Bureaucracy is a form of administration wherein the government is divided into bureaus or different departments which are headed by non-elected officials. This administration is characterized by a highly hierarchal distribution of authority amongst the offices and is guided by rigidly fixed procedures and rules.
Max Weber listed characteristics of modern bureaucracies: (1) the functions of the bodies are rigidly fixed by laws; (2) hierarchal and integrated into a chain of command; (3) administrative policies are properly documented; (4) services require apprenticeship; (5) functions entail full devotion to office; and (6) access to this system is also an access to technology, jurisprudence commercial science and administrative science.
The development of the American Bureaucracy is an end result of the division of classes into societies, wherein in the function serves to secure the acceptance of such orders. Thus, according to Lefort, bureaucracy is normally viewed as service of a dominant class within a specific framework to assure preservation of status for most for the dominant class. Moreover, American bureaucracy is seen to have several negative implications on its government form. Citizens are often concerned on the manner at which principles are being attached to certain issues.
It is argued that at most times, people face the imminent danger of being placed at a stand wherein the public good is disregarded due to conflicts from rival parties, and that when the rule of justice and rights of minor party have become overpowered by the force of interested and overbearing majority (Madison, 1787). Thus, it is often said that American bureaucracy has encouraged the splitting of administration into factions, which in turn is an effect of unsteadiness and injustices within the system.
These injustices are brought by the government’s influential impact on making judgment towards property sentiments, which at large differ based on the social class – wherein the inequality to acquire property is possible to equate based on social standing (Madison, 1787). Consequently, the manner of representation in the republic is also in question. The process at which a representative or representatives are elected is based on a certain limited number.
Hence it will follow that proportionality of the election of officers for certain republic may render them the greater or lesser probability of representation for the emancipation of the republic that they represent (Madison, 1787). On the other hand, there are also positive views attributed in the establishment of American bureaucracy. The establishment of bureaucracy in US has pushed separate departments to become independent and to act according to their own will.
This shall also follow that the members of this department will develop their own sense of authority and responsibility over their areas. But nonetheless, the idea of independence for the established departments has remained untrue so far. The independence they posses is only minimal and nominal, because the appointments that are taking place within the system and the process by which orders are done, come strictly from the rigidness of orders from higher authorities.
Another thing, this kind of system is highly susceptible to biases and administration corruption, since the appointments made are delivered by higher officials and consequently the works to be done should ought to be addressed to the authority who conferred it to them (Madison 1788). Though the distribution of power amongst these departments is done in such a way that each department serves as checks and balance for the other departments, it still occurs that this distribution of authority, instead of being vigilant to the interest of the public, has rather became a cover up for private interest.
And this rhetoric of division of powers which aims to distribute powers equally among different departments couldn’t be in any way possible because it is convenient and not rational to create an equal distribution of power to defend each of their own departments. However, the constitution for the American bureaucracy claims two distinct responsibilities that render this kind of administration rational and beneficial to the society. First, in contrast to bureaucracy, a single republic owes concentration of powers towards one entity, which shall serve as the lone guard against power abuse.
On the other hand, in a bureaucratic state, the power is divided between two bodies, thus creating a double security against usurpation of powers by officials. Second, this division makes the interests of the republic more guarded in such a way that the first division guards the society against oppression that may be caused by the other division. Therefore, the two separate departments of the government serve as checks and balance between them (Madison 1788). Thus, bureaucracy does not necessarily entail influence on political and economic regime.
Neither that its organization has relation to power, rather, bureaucracy administers itself by splitting its powers into divergence (Lefort, 2007) Moreover, the current trend of American bureaucracy is being put into test. The organization of new departments has sprung from the current US government administration, all geared towards increasing their security, customs, immigration and emergency management. According to reports, this reorganization in the US government shall become the most ambitious US reorganization since 1947.
The formation of the new Department of Homeland Security shall ideally and constitutionally become the guardian of Americans against terrorist attacks, immigration advocates, and business lobbyists. However, this shall also post a great challenge on coping from the changes that it will allow. The problem shall be rooted on the dilemma of balancing old and new traditions in such a way that this will not disrupt the functions that it is ought to serve for the government and the society (Alden, 2002).
Bureaucracy has served its purpose in the American government. Though it varies widely between the positive and the negative feedbacks that it has encountered over its practice, bureaucracy has indeed become an institution in the American government administration. Further, it has its process closely tied to the process of capitalist rationalization. It forms a type of social organization and establishes social strata and dictates a relationship among its members. References Alden, Edward. (22 November 2002) A Battle of American Bureaucracy.
Financial Times. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from http://www. globalsecurity. org/org/news/2002/021122-secure01. htm Lefort, Claude. What is Bureaucracy? Retrieved November 15, 2007, from http://www. generation-online. org/h/fplefort. htm Madison, James. (1787 November 22) The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection. Daily Advertiser. Madison, James. (1788 February 6) The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments. Independent Journal.