Where the bureaucratic state always seems to end up — death

The other day, I did a post about the fact that bureaucracies, in their ceaseless question for administrative protection, run the risk of killing us all.  I think Zombie makes my point precisely, in a post pointing out that people and nations most deeply wedded to perfection through bureaucracy (i.e., totalitarianism) all seem remarkably comfortable with determining who is unworthy of life — not because of evil acts they have committed, but because of their failure to conform to state perfection.

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  1. says

    “state perfection”…I think I’ve quoted this passage from Aldous Huxley previously, but it’s highly relevant here:
     
    In the field of politics the equivalent of a theorem is a perfectly disciplined army; of a sonnet or picture, a police state under a dictatorship. The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet–the scientific poet–of a new mythology. Both are justified in their pretensions; for each applies to human situations the procedures which have proved effective in the laboratory and the ivory tower. They simplify, they abstract, they eliminate all that, for their purposes, is irrelevant and ignore whatever they choose to regard an inessential; they impose a style, they compel the facts to verify a favorite hypothesis, they consign to the waste paper basket all that, to their mind, falls short of perfection…the dream of Order begets tyranny, the dream of Beauty, monsters and violence.
     
    (from Ape and Essence, 1949)

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