Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Bureaucracy

Well, here we are. It’s local election day and I’ll either vote UKIP as a feeble boat-rocker or ignore the event, as many do  in this post-political age.

In an earlier post on the elections I mentioned our post-political age and the Bureaucracy, both intended as an intro to this post.

Not being in possession of a decent crystal ball, I have no idea where we are headed politically and the notions I play around with are not original, but like many others who ponder these matters, I’m sure something major is going on and it's worth speculating.

To my way of thinking, the post-political age has arrived. Political power has largely been usurped by what I've called the Bureaucracy for want of a better word. The reason this power shift happened is the much same reason Parliament usurped the power of the monarchy – better access to finance and control over the levers of power. A civil war came into it too, but we'd better not go there.

Similarly, the Bureaucracy has gained control over large areas of national finance and the levers of power via transnational laws, regulations, treaties and bureaucratic processes with which national bureaucracies are complicit. 

This has limited political options to such a degree that national politics has been thoroughly hollowed out. It has become a sham – a possible career path to the Bureaucratic elite rather than a chance to govern.

The Bureaucracy is not an organisation, nor a clearly defined power structure, but a complex web of interests built on a vast network of transnational structures and processes which are not amenable to political change or control at a national level.

Who are the Bureaucrats? Again, we are not speaking of a clearly defined body of people, although many members such as EU Commissioners, MEPs and UN officials are obvious. In addition to these grey suits who actually run the show, there are millions of people in the public sector, in businesses with public sector interests, in charities, NGOs, universities, think tanks, newspapers, the BBC and a huge raft of committees, study groups and academic bodies.

These days the list also includes MPs of course. They appear to have largely given up on the idea of perpetuating national government. 

These people don’t so much belong to the Bureaucracy, as have interests in common with it. They may be loose interests, but nonetheless generally influential on behaviour right down to the climate activist reporter, the politically correct teacher and the green activist refuse official.

So voting in elections is becoming pointless – not so much because politicians are useless or because they collude, both of which are true, but because we are no longer governed politically.

To be effective, a political government would have to renounce large swathes of transnational agreement simply to bring power back within national borders and under national political control.

It isn’t going to happen. We are headed into the unknown and the ship of state is headed for the breaker's yard.


James Higham said...

Ignoring the event makes us feel better but voting against, if in sufficient numbers, makes them have to think again.

A K Haart said...

James - yes, in the end I don't usually ignore it even though I'm sure it's pointless.