We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Given enough time, the primary function of any bureaucracy becomes the employment of its employees.

Daniel Hannan ruminates on the gap between what people think that NGOs do, and what NGOs do.

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Eric

    I first ran across this sentiment as Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

    Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

  • RRS

    Perhaps the most thorough description of the “anatomy” of bureaucracies in modern literature is to be found in Gordon Tullock’s The Politics of Bureaucracy (1965), which is still available from Liberty Fund as Bureaucracy vol 6 of the selected works of Gordon Tullock (which also includes his related Economic Hierarchies, Organiztion and The Structure of Production).

    This reference is not meant suggest superiority over other studies of equal significance but of a differing perpspective.

  • Harmonic convergence – I watched Brazil earlier tonight.

  • Andrew Duffin

    What Eric said.

    Professor Parkinson said much the same thing fifty years ago.

    Plus ca change…

  • Brad

    You’ve got three options – be part of the apparatus, a torpid beneficiary of its works, or be in a prison/gulag/camp. And that’s as it stands now. We have the future to look forward to when such subtleties will melt away into a “comforting” singularity.