Thursday, December 21, 2017

Conquest's Three Laws Of Politics

While we're on the subject:
1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
I think that (1) may be true of me. I have come to suspect that (2) has a good shot at being true. I don't have an opinion about (3), though I suspect that it's largely tongue-in-cheek.


Blogger The Mystic said...

I always thought (3) was particularly insightful, but I thought so because this is the argument I thought it implied:

1) Bureaucratic organizations exist to solve problems involving time-consuming procedural work.
2) Time-consuming procedural work is nearly always more easily accomplished given the inevitable advance of technology.
3) Therefore, by (1) and (2), bureaucratic organizations are extremely likely to become needless.
4) When faced with the prospect of elimination on account of needlessness, corrupt organizational leaders may choose to preserve their organizations by acting to perpetuate those problems which they were put in place to resolve.

Basically, I thought it was a recognition of the consequence of self-interested leadership interacting with large (“too big to fail,” perhaps) investments in solutions; they’ll act like a cabal of their enemies because they have a need to interfere with themselves to prevent causing their own demise by accomplishing their goals.

And the likelihood of this happening is perhaps correlated with the amount of resources commanded by the organization and the amount of time it has existed (assuming no shift in purpose); the more resources and time one has, the more likely it is that the means to resolve the relevant problem(s) exist and their implementation is being intentionally thwarted. Given the benefit of this practice to corrupt leadership, and perhaps even a sort of economic selection for those bureaucracies which preserve themselves in this manner, we are admonished by the third law to seek explanations here before looking elsewhere.

3:53 AM  

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