Monday, September 19, 2011

The Bliss Sutra or Ignorance is Bliss

We interrupt this sutra of bliss to bring you...Don't you just love people who have limited historical literacy? Well I don't. I am particularly frustrated by individuals who have no understanding of the history of bureaucracies and their functions.

Bureaucracies, economic, political, cultural, have been around since the Ancient Near East and Ancient China. Elites have always used them to increase their own wealth and power. The rise of modern forms of industrialism and capitalism transformed bureaucracies somewhat (adding a veneer of meritocracy to the its who you know mentality and practise that dominates human life) and they have become, quite obviously, the hierarchical form that dominates the modern world economically, politically, culturally, and even educationally. Read Weber.

The triumph of bureaucracies, of course, is related to population increases thanks to the advent and eventual triumph of capitalism and industrialisation. The triumph of bureaucracies is related to the fact that cartels and monopolies are, as the Gilded Age in the US and beyond shows, cheaper, more efficient, and more effective, and they bring greater profit because, as Wal-Mart shows, they can buy in bulk. The triumph of modern bureaucracies is related to the rise of the nation-state with substantial populations (and by copy catting and having the nation state forced on them because of Western notions of superiority) because bureaucracies are the cheapest, most efficient, and most effective way for governments of significant scale to operate. Read Weber.

So, if you want to get rid of bureaucracies become an anarchist, an anarchist who wants to lower the world's population, who wants to eliminate corporations and big businesses that aren't local, who wants to get rid of economic globalisation, and who wants to institute local only political regimes. Join the small is beautiful and do everything locally crowd, in other words. Be aware that if you choose this path you will also need to eliminate big bureaucratic militaries since they require the big money and big technology that centalised economic and political bureaucracies bring in order to become big and powerful and push others around in the name of national (read economic) interests.

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