Portrait of a bureaucrat [updated]
“The ultimate basis of an all around bureaucratic system is violence.”
- Ludwig Von Mises, On Bureaucracy
There are two kinds 0f bureaucrats: the Jobsworths and the Born-Agains.
And frankly, I prefer the Jobsworths. They’re less dangerous.
As today’s example, let’s look at American bureaucrat Al Armendarize, regional head of the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency—in other words, the top environmental official for America’s oil-rich South and Southwest region in the organisation that inspired National’s Nick Smith to start his own EPA.
This was a guy with power and a passion to use it. A guy who saw his job as shutting down, or at least emasculating, the oil-rich producers in his region.
It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.
It’s the same "philosophy of enforcement” followed by every government department worldwide, isn’t it, from our own IRD to America’s TSA. “Crucify them!”
At least the Jobsworths just shuffle paper. But pricks like this can kill—as the family of New Zealander Paul Jenkins recently discovered to their horror.
Now I say this “was” a guy with power because this particular arsehole has just lost his job. Not for telling the truth, i.e., telling his staff about how things are, but because a video of him telling his staff the truth eventually found its way onto the internet—posted by someone in approval of Armedarize’s power lust.
His crime was not being too honest. It was being found out.
But worry not. As Kimberley Strassel notes,
Al “Crucify Them” Armendariz resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency this week, for the mistake of telling it like it is. All he leaves behind is an entire administration of Al Armendarizes.
Actually, that should read “entire administrations full of Al Armendarizes.” Because they’re everywhere.
UPDATE: In case you’ve forgotten what the local variety of
thug bureaucrat is like, shown here are genuine cartoons collected from a variety of Inland Revenue offices back when they were killing Ian Mutton.
And just in case you can’t see clearly, or you think your eyes might be deceiving you, yes, that is a newsletter banner above showing a courageous IRD agent running a taxpayer through with a lance. And, yes, that is a picture of a taxpayer being hung from a meat hook.