perfectly logical system. We save energy, they tell us. We save money.
Only we don't. When Indiana finally joined the rest of the nation in observing daylight saving time, the state found that energy use went up. Accident rates and hospital admissions go up significantly in the two weeks after both the spring forward and fall back phases. So in view of the fact that daylight saving time actually costs lives and saves nothing at all, what do the bureaucrats do? In 2007, they decided to give us a month more of it.
Well, if you can't beat the bureaucrats, join them - and encourage them to push their schemes to their logical conclusions. Time to push for super daylight saving time. Instead of a paltry hour, why don't we set our clocks a full 24 hours forward each spring and set them back a full 24 hours each fall? We could make the fall back change on a Saturday, giving us two Saturdays in a row. Then we could spring forward on a Sunday night, letting us skip right to Tuesday. One more Saturday and one fewer Monday per year.
And we can do even better. How about a summer savings time? Every year on Aug. 31, we can turn back our calendars a full month - and have a second August. And on Dec. 31 - well, we can skip right over January and move right to February. A month less of winter.
The sky's the limit. We could create bureaucracy savings time, where we roll back about 50 years of rules and procedures and trim government bureaucracy back to its 1960s level. We can then bring the extra bureaucrats back when we really need them.
It might be a long time. We have an iron cage they are welcome to use while they wait.
“bureaucracy, he argued, is by far the most efficient way of organizing a society.”
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
Our local school district now records 5 test grades a year and that is 100% of the grade apparently. So the day to day work the students do doesn’t even count.
Guess, like a great many Germans, most self-styled intellectuals, and all Leftists, Weber didn’t like the idea of letting people do what they wish in a free society.