“In any bureaucracy, there’s a natural tendency to let the system become an excuse for inaction” – Chris Fussell
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a BC reporter, Melanie Green, regarding the conundrum of aging with a disability. This was done, in part, because of her interest in the recently release B.C. Seniors Poverty Report Card. One of the common themes of the interview, as well as the report card, was the increasing dependence on a complicated bureaucracy which got me to thinking, so let me spin you a little tale using my sense of romanticism.
When I was younger, and I’m sure this hasn’t changed, I would traverse the urban and rural fields of the outland of our society while avoiding the baron’s of bureaucracy as much as possible. That is one of the benefits of youth. The only times I would wander into the wasteland of a baron was when I had no option. If I needed a drivers licence I would have to enter the fiefdom of the transportation baron. If I needed a birth certificate or marriage licence I would slowly slink into the fiefdom controlled by the baron of vital statistics. When forced I would enter the fiefdoms with the stealth of Strider (Aragorn) rather than the tumultuous entrance of the Nazgûl otherwise I traversed the hinterland in an attempt to be as unnoticed by the baron’s as possible.
These baron’s of bureaucracy were all appointments of a much larger institute made up of our elected officials. The elected officials were really the only gatekeepers of the modern day serfdom. And whether you choose to believe it or not we are all serf’s in our own way. Our life’s are governed and controlled by bodies of appointed baron’s of bureaucracy. We have some control which is called a “vote” but that is a control that almost a third of the population ignores. In other words you choose to be a serf and then complaint when a baron of bureaucracy puts barriers in front of you.
Again, in youth, we just jump over that stone fence and keep traversing the area while avoiding the cottage of the baron. As a young man I didn’t let the vagaries of regulations get in my way. I wasn’t about to let some baron tell me (or charge me) to pitch a tent in some picturesque valley to enjoy an evening camp-over. And I would be damned if I wasn’t going to drive ten K (sometimes more but I did have a bit of sense on self regulation) over the posted speed limit. And forty years ago I wasn’t about to let some baron of bureaucracy tell me I couldn’t smoke a joint based purely on their regulations and ideology. Now here we sit just weeks away from the legalization of marijuana in Canada arguing over which baron’s the control will be given to.
I have little faith in a group of baron’s who will spend $15,000 of Canadian tax dollars to keep some marginalized family from receiving $2000 worth of speech therapy for their disabled child. These are the baron’s that do that, not the elected overlords. The baron’s keep that kind of thing to themselves all in an effort to maintain their own fiefdom using the funds grant to them by those we elected to collect our taxes. In other words these baron’s use our money to suppress our freedoms and rights. Common sense never enters the picture until serfdom outrage reaches the ears in the houses of power, when we by-pass these baron’s. Continue reading