Utopia and Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is similar to utopia where both have a naive faith in the perfectibility of human nature. 

Bureaucracy treats humans as a completely rational beings. In the book Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein these completely rational beings are referred to as Econs.

Utopias treats humans as completely good natured beings. Again this is an impossible standard to live up to.

Building systems for humans means that first of all we need to understand that we do not always act rationally and with good intentions. This means that systems needs to be flexible and guiding.

All bureaucracies do this, insofar as they set demands they insist are reasonable, and then, on discovering that they are not reasonable, conclude that the problem is not with the demands themselves but with the individual inadequacy of each particular human being who fails to live up the them.

Steve Cortis
11 December 2018