What are the advantages and disadvantages of rationalization for greater control of society?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Since you have tagged this with "sociology," I assume that you are talking about the process of using knowledge to achieve greater control of the societies in which we live.

The major advantage of rationalization is that it can make society more efficient and fair.  A society with rationalized laws and procedures can act more efficiently than one that operates on an ad hoc basis.  When laws are implemented rationally, people in similar circumstances are treated in the same ways.  This is fairer than a less rational system.

However, there are disadvantages.  A rationalized system is one that is rule-bound and bureaucratized.  People who are simply applying rules often have a hard time seeing the differences between individual cases and applying rules in ways that cater to the needs of the individuals rather than to the letter of the rules.

A rationalized society, then, is more efficient and fair, but it can also be inhumane and impersonal.

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