Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ideas to Take Note Of

Here are some words that are worth remembering, taken from Walter Karp's book, "Indispensable Enemies," which may be one of the best texts on American government and politics ever published.

"Indeed, were a political community ruled exclusively by bureaucratic means, politics itself would disappear, since whatever happened would appear the results of providential processes, a truth wonderfully re-created by Franz Kafka, who, for this reason, gave divinity the attributes of a bureaucracy and bureaucracy the attributes of divinity." [p. 228]

"Perhaps the most important example of the politics of bureaucracy is the oligarchs' creation of major Federal bureaucracies - the regulatory agencies and commissions, the Federal Reserve Board and the like - to...maintain...the central myth of Big Business, namely that the economy we have was self-created and, in consequence, is self-sustaining." [pp. 228-229]

This is based on the phenomenon that "Whenever the results of [political] deeds are divorced from the deeds themselves, they lose their political character and appear to be the results of happenstance, of larger social forces and historic trends, or even the providence of God. Although they are the consequence of political action, they will appear beyond reach of political action, since what men do not appear to have done they appear incapable of doing. To those who wield irresponsible political power, the advantage of hiding deeds is obvious and profound." [pp. 225-226]

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