Does bureaucracy help the US become more democractic? Does the theory of it keep the US tied to classical republicanism?Does bureaucracy help the US become more democractic or does the theory of it...

Does bureaucracy help the US become more democractic? Does the theory of it keep the US tied to classical republicanism?

Does bureaucracy help the US become more democractic or does the theory of it keep the US tied to classical republicanism?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think your question asks which is true, since they can't both be true. Although the US is partly democratic, we are still based on a republican model. Bureaucracy is part of implementing the republican model. Democracy unchecked is probably not possible with our complex society.
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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

From a classically liberal point of view, bureaucracy does not make us more democratic.  Classical liberals might aruge this because it expands the role and presence of government, and in doing so, creates greater intrusion into the market.  In defining democratic as being akin to greater personal freedom away from intrusive means, the growth of bureaucracy does not enhance this notion of freedom.  The idea of democracy as being an order where individuals have voice is seen by the Classical liberal as one where individuals have a zone of proximal freedom that is free from intervention.  In its very nature, bureaucracy is something that increases control and increases presence.  This is a reality that the classical liberals would argue moves us away from democracy and the idea the people rule and rather creates a sphere were government does.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my opinion, no.  I do not think that bureaucracy provides us with more democracy.  Instead, it gives us perhaps a bit more efficiency than we would have without it, but that is not the same as democracy.

Bureaucrats at all levels of government are unelected officials.  They do things like writing rules that implement laws passed by elected officials.  The rules they write end up having the force of law.  Thus, elected officials delegate responsibility to people who have not been elected.

As I say, this gives us more efficiency.  To take a local level example, my wife writes rules having to do with zoning and such in our town.  She is not elected but she knows more about this stuff than the elected people.  So it is efficient to have her write rules about them.  However, it is not particularly democratic because no one ever voted for her.

lit24's profile pic

lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The bureaucracy refers to a vital component of the US government. It consists of very intelligent and highly skilled officers who are selected after a rigorous test. The bureaucratic work force is the steel frame of all democratically elected US governments. The elected representatives and the politicians are completely dependent on the bureaucrats for successfully implementing the official policies and plans of the elected government. The hallmark of the US bureaucracy is that it has always been neutral and its main job is to make the nation more and more democratic and by doing so it certainly helps make the US more and more democratic.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The term bureaucracy, in general refers to the organization of people employed in a government or other similar large organizations. The term originally referred to the system of administration and management proposed by a Max Weber (1864-1920), a German sociologist and economist. Because of the basic utility of the bureaucratic approach suggested by Weber, his system of administration has been used extensively by governments and big businesses all over the world. However, this system also has some major limitations, which makes organizations following this system to become slow and procedure bound rather than result oriented. Because of this the term bureaucracy is often associated with delays and excessive procedures.

The above discussion makes it clear that bureaucracy exists in all form of governments. The bureaucracy can harm or hinder the effectiveness of any form of government or political ideology depending on how well a government is able to manage and control the bureaucracy. Thus we cannot hold the bureaucracy responsible for either success or failure of democracy in the USA or for keeping it tied to classical republicanism or any other political ideologies.

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