Bureaucracy: Curse or Servant?

We live in a bureaucratic age. The complexities of modern life are such that the survival of civilization would be difficult without effective bureaucratic institutions. Yet effective institutions do not seem to be the norm.

Bureaucratic institutions exist to serve men by harmonizing specific aspects of human experience through orderly and impartial applications of law. The goal of harmonizing human experience is desirable. The means chosen have an intelligent basis. And no one can question the dedication and personal goodwill of most bureaucrats—be they employees of government agencies, private institutions, or great corporations.

Nevertheless, the experience of many people suggests that instead of finding orderly service to effect harmony, one is often confronted by evidence of indifference, incompetence, and favoritism. If one has been the victim of these, it is all too easy to conclude that bureaucracy is a curse, not a servant.

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How Man Is Linked to God
March 24, 1973

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