by James Robertson, July, 1995.
Why do bureaucrats make so many regulations?
One reason is it gives justification (in their minds, at least) for their jobs and their existence. In their warped way of thinking, they engage in Value Destruction while calling it "beneficial regulation." Leave it to bureaucrats to impede Human Progress, while calling such Value Destruction "beneficial." We, the true Value Creators, understand the true nature of Wealth Creation in business organizations and personal networks.
Another reason is that most bureaucrats would probably feel "lost" in a world with few regulations. They don't understand the true nature of what Creates Value; instead, they think that "regulation for the sake of regulation" is a moral and practical good. Obviously they have no understanding of what it means to engage in productive, voluntary, mutually-beneficial Value Creation without force or coercion. They feel "lost" if there aren't enough regulations. Their knee-jerk reaction is: "There ought to be a regulation against that!" Of course, you and I know that most often the human activity they impede results in a terrible Waste of your time and everyone's time. Even worse than the waste of time is the tremendous Value Destruction that occurs as bureaucrats seek to destroy business networks, personal relationships they don't approve of, financial arrangements, and other True Values. Not a surprising result at all, I suppose, coming from Criminal Minds!
Another reason is that most bureaucrats feel personally powerless. Lacking much personal power, bureaucrats exert their need for power in a warped way (i.e., using force or threat of force against others). As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu noted, paradoxically this makes bureaucrats weak - because using force, or threat of force, against others is not a valid or correct exercise of genuine personal power. Genuine personally-powerful people do not need to initiate force or threat of force to accomplish their creative life purposes. Making or enforcing "regulations for the sake of regulations" is one way that bureaucrats use force, and threaten to use force, against those they disapprove of.
Another reason is that most bureaucrats actually derive psychological pleasure from trying to control others by force or threat of force. Obviously they operate at a very low, animal-like mentality for this to be true. As they see it, the more regulations they make, the more they have a chance to control human beings by force or threat of force.
Which brings us to one of the most insightful passages I've ever read concerning the true nature of bureaucrats and their regulations. The author is Ayn Rand. These quotes are from page 411 of my edition of Atlas Shrugged. Basically, Value Creator Hank Rearden has been accused of breaking some regulations the bureaucrats have made about Rearden's steel business having to do with how much or little steel he may produce, when, and to whom he may sell or not sell.
Says the bureaucrat Floyd Ferris: "You honest men are such a problem and such a headache. But we knew you'd slip sooner or later . . . [and break one of our regulations] . . . this is just what we wanted."
Rearden: "You seem to be pleased about it."
Bureaucrat Ferris: "Don't I have good reason to be?"
Rearden: "But, after all, I did break one of your laws."
Bureaucrat Ferris: "Well, what do you think they're there for?"
Continues bureaucrat Ferris: "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against . . . We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted [Frederick Mann: Obfuscation of meaning is a key element of the con games bureaucrats and politicians play.] - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." [emphasis added]
Ayn Rand here writes one of the most brilliant expositions I've ever seen about the core of the bureaucratic mentality.
Only if you feel GUILTY about your Value Creation can bureaucrats truly control you. When you admit and confess to yourself and to others that your Value Creation is morally wrong, you are psychologically defeated. This is precisely what they want. Only by making you yourself feel like a criminal about your Value Creation can they defeat you.
[Even if you yourself do not think you've done anything morally wrong in Creating Value and Maintaining Value (Maintaining Value includes protecting your assets), it's very important for the bureaucrats to maintain a Public Spectacle of guilty regulation-breakers. So, at the very least, the bureaucrats almost always try to obtain a "plea of guilty" so that they can control as many "self-confessed criminals" as possible. Another point is that such "self-confessed criminals" seem quite similar to the "self-confessed criminal witches" the Puritans conjured up in 17th-century Masschusetts.]
With bureaucratic regulations concerning taxes alone taking up entire rooms filled with regulation books, the bureaucrats feel pretty powerful when they can call anyone they wish a "criminal."
Indeed, Ayn Rand is correct when she implies that bureaucrats really don't particularly care what regulations are followed or not. Bureaucrats like to operate on "bureaucratic whim" and do what they like.
[Frederick Mann: The above are some of the methods of how the government bureaucrats create a nation of "law breakers" they can control through indoctrination, stultification, stagnation, fossilization, identification, enumeration, classification, accreditation, regulation, complexification, obfuscation, confusion, diversion, deception, misrepresentation, fabrication, falsification, prevarication, perversion, exaggeration, coercion, inspection, compulsion, prohibition, frustration, confrontation, taxation, extortion, inflation, destruction, aggravation, humiliation, supplication, addiction, polarization, suppression, oppression, corruption, incorporation, annexation, admonition, condemnation, persecution, prosecution, conviction, confiscation, incarceration, extradition, expulsion, decimation, annihilation, termination, and execution!]
You are morally justified in taking many, many steps to protect yourself and your assets from these vermin.
Realise that you are free. The bureaucrat-infested system is corrupt through-and-through. It's not on you to change a sewer-system such the roach-infested nest of bureaucratic vipers. Go with us, as we create our own systems and relationships. We as freedom lovers can fully concentrate on Creating Value in business organizations and personal networks with like-minded individuals. The bureaucratic vermin are largely irrelevant to your most productive relationships. It isn't even necessary to go to a hidden valley as they did in Atlas Shrugged.
It is a pleasure to deal with you, the true Value Creators!
[Next month: More on how bureaucrats and bureaucratic sympathizers "cash in on guilt" (as Ayn Rand puts it). How the bureaucrats try to control people by programming people to accept the warped "moral code" of the bureaucrats. How bureaucrats convince people they are Sinful if they disobey the warped bureaucratic "moral code." How bureaucrats convince people they deserve to be punished for disobeying their warped "moral code." How the bureaucrats try to condition humans to superimpose their bureaucratic version of "bureaucratically-approved social groups" upon instinctive human biological imprints, and create a one-to-one correspondence between them. Also: How to Become the Human Without Pain nor Fear nor Guilt. Don't miss it!]