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Fb = Force of Bureaucracy June 21, 2014

Posted by Tom Wells in Force of Bureaucracy, Introductions.

gravityWe have all been taught about the commonly known forces of nature like Frictional Force, Tension Force, Electrical Force, Magnetic Force and Gravitational Force. These are forces that exists largely unseen but constantly felt or experienced. The forces are so much a part of our lives that these things were not recognized individually and categorized as forces until relatively recently in human history. Newton didn’t discover gravity per-se but he did identify it and quantify the force so that it could be mathematically modeled and studied.

Now I believe I have identified a new force of nature. It is a force that affects all of our lives in an unseen way but we constantly feel and experience this force. There are indicators within the force that can be studied and predicted.  It exerts itself perpetually and invisible just like grpaperavity and magnetism.  I call this force the Force of Bureaucracy (Fb). This force is created when decision making and problem solving rises up beyond the individual level into growing groups of individuals who come together to make decisions and solve problems.  The force seems to grow exponentially as the numbers of individuals who are brought together to effect a single action grows. In other words, the larger the government, corporation, religious, or philanthropy group gets is the larger the Fb on that group. There becomes a time then the momentum created by the Fb becomes greater than the ability of any one person can control.

The insidious thing is that there is an illusion of control over Fb  in the same way a helicopter gives a person the illusion of control over gravity.  Being able take off from the ground feels like you have broken the bonds of gravity, when in reality there is no where you can go in the entire universe where gravity is not an influence in some way.  In governments, corporations, religious, or philanthropy groups there is no way to escape the Force of Bureaucracy as it increasingly gains a momentum of its own.  That momentum starts to force the growing endeavor to behave in ways that defies logic and can even make an organization as a whole behave in ways the individuals that belong to the organization would never want.

My writing time has been consumed by the Force of Bureaucracy for the past three years since I became a supervisor in California State Government. My energies as a writer have been drained writing reports, recommendations and justifications to feed the ever present Fb.  Recreationally, I still yearn to write creatively.  The problem is that my daily experience involves trying to invent helicopters that can rise my organization above the Force of Bureaucracy. The daily experience is material rich, but it isn’t science fiction rich.  I do have some gem ideas that could enter my science fiction writing someday, but I want to return my discipline from technical writing to creative writing. Since my mind gets focused on my daily work, I’ve decided to try creatively writing about what I experience at work and attempt to chronicle what it is that creates, influences and grows the unseen Force of Bureaucracy.  I am going to try posting some essay’s on the things I observe and maybe I can make up a Dummies for Bureaucracy kind of publication.  It’s an experiment so lets see how this goes.


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