AND SOCIAL CONTROL

          9-1.  Throughout this work, I have defined war not merely as violence, but also as
        coercion, which is the attempt to control and dominate through the threat of violence.
        Thus someone who never strikes me, but threatens to do so, or who threatens to take
        away my source or means of livelihood, has committed an act of war against me.
             War as both violence and the threat of violence--coercion--thus implies that, where
        coercion is appealed to as the basic mortar or society, there is not true peace: "peace"
        has been reduced to a euphemism for domination.
          9-2.  In the most general terms, the only alternative to war as a means of
        promoting ends is the power of ideas, moral truth, for this and only this is totally
        lacking in any kind of violence or threat of violence.
             Coercion, which depends upon the threat of violence, represents a restriction upon
        someone's freedom.  Any social order maintained by coercion is thus neither totally
        peaceful nor totally free.  We cannot speak of any "freedoms" or "rights" in this
        country being defended by coercion, unless we mean that the freedom or rights of
        some are attained at the expense of those of others.  Nor can we speak of peace being
        maintained by coercion, for "law and order" through threat of force are not the same
        as "peace" in any meaningful sense.  Only through the power of ideas, moral suasion,
        is it possible to speak of a truly free and peaceful social order.
             In defending an idealist pacifism in the Christian tradition, one is not only
        condemning violence or the threat of violence (coercion), but one is also defending
        the power of ideas and the value of a society governed not by coercion but by the
        power of ideas freely communicated and manifested in action under the providential
        control of a benign God.
          9-3.  While one cannot say that the power of moral suasion is always sufficient
        over the short haul to get persons to do the right thing, the consistently faithful
        Christian does not ever give up on the power of ideas, even in the face of death.  
             Yet, even one's death in the face of superior force is a statement of an idea; and,
        even though it be one's last statement, it might well be one's best: one's seemingly
        meaningless death may be the only way to convert another from his or her faith in
          9-4.  Faith in the power of ideas, of moral suasion, is the essence of what pacifism
        is about--indeed, it is what faith in the One True God is all about, for his Spirit of
        Truth is that to which we appeal when we forego the appeal to force or violence.  It
        is this Spirit which providentially rules the social universe through its influence upon
        human decisions and actions.
          9-5.  There are at least three types of war: war between or among nations, war
        between or among individuals, and war between some collectivity or organizational
        entity and the individual.  This chapter emphasizes the last of these.  It is a sad
        commentary that most discussions of war do not even include this most pervasive and
        insidious form of warfare.  
             In its most common manifestation, this third form of war is simply that of the
        bureaucracy against the individual.  In this war, overt violence is rarely used, but
        coercion--the threat of violence--is virtually ubiquitous.  Indeed, it is not too strong
        to define bureaucracy as routinized threat.  This is its essential defining characteristic,
        and everything else that commonly defines bureaucracy is derivative of this coercive
          9-6.  An army is a bureaucracy.  In fact, Max Weber derived his "ideal type"
        bureaucracy from his observations of the Prussian military.1  Yet, even IBM and GM
        may be seen to be as bureaucratic as the military.  Indeed, in some ways, their produc-
        tion orientation may make them more rigid and authoritarian than any army.
        Although they may not routinely use the force of arms to maintain control, they do
        employ their own coercive measures: threat of deprivation of the means of livelihood,
        a form of economic violence.
             It might be objected that one is always free to leave private (and most public)
        organizations.  Yet, if the freedom to leave means only the freedom to starve, there
        is no true freedom.  And, if the freedom to leave means, if not starvation, then a
        reduced prospect for a meaningful and prosperous life, then the organization's power
        over the means of livelihood is, if not total, nonetheless substantial.
             The bureaucrat rules by threat.  Anyone who forgets this forgets the first premise
        of organizational survival.  He or she is also likely to be surprised at just how dirty
        bureaucracy can be: the bureaucrat who cannot coerce with one sanction will typically
        find another, licit or illicit, according to the conventions of that society.  Power is
        rarely relinquished casually.
          9-7.  Since the most violent thing that the ordinary bureaucrat is likely to do is to
        "fire" or terminate a member of the organization, it is well to examine this action.
             Termination from the organization is an act of violence because the person fired
        is being deprived of the means of livelihood.  Anyone who denies this need only
        consider the limiting case of someone who would not only be fired but blackballed
        from further employment of any kind (obviously implying a totalitarian social order).
        It is clear that the only modes of survival open to that individual would thus be escape
        or becoming an outlaw.
             The fact that most firings in democratic societies do not commonly result in such
        horrendous consequences (for must of us: let us not forget the very grave economic
        prospects for those who are disadvantaged) should not blind us to the fact that firing
        or any other kind of social banishment is an act of violence, regardless of whether or
        not it is sanctioned by the laws of that particular society.
             It is difficult to imagine that such violence is consistent with the laws of a God of
        Peace.  Would God banish?  I dare say that the answer is no.  And, if salvation is
        thought of only in other-worldly terms, then have not we not missed something
        essential about the etymology of the word--salvation as "salvaging"?  For modern
        organizations, however, the employee is merely an expendable, exploitable
          9-8.  Before an army can go to war against a foreign country, it must first go to
        war against its own citizens.  It can do this through deception (the primary method
        of military recruitment and socialization), or it can do it through conscription--the
        draft.  In the former case, the army does what all bureaucracies do: it lies.  If that does
        not suffice, then it uses its superior force to make individuals do its will: it conscripts.
             But make no mistake: no military order ever attacked a foreign country before it
        first attacked its own society.  The fact that it attacks more often in the lying manner
        of the seducer than of the rapist should not hide the fact that it does attack and does
        abuse its own people for its own ends.  
             Lying itself is a form of coercion, for, although it does not depend upon overt force
        or threat of force, it assaults the rational autonomy of its victims.  Lying, like the
        threat of more obvious violence, is ubiquitous in bureaucratic life.  Only lying,
        violence, or the threat of violence could possibly impel persons to accept the hierarchy
        and domination implicit in bureaucratic orders.  In criticizing bureaucracy (military or
        civilian) from a pacifist point of view, one criticizes the coercive/seductive aspects
        which are the foundation of all its other evils.  In criticizing bureaucracy, one is
        criticizing the coercive, violent, and deceitful state.
          9-9.  The state and its bureaucracies--both public and private--are coercive because
        the very foundation of state coercion is violence: "If you do not do what we command
        you to do, then we will either kill you or put you in a cage or banish you from any
        means of making a living and feeding yourself and your family."
             Public and private bureaucracies exist in a symbiotic relationship with each other.
        Public bureaucracies directly enforce the laws of the state, whereas private
        bureaucracies live under the state`s umbrella and feed wealth back into both the public
        bureaucracy and the dominant elements of society which support that bureaucracy.
        So total is this symbiosis, however, that the really meaningful distinction between
        public and private is sometimes not discernible.            
          9-10.  The seductive form of state control--deceit, lying--is promoted not by overt
        violence nor by the threat of overt violence, but it is violence nonetheless.  It is
        coercive because it vitiates (or attempts to vitiate) the knowledge and rationality so
        vital to autonomous action.
             Whereas this deceit is sometimes rather bald, it is more often so covert that it
        deludes even those who employ it: the quintessential bureaucrat, a master of deceit
        even more than of coercion, may ultimately be the most unfree person within the
        organizational structure, if by "unfree" one means deficient in moral understanding
        and rationality.
          9-11.  The bureaucrat lies most often by coming to believe her or his own
        euphemisms of power.  The most common such euphemism is the taking of the term
        "administrator" as the self-appointed label for bureaucrat.
             "Administration" is a euphemism which draws its force from the fact that the Latin
        root of "administration" is ad + ministrare, which means "to serve."  The term
        "administer" does not mean any single thing in common parlance, of course, but it has
        come to mean "manage" (or "direct") more than "serve."  The term "bureaucrat" is
        more honest, for it is literally derived from the French root of the word "office"
        (bureau) and the Greek root of the word "rule" (-cracy).  
             Over time, the euphemism which gave birth to the term "administrator" has begun
        to lose its euphemistic effect.  Nonetheless, the euphemistic usage persists in the
        equation of "administrator" with "public servant."  
          9-12.  I should be on shaky ground indeed if I did not concede that many managers
        do indeed do more than manage or direct: they also serve.  Nonetheless, it does
        become obvious that "administrators" are more generally rulers than servants in many
        or even most contexts.  In such contexts, the term "administrator," like all euphe-
        misms, is the velvet glove which covers the iron fist of naked force.
          9-13.  If one dropped all euphemism about modern "administrators," one would
        have to admit that they are often little more than white collar law enforcers--and often
        very brutal ones at that.
             As one progresses up any hierarchy (or even at the base of the bureaucratic
        hierarchy in such fields as police work or corrections), there is a virtual certainty of
        running into situations which force the administrator into a law enforcement role, if
        he or she is to fulfill the job description for the relevant position.
             The "administrator" by definition exists in a superordinate relationship to many
        members of the organization, at least in certain capacities and situations.  This
        superordinate status is logically linked to the law enforcement function, whether
        admitted or labeled as such or not.  "Law enforcement" in this context might be as
        innocuous as seeing that federal grant monies are spent in accordance with law, on the
        one hand, or as harsh and unpleasant as firing an employee, on the other.  The legal
        or institutional pressures upon the administrator are often such that the unpleasant
        roles cannot be avoided, consistent with meeting the job description.  
             The administrator who does not want to resign or be transferred (which in this
        context usually implies a demotion) will therefore carry out these law enforcement
        duties.  Failure to do so will result in dismissal or at least complaint, typically from
        below as well as above.
             Most persons tend to go ahead and do whatever harsh things the institutional rules
        or laws require.  One empathizes with their plight, since they, too, would like to
        continue to feed themselves and their families.  If the degree of evil is less for the
        typical "administrator" than for a member of the Third Reich, the numbers of
        bureaucrats and their cultural dominance in nominally "free" societies make the
        institution of bureaucracy approach the evils of the holocaust, if not in actual lives
        lost, then in terms of lives disrupted, careers frustrated or ended, and persons treated
        generally indifferently and inhumanely as means rather than as ends--or simply as non-
        entities, unworthy of consideration or even communication.  Yet, even in terms of
        lives lost, how can one calculate the psychological and physiological costs of working
        in such an environment, an environment which is endemic to Western culture?
             As I have stated elsewhere, the fact that I cannot offer a blueprint for the perfect
        society does not mean that I cannot diagnose the ills of this one.  As noted previously,
        to say that I should not offer such a criticism unless I can offer the solution is akin to
        telling a doctor, "Doctor, don't tell me that I have cancer unless you are also prepared
        to tell me that you have the cure."
             Bureaucracy is a cancer, and, though one may not be able to offer a cure, it is quite
        clear that one will not find the cure as long as one denies that there is a disease.
        Diagnosis is both logically and temporally prior to treatment.
             The problem, of course, with the above indictment is that in the modern age it is
        an indictment of almost all of us.  Yet, does that fact make the indictment any less
          9-14.  To say that one has no alternative to bureaucracy in modern life is not quite
        true.  One can, after all, occupy bureaucratic posts without resorting to the violent or
        threatening methods which most bureaucrats routinely employ.
             One should nonetheless be aware that, if one refuses to carry out a coercive or
        violent order from above, then one must be prepared to take the consequences.  One
        who does so is what we might call the "bureaucratic pacifist," for such a person
        demonstrates a rather extraordinary propensity toward personal risk for the sake of
        the welfare of others.  We should not expect many more "bureaucratic pacifists" than
        we find pacifists in the military.  For, although positions of true service are
        everywhere around us, opting for them in lieu of some office which promises greater
        social and economic security is about as palatable for most persons as turning the
        other cheek in the face of a threat to one's life.
             It is quite false to say that we have no cure for the evils of bureaucracy: the cure
        is that everyone would treat everyone else with perfect respect and equal dignity.  The
        practical problem is that one who does this when others do not reciprocate might not
        survive very long.
             Yet, has the pacifist solution to war at any level ever guaranteed personal survival
        or success according to worldly norms?
          9-15.  One who is violated by the officers of an organization has the option to
        resort to state-sanctioned violence: lawsuit, disciplinary proceedings, criminal
        indictment, or threat of such.
             The consistent pacifist who forgoes such "legitimate" retaliation and who then
        suffers at the hands of bureaucrats is thus not unlike the pacifist who suffers at the
        hands of someone's military: he or she is going to be tempted to use the coercive
        measures at his or her disposal, in the same way that one who is attacked by the
        military (whether that of a foreign country or of one's own country) will be tempted
        to join a violent group in order to defend oneself and one's country or to try to
        overthrow the existing regime which threatens one.
             Is it any wonder that consistently pacifistic solutions, rare enough in the face of
        overtly violent threat, are even less likely to be invoked in the bureaucratic setting,
        where the threats are more subtle and where the rationalizations for employing
        counter-threats of a legal nature are so abundant--indeed, where such legal
        countermeasures, so essential and ubiquitous to formal organizations, are cloaked
        with an air of moral and social legitimacy.  ("Fighting for one's rights" is, in such a
        setting, usually a phrase of approbation, not disapprobation.)
             Bureaucracy is, after all, the "legal-rational" model of organization, to use
        Weberian terminology.  Those who live and work in it cannot be expected to see too
        easily and too clearly the violence that inheres in any merely legal solution, anymore
        than they are likely to be able to admit to themselves that the power, wealth, and
        prestige which they enjoy simply by working for any bureaucracy--especially at the
        higher levels--tend to come at the expense of those who are oppressed in order to
        maintain the organization's survival and dominance.
             Is it any wonder that the Prince of Peace held no formal office and had no place
        to lay his head?  
          9-16.  Lest I sound as if I am indicting administrators unfairly, let us remember
        again that we are all administrators now.  This includes teachers: is the giving of tests
        and the recording and "turning in" [!] of grades not a bureaucratic action?  I have
        often told myself that I merely offer the grade as my personal assessment of
        competency, that I cannot be responsible if others use the grades as part of
        recruitment and selection process that is at best exclusive and at worst discriminatory.
        Yet, is this really true or is it not one more rationalization for maintaining a position
        of power and dominance over somebody--in this case, one's students?
          9-17.  If we would imitate the Prince who had no place even to lay his head, we
        must all be prepared to surrender a position of relative prestige and wealth if the
        requirements of peace demand it.  Nor can we, I fear, even defend our reputations in
        most instances without sullying someone else's by making counter-accusations: at the
        very best, we are usually calling someone else a liar when we merely speak the truth.
             Is it any wonder that Jesus was silent before Pilate, except to affirm his own
          9-18.  Dare one speak of the "banality of evil" as the defining characteristic of
        bureaucrats?  What is the great evil which they are typically guilty of, if not mere
             Perhaps we all tend to have more in common with the Eichmanns of this world
        than we like to admit.  No wonder that organizational life seems to be associated with
        its own malaise of the soul.
          9-19.  The question for administrators of pacifistic and voluntaristic proclivities is
        whether a given organizational role can be morally accepted, as well as what
        circumstances are likely to arise in which one can have sufficient discretion to avoid
        punitive and coercive solutions.  In limiting cases, one must ask which situations bring
        such conflict between institutionally-defined duties and moral ideals as to require
        resignation or special status.  The most obvious example of "special status" might be
        that of conscientious objector in the military.  
             The typical administrator, however, does not have such an escape clause.  Since
        most do not resign or seek transfer when confronted with an order of dubious
        humanity, most sooner or later become resigned, even hardened, to the more
        unpleasant side of their formal duties.  (Again, this is also true of teachers, as in the
        case of flunking students who then lost draft deferments--and then their lives.)  After
        a certain point, they (we) are no longer merely thoughtless in their mindless carrying
        out of inhumane orders.  They (we) have now learned to think all too well--to
        rationalize inhumanity in the name of duty, and to pass along such dubious
        socialization to the next generation.
             The evaluative component is always the foundation of other violent administrative
        actions, and, in those truly sick organizations where evaluation is ubiquitous, violence
        in some form is endemic; and rare are those administrators who have the courage to
        lead the way toward a less evaluative, less horrendously judgmental organizational
          9-20.  Any study of bureaupathology would be incomplete if it did not deal with
        the problem of bureaucratic callousness.  More mental and emotional energy is
        probably expended for the sake of rationalizing the "morality" or at least the
        "necessity" of the unpleasant (and sometimes obviously immoral) requirements of a
        job than for all other aspects of the job combined.  In the worst cases, the process of
        rationalization is so insidious that the rationalizer is not conscious of it.  In other cases
        the person feels uncomfortable with the discrepancy between reality and ideal without
        yet having any clear guide as to what to do.  
             One can only empathize with sensitive administrators facing tortuous decisions.
        Yet, if their torture is a function of pride and ambition, it is well to remember that no
        human being has a moral obligation to "serve" by ruling over other persons.
          9-21.  Do I sound callous?  After all, is not the bureaucrat also a victim of
        bureaucracy, in the same way that the soldier is a victim of war (conventionally
        defined)?  Therefore, when one judges the evil of either abomination, one must be
        careful not to let the judgment of institutions too easily become a judgment of persons
        who are trapped within them, who perhaps protest the actions required of them, but
        who all too often do not even find colleagues or peers who understand their moral
        discomfort with bureaucratic norms.
             If bureaucrats knew a better way, would they not pursue it?  Perhaps, but
        sometimes persons know better and still refuse for a time to do it, because they find
        some convenient rationale which maintains the stability of their lives while upsetting
        or destroying the lives of others.
          9-22.  Since all persons have their testing grounds as moral beings, the temptations
        and pressures upon administrators are not essentially different from those upon other
        persons facing ethical decisions.  The scope of the consequences, as well as the
        publicity factor, possibly do nonetheless serve to make the crucible of building
        character more hellish for those in such situations and offices than they do for those
        who have less to lose, socially or materially.  The costs of power and privilege can be
        high--sometimes too high.  
             Yet, if the crucible is so unbearable, would many prefer to jump into the crucible
        of poverty--or of road maintenance, or brick-laying?  (Jesus was a carpenter, I am
             In the Faustian bargain for power, what the bureaucracy too often demands is one's
        soul.  It too often gets it.
          9-23.  Has not "democracy" become a euphemism in most contexts?  After all,
        what is called "democracy" is really not rule by the people at all.  The legal rational
        model would tell us that the people rule because the officials in power are accountable
        to the people.  Formal accountability to the people is thus seen to be synonymous with
        "rule by the people," even though the linkage is quite tenuous: at the federal level, for
        example, from popular elections of Presidents and Congressmen we get (with
        senatorial confirmation) presidential appointment of the highest bureaucrats, and the
        others are responsible to either the President (those in cabinet level departments) or
        to the Congress (those in, say, independent regulatory agencies).  These members of
        bureaucracy then make most of the routine, daily governmental decisions which affect
        our lives, and they are presumed to be accountable to the people because the persons
        who appoint them, legislate their scope of action, or oversee such actions are
        popularly elected.
             This formal, legalistic linkage from the people to the elected officials to the
        appointed officials is thought to mean democracy, rule by the people.  Only a lawyer
        (which Madison was) could see democracy in such formal lines of accountability.
          9-24.  The term "self-government" refers, or should refer, not to pure or
        representative democracy but to personal autonomy, self control by individuals over
        their own lives, guided by the Spirit of Truth, under the authority of "right judgment."
             Is such a conception of self-government conceivable?  One may say that it is not
        even conceivable unless one posits a providential God to coordinate the activities of
        individuals with each other.  Even then, one would surely not be freed of the necessity
        to use reason to work out arrangements with other human beings.  Self-rule, even in