- Publisher: Center for Futures Education (1983)
- ISBN-10: 9993198684
- ISBN-13: 978-9993198680
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,003,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bureaucracy Paperback – 1983
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Top Customer Reviews
There are many subtleties to this book, but the main points are straightforward. Mises contrasts profit management with bureaucratic management. To Mises Bureaucratic management is necessary as far as a few basic public services are concerned. However, the adoption of socialism would mean the extension of bureaucratic management to all areas of the economy. The problem with this is that bureaucracies are inflexible. Changing economic conditions require the adaptation of production. Entrepreneurs implement changes in production because they seek profit. Mises explains why bureaucrats would act irresponsibly- they are not checked by profit and loss accounting. Since public services lack a cash value as generated by markets the costs of increasing public services are unknown. Bureacratic managers would thus over expand their operations without realizing it. Such bureaucratic excesses must be limited by restrictive rules. Hence bureaucracies lack the flexibility of entrepreneurial capitalism.
Mises also considers psychological and political issues, but these points are not as well developed as his economic arguments. One could see this as a weakness, but those who want a more complete version of the von Mises critique of socialism can read his 1922 book- Socialism.Read more ›
Mises wrote in the Preface to the original (1944) edition of this book, "The main issue in present-day social and political conflicts is whether or not man should give away freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility and surrender to the guardianship of a gigantic apparatus of compulsion and coercion, the Socialist State... it seems as if an investigation of the expansion of bureaucratic agencies is the most expedient avenue of approach. An analysis of bureaucratism offers an excellent opportunity to recognize the fundamental problems of the controversy."
He admits in the Preface to the 1962 edition that there are some activities where "profit management" can't prevail; for example, "A police department cannot be operated according to the methods resorted to in the conduct of a gainful enterprise." He later added, "There is no yardstick available that could establish whether the expenses incurred by one of (the FBI's) regional or local branches were not excessive." (Pg. 50) You cannot "measure" a judge according to how much time he needs to adjudicate a case (Pg. 56). This leads to his conclusion that "a successful handling of public affairs...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a thoughtful work. No one can argue with the reality that Ludwig von Mises is a practical man. Read morePublished 14 months ago by JPV
was not quite what my husband was expecting, never the less , he said it was adequate and was a good readPublished 23 months ago by Sally Sprague
A book which sharply delineates the difference between profit management and bureaucracy. Offers a useful perspective for viewing the work of Elliott Jaques, and Requisite... Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by George M. Bosh
I love the works of Ludwig von Mises. I will not go into detail on this as people so often do in these reviews. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by Fox
GREAT BOOK BUT UNFORTUNATELY NOT APPLICABLE TO THE CURRENT DISMAL STATE OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. DON'T WORRY PERK-UP AND HOPE FOR AN EARLY AND QUICK DEATH. BRING ON THE COMET!!!Published on July 30, 2011 by CharlieBooksNYC
This is an excellent book and a devastating critique against bureaucracy. Even though this book was written in 1944 many of the problems, irritations and false hopes of bureaucracy... Read morePublished on August 26, 2010 by Frank Desparrois
Brilliant, concise, extraordinarily objective and analytical, while delving into the exposition of bureaucracy so thoroughly this reader at least, found the case quite damning.Published on November 1, 2009 by Grimhogun