Although the concept of bureaucracy has fallen into the common domain of political sociology, theory of history, and public opinion, and has been sanctified to the success it has today, it has nevertheless remained so imprecise that it is still meaningful to question the identity of the phenomena it claims to describe. At first one is astonished at the diversity or ambiguity of the responses. But this is only a first impression. Bureaucracy appears as a phenomenon that everyone talks about, feels and experiences, but which resists conceptualization. Thus, rather than immediately attempting to provide a new definition or description, we will measure the difficulties encountered by theory, assume that they have a meaning, and from the very beginning critically examine what both motivates and perpetuates these difficulti. The Problem of Bureaucracy
Already in his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, Marx draws attention to the specific nature of the social stratum in charge of the administration of public affairs. To corporations dedicated to particular activities and attached to particular interests, this stratum appears to represent a universal interest. We will follow the development of the theory of the state in Marx's later works, then in Lenin's Stale and Revolution, and its application to post-revolutionary Russian society by Trotsky, together with an examination of the role that the bureaucracy plays as a stratum inextricably bound to the structure of a class society. From this viewpoint, the bureaucracy is neither a class nor a stratum. It is a result of the division of society into classes and class struggles, since its function is to secure the acceptance of the rules of an order (an order undoubtedly connected with relations of production, but in need of being formulated in universal terms and maintained by force). Bureaucracy is "normally" at the service of a dominant class since the administration of public affairs within the framework of a given regime always assumes the preservation of its status. But since it is not simply a section of this class, when the balance of social forces permits it, it can run counter to some of its interests, thus acquiring a relative autonomy. The limits of power are always determined by the configuration of social relations. In short, bureaucracy is a special body in society because its function is such that it supports the established structure and its disappearance would mean the end of bourgeois domination. (Marx said that the Commune's first revolutionary measure was the suppression of the bureaucracy through the lowering of functionaries' salaries to that of the average worker.) Since it is not a key to social stratification, its role in the society is ascribed by the real historical agents-classes in struggle.
The viewpoint changes as soon as one observes the growth of the stratum devoted to administrative tasks in the various sectors of civil society. Thus, it is tempting to look for criteria defining a type of social organization that recognizes the similarities between the bureaucracies of the state, industry, party, unions, etc. Comparison encourages research into the conditions for the emergence of bureaucracies in order to define a type which would pull together various characteristics.
From this viewpoint, very close to Weber's thesis, the bureaucracy appears again as one particular mode of organization corresponding to a more or less extended sector within society. In other words, the social dynamic doesn't seem to be affected by the development of bureaucracies. The mode of production, class relations and political regimes can be studied without reference to a phenomenon designating only a certain type of organization.
A qualitative change in the theory of bureaucracy takes place when it is used to refer to a new class considered to be the dominant class in one or several countries, or even seen as destined to displace the bourgeoisie all over the world. This is suggested by the evolution of the Russian regime after the rise of Stalin, with the disappearance of the old proprietors and the liquidation of the organs of workers' power along with a considerable extension of the Communist Party bureaucracy and the state, which took over the direct administration of society. Similarly, social transformations connected with the development of monopolistic concentration in large industrial societies (notably in the United States) also generate reflection on the development of a bureaucratic class. This necessitates a change in the theory since, because of its role in economic and cultural life, the bureaucracy is now understood as a stratum able to displace the traditional representatives of the bourgeoisie, thus monopolizing power.
Finally, we believe that a completely different conceptualization is required if the phenomenon of bureaucratization is seen as a progressive erosion of the old distinctions linked to private property. Bureaucratization here refers to a process seeking to impose a homogeneous social form on all levels of work-at the managerial as well as the executive level-such that the general stability of employment, hierarchy of salaries and functions promotion rules, division of responsibilities and structure of authority, result in the creation of a single highly differentiated ladder of socio-economic statuses. This last thesis refers to a social dynamic in bureaucracy, and lends it a goal of its own, the realization of which engenders an upheaval of all of society's traditional structures. If this is what the problem of bureaucracy boils down to, it is important to examine each of these theses and explore their contradictions.
Allienation of bureaucracy,means a bureaucracy that over the years have grown big and insensitive to the needs of the citizens and the civil society, it becomes corrupt, far from acting as the servant of the citizens. The larger the bureaucracy the more rigid, inflexible, insensitive and corrupt it tends to become. Instead of serving the citizens, they confuses the elected ministeres or allow cartels to form to exploit the citizen's.
Bureaucratic Alienation Alienation is a problem within bureaucracies as they tend to dehumanize those they serve through their impersonal operation.
Bureaucratic Inefficiency and Ritualism The problem of inefficiency is captured in the concept of red tape. Bureaucratic ritualism signifies a preoccupation with rules and regulations to the point of thwarting an organization's goals. Bureaucratic Inertia Bureaucratic inertia refers to the tendency of bureaucratic organizations to perpetuate themselves. An example from the federal government is used to illustrate.