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Authoritarianism and American politics
#21
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#22
(01-20-2017, 10:02 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "civilization" is.  There is plenty of evidence of permanent settlements, stone buildings, and agriculture that predate Sumer by an extended period of time:  Jericho, Tel Qaramel, Chengtoushan, etc.  If you are looking for something more substantial the growth of Mesopotamia as a network of cities is largely contemporaneous with similar development in Egypt, Elam, the Indus River Valley, etc.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that something older will eventually emerge.
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#23
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?  Power abhors a vacuum.  If you diminish public power, private power will quickly assume the vacated space.  The only difference between the two: private power answers to the power broker and only the power broker.  Since those individuals are few and we are many, why hand the keys to the nation to them.  Clearly, they only operate in their own best interest.

FWIW, I prefer to avoid a 21st century version of Feudalism.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#24
(01-20-2017, 10:48 AM)SomeGuy Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:02 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "civilization" is.  There is plenty of evidence of permanent settlements, stone buildings, and agriculture that predate Sumer by an extended period of time:  Jericho, Tel Qaramel, Chengtoushan, etc.  If you are looking for something more substantial the growth of Mesopotamia as a network of cities is largely contemporaneous with similar development in Egypt, Elam, the Indus River Valley, etc.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that something older will eventually emerge.

This is all true, but it avoids the question: can a larger, more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#25
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.
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#26
(01-20-2017, 02:02 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:48 AM)SomeGuy Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:02 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "civilization" is.  There is plenty of evidence of permanent settlements, stone buildings, and agriculture that predate Sumer by an extended period of time:  Jericho, Tel Qaramel, Chengtoushan, etc.  If you are looking for something more substantial the growth of Mesopotamia as a network of cities is largely contemporaneous with similar development in Egypt, Elam, the Indus River Valley, etc.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that something older will eventually emerge.

This is all true, but it avoids the question: can larger, a more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.

It doesn't avoid the question, I was simply not addressing it.  I was responding to Odin's post specifically, as was indicated by the quotation.

As to "the question", *shrug*.  Victorian Britain and the pre-1930s US had comparatively minimal bureaucracies.  The Soviet one was quite extensive.  Somalia doesn't have one to speak of.  It is presently fashionable for big tech companies to have relatively flat hierarchies.  Mid-20th century industrial companies had much more structured ones.  I don't think the evidence bears out a claim of "bureacracies good, no bureaucracies bad" or vice versa.  The technological substrate, the presence or not of unifying norms mores and values, the security environment, etc. influence the extent of formal organization required.

The rest of this thread just seems like the typical sort of contentless social posturing I expect from most of you people. "RED!  NO, BLUE! WARM & FUZZY! COLD & PRICKLY!"  Rolleyes
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#27
(01-20-2017, 02:02 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:48 AM)SomeGuy Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:02 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "civilization" is.  There is plenty of evidence of permanent settlements, stone buildings, and agriculture that predate Sumer by an extended period of time:  Jericho, Tel Qaramel, Chengtoushan, etc.  If you are looking for something more substantial the growth of Mesopotamia as a network of cities is largely contemporaneous with similar development in Egypt, Elam, the Indus River Valley, etc.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that something older will eventually emerge.

This is all true, but it avoids the question: can larger, a more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.

The bronze age to iron age transition I mentioned resulted in a decrease in bureaucracy despite increases in population level.  The largest iron age empires, such as the Roman Empire, had a more distributed governmental structure that relied less on bureaucracy than the bronze age empires despite being larger.  That reduced level of bureaucracy was sustained for over two millenia until the advent of Communism and partially socialist mixed states.
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#28
And yet your 18th century classical liberal economists railed against and fought against intractible medieval feudal bureaucracy that all but strangled trade between nearby towns and districts, and made justice almost impossible with so many different jurisdictions. This was all built on the foundation of successive layers of iron age bureaucracy, from the Greek and Roman empires to the multiple Christian and Muslim empires and bishoprics and jurisdictions and the innumerable feudal obligations to aristocrats and lords. I confess I don't know what you're talking about regarding less bureaucracy after the bronze age. Conditions were a bit more civilized under Greco-Roman influence than under the worst of the Mesopotamian warlords. But I don't think the Christians and Jews would have agreed with you about 1st century conditions under the Roman officials and tax collectors and legions. It was efficient bureaucracy that created the Pax Romana.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#29
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Not if the providers are in a virtual monopoly; choices are limited. The individual can do nothing about the decisions of the owners, and (s)he has no voice and no vote. In the government, the public is the boss and the people have a voice and a vote. The major task is to make sure government is controlled by the people, and not the bosses. If this is done, then the government's only boss is the people. It belongs to them. And only the public institutions can regulate them. Without that regulation, they are ruthless and care only about themselves. Private power unhinged oppresses workers with low wages and unhealthy working conditions. It poisons the environment. It rips off consumers with absolute impunity. It speculates, buys out, concentrates, outsources and destroys the economy. It buys the government. These facts are not disputable. Ignoring them is inexcusable.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#30
(01-20-2017, 03:40 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Not if the providers are in a virtual monopoly; choices are limited. The individual can do nothing about the decisions of the owners, and (s)he has no voice and no vote.

Agreed,  which is why it's crucial to prevent government from facilitating monopolies by creating barriers to the entry of new competitors through regulatory requirements and such.  Some antitrust enforcement may also be required.  For natural monopolies, regulation may be appropriate, or even government supply where usage cannot reasonably be metered and charged.  However, natural monopolies are very much the exception rather than the rule.

Quote:In the government, the public is the boss and the people have a voice and a vote. The major task is to make sure government is controlled by the people, and not the bosses. If this is done, then the government's only boss is the people. It belongs to them.

"The people" are not monolithic.  What you describe, even in a democracy, is a recipe for dictatorship of the majority.  You may be fine with that when you are in the majority, but I bet you wouldn't be so happy with a government controlled by the religious right and willing to impose their religion on you.
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#31
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Do you honestly believe that, given free reign, the wealthy and powerful will not collude?  They always have in the past.  The idea that some fictitious playing field exists that forces some form of competition is frankly naïve in the extreme.  Why compete?  It's costly and exhausting.  It's much easier to divide the market and force potential competitors out. 

We have Android and iOS ... and that's about it.  Blackberry, Nokia and even Microsoft got squeezed out.  Now, they have faux competition (keeping the regulators at bay) and the two biggest players in the market are happy campers.  That is not an accident.  Barring the minimal regulation we have today, prices would already be through the roof ... or more properly, as close to the roof as the market will bear.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#32
(01-20-2017, 07:53 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Do you honestly believe that, given free reign, the wealthy and powerful will not collude?  They always have in the past.  The idea that some fictitious playing field exists that forces some form of competition is frankly naïve in the extreme.  Why compete?  It's costly and exhausting.  It's much easier to divide the market and force potential competitors out. 

We have Android and iOS ... and that's about it.  Blackberry, Nokia and even Microsoft got squeezed out.  Now, they have faux competition (keeping the regulators at bay) and the two biggest players in the market are happy campers.  That is not an accident.  Barring the minimal regulation we have today, prices would already be through the roof ... or more properly, as close to the roof as the market will bear.

Read my response to Eric.  If you still have any questions, let me know.
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#33
(01-20-2017, 05:34 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:40 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Not if the providers are in a virtual monopoly; choices are limited. The individual can do nothing about the decisions of the owners, and (s)he has no voice and no vote.

Agreed,  which is why it's crucial to prevent government from facilitating monopolies by creating barriers to the entry of new competitors through regulatory requirements and such.  Some antitrust enforcement may also be required.  For natural monopolies, regulation may be appropriate, or even government supply where usage cannot reasonably be metered and charged.  However, natural monopolies are very much the exception rather than the rule.

I agree; I just don't see "regulation" as the bugaboo that you do. Regulations are often needed. Sometimes it's good to purge them if all they do is hinder business. But the Republicans purge just the ones we most need, like environmental regulations and minimum working conditions standards and wages. The way I've seen small businesses get eaten up fast by chains, especially in the media and new fields like coffee houses, video stores, office supply shops, etc. etc., it's seems clear to me that it's the greedy capitalists who create monopolies; it's always been that way going back to the time of the railroads and the trust companies.

Quote:
Quote:In the government, the public is the boss and the people have a voice and a vote. The major task is to make sure government is controlled by the people, and not the bosses. If this is done, then the government's only boss is the people. It belongs to them.

"The people" are not monolithic.  What you describe, even in a democracy, is a recipe for dictatorship of the majority.  You may be fine with that when you are in the majority, but I bet you wouldn't be so happy with a government controlled by the religious right and willing to impose their religion on you.

Well, we've got one. And no, I'm already unhappy. And I was unhappy in the extreme under Bush and Reagan. These disasters happened because the people were deceived into voting for the bosses. When the people vote their own interests, I get a government that I'm happy with. That kind of "dictatorship," in which the government we elect has to answer to the people, expressed in their letters, emails and calls and in their votes, and not to the lobbyists for the big bosses, is one I am fine with.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#34
(01-20-2017, 02:37 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: ... As to "the question", *shrug*.  Victorian Britain and the pre-1930s US had comparatively minimal bureaucracies.  The Soviet one was quite extensive.  Somalia doesn't have one to speak of.  It is presently fashionable for big tech companies to have relatively flat hierarchies.  Mid-20th century industrial companies had much more structured ones.  I don't think the evidence bears out a claim of "bureacracies good, no bureaucracies bad" or vice versa.  The technological substrate, the presence or not of unifying norms mores and values, the security environment, etc. influence the extent of formal organization required...

In a way, that makes my point.  At one point in time, Chicago was served by 9 railroads that all used different track spacing and profiles.  Needless to say, moving goods from rail system A to rail system B involved unloading by hand, transport between rail yards in some cases and reloading by hand.  That is intolerable today.  Since the 1930s, when the reality of modernity finally sunk in, standardization has been employed to eliminate these issues -- among many others.  Could there be an internet or wireless devices if that were not the case?  Of course not.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#35
(01-20-2017, 02:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:02 PM)David Horn Wrote: This is all true, but it avoids the question: can larger, a more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.

The bronze age to iron age transition I mentioned resulted in a decrease in bureaucracy despite increases in population level.  The largest iron age empires, such as the Roman Empire, had a more distributed governmental structure that relied less on bureaucracy than the bronze age empires despite being larger.  That reduced level of bureaucracy was sustained for over two millenia until the advent of Communism and partially socialist mixed states.

OK then, let's limit our discussion to modernity, since that's the time frame we occupy.  There is very little infrastructure that doesn't require standardization, and the days or snake oil remedies, unsafe food and competing fire departments is no longer tolerable by anyone.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#36
(01-20-2017, 03:45 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:40 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:27 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 01:56 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 03:15 AM)Galen Wrote: You like authoritarians when they think like you which is very revealing because saddling everyone with a huge bureaucracy is so liberating.

Why is private power acceptable to libertarians, but public power is not?

Because public power is held by a monopoly:  the government can be as unreasonable as it wants, and the individual can do nothing about it.

Private power is normally held by competing providers; if one provider is unreasonable, the individual can switch to a different provider.

Not if the providers are in a virtual monopoly; choices are limited. The individual can do nothing about the decisions of the owners, and (s)he has no voice and no vote. In the government, the public is the boss and the people have a voice and a vote. The major task is to make sure government is controlled by the people, and not the bosses. If this is done, then the government's only boss is the people. It belongs to them. And only the public institutions can regulate them. Without that regulation, they are ruthless and care only about themselves. Private power unhinged oppresses workers with low wages and unhealthy working conditions. It poisons the environment. It rips off consumers with absolute impunity. It speculates, buys out, concentrates, outsources and destroys the economy. It buys the government. These facts are not disputable. Ignoring them is inexcusable.

Ban all private campaign financing, consider any candidate who accepts foreign money to be committing treason.

In other words, elect Trump!
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#37
(01-20-2017, 08:34 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 07:53 PM)David Horn Wrote: Do you honestly believe that, given free reign, the wealthy and powerful will not collude?  They always have in the past.  The idea that some fictitious playing field exists that forces some form of competition is frankly naïve in the extreme.  Why compete?  It's costly and exhausting.  It's much easier to divide the market and force potential competitors out. 

We have Android and iOS ... and that's about it.  Blackberry, Nokia and even Microsoft got squeezed out.  Now, they have faux competition (keeping the regulators at bay) and the two biggest players in the market are happy campers.  That is not an accident.  Barring the minimal regulation we have today, prices would already be through the roof ... or more properly, as close to the roof as the market will bear.

Read my response to Eric.  If you still have any questions, let me know.

There is no example anywhere of this mythical market existing since modern industrialization emerged in earnest.  It's even less likely now.  We may get that proven to us yet again, since your boy seems destined to tear-out the restrictions and let it rip.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#38
(01-20-2017, 02:02 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:48 AM)SomeGuy Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 10:02 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:44 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 09:00 AM)Odin Wrote: Bureaucracy is a necessary evil of civilization, you can't have one without the other. Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that the first bureaucracies emerged with the first civilizations. The oldest bits of writing we have from Sumeria are bureaucratic documents.

There were civilizations before Sumeria.  They just didn't write things down.  Possibly they weren't bureaucratic and didn't need to write things down.

Bronze age civilizations like Sumeria were particularly bureaucratic, because bronze technology promoted bureaucratic empires.  The level of bureaucracy actually fell during the iron age.

Huh? Sumeria WAS the first civilization.

I suppose it depends on what your definition of "civilization" is.  There is plenty of evidence of permanent settlements, stone buildings, and agriculture that predate Sumer by an extended period of time:  Jericho, Tel Qaramel, Chengtoushan, etc.  If you are looking for something more substantial the growth of Mesopotamia as a network of cities is largely contemporaneous with similar development in Egypt, Elam, the Indus River Valley, etc.

It's also not outside the realm of possibility that something older will eventually emerge.

This is all true, but it avoids the question: can a larger, more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.


This could come as a shock to some of our anti-MBA crowd here, but in my MBA studies in the area of Organization Management, the notion of "bureaucracy" came up.  Even in that environment, it was not judged "good" or "evil".  It was pointed out that if one has an organization doing something, and that something needs to be stable and relatively unchanging, a bureaucracy is an excellent way to set it up.

Even in bureaucracy there need to be ways for changes to be introduced, but only painstakingly and for good reason.

Organization structure is very, very much a contexual thing.  It depends.  Even authoritarian structures have their uses, as do structures for situations in which almost no organization is best.
[fon‌t=Arial Black]"... a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."[/font]
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#39
(01-21-2017, 11:54 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:02 PM)David Horn Wrote: This is all true, but it avoids the question: can larger, a more complex human society exist without a bureaucracy to organize and manage it?  If yes, can it manage that over an extended period of time?  A 'no' to either question answers the mail.

The bronze age to iron age transition I mentioned resulted in a decrease in bureaucracy despite increases in population level.  The largest iron age empires, such as the Roman Empire, had a more distributed governmental structure that relied less on bureaucracy than the bronze age empires despite being larger.  That reduced level of bureaucracy was sustained for over two millenia until the advent of Communism and partially socialist mixed states.

OK then, let's limit our discussion to modernity, since that's the time frame we occupy.  There is very little infrastructure that doesn't require standardization, and the days or snake oil remedies, unsafe food and competing fire departments is no longer tolerable by anyone.

Standardization needn't imply bureaucracy.  Modern tech standards, for example, were mostly selected by choices of individual users from competing standards for similar purposes.
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#40
(01-21-2017, 11:50 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-20-2017, 02:37 PM)SomeGuy Wrote: ... As to "the question", *shrug*.  Victorian Britain and the pre-1930s US had comparatively minimal bureaucracies.  The Soviet one was quite extensive.  Somalia doesn't have one to speak of.  It is presently fashionable for big tech companies to have relatively flat hierarchies.  Mid-20th century industrial companies had much more structured ones.  I don't think the evidence bears out a claim of "bureacracies good, no bureaucracies bad" or vice versa.  The technological substrate, the presence or not of unifying norms mores and values, the security environment, etc. influence the extent of formal organization required...

In a way, that makes my point.  At one point in time, Chicago was served by 9 railroads that all used different track spacing and profiles.  Needless to say, moving goods from rail system A to rail system B involved unloading by hand, transport between rail yards in some cases and reloading by hand.  That is intolerable today.

And yet, there is still no freight rail link between North Station and South Station in Boston, last I checked.  Somehow we tolerate it.
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