If you have ever wondered how the various bureaucracies go about their daily tasks, below is one insight. In my experience with bureaucracy, I can verify what Jerry Pournelle has posited. One can see it over and over. The two different types of people he identifies will only rarely understand the tensions which develop.
Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.
Father Orthoduck (and Fr. Orthohippo) wish to express a great deal of appreciation for the work of Jerry Pournelle. He does not agree with many of Pournelle’s political views, but Mr. Pournelle has a very hard-headed common sense approach to life. He is best known as a science fiction writer, particularly the Co-Dominium series and his works on military science fiction as exemplified in his Falkenberg’s Legion books.