Our Wonderland of Bureaucracy: A Study of the Growth of Bureaucracy in the Federal Government, and Its Destructive Effect upon the Constitution

By James M. Beck | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THE "gentle reader"--thus he was politely addressed in Victorian days--may be surprised and possibly shocked by the analogy suggested by the title of this book.

By what stretch of the imagination can there be an analogy between Uncle Sam--by tradition shrewd, practical and worldly-wise--and little Alice, whom the kindly genius of Lewis Carroll guided through a wonderland of fanciful dreams? If the reader will accompany the author through the strange wonderland of federal bureaucracy, he may realize that in some respects the analogy is not without justification, and that Uncle Sam has many of the child-like and naive characteristics of little Alice, and that he, too, is dreaming in a wonderland of socialistic experiments in a government, whose constitution was intended to be a noble assertion of individualism.

What can be more artless than Uncle Sam's belief that the wise and noble compact of government, which he believes sprung from the founders of the Republic as Minerva from the brain of Jove, is today the same as when these master builders laid down their implements and declared their work as finished? The fact is that, except in its general outlines and mechanical details, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin and Madison, if they were privileged today to "revisit the glimpses of the moon," would not recognize their own handiwork.

Or what is stranger than the belief that if the President selects eleven men from the body of the people, not one of whom has had any practical experience in operating a railroad, that forthwith, by the magic of a parchment --called a commission--they become endowed with an ability, to which even the most experienced railroad official would not pretend, of supervising and controlling the intricate affairs--mechanical and financial--of all the railroads of the United States

If the king in the Carroll classic believed in finding a verdict first and then trying the accused afterwards, he merely imitates the Federal Trade Commission, which, after much costly investigation into some business enterprises and after reaching a conclusion as to the guilt of

-vii-

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