The Bush administration with unapologetic vulgarity operates as though all it follows is a Management 101 textbook.
It sets up massive organizations full of managers and bosses whose jobs are to direct people to success in whatever overly broad task they’re given.
Mandate an organization to defend homeland security, then fund it with hundreds of millions of dollars. Tell its managers to go out there and rally the employees to be more productive.
Flood money into a foreign country that it’s conquered and then set up a secure political vacuum where bureaucrats and non-influential people can manage in safety from the unorganized, ignorant masses of employees.
Throw morale-boosting events every once in a while to inspire the flock, like landing on an aircraft carrier. Hawaiian shirt Fridays. Patriotism Everydays.
Having this administration is like going to work every day for that boss that you loathe who gives you assignments on short notice, who doesn’t give a shit about you, and who punches you on the shoulder lightly and calls you buddy.
It’s like Office Space.
Except that in Iraq, while Bush pushes Iraqi politicians to surge forward with their “birth pangs of democracy”, Al-Sadr militiamen defend the streets of Sadr City and Shi’ites and Sunnis are assaulting each other constantly. The “people” who neocons love so much (but who keep seeming to vote for and support terrorists like Hamas, Hezballah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Al-Qaeda) have no confidence in the bureaucrats and instead listen to those who actually bear some importance in their lives, people like Al-Sistani.
See, the Bush administration believes in bureaucratic order. It believes in strong, central government. It believes that if enough institutions are set up at a national level, then people will fall into line. It vigorously attacks federalist ideas or the diffusing of state power. It even scolds American states when they go against Bush policies.
The problem is that this is simplistic, crude implementation of management. It’s the belief in trickle-down theory. If we cut taxes, the rich will spend more, which in turn creates jobs and employs the poorest among us so that everyone benefits. If the politicians have a stable national government, then the people will be able to settle down and start businesses and pick themselves up.
It’s an entirely management-centric way of thinking. It is anti-democracy. Again and again, the people have voted for what they wanted, and it is not Bush foreign or domestic policy. It’s Hezballah that’s feeding and educating and supporting the people of southern Lebanon. It’s Hamas that supported the Palestinians the most. It’s Al-Qaeda that’s inspiring the Muslims to become better people.
Every time I see Bush exasperated in press interviews, trying to explain that these “people” want to be free, it confirms my theory. He doesn’t think about the “people” at all. He has lived a life of shaking the hands of oil moguls, baseball executives, religious and world leaders. He believes in these “people”. When he talks about the “people”, these are who he is referring to. He believes it is these people who are important, who shape the world.
The Bush administration believes it so much that it has invested billions in the idea. Billions of taxdollars. And gambles on companies like Halliburton and the defense industry, which profit massively from the fulfillment of management policy, of war and turbo consumption and cowboy foreign policy.
The Bush administration is the board of directors that emerges from its secluded getaways every once in a while to run the business, completely out of touch with market conditions, employee morale, upcoming competition, and its own business health.
So, you know, when people talk about “democracy” and “freedom” these days, it really just rings pretty hollow. No one uses these words properly any more and no one applies the definitions of the words to interpreting current events. If “democracy” meant to me that a bunch of bureaucrats who wanted to be like me got together to talk, and “freedom” meant to me that that bunch of bureaucrats was free to convene”, then yes, I’d be pretty optimistic about Iraq too.
Okay, so these people are supposed to be representatives. But are they? Al-Sistani, the most influential person in Iraq, is not a part of the government. Muqtada Al-Sadr, another key player in his own section of the country, is also not a part of the government.
Ask Americans who represents them these days. They won’t say that it’s their politicians. Did FEMA represent the people in the southeast? Does the NSA represent your wishes? Does the Department of Homeland Security represent you?
The truth is that we are being run by a bunch of shitty mid-level managers who sucked up to the CEO.
Keeping the world safe, progressive, and growing requires more than that. It requires people whose sole purpose isn’t to create some big corporate leviathan. It requires a social responsibility and awareness. Hopefully you’d like to see people from law, foreign policy, and political science backgrounds more. You’d like to see more worldly people who promote actively and genuinely the ideas of communication, commerce, federalism, and multi-culturalism.