A matter of perception essay

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A matter of perception essay

The Middle Managers of Murder Introduction Bureaucracy is not unique to Germany, however its application by the National Socialists as a tool of totalitarian oppression is peerless. Comparisons are often made between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, but Stalin purged the ranks of the military as well as civil bureaucracies, whereas Hitler preferred to work with the established bureaucracy in deference to expediency.

The rapid rearmament of Germany and mobilization for war required that the Nazi regime make use of the existing administrative machinery [ 1 ]. The German quest for Lebensraum living space meant more than defeating external enemies as would be the case in a traditional war.

A racially pure Germany was the other half of the Lebensraum equation and to this end the Nazis relied on the knowledge and expertise of the Weimar era bureaucrats to execute genocide.

Referring to yet "another political regime [that] has come to an inglorious end in Germany, rendering another 'constitution' obsolete and thus making it a fitting object for scientific analysis [ At first glance, Herz appears to be warning of the dangers of leaving the bureaucratic institutions of the German Democratic Republic GDR in place and unexamined in a reunited Germany, but Herz was writing inless than a year after the end of hostilities in the European theater in World War II.

Herz was concerned that the de-Nazification of Germany not ignore the traditional bureaucracies because the perception of independence or 'professionalism' on the part of the bureaucrats was misleading. The German bureaucracy inherited by Hitler was generally compliant with egregious Nazi policies if not eager accomplices.

Herz compares the situation in the aftermath of World War II to the demise of the Weimar republic, but there is a longer history. There is continuity from the bureaucracies of Bismarck, through the Weimar Republic, to the Nazi era, and into post-War Germany.

Today, the legacy continues in the form of investigations into the possible Stasi involvement on the part of contemporary civil servants. Origins of German Bureaucracy Ordered society would not be possible without bureaucracies to ensure the proper functioning of modern institutions such as hospitals, police, education, and the military.

Bureaucracy predates the modern era, of course, but it was not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries that bureaucracy as we currently understand it was established.

Max Weber's theories refer to: The civil service in Germany dates back to the middle ages when commoners and lesser nobles were appointed civil servants who served at the leisure of the sovereign rather than an intermediary nobleman as was typical of feudal societies.

These appointments were little different from ennoblement, and barely resembled the functionaries of a modern bureaucratic institution. There was little in the way of a uniformed discipline. For one thing, appointments were made with scant regard to the merit of the individual being appointed--nepotism and favoritism were the rule.

Even in medieval times, however, the irregular and inefficient bureaucracies focused the power of the sovereign. Through delegation of office, consolidation of knowledge--and therefore power--was the result.

The imposition of a rigid hierarchy ensured that rulers had direct insight into the happenings of everything within their domain. With the economies of scale ushered in by the modern age, the inefficient, pre-modern, non-meritocratic bureaucracies were unable to cope with the ensuing 'multiplicities.

Michel Foucault states that "Discipline [ The modern nation state required a new mode of power that was capable of managing the increasingly complex task of disciplining society. Foucault argues that the conjuncture of urbanization, a 'floating population' the masses were no longer firmly fixed to feudal estatesand an enormous increase in the scale of the number of people to be supervised or manipulated necessitated development of disciplinary methods.

Furthermore, mass production and rationalization of the economy also required more complex management processes. The old feudal society was not equipped for the industrial revolution and mass production.

Remnants of feudal society persisted, but the role of the nobility diminished as professional bureaucrats assumed greater control over the administration of the military, hospitals, police, and the market economy.

The ascendancy of disciplines in governance and bureaucratic institutions can be seen as a profound shift in how power was wielded. Rather than "deploy the ostentatious signs of sovereignty" in taming the populace, power "is manifested through the brilliance of those who exercise it.

This was costly in a political and economic sense, and more importantly was insufficient to the task. One of the primary roles of the modern bureaucrat is to classify and identify individual members of society so that they may be better managed.

In a very real sense, knowledge for the bureaucrat is power--power that was once wielded exclusively by the sovereign. Max Weber argued that bureaucracies were more developed in Germany than in France, England, or America in the 19th century.

However, the thick bureaucracy of Germany had more to do with Germany's adoption of the Napoleonic Code during its occupation by Napoleon than the rigidity of Prussian militarism. The pre-Napoleonic Prussian military had more in common with medieval feudalism than modern bureaucracy.

A matter of perception essay

However, one element of modern bureaucracy found in the Prussian military was professionalism and dedication to the institution in addition to or beyond any other loyalties. The sense that the Army as an organization, and not just the sovereign or government it served, was worthy of fealty was a characteristic to which the modern bureaucracy aspired.

In this sense, the rules, structure, hierarchy, duty and other abstract notions all became the mission of the solider or the bureaucrat.

This dual loyalty--to the institution as well as the nation or regime--would later be recognized by the National Socialists. As mentioned above, the Nazi party had to accept this fact if it was to expedite its struggle for power and its subsequent war effort.

The organizational technique of large armies was requisite to the formation of bureaucracy in Germany and elsewhere. Init was possible for Henry V to visit with individual members of his army, even those of the lowest rank, the night before the battle at Agincourt.

Certainly, he knew every officer no matter how junior.We will write a custom essay sample on A Matter of Perception specifically for you for only $ $/page.

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