Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/142

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The Profit of Reform

which to do things. But the visual evidence and actuality of its powers is the bureaucracy, so that its size is a sure measure of the magnitude of these powers. To put it another way, every interventionary measure calls for an enforcing agency, since it cannot enforce itself, and the operatives of this agency must be paid—not to mention the cost of necessary appurtenances, such as offices and equipment and buildings. To what purpose would the State put its revenues if it did not have a bureaucracy to maintain? Which, in a way, is a redundancy, for the bureaucracy is the State. The expenses of the State are the expenses of the bureaucracy, just as the powers of the State are realized in the functions of the bureaucracy. It is the size and importance of this aristocracy of office that actualizes the State. Therefore, when this aristocracy puts in claims on the tax fund, it is simply taking care of its business, and when it takes up with some reform measure that will entail more expenditures, it is acting in character.


A history of reform in America would have to devote most of its pages to the last hundred years, and, if it were realistic rather than ideological in its appraisal of results, it would concentrate on the growth of bureaucracy in the last fifty. In the beginning, say from the period of colonization to the Civil War, the overpowering concern of the American people was production and accumulation; there was little interest in the possibility of improving Society by political means. The Revolution can hardly be classed as a reform, since it was spurred by an urgency to curtail political power, not to enlarge it; the expectation of the revolutionists was freedom, not favors, from the State, so that they could the better get on with their digging, manufacturing, shipping, marketing, 118