Society Decline, Part 4 – Bureacracy: A First-Order Evil

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“Join the collective. Or else.”

Part 3 showed that average IQs have made huge gains while general intelligence (g) has declined. Why worry about falling g? Physical and mental mutations are usually co-morbid.[1][2a] 84% of the human genome involves the brain[3], so a decrease in g means higher physical mutations (e.g. fewer alpha traits). Therefore, g predicts mutational load—something to worry about.

Lowering ability (g) while improving environments and raising specialized skills (IQ) leaves a population less intelligent, but more ‘capable’[4][8a]. It does so at a significant cost: the rise of bureaucracy.

“In every day terms; the academics of the year 2000 were the school teachers of 1900, the school teachers of the year 2000 would have been the factory workers (the average people) of 1900, the office workers and policemen of 2000 were the farm labourers of 1900, while the low level security guards and shop assistants of 2000 were probably in the workhouse, on the streets or dead in 1900.”[5a]

Bureaucracy is leadership by command hierarchy, rule following, and functional specialization. This is workableeven rationalwhen it utilizes individual decision making by qualified decision makers.[9] This is not practical with g declinewith most workers less intelligent than factory workers or farm laborers of 1900due to the huge demand for, and decreased supply of, qualified decision makers. In its place is mindless red tape, blind adherence to rules, and automation (e.g. computerization) that explicitly rejects individualism. Decisions are made by compromise, agreement, group think, and uniformity, especially by utilizing committees.[6]

Like the Parable of the Lifesaving Station, failure begins when the mission is lost. The parasitic propensity to expand defines modern bureaucracy, incorporating ever more of an organization’s structure into bureaucratic procedures. It becomes self-maintaining, disconnected from reality.

“Modern bureaucracies have simultaneously grown and spread in a positive feedback cycle; such that interlinking bureaucracies now constitute the major environmental feature of human society which affects organizational survival and reproduction. Individual bureaucracies must become useless parasites which ignore the ‘real-world’ in order to adapt to rapidly-changing ‘bureaucratic reality’.”[6]

What started as a way to efficiently organize decision making becomes a mechanism for producing enforced conformity and busywork. At its best, bureaucracy makes life difficult for those few who do the real work. More likely, bureaucracy cripples an organization and becomes a force for evil.

Bureaucracy is a first-order evil. It is the mechanism behind most societal evils. Everythingincluding feminism and rejection of religionis facilitated by bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is inherently evil, yet most people are so desensitized to bureaucracy and its evil that it must be explained:

“Why are there so many bad systems, organisation, and processes in the modern world? Why are governments so incompetent, inefficient, and often corrupt? Why are big companies and institutions so poor at innovation, so good at creating huge bureaucracies, and so bad at balancing factors such as profit and social responsibility?

We must establish that my claims against these organisations are true. That is difficult, because there is no valid basis for comparison, and no good objective way to measure good and bad attributes. But I think most people know through anecdotes, or just through their own personal opinions, that what I said is true, at least in the vast majority of cases.

I think it relates back to Dunbar’s Number.”

Organizations that do not rely on hierarchical leadership and delegation will fail when they hit the limitations of Dunbar’s Number. However, since there are not enough qualified decision makers, bureaucracy is inevitable. The larger an organization grows, the more leadership it theoretically needs to be effective, growing the organization further. This creates the demand for more when it inevitably fails. This is one way that bureaucracy self-feeds.

Even though IQ has peaked, there are hardly any geniuses anymore and innovation rates have fallen dramatically.[2c] Bureaucracy has successfully contributed to the elimination of excellence and motivation.[11] Nevertheless, despite the fall in intelligence and the growth in bureaucracy, society is still moving forward on momentum. It is unclear how long it can continue:

“Arguably this reversal has already happened in The West, and we are now living off capital – well embarked on a downslope of reduced societal efficiency which affects all nations (because the innovations and breakthroughs created by geniuses of European origin have usually spread to the rest of the world).”[5c]

Bureaucracy turns people into cogs of the machine, destroying creativity and genius. Those individuals who manage to be effective risk being pushed out or failing upwards to their level of incompetence (i.e the Peter Principle), further feeding the bureaucratic machine. In some cases, such as government bureaucracy, it can actually punish or destroy those individuals who don’t conform.

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Consider a typical school made up of many interlocking bureaucracies: school and district administration, a system of tenure, teacher unionization, state educational standards, and so forth.

Students, by and large, are ‘taught to the test’. While programs exist to support kids who exceed or fall behind, these tend to be one-size-fits-all approaches. In the rare case where a school provides one-on-one support staff, it is a coin flip whether they’ll be qualified. Schools must follow their procedures, no matter what. They will literally sue you in court before deviating from bureaucratic script.

It is almost impossible to fire bad teachers. They can only be transferred to other positions or schools. Once a bad teacher is in the system, the bureaucracies ensure that they will stay, perhaps even be promoted due to their incompetence.

Schools must ensure that feminist sociopolitical goals are met: boys should not exceed girls, and girls must be given enhanced opportunities and rewards.

All of these things are actively harmful to the purported goal of educating children, a job that schools do quite poorly.[10]

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Government is arguably the biggest, most powerful, and most obvious bureaucracy. The growth of government bureaucracy is roughly exponential. It is also negatively correlated with g. It is an unsurprising truism that the government does everything poorly, nonetheless the recent growth in government bureaucracy is astoundingly large. The impeachment hearings provide an excellent example of the insanity of government bureaucracies:

“The system can be described as a nonsensical bureaucratic run around, with gatekeepers of information at every step. State department officials are left with the claim that “they just work for the department,” and must follow those procedures.”

Democracy requires a highly intelligent population to work effectively.[5b] America was founded as humanity was approaching its peak level of intelligence. The Founding Fathers were able to understand deep philosophical concepts in order to produce the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They had no idea that one day a large percentage of the voting population would be completely unable to understand why certain rights were essentialfreedom of speech, abhorrence of censorship, or the right to defend ourselves from tyranny. Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) presciently declared:

“Every nation gets the government it deserves.”

Or as H. L. Mencken put it:

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Bureaucracy is totalitarian and anti-democratic. Government and voters are steadily replacing democratic ideals with an anti-democratic, totalitarian, bureaucratic state. It isn’t that America is in late-stage capitalism, as some have suggested, but that we are just too dumb to have an effective democracy.

In part 5 of the series, we’ll see how massive social changes combined with intelligence declines have served to dramatically change society itself in a very short time.


[1] “Sartorious N. (2013). Comorbidity of mental and physical diseases: a main challenge for medicine of the 21st century. Shanghai archives of psychiatry25(2), 68–69. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1002-0829.2013.02.002

[2] YouTube Videos

[3] “Human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity” Allen Institute for Brain Science (2012).

[4] ‘Capable’ refers to being able to do specialized work. Many of our professions require specialized mental skills that our ancestors would never had had to consider. As Flynn notes, moderns have a greater requirement for abstractions. This does not imply that the work is of high quality or creative.

[5] Dutton E, Charlton B (2016) The Genius Famine

[a] Chapter 12, section “Measuring the decline of intelligence”
[b] Chapter 13, section “Genius and the educational system”
[c] Chapter 12, section “Historical trends in the prevalence of genius”

[6] Charlton, Bruce G. (2010) “The cancer of bureaucracy: How it will destroy science, medicine, education; and eventually everything else” Med Hypotheses, 74(6):961-5. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.11.038

[7] Giuseppe, C. (2012) “Bureaucracy and medicine: an unholy marriage.” Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine. 15(9):243–244. doi:10.4414/cvm.2012.01693

[8] Charlton BG (2013) “Not even trying: the corruption of real science

[a] “I suspect that overall human capability (leaving aside specific domains) reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.”

[9] Hierarchical leadership and delegation is required to avoid the limitations of Dunbar’s Number.

[10] It’s well known that children perform better academically when they are separated by sex. Not only does the bureaucracy forbid this (due to forced inclusion) in favor of social interaction, but they are no longer even allowed to acknowledge that girls are girls and boys are boys.

[11] Everyone gets a trophy.

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