From The National Review, Jonah Goldberg writes  Of the Bureaucrats, by the Bureaucrats, for the Bureaucrats


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 reengineering 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.

Working for the federal government simply isn’t like working for the private sector. Government employees are essentially unfireable. 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 toldUSA 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.


Political self interest is more dangerous than economic self interest because the perpetrators are rarely held accountable to its victims.  An expansive system of government control is fertilizer to lobbyists and special interests.  It has gotten so large that the legislative process has been turned over to a bureaucratic class that  never has to stand for election and thus be held accountable to voters.  This bureaucracy writes over 200 rules that affect our routine activities for every piece of legislation that passes.

The first law of bureaucracy is to protect the bureaucracy. Success must be continuously redefined as to be unattainable in order to protect their funding.  Failure is synonymous with under funding and results not in change but in expansion of the failed enterprise.

Bureaucracies will even thumb their nose at the law and basic principles of government as we now see with the IRS.  This should be an outrage to any true liberal.