Why Do We Have Bureaucracies?
That question opened a new semester in a graduate seminar on public administration. In answering the question, the twelve of us were to introduce ourselves, tell what we were doing, why we were taking that particular seminar, and so forth. The instructor was the son of a Baptist preacher and the grandson of a Baptist missionary, and the class was required for my MA at Oklahoma State University.
“Well, of course there are no absolutes…” opined a young lady trying to sound erudite but not quite reaching to that level. I wanted to insert, “are you absolutely certain that there are no absolutes? After all, your statement is an absolute,” but I held my peace until my turn came.
“My name is Charles Murphy, I am pastor of a fundamental Baptist church, registrar of a fundamental Baptist college, and assistant professor at that college,” which introduction got their attention and curiosity. “The reason we have bureaucracies,” I continued, “is because we have a characterless people, and a characterless people have to have someone to tell them what to do, when to do, where to do, how much to do, when to stop, and when to apply for welfare. However, the problem has been exacerbated by the fact that we have only other characterless people to put into those places of authority, so now we are in the untenable position of having characterless people telling other characterless people what to do, when to do, where to do, how much to do, when to stop, and when to apply for welfare.”
Stated the professor: “I can accept that if you can define character.”
“Character is doing right because it’s right to do right, regardless of the circumstances,” I replied.
Asked the professor, “By whose standard?” I thought he’d never ask!
I pulled my Bible from my briefcase, they went into cardiac, and I stated, “I have a Standard—a Standard of absolute (for her benefit) right and wrong. Now, admittedly, there are some things in here that are in grey areas that are somewhat debatable, and I love to debate them, but it is a Standard of absolutes nonetheless.”
Seeing there was no comment coming from either the students or the professor, and since I still had the floor, I continued: “I think I am safe in assuming that most of you, if not all, claim to be liberals in your philosophy, am I right?” They nodded ascent. “Well then, according to your reasoning, there is no Creator, no afterlife, no judgment after death and therefore in your system it is not that you have not ‘found the answers,’ it is rather that there are no answers to be found because all that is at the end is a cold, dark, silent universe.” The silence was deafening until the professor called for a coffee break.
Is it not passing strange that our Founders with all their wisdom did not mention, conceive, write about, or make provision for bureaucracies when they wrote and adopted the Constitution? Were they really unaware of how much we need government agencies to tell us what to do, when to do, where to do, how much to do, when to stop, and when to apply for welfare? Could they have been so ignorant of our inherent mental retardation that requires us to have government agencies to tell us that toys with small breakable parts are dangerous for our infants? Surely they must have been aware that we are so incompetent that we have to have government agencies involved in the design and function of our toilettes? And, how could they not have been acutely aware of our need for government Entitlement Programs to ensure that those of us who do not want to work are entitled to the paychecks of those of us who do work? I find it hard to believe that they did not know, when writing the First Amendment, that we do not even need God because we have government and Visa/Master Card. How could they have been so short-sighted as not to know that it takes a government to raise a child because parents are so obviously incompetent? Did they not know, with all their experience and wisdom, that we absolutely must have government agencies watching over our every breath, every bite, and every drink we take from morning to night, yea rather, from the cradle to the grave? And what sort of communal stupidity caused them to come up with such insane, meaningless dribble for their mottos such as “Live Free or Die!”?
Eureka! Now I know why we have bureaucracies–we have bureaucracies because we are too lazy or too stupid to make our own decisions in life!
Truth Never Fears a Challenge!