PDF: BUREAUCRACY - Ludwig von Mises Institute

BUREAUCRACY - Ludwig von Mises Institute



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THE terms bureaucrat, bureaucratic, and bureaucracy are clearly invectives. Nobody calls himself a bureaucrat or his own methods of management bureaucratic. These words are always applied with an opprobrious connotation. They always imply a disparaging criticism of persons, institutions, or procedures. Nobody doubts that bureaucracy is thoroughly bad and that it should not exist in a perfect world.
Frederick the Great King of Prussia

The abusive implication of the terms in question is not limited to America and other democratic countries. It is a universal phenomenon. Even in Prussia, the paragon of authoritarian government, nobody wanted to be called a bureaucrat. The Prussian king's wirklicher gehei.mer OberRegier1J,ngsrat was proud of his dignity and of the power that it bestowed. His conceit delighted in the reverence of his subordinates and of the populace. He was imbued with the idea of his own importance and infallibility. But he would have deemed it an impudent insult if somebody had the effrontery to call him a bureaucrat. He was, in his own opinion, not a bureaucrat but a civil servant, his Majesty's mandatory, a functionary of the State unswervingly attending day and night to the welfare of the nation.

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