Bureaucracy

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(French; bureaucratie). The level of professional functionaries who serve the State and, in consequence, are direct participants in the administration of society. In principle, the State cannot function without such an apparatus. In general, the corporation of bureaucrats and administrators focuses not on organizing social prosperity but on defending the interests of the dominant groups, first and foremost their own, while acting as if they were attending to the social interests of all citizens. The b. is opposed to real democracy, placing in its stead the power of the employees of the government apparatus (cabinet departments and ministries, other government offices, etc.) and bureaucrats (officials and administrators). In today’s world, power cannot exist without the b., since it holds the necessary information, administrative experience, and legal instruments. Bureaucrats identify civil society with the State or with the corporation for which they work. The principal danger posed by the b. consists in the monopoly that bureaucrats hold on ideology, the media, culture, and technology, and in their aspiration to manipulate society in favor of the interests of the dominant groups, parties, or sectors. The b. has a hierarchical structure and, with the exception of upper-level bureaucrats, belongs to the middle class. Administration is a crucial political function, and so everywhere the political bureaucracy plays a principal role, often imposing its will on governments. The b. contributes to the alienation of the State from civil society by imposing itself between them. The b. is responsible for interpreting the functions of power. In principle, it is exempt from any moral orientation and places the State, the department or ministry, the corporation above everything else, subjecting society to its formal power and its own professional will. In some cases, bureaucrats in public administration play the role of a new political class, which actually participates in the administration of the State, property, production, and social relations. The primary instrument in the struggle against b. is the development of direct democracy, control of power by the people, participation by citizens in all spheres and levels of administration, and the development of “glasnost” (transparency and public communication of bureaucratic activities by the broadcast media).