redtape   29

Melville House | "We no longer like to think about bureaucracy, yet...
"We no longer like to think about bureaucracy, yet it informs every aspect of our existence. It’s as if, as a planetary civilization, we have decided to clap our hands over our ears and start humming whenever the topic comes up. Insofar as we are even willing to discuss it, it’s still in the terms popular in the sixties and early seventies. The social movements of the sixties were, on the whole, left-wing in inspiration, but they were also rebellions against bureaucracy, or, to put it more accurately, rebellions against the bureaucratic mindset, against the soul-destroying conformity of the postwar welfare states. In the face of the gray functionaries of both state-capitalist and state-socialist regimes, sixties rebels stood for individual expression and spontaneous conviviality, and against (“rules and regulations, who needs them?”) every form of social control.

With the collapse of the old welfare states, all this has come to seem decidedly quaint. As the language of antibureaucratic individualism has been adopted, with increasing ferocity, by the Right, which insists on “market solutions” to every social problem, the mainstream Left has increasingly reduced itself to fighting a kind of pathetic rearguard action, trying to salvage remnants of the old welfare state: it has acquiesced with—often even spearheaded—attempts to make government efforts more “efficient” through the partial privatization of services and the incorporation of ever-more “market principles,” “market incentives,” and market-based “accountability processes” into the structure of the bureaucracy itself.

The result is a political catastrophe. There’s really no other way to put it. What is presented as the “moderate” Left solution to any social problems—and radical left solutions are, almost everywhere now, ruled out tout court—has invariably come to be some nightmare fusion of the worst elements of bureaucracy and the worst elements of capitalism. It’s as if someone had consciously tried to create the least appealing possible political position. It is a testimony to the genuine lingering power of leftist ideals that anyone would even consider voting for a party that promoted this sort of thing—because surely, if they do, it’s not because they actually think these are good policies, but because these are the only policies anyone who identifies themselves as left-of-center is allowed to set forth.

Is there any wonder, then, that every time there is a social crisis, it is the Right, rather than the Left, which becomes the venue for the expression of popular anger?

The Right, at least, has a critique of bureaucracy. It’s not a very good one. But at least it exists. The Left has none. As a result, when those who identify with the Left do have anything negative to say about bureaucracy, they are usually forced toadopt a watered-down version of the right-wing critique.”
davidgraeber  2015  bureaucracy  left  right  politics  capitalism  freemarket  policy  government  conviviality  rules  regulations  redtape  complexity  accountability  marketsolutions  individualism  liberalism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Institute for Justice
License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs
Regulation  RedTape  Licensing  SmallBusiness 
january 2014 by phillanes
An alternative to accepts_nested_attributes_for that doesn't tightly couple your view to your model
rails  gem  redtape  nested_attributes 
november 2012 by atog

related tags

2015  2032  2csrollyson  accountability  acrl_is  america  analysis  architecture  articles_100908  auspol  bc  blog  bookofjoe  brexit  brilliance  bubblegumcrisis  bureaucracy  business  capitalism  cladding  complexity  construction  conviviality  copyright  corruption  cronyism  cybernetics  cyberpunk  datacapture  davidgraeber  dc-bar  dc:creator=monbiotgeorge  dctagged  death  debate  decisionmaking  deregulation  dilemma  discussion  disruption  elope  emergency  eu  fire  forms  freemarket  frustration  gem  github  govemichael  government  grenfelltower  guideline  health  help  hilarious  horror  housing  hr  immigration  individualism  injury  inquiry  insiders  internet  jobsworth  judgement  knife  left  legal  legislation  letwinoliver  lewisbrandon  liberalism  library  licensing  management  marketsolutions  marriage  msu  murder  nested_attributes  ova  paperweights  paramedic  personal  pipa  planningcomplexity  policy  policyexchange  politics  postwarjapan  protection  rails  red  regulation  regulations  repealday  right  risk  rules  sad  safety  security  smallbusiness  socialhousing  sopa  standards  stories  story  tabe  target  travel  tsa  uk  unnecessary  usa  uw  work  worldincrisis 

Copy this bookmark: