Monday, 25 June 2012

The bureaucrat and the business man ...

Ernest Benn; capitalist, smoker, all-round good egg

"The bureaucrat and the business man are from two separate worlds. The former works behind the force of Law: it is not his business to consider his customer, he has merely to issue the form and follow it up with a summons. The latter lives by the favour of his customer and, if he would succeed, every moment of his waking hours must be devoted to the study of better ways of serving and thus winning further favour.

The two worlds are as poles apart, and the inhabitant of one can be nothing but a nuisance in the other. The bureaucrat works by force, he imposes his pleasure upon his victim, he enjoys security firmly founded upon the might of the State, and the ultimate, logical end of all he stands for is slavery and war. The business man goes bankrupt unless he can win the favour of a public free to accept or refuse his proffered service, the logical consequences of his activities being plenty and peace."

Ernest Benn - 'Happier Days' (1949) p 96


A K Haart said...

"all-round good egg"

He was. I discovered him by chance in a secondhand bookshop. He writes in a such clear, sensible, pragmatic manner, yet it seems to be a style you don't often see now.

We are too familiar with spin I suppose. The way Benn tells it though - it's all so obvious.

Trooper Thompson said...

Yes indeed. A gentleman of his calibre is very rare, if not extinct these days.

His work shows how much we have forgotten, how much we have been progressing in reverse gear.

bob k. mando said...

John Fischer, a former editor of Harper's Magazine is another who used to write in that muscular no-nonsense style.

though i disagreed with the thesis that gave his book it's name: