The E.U. was, is, and always will be, primarily a self referencing bureaucracy centered in Brussels and smelling very much like a steaming dish of that famous vegetable of the same name.
Pournelle’s Iron Law states that “in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people. Jerry Pournelle died in 2017 – and I am writing about it in a 2015 post … just how doers that work (the miracle of updates, eh?) So I will restate it here since some of Jerry’s links have changed and there is new material posted in his memory by his estate. Another short post that references Jerry’s work towards the end of the post is here.
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisers in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc. ”
The Iron Law also states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
The Iron Law of Bureaucracy has a couple of corollaries which we see in any bureaucracy every day all around us:
1. The Bureaucracy – public OR private – ALWAYS acts to protect itself.
2. The Bureaucracy ALWAYS acts to expand its power by:
A) acting to expand its membership, and
B) acting to expand its budget.
When the Bureaucracy’s mission is completed, the Bureaucracy will always manipulate the system in order to change its mission to suit the Bureaucracy.
The only difference between the two – public and private – is that with the latter (private bureaucracies), the size of the bureaucracy is limited by the company’s profitability. The better of the private bureaucracies will prune themselves of administrative and production deadwood and streamline itself into leanness. This form of bureaucracy is like a disease we recover from because the immune system eventually triumphs. The worst of the private bureaucracies will fold completely and the host dies.
The outcome of recovery is IMPOSSIBLE with government bureaucracies, which is what makes them so dangerously pernicious. In government bureaucracies the immune system has no affect and as in AIDS, becomes part of the problem. The incredible similarity with AIDS results very much from the singularly similar conditions and relationships of the human victims and the national victims.
Government bureaucracies can never be permanently trimmed or cut back, witness the changes after King Ralph’s rather extraordinarily successful efforts in Alberta and the immediate relapse which followed his departure.
Government bureaucracies IN AND OF THEMSELVES ARE fatally cancerous. They just grow back, like cancer. It is in the NATURE of public bureaucracies.
Government bureaucracies are always and everywhere inevitably fatal. They always kill the host because no economy in history has had a bottomless well of resources for them to take.
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
“This is known as ‘bad luck’. ”
– Robert A. Heinlein
He says it so much more elegantly than I in my grey tribe arrogance.