For nearly a decade I worked with the largest bureaucracy in America. While I worked with only a tiny sucker on one of many giant tentacles, every beneficial change I wrought was like a sandcastle on the beach as the tide swept in.
The bureaucracy I was working with was the San Francisco public schools. What I was doing was trying to identify superb teachers and bring a sufficient concentration of them to each of the schools in a sequential hierarchy from K-12. I also helped get the teachers good administrators to back them up. Including a school superintendent.
I also made an effort to make sure that these teachers had access to any learning facilities and learning equipment that they wanted and could bring into the classroom any innovative or helpful technology of that era.
I was able to get my own children through this hole in the bureaucracy that I helped create. As soon as my youngest child was in the eighth grade, the sandcastle was wiped away.
I had helped find new school board members and worked on numerous changes of the law to improve education. All of this was wiped away by the bureaucracy in very little time. Nothing even resembling a residual mark of a tentacle was left.
It is with this background as well as having worked in Washington DC in foreign aid development with the USAID that I can assure my readers, who may have doubts that bureaucracy, especially government bureaucracy, is dedicated to the status quo, that it is. Government bureaucracy is by far the most effective agency of the status quo outside of the Catholic Church.
This is not to say bureaucracy is a priori harmful. There are many institutions in our society that we do not want changed. Many institutions for which change would be harmful including such organizations as the Red Cross and life insurance companies.
My whole point in this blog is to comment on that steady elevation of the use of government that, in my mind, is always oppressive because government is inherently bureaucratic and status quo.
I recognize that all large organizations have inherent bureaucratic tendencies whether public or private. But from my experience in the private domain, institutions fail and consequently they change via failure and replacement which I do not see happening in government.