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The Naked Self-Interest Of The Bureaucratic Class
Townhall.com ^ | June 20, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 06/20/2014 5:06:37 AM PDT by Kaslin

For understandable reasons, the IRS scandal has largely focused on the political question of whether the White House deliberately targeted opponents. To date there's no evidence that it did. That's good for the president, but it may not be good for the country, because if the administration didn't target opponents, that would mean the IRS has become corrupt all on its own.

In 1939, Bruno Rizzi, a largely forgotten communist intellectual, wrote a hugely controversial book, "The Bureaucratization of the World." Rizzi argued that the Soviet Union wasn't communist. Rather, it represented a new kind of system, what Rizzi called "bureaucratic collectivism." What the Soviets had done was get rid of the capitalist and aristocratic ruling classes and replace them with a new, equally self-interested ruling class: bureaucrats.

The book wasn't widely read, but it did reach Bolshevik theoretician Leon Trotsky, who attacked it passionately. Trotsky's response, in turn, inspired James Burnham, who used many of Rizzi's ideas in his own 1941 book, "The Managerial Revolution," in which Burnham argued that something similar was happening in the West. A new class of bureaucrats, educators, technicians, regulators, social workers and corporate directors who worked in tandem with government were re-engineering society for their own benefit. "The Managerial Revolution" was a major influence on George Orwell's "1984."

Now I don't believe we are becoming anything like 1930s Russia, never mind a real-life "1984." But this idea that bureaucrats -- very broadly defined -- can become their own class bent on protecting their interests at the expense of the public seems not only plausible but obviously true.

The evidence is everywhere. Every day it seems there's another story about teachers unions using their stranglehold on public schools to reward themselves at the expense of children. School choice programs and even public charter schools are under vicious attack, not because they are bad at educating children but because they're good at it. Specifically, they are good at it because they don't have to abide by rules aimed at protecting government workers at the expense of students.

The Veterans Affairs scandal can be boiled down to the fact that VA employees are the agency's most important constituency. The Phoenix VA health-care system created secret waiting lists where patients languished and even died, while the administrator paid out almost $10 million in bonuses to VA employees over the last three years.

Working for the federal government simply isn't like working for the private sector. Government employees are essentially un-fireable. In the private sector people lose their jobs for incompetence, redundancy or obsolescence all the time. In government, these concepts are virtually meaningless. From a 2011 USA Today article: "Death -- rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs -- is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations."

In 2010, the 168,000 federal workers in Washington, D.C. -- who are quite well-compensated -- had a job-security rate of 99.74 percent. A HUD spokesman told USA Today that "his department's low dismissal rate -- providing a 99.85 percent job security rate for employees -- shows a skilled and committed workforce."

Uh huh.

Obviously, economic self-interest isn't the only motivation. Bureaucrats no doubt sincerely believe that government is a wonderful thing and that it should be empowered to do ever more wonderful things. No doubt that is why the EPA has taken it upon itself to rewrite American energy policy without so much as a "by your leave" from Congress.

The Democratic Party today is, quite simply, the party of government and the natural home of the managerial class. It is no accident, as the Marxists say, that the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents the IRS, gave 94 percent of its political donations during the 2012 election cycle to Democratic candidates openly at war with the tea party -- the same group singled out by Lois Lerner. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the VA, gave 97 percent of its donations to Democrats at the national level and 100 percent to Democrats at the state level.

We constantly hear how the evil Koch brothers are motivated by a toxic mix of ideology and economic self-interest. Is it so impossible to imagine that a class of workers might be seduced by the same sorts of impulses? It's true that the already super-rich Kochs would benefit from a freer country. It's also true that the managerial class would benefit from the bureaucratization of America.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bureaucraticclass; bureaucrats; democratparty; elites; jonahgoldberg; managerialclass; rulingclass

1 posted on 06/20/2014 5:06:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Is there anyone who really doesn’t believe Obama/Jarrett were involved?


2 posted on 06/20/2014 5:08:03 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Kaslin
This is where we need to apply term limits!

Seriously, make them temp jobs with no future.

3 posted on 06/20/2014 5:08:31 AM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (Historians will refer to this administration as "The Half-Black Plague.")
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To: Kaslin

“A new class of bureaucrats, educators, technicians, regulators, social workers and corporate directors who worked in tandem with government were re-engineering society for their own benefit.”

And the ones Pol Pot didn’t send to the countryside to pick rice were executed with prejudice. No wonder the communists hated him as much as the west did.


4 posted on 06/20/2014 5:11:50 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz ("Heck of a reset there, Hillary")
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To: Kaslin

Been writing for years that “it’s the bureaucratst stupid…” - more than the taxes, more than the politicians, more than anything….the evil is in the cubicles of the bureaus….


5 posted on 06/20/2014 5:12:03 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (www.FireKarlRove.com NOW)
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To: Kaslin

6 posted on 06/20/2014 5:13:05 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: ilovesarah2012
To date there's no evidence that it did.

Often times Jonah Goldberg puts his seemingly willful ignorance on full display.

As more information comes to light, the IRS scandal takes on a more ominous tone. It is now being reported that, in addition to former IRS chief Douglas Shulman’s 157 visits to the White House, IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram visited another 165 times.

7 posted on 06/20/2014 5:16:06 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: vbmoneyspender

All those visits have been conveniently blamed on the IRS’s role in the implementation of Obamacare.


8 posted on 06/20/2014 5:24:40 AM PDT by randita
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To: Aevery_Freeman
This is where we need to apply term limits!

Seriously, make them temp jobs with no future.

Good luck with that. Short of their forcible removal at the point of a bayonet, the bureuacratic class cannot be touched. They have made sure of that. The primary rule of every bureaucracy is to protect themselves from dismissal.

9 posted on 06/20/2014 5:27:42 AM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: Kaslin

From two years ago FWIW:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/its_the_bureaucrats_stupid.html


10 posted on 06/20/2014 5:27:47 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (www.FireKarlRove.com NOW)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

The first principle of bureaucracy is to increase in size and authority. All other action flows from this dictim. Rome continued for hundreds of years following its political fall by virtue of an entrenched bureaucracy. Elected officials are in power for a season. Bureaucrats for a lifetime. The bureaucracy forever.


11 posted on 06/20/2014 5:27:52 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: TADSLOS

And since there’s no way to do this, it makes term limits for elected officials a dangerous proposition…because the nameless faceless unaccountable bureaucrats EVEN MORE POWERFUL.


12 posted on 06/20/2014 5:28:35 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (www.FireKarlRove.com NOW)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Amen bros, preach it.


13 posted on 06/20/2014 5:29:06 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (www.FireKarlRove.com NOW)
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To: Kaslin

14 posted on 06/20/2014 5:30:14 AM PDT by JPG (Yes We Can morphs into Make It Hurt.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

The speculation of the article brings up the point that it would be worse if they WEREN’T directing the targeting.

It would reveal what we know to be true - federal departments become infested with corrupt leftists who seek to use their positions of unaccountable power to punish people that disagree with them.


15 posted on 06/20/2014 5:31:15 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Aevery_Freeman

Term limits for government employees sounds good. Let’s allow a 5 year limit on any bureaucrat. Force them back into real life.


16 posted on 06/20/2014 5:34:44 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: Kaslin

ping


17 posted on 06/20/2014 5:35:58 AM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Kaslin

ping


18 posted on 06/20/2014 5:37:12 AM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Kaslin
A simple concise explanation of what the Federal Government has become and what the Democrat Party base is. The answer is to eliminate the agencies not specifically permitted in the Constitution and return the those powers to the States.
19 posted on 06/20/2014 5:38:45 AM PDT by Rumplemeyer (The GOP should stand its ground - and fix Bayonets)
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To: Kaslin

The three stages in the evolution of a bureaucracy:

1) The bureaucracy serves the people.
2) The bureaucracy serves itself.
3) The people serve the bureaucracy.


20 posted on 06/20/2014 5:39:45 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Kaslin

This is why Thomas Jefferson was right. A little revolution every now and then is a good thing. Once layer after layer of bureacracy is piled on top of each other to create the modern, out-of-control state, the only way to clean it up and rationalize it is to destroy it.


21 posted on 06/20/2014 5:42:46 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: vbmoneyspender
Maybe so, but a very minor point in what Goldberg is saying. The point is that the bureaucrats do not need orders from the top in order to act. They just follow their innate ideological instincts, and what the top wants accomplished, will get done. It is called the Fuhrer Principle. The leader only has to give a speech in broad strokes, and then it is up to the underlings to implement what they think the leader wants. What is insidious for us, is that the leader is the Democrat Party. When Obama is president the bureaucrats work to implement his will. If a Republican becomes president, the bureaucrats will continue to implement the will of their leaders, the Democrats, by undermining the Republican administration. The system is set up by the Left, so heads they win, tails we lose.
22 posted on 06/20/2014 6:26:47 AM PDT by gusty
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To: TADSLOS
The primary rule of every bureaucracy is to protect themselves from dismissal.

You understand that you are speaking with a teacher,right?

The second most important rule is to convince everyone of your nobility and sacrifice.

23 posted on 06/20/2014 7:01:34 AM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (Historians will refer to this administration as "The Half-Black Plague.")
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To: Kaslin

I think we all know the truth. America is over and we are all but slaves of the state. Cloward/Piven has all but won the day and our collapse can’t be far away. Who knows what will happen after that but it can’t be good. I can’t see us surviving another almost 3 yrs. of the Bamster. Just reading the headlines here on FreeRepub shows the rate of increase of horrible things happening in our country. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3. For the righteous, they must content themselves with his presence now and his judgement of the wicked later. We are going the way of all other nations. Due to our fallen nature, eventually, evil overtakes us no matter how we try to legislate it from rising up. There’s a better coming - but lots of bad stuff before it gets here. Get prayed up.


24 posted on 06/20/2014 7:29:37 AM PDT by Lake Living
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To: Kaslin

I know a lot of you don’t like to give Glenn Beck credit, but he said years ago, when he was voicing his dislike of Woodrow Wilson, that Wilson’s favorite book was “Phillip Drew, Administrator”. And here we are!


25 posted on 06/20/2014 7:36:03 AM PDT by Tradcon (Tradcon)
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To: Kaslin

Term limits for bureaucrats!


26 posted on 06/20/2014 7:43:01 AM PDT by depressed in 06 (America conceived in liberty, dies in slavery.)
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