Only surprising that anyone would be surprised that a study finds India has the most fucked up web of bureaucracy.

Apparently, the massive centralization of institutionalized power over almost 1.2bn people, covering 1.2m sq. mi. (3.2m sq. km.) is dysfunctional. And unlike the former Soviet Union, this State apparatus has an extremely well-standing allegiance with the West.

The Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy surveyed 100 business executives across 12 Asian countries who said “India had the worst levels of excessive red tape”, the BBC reports today, adding:

The report ranks bureaucracies across Asia on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the worst possible score. India scored 9.41.

Frequent promises to reform the bureaucracy, the report says, have come to nothing, mainly because the civil service is a power centre in its own right.

There is a strong link, the report says, between bureaucracy and corruption—and a widely held belief that bureaucrats are selfish and highly insensitive to the needs of the people they are supposed to help….

A recent survey of the Indian bureaucracy found large numbers of civil servants complaining of undue political interference, and a widespread fear that anyone questioning the system would be transferred to obscure postings in bureaucratic backwaters.

There’s so much funny here, it’s sad.

Call it “representative democracy”, “liberal democracy” or whatever, the central purpose is to manufacture consent to perpetuate the power needed to enhance the privileges of those in control of the State apparatus. This is why employment statistics are politicized to insane degrees.

Governments don’t expand amidst rises in unemployment because ‘only the government can save the economy from apocalyptic collapse’. Governments expand to put people out of work behind desks or performing manual labor for the State. This pacifies the people to refrain them from rising up against the corporate cronies of that government and the corrupted government agents; it requires rising up against the agency which both their boss and that on which people believe law, order, security is based.

One can’t look at this report and ignore: “Starting a business in India is incredibly hard, and enforcing contracts can be nigh on impossible.”

The government blocks entry into the marketplace to:

  1. Perpetuate and cartelize the captains of ‘private industry, who;
  2. Finance the propaganda that puts the government agents into power because;
  3. The government needs votes and votes require consent and participation, but;
  4. Winning elections in a ‘liberal representative democracy’ requires cynically controlling the information flow toward consent and;
  5. Limiting the participation to the degree that the quantity of ‘major players’ in the propaganda and policy formation process are stabilized requiring the cycle to revert back to #1, rinse and repeat.

The problem with limiting the marketplace is that the demand for labor and—more importantly—opportunity to organize alternatives to the cartelized portion, overwhelmingly dominating the for-profit sector, is actively suppressed.  To limit the marketplace, red tape is necessary, requiring more bureaucrats and hands-on-deck.

But, this is still not enough, so the red tape increases to the point where employment is at a level insignificant to threatening the power of the State apparatus. The cartels expand and contract with the red tape cycles in a sort of balancing act.

The ruling class fully understands that tipping the scale too far will lead to mass unemployment or government levels of cruelty to which the amount of dissent is—not only significant to threaten existing institutions of authority and distribution, but—widespread to the point where the class overwhelmingly ruled overtaking the institutions becomes an existential inevitability.

Alex writes quite a bit on Iran, so I figured I’d write about his ‘Motherland’. We’ve had this discussion many times that if American culture experienced the centralization of the Indian government, the U.S. would immediately decentralize. We frequently agree that the balancing act is performed to prevent just this, with the same problems manifesting in different manners. Maybe, we could formulate this better in a future post with a more of a joint op-ed format. Here, I’m just rambling.

  1. […] Study: Bureaucracy of World’s ‘Largest Democracy’ Also ‘Most Stifling in the World’ June 4th, 2010 Posted by Little Alex Study: Bureaucracy of World’s ‘Largest Democracy’ Also ‘Most Stifling in the World’ […]

  2. […] Study: Bureaucracy of World’s ‘Largest Democracy’ Also ‘Most Stifling in the World’ Study: Bureaucracy of World’s ‘Largest Democracy’ Also ‘Most Stifling in the World’ […]

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