PROCESS AND PROCEEDURES: HOW BUREAUCRACY DEFEATS DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
The decline of liberal democracy in this county was accompanied by the rise of bureaucracy at the beginning of the 20th century. Initially, this was seen by the early"progressives" as a way to insure fairness in the application of rules. Experts, not politicians, would make the decisions, removing decision-making from the play of politics.
It didn't work. Instead, politicians used the newly created regulatory bureaucracy to escape scrutiny or criticism. After all, they said, it's a matter of"following the rules." And they found it fabulously successful: Americans are easily whipped into submission by any petty bureaucrat waving"the rules" in from of them.
A case in point is the University of Alabama, which recently banned from on-campus distribution the publications of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the Alabama Scholars Association (ASA), and the Federalist Society. Why? The real reason is that administrators do not like the ASA. The AAUP and the Federalist Society are simply collateral damage.
How do you ban things these days? You cite"postal regulations." That's right: the post office and its rules are being used to defeat the first amendment. We are told that the University would be violating"postal regulations" if it allowed distribution of our materials. Faculty who would object to any outright attack on their constitutional rights shut up and tuck their tails between their legs when"regulations" are mentioned. After all, they say, it's"the rules."
That's how you defeat deliberate democracy and constitutional rights in America today.comments powered by Disqus
- Five Things You Need to Know to be a Better Digital Preservationist
- Book on Losing British Generals Wins American History Prize
- Stanford scholar explores civil rights revolution's positive impact on the South's economy
- Harvard Historian Nancy Koehn on Amazon's Tentacular Reach
- Q&A with historian and author Nick Turse