John Zube

On Bureaucracy




A list of thoughts and quotations about one of the most damning phenomena of contemporary life: the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats, their parasitism, and the hell they have manufactured, that will last as long as we remain obliging servants or passive spectators of their criminal madness and thievery.



BUREAUCRACIES: Bureaucracies are enemies of rights and reason. They rather serve primitive, false and fixed ideas and dogmas and persist with them as long as they can, contrary to experience, facts and reason. – J.Z., 18.8.07. - Once their victims enlighten themselves sufficiently their political and bureaucratic masters will soon become powerless and deserted. – E.g. by an efficiently organized tax strike, combined with alternative institutions that are really wanted by their volunteers and alternative, competing and self-managed protective services. Only for territorial statists are such alternatives hard to imagine. – J.Z., 19.10.07.

BUREAUCRACY: Organized and institutionalized incompetence, under false pretences, like public service, national interest, common good, national security, general welfare etc. and mainly concerned only with gathering and wasting more tax funds and gathering and abusing still more power. – J.Z., 6.11.05, 29.10.07.

BUREAUCRACY: ... a bureaucracy has nothing in common with the people; it is a parasitic body, and has to be maintained by taxation and extortion." - Herbert Read, Anarchy & Order, p.100.

BUREAUCRACY: ... abolish the bureaus. If that were done, the devotees of power would be reduced to soap-box oratory." - Frank Chodorov, Out of Step, p.184.

BUREAUCRACY: ... bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism." - Mary McCarthy, THE NEW YORKER, Oct.18, 1958.

BUREAUCRACY: ... every tree has been chopped down to widen a campus driveway. He followed the trail of blame: the man who cut the trees worked for a local contractor who was hired by the landscape architect to carry out the design of the landscape architect; the architect worked for the director of planning, whose boss was the head of the physical plant, supervised by the vice-president for management and finance, responsible to the university building committee, which reports to the executive vice-president. 'When I called them all together, they numbered twenty, and they were innocents all. All of us. BUREAUCRACIES ARE BEAUTIFUL MECHANISMS FOR THE EVASION OF RESPONSIBILITY AND GUILT.'" - M. Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 211. - Capitalized by me. - Panarchies are beautiful mechanisms for the assumption of responsibility. - J.Z., 6.4.89. – PANARCHISM, RESPONSIBILITY, SELF-RESPONSIBILITY

BUREAUCRACY: ... interference, thy name is legion! ... observe that this least efficacious way of economic life presupposes a knowledge on the part of bureaucrats that does not exist, even remotely. No one of them knows any more of the infinite data implicit in the market complex than you or I. The very fact that they think of themselves as possessing such knowledge ought, in itself, to disqualify them." - Leonard E. Read, Then Truth Will Out, p. 47.

BUREAUCRACY: ... the bureaucrat has only a bureaucrat to please." - Frank Chodorov, Fugitive Essays, 51. – Exterritorially freely competing panarchies would have to satisfy only their own voluntary members – as long as they leave all the voluntary members of other panarchies alone. – Since interventions with the affairs of other communities of volunteers would be a costly and risky “enterprise”, even if one would wish to engage in it, such imperialistic and colonial “enterprises” would tend to become very rare under panarchism, while the competitive drive to make the own panarchy in some or many respects better and more attractive than the others are, would be rather strong, perhaps as strong as e.g. the competitive spirit in sports. – Each of us has many different bureaucrats to please and, at least partly to support, with our obedience and taxes. - J.Z., 11.11.08.

BUREAUCRACY: ... the government offers to cure all the ills of mankind. It promises to restore commerce, make agriculture prosperous, expand industry, encourage the arts and letters, wipe out poverty, etc., etc. All that is needed is to create some new government agencies and to pay a few more bureaucrats." - Bastiat, quoted in G. C. Roche III: Frederic Bastiat, A Man Alone, p. 239.

BUREAUCRACY: ... we have erected in Washington and throughout the states a bureaucratic monstrosity that is devouring our savings, crippling our economy, and stifling our initiative." - Ralph Bradford, in THE FREEMAN, 7/78.

BUREAUCRACY: A bureaucracy grows by swallowing all the funds available to it. - J.Z., 24.9.93. - Northcote Parkinson may have said something very similar to this, e.g.: Bureaucracy grows to meet the funds available.

BUREAUCRACY: A cardinal rule of bureaucracy is that it is better to extend an error than to admit a mistake." - Colin Greenwood

BUREAUCRACY: A giant mechanism operated by pygmies." - Balzac. - It's not only large and misdirected by fools but also extremely destructive. - J.Z., 109.6.92. In another version: "The giant power wielded by pygmies ... a government as fussy and meddlesome ... as a small shopkeeper's wife." - Balzac, 1836, in Les Employés.

BUREAUCRACY: All bureaucrats wage wars and civil wars against their subjects and competitors. - J.Z., 3.4.81.

BUREAUCRACY: Almost any bureaucracy can withstand almost any criticism but it cannot withstand being deprived of its monopolistic powers and tax or subsidy income. These are its roots to be cut. They must all be turned into competitive enterprises living of earnings for asked for and delivered, services that are wanted by sovereign consumers. - J.Z., 17.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Almost everybody hates it, even many bureaucrats themselves do. But until everybody becomes free to opt out from under them and from the taxation and inflation and deflation policies they pursue, it will persist. - J.Z., 28.9.02.

BUREAUCRACY: Any bureaucracy, whether openly despotic or democratic, is always worse than the evils that it pretends to be able to cure. - J.Z., 17.9.88.

BUREAUCRACY: Anyone who knows the difficulty of restraining a bureaucratic apparatus not controlled by profit-and-loss calculations from constantly expanding - also knows that without the rigid barrier of strictly limited funds there is nothing to stop an indefinite growth of government expenditure." – F. A. Hayek, Denationalization of Money, p.91. - Individual taxpayers should become free to stop their tax contributions to government projects or even to whole governments which they have not individually chosen for themselves. Individual tax slaves ought to be turned into sovereign consumers of competing government services. - J.Z., 19.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracies are the equivalent of cancers. - J.Z., 30.4.02.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracies grow on taxes like cancers do on our blood supplies. Like cancers they also direct more & more of our lifeblood their way. - J.Z., in PEACE PLANS No. 29.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracy is just an evil - and not a necessary one. J.Z., 8.5.75.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracy means the persistent and forceful administration of injustice and failures. - J.Z., PEACE PLANS 29.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracy means the promotion of sadists to rule over masochists under the pretence of promoting the "general good" - never mind that not all fall under these categories and that there are at least some who neither want to rule not be ruled. In other words, bureaucracy can only satisfy perverts. - J.Z., 29.1.89.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracies are, in a sense, a luxury that our society affords (with increasing difficulty). They are, in a true sense of the word, parasites. They hinder and feed off the productive efforts of others." - John Singleton, with Bob Howard, Rip Van Australia, p.25.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracies feed upon productive and peaceful people, largely against their will, through compulsory taxation. To reduce or even abolish bureaucracy, voluntary taxation is required, Then only as much bureaucracy could survive as voluntary victims are willing to pay for. - J.Z., 14.9.88, 18.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucratic functionaries don't function. - J.Z. - 10.11.91. But they "achieve" a lot of dysfunctions. - J.Z., 18.4.94. – They fill either meaningless or wrongful and harmful jobs and as such they “function” in a wrongful and harmful way, doing much more wrong and harm than their total salary and pension bill. – J.Z., 11.11.08.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats and politicians work for themselves and not for the people, even while pretending to work in the public service and for the public good. - J.Z., 21.9.91, 18.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are best in taking care of the interests of bureaucrats. - J.Z., 4.7.92.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are everywhere attempting to replace consumer choice or consumer sovereignty by bureaucratic regulation, by bureaucratic monarchism. - J.Z., 19.4.77, 12.4.81.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are not responsible to anybody although they are paid by everybody. - J.Z., in PEACE PLANS No. 29.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are paid out of our pockets, under threats of violence, in order to largely ignore or suppress our rights and liberties and to harass us. - J.Z., 1.11.93.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are people who rather rest upon mountains of paper certificates than merely upon common sense. - J.Z., 7.8.82.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are problem-makers and problem fakers but never problem solvers. We support them with our belief in territorialism, uniform rule, one law for all, compulsory taxation, compulsory schooling, central banking, government powers, government securities, government defence, government protection, government spending, government welfare etc. J.Z., 23.6.91, 18.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats dispose of other people's money, rights and liberties and thus provoke bribes in self-defence efforts, against their meddling. They do run the greatest protection racket of them all. Their subsidised and regulated schools, universities and their regulated broadcasters do not teach many opposite ideas. - J.Z., 28.9.02.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats are worse than robbers. Roberts just rob you once then leave you alone. Bureaucrats rob you - and then proceed to misrule you. - J.Z., PEACE PLANS 29. - And then rob and misrule you - again and again. -J.Z., 20.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: Can anyone name a single problem that has ever been solved through a bureaucracy? And I do not mean the problem of some people, who want to get much for doing nothing or very little or even for providing unasked disservices to others and charging them for this. - J.Z., 28.9.02.

BUREAUCRACY: How can bureaucracy survive in the face of strong opposition and criticism? It is supported by special interest lobbies, the statist religion and force-fed by taxation. - J.Z.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracy rests on the assumption "that the bureaucrats must be trusted implicitly but that the people cannot be trusted at all." - Henry Hazlitt, Inflation, p. 29.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucracy, originally a satirical combination of French 'bureau' and Greek 'kratein', to rule, on the analogy of 'democracy' and 'aristocracy', now used as a serious term of a) the rule of a caste of high officials, b) this caste itself.” - The Penguin Political Dictionary, compiled by Walter Theimer.

BUREAUCRACY: Demanded by voters, authorised by politicians, and administered by bureaucrats, public works constitute huge mal-investments that waste scarce resources and consume productive capital." - Hans F. Sennholz, THE FREEMAN, 5/76, p. 286.

BUREAUCRACY: Bureaucrats, "the harassing profession". - Sir Ernest Benn, More Murmurings, p.69.

BUREAUCRACY: Do you know that in Washington there are 36 agencies concerned with empty pesticide containers? Needed, obviously, is a pesticide for bureaucrats." - FOOD ENGINEERING, April 73, p.12.

BUREAUCRACY: Federal paperwork now crams nearly thirty million cubic feet of space and costs an estimated fifteen billion a year to handle. Placed back to back, the federal files would stretch the 5,000 miles from Washington to Cairo - and are forever growing." - D. Lambroso, The Federal Rathole, quoted in THE FREEMAN, 11/75, by E. A. Lewis.

BUREAUCRACY: For people living as serfs under control of a government bureaucrat, there is simply no point to working for any value. Why try to build a business when a government edict can destroy it at any time?" - Ron Manner's Bookshop papers.

BUREAUCRACY: Europe writhes in a thousand spasms under the iron yoke of a senseless bureaucracy which abhors all independent action and would prefer to put all people under the guardianship of the nursery. Such are the fruits of political centralisation." – Rudolf Rocker, Nationalism and Culture, p.232.

BUREAUCRACY: I have found that the brown bears are under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, the grizzly bears under the case of the Secretary of the Interior, and the polar bears under my protection as Secretary of Commerce." - Herbert Hoover, 1921.

BUREAUCRACY: I recall the present Pope being asked how many people work in the Vatican; to which he replied: 'About half of them'. It reminded me of Milton Friedman who says we should be grateful we don't get all the government we pay for!" - Ralph Harris, The End of Government...? page 29.

BUREAUCRACY: I remember former Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, suggesting that government should supply all needed services and that the citizen should have no need for any more money than some pocket money. In other words, he wanted to reduce us economically to the status of prisoners in a gaol. Wasn't he generous to want to leave us the money to buy some trinkets with? And I remember with still greater disgust that not a single voice of protest was raised in public against this suggestion. His confederates are still in the running and some rule. Alas, in some respects, the Australian liberals were and are even worse. - J.Z., 18.4.94. -But with their salaries and pension claims and special perks they do not confine them to pocket money options only. –J.Z., 11.11.08.

BUREAUCRACY: I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labour of the industrious." - Thomas Jefferson: Letter to William Ludlow, 1824.

BUREAUCRACY: If you can't help yourself - the bureaucrats can't help you either. But they can get fat at your expense. - J.Z., PEACE PLANS 29.

BUREAUCRACY: If you want a job to remain undone, or long delayed or done badly at double the cost, hire a bureaucrat. - Unfortunately, there are many vested interests willing to hire them for just that, due to prior bureaucratic interventions. - J.Z. 18.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: If you’re going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t.” – Hyman G. Rickover

BUREAUCRACY: In a bureaucracy one is dealt with, in a shop one is served.” – ( In einem Amt wird man abgefertigt, in einem Laden wird man bedient. ) – Wilhelm Roepke.

BUREAUCRACY: In a bureaucratic system useless work drives out useful work." - Milton Friedman. NEWSWEEK, 7 Nov. 77.

BUREAUCRACY: In 'Beamtenherrschaft'- ages there is ceaseless activity, all planned in advance, begun at the scheduled second, carefully supervised, scrupulously recorded - but inevitably finished late and poorly done. The burden of omniscience on the ruling class becomes virtually intolerable, and most flee into some form of schizophrenia or fantasy. Great towers, pyramids, moon shots, and similar marvels are accomplished at enormous cost while the underpinnings of social solidarity crumble entirely. While blunders multiply, no responsible individual can ever be found, because all decisions are made by committees; anyone seeking redress of grievance wanders into endless corridors of paperwork with no more tangible result than in the Hunting of the Snark..." - Wilson/Shea, Illuminatus III, p.201.

BUREAUCRACY: In the federal process of redistributing our wealth, all possible precautions are taken to avoid specific identification of who pays what to whom. One gigantic labyrinth of parasites." - Progress Party of NSW, Newsletter May 77.

BUREAUCRACY: In the long run the rule of aristocracy has been succeeded not by the rule of democracy but by the rule of bureaucracy." - John A. Lukacs, in Templeton: The Politicisation of Society, p. 400.

BUREAUCRACY: It does not strike Mr. Read as mere happenstance that the figures for those receiving food stamps almost exactly balance the number of 'keepers' who work for federal, state and local governments. The total - it is 16 millions in either case, or a whopping 32 millions in all live off the rest of us. Mr.Read ..." - John Chamberlain, THE FREEMAN, I/76, p 59. – One bureaucratic "benefactor" per one beneficiary! It would not be so bad if they were only dispensing food stamps. - J.Z.

BUREAUCRACY: Man “developed bureaucracy to the point where achievement of the simplest task requires great amounts of time and effort. He built an elaborate postal system, but today it may take longer to deliver a letter than it did in the days of the pony express.” - Dr. Laurence J. Peter, The Peter Prescription, p.2. , POST OFFICE MONOPOLY

BUREAUCRACY: No tyranny is more unendurable than that of an all-powerful bureaucracy which interferes with all the activities of men and leaves its stamp upon them ... State capitalism, the most dangerous antithesis of real socialism, demands the surrender of all social activities to the State. It is the triumph of the machine over the spirit, the rationalisation of all thought, action and feeling according to the fixed norms of authority, and, consequently, the end of all intellectual culture." - Rudolf Rocker, Nationalism and Culture, 1933.

BUREAUCRACY: Now that we are entering the final stage of the 20th century revolution, it would be well to pause and consider. The time has almost arrived when all legislation will originate with the bureaucrats, when the will of the people will be a formal farce, and when one class, aptly designated The New Despotism, will both make and administer our laws. The nemesis of democracy will then be complete. The people having, with all the good intentions in the world, insisted on governing everything, will awaken to discover that they are governed in everything by a new class, which because it is, and must be, apart from the people, and above them, carries on the business of government for the mere sake of governing, and incidentally and naturally for its own benefit." - Ernest Benn, Modern Government, p.109/110.

BUREAUCRACY: Number of rat catchers employed in the Rat Surveillance Department in New Delhi: 97; number of rats caught by them in the past 10 years: 0.” – John S. Croucher, Prof. of Statistics, Macquarie University. - GOOD WEEKEND, 18.2.06.

BUREAUCRACY: Of course we have every kind of problem our hundred and fifty billion dollar a year bureaucracy can invent." - Willis E. Stone, in a Liberty Amendment Committee letter, Dec.,75.

BUREAUCRACY: Officialdom do not simply fail, but frequently worsen the situation they were designed to relieve." - Ronald F. Cooney, THE FREEMAN, Jan. 73.

BUREAUCRACY: On the other hand, the view that government is the problem, not the cure, and that the invisible hand of private cooperation through the market is far more effective than the visible hand of the bureaucrat, is a sophisticated, subtle view that is far harder to get across. It requires thought, not emotion, to comprehend. It does not lend itself to ringing phrases, to high-flowered sentiment, to promises to particular people or particular groups. Moreover, the market has no press agents who will trumpet its successes and gloss over its failures; the bureaucracy does." - Milton Friedman, in preface to William E. Simon: A Time for Truth, XII.

BUREAUCRACY: One of the things I learned very quickly was that one should NEVER ask a bureaucrat for permission to do anything." - G. Harry Stine, FAR FRONTIERS, Spring 86, p. 208.

BUREAUCRACY: Problems and breakdowns are inherent in the operations of the public sector and of government generally. Deprived of a profit-and-loss test to gauge productivity and efficiency, the sphere of government shifts decision-making power from the hands of every individual and cooperating group and places that power in the hands of an overall governmental machine. Not only is that machine coercive and inefficient; it is necessarily dictatorial because whichever decision it may make, there are always minorities or majorities whose desires and choices have been overridden." – Murray N. Rothbard, in: Outside Looking In, p. 69/70.

BUREAUCRACY: Remember: Bureaucracy elevates conformity ... make that: elevates 'fatal stupidity', to the status of religion." - Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse Dune, p.111.

BUREAUCRACY: Self-development, riches, happiness, rights, education, health, safety, security, justice, progress, protection, peace, defence, beauty, wisdom, research, arts, arts, crafts, tourism, buildings, transport, monies, trade, etc., etc., through bureaucracies? What a perverse notion, flying in the face of all experiences! - J.Z., 28.1.89, 18.4.94, 28.9.02, 11.11.08.

BUREAUCRACY: The British created a civil-service job in 1803, calling for a man to stand on the Cliffs of Dover with a spyglass. He was supposed to ring a bell if he saw Napoleon coming. The job was abolished in 1945." - THE DIAGONAL RELATIONSHIP, Jan. 1980.

BUREAUCRACY: The continuing growth of bureaucracy finally leads to the situation that the workers are no longer exploited by those possessing the means of production (*) but by those holding office." - Helmar Nahr. - (*) Many socialists have expressed opposition to bureaucracy but still fail to see it as the natural consequence of economic interventionism and of the disregard for sound individual economic and human creative incentives in large private corporations or charity funds or other public bodies. - J.Z., 18.4.94.

BUREAUCRACY: The distinctive characteristic of anarchist thought as its proponents define it, in other words, is a thoroughgoing repudiation of the concept of the modern state with its omnipresent evils of power and coercive authority in the hands of a professional bureaucracy." - Reichert, Partisans of Freedom, p.10.

BUREAUCRACY: The essence of bureaucracy consists in the means (the machinery) becoming the end itself..." - Henry Bork, in DINGE DER ZEIT, Juni 73, S. 26.

BUREAUCRACY: The essence of bureaucracy is when some third person decides your fate." - Alexandra Kollontai, 1920.

BUREAUCRACY: The government is one big group trap. To be efficient it depends upon millions of bureaucrats whose incomes and careers don't depend upon efficient action." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom, p.176.

BUREAUCRACY: The impertinence of officials knows no other bounds than the degree of submissiveness of their subjects. - J.Z., 28.2.89.

BUREAUCRACY: This is the age of bureaucracy, and to live at this time is, as Proudhon said, 'to have every operation, every transaction, every movement noted, registered, counted, rated, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licenced, refused, authorised, endorsed, admonished, prevented, reformed, redressed, corrected... to be laid under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolised, extorted from, exhausted, hoaxed and robbed.'" - Wilson Shea, Illuminatus III, p.200.

BUREAUCRACY: This process is refined ... until those who decide everything do nothing and those who do everything decide nothing." - Quoted in THE DIAGONAL RELATIONSHIP, Jan. 80.

BUREAUCRACY: Who's running the country? We all would like to know. The bureaucrats control it like a Punch and Judy Show. They won't be satisfied until our lives are fully planned, when everything's compulsory unless it's just been banned." - Michael Darby. - I had a clash with the local council on the size and location of my firewood stack, on my own property, far from the houses of others! - J.Z., 28.9.02.


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