Institutionalizing the Problem

Daniel Greenfield writes in his blog Sultan Knish, The Limits of Government Power, 10/14/12


Governments begin by seeking depth of control and end by losing control over the depths of their own bureaucracy which not only becomes incapable of managing an entire control, but develops its own agenda and becomes a political rival of the politicians who serve as the conduit of their rulership and also the void into which all their ideas, both good and bad, fall into and vanish without a trace.

Depth of control is implemented through the proliferation of laws, regulations, mandates and codes, but the proliferation of laws is also the proliferation of lawlessness. The more laws exist, the more they are broken and the more the system must struggle to restore credibility with constant crackdowns or sink into a state of complete lawlessness.

A system that strives for depth of control is always running the Red Queen’s Race, passing more laws and declaring more wars on obstructive social problems just to stay in place without ever solving anything. The problems become institutionalized and unsolvable because the institutionalization of a problem creates a bureaucratic mandate for the survival of the institutions dedicated to solving the problem and the institutions dedicated to solving the problem seek to survive by not solving the problem.
The first rule of bureaucracy is to sustain itself. When the government creates bureaucracies to solve problems, the greatest threat to the bureaucracy is to succeed.  The problem will be redefined so it will never go away.  After spending trillions on fighting poverty, we must redefine poverty so that more people will be deemed poor.  Even worse one agency creates a problem like unemployment, that can only be solved with the action of another agency such as food  stamps.  More government seems to be making our society more dependent and ultimately less stable as benefits become entitlements.

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