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Max Weber

Translators: E P H R A I M F I S C H O F F

A. M . H E N D E R S O N
C. W R I G H T M I L L S

Edited by Guenther Roth

and Claus Wittich

University of California Press

Berkeley • Los Angeles London

2 4
1 BASIC S O C I O L O G I C A L T E R M S [ Ch. I
21 T y p e s of Social Action 2
1 5
fact that a person is found to employ some apparently useful procedure
w h k he learned from someone else does not, however, constyfite, in the belief in the value for its own sake of some ethical, aesthetic, religious,
presen sense, social action. Action such as this is not oriented to the or other form of behavior, independently of its prospects of success;
action o t h e other person, but the actor has, through observing the (3) affectual (especially emotional), that is, determined by the actor's
other, becoine acquainted with certain objective facts; and it is these to specific affects and feeling states;
which his a&ion is oriented. His action is then causally determined by (4) traditional, that is, determined by ingrained habituation.
the action of others, but not meaningfully. On the other hand, if the 1. Strictly traditional behavior, like the reactive type of imitation
action of others is imitated because i t is fashionable or traditional or discussed above, lies very close to the borderline of what can justifiably
exemplary, or lends social distinction, or on similar grounds, it is mean- be called meaningfully oriented action, and indeed often on the other
ingfully oriented either to the behavior of the source of imitation or of side. For it is very often a matter of almost automatic reaction to habit-
ual stimuli which guide behavior in a course which has been repeat-
third persons or of both. There are of course all manner of transitional edly followed. The great bulk of all everyday action to which people
cases between the two types of imitation. Both the phenomena discussed have become habitually accustomed approaches this type. Hence, its
above, the behavior of crowds and imitation, stand on the indefinite place in a systematic classification is not merely that of a limiting case
borderline of social action. The sayn/e is true, as will often appear, of because,as will be shown later, attachment to habitual forms can be up-
traditionalism and charisma. The reason for the indefiniteness of the held with varying degrees o f self-consciousness and i n a variety o f
senses. I n this case the type may shade over into value rationality
line in these and other cases lies'in the fact that both the orientation to (Wertrationalitat).
the behavior of others and the' meaning which can be imputed by the 2. Purely affectual behavior also stands on the borderline of what
actor himself, are by no means always capable of clear determination and can be considered "meaningfully" oriented, and often it, too, goes over
are often altogether unconscious and seldom fully self-conscious. Mere the line. I t may, for instance, consist in an uncontrolled reaction t o
"influence" and meaningful orientation cannot therefore always be clearly some exceptional stimulus. I t is a case of sublimation when affectually
differentiated on the empirical level. But conceptually it is essential to determined action occurs in the form of conscious release of emotional
tension. When this happens it is usually well on the road to rationali-
distinguish them, even though merely reactive imitation may well have zation in one or the other or both of the above senses.
a degree of sociological importance at least equal to that of the type 3. The Orientation of value-rational action is distinguished from the
which can be called social action in the strict sense. Sociology, it goes affectual type by its clearly self-conscious formulation of the ultimate
without sayingYis by no means confined to the study of social action; values governing the action and the consistently planned orientation of
this is only, ' t least for the kind of sociology being developed here, its its detailed course to these values. At the same time the two types have a
common element, namely that the meaning of the action does not lie in
central su ect matter, that which may be said to be decisive for its status
the achievement of a result ulterior to it, but in carrying out the speci-
as a scie ce. But this does not imply any judgment on the comparative fic type of action for its own sake. Action is affectual i f i t satisfies a
impor nce of this and other factors. need for revenge, sensual gratification, devotion, contemplative bliss, or
for working off emotional tensions (irrespective of the level of sublima-
Examples of pure value-rational orientation would be the actions of
2. Types of Social Action persons who, regardless of possible cost to themselves, act to put into
practice their convictions of what seems to them to be required by duty,
Social action, like all action, may be oriented in four ways. It may be: honor, the pursuit of beauty, a religious call, personal loyalty, or the
(1) instrumentally rational (zweckrational), that is, determined b y importance of some "cause" no matter in what it consists. In our termi-
nology, value-rational action always involves "commands" or "demands"
expectations as to the behavior of objects in the environment and of which, in the actor's opinion, are binding on him. I t is only in cases
other human beings; these expectations are used as "conditions" or where human action is motivated by the fulfillment of such uncondi-
,'means" for the attainment of the actor's own rationally pursued and tional demands that it will be called value-rational. This is the case in
calculated ends; widely varying degrees, but for the most part only to a relatively slight
(2) value-rational (wertrational), that is, determined by a conscious extent. Nevertheless, it will he shown that the occurrence of this mode
of action is important enough to justify its formulation as a distinct type;
•1 BASIC S O C I O L O G I C A L T E R M S [ Ch. / The Concept of Social Relationship
2 7/
though it may be remarked that there is no intention here of attempting en\ o f a probability that there will be a meaningful course of social action
to formulate in any sense an exhaustive classification of types of action. —in c t i v e , for the time being, of the basis for this probability.
4. Action is instrumentally rational (nvecktaticmal) when the end,
the means, and the secondary results are all rationally taken into account 1. Thus; as a defining criterion, i t is essential that there should be
and weighed. This involves rational consideration of alternative means at least a‘minimum of mutual Orientation of the action of each t6 that
to the end, of the relations of the end to the secondary consequences, of the others. Its content may be of the most varied nature: Conflict,
and finally of the relative importance of different possible ends. Deter- hostility, sap] attraction, friendship, loyalty, or economic exchange. It
mination o f action either in affectual or in traditional terms is thus may involve 'the fulfillment, the evasion, or the violation ot. the terms
incompatible with this type. Choice between alternative and conflicting of an agreement; economic, erotic, or some other form of "competition";
ends and results may well be determined in a value-rational manner. common membership in status, national or class groups (provided i t
In that case, action is instrumentally rational only i n respect to the leads to social action). Hence, the definition does not specify whether
the relation of the s'a,ctors is co-operative or the opposite.
choice of means. On the other hand, the actor may, instead of deciding
between alternative and conflicting ends in terms of a rational orienta- 2. The "meaning" relevant in this context is always a case of the
tion to a system of values, simply take them as given subjective wants meaning imputed to the parties in a given concrete case, on the average,
or in a theoretically fOrmulated pure type—it is never a normatively
and arrange them in a scale of consciously assessed relative urgency. He
"correct" or a metaphysically "true" meaning. Even i n cases o f such
may then orient his action to this scale in such a way that they are
forms of social organization as a state, church, association, or marriage,
satisfied as far as possible i n order of urgency, as formulated i n the
the social relationship consists exclusively in the fact that there has ex-
principle o f "marginal utility." Value-rational action may thus have isted, exists, or will exist a probability of action in some definite way
various different relations to the instrumentally rational action. From
appropriate to this meaning. It is vital to be continually clear about this
the latter point of view, however, value-rationality is always irrational.
in order to avoid the "reification" of those concepts. A "state," for ex-
Indeed, the more the value to which action is oriented is elevated to the
ample, ceases to exist in a sociologically relevant sense whenever there
status of an absolute value, the more "irrational" in this sense the corre-
is no longer a probability that certain kinds of meaningfully oriented
sponding action is. For, the more unconditionally the actor devotes him- social action will take place. This probability may be very high or it may
self to this value for its own sake, to pure sentiment or beauty, to abso-
be negligibly low. But in any case it'is only in the sense and degree in
lute goodness or devotion to duty, the less is he influenced by consider- which it does exist that the corresponding social relationship exists. I t is
ations o f the consequences o f his action. T h e orientation o f action Impossible to find any other clear meaning for the statement that, for
wholly to the rational achievement of ends without relation to funda- instance, a given "state" exists or has ceased to exist.
mental values is, to be sure, essentially only a limiting case.
3. The subjective meaning need not necessarily be the same for all
5. I t would be very unusual to find concrete cases of action, espe- the parties who are mutually oriented i n 'a given social relationship;
cially of social action, which were oriented only in one or another of there need not i n this sense be "reciprocity." "Friendship," "love,"
these ways. Furthermore, this classification of the modes of orientation loyalty," "fidelity to contracts," "patriotism," on one side, may well be
of action is in no sense meant to exhaust the possibilities of the field,
faced with an entirely different attitude on the other. In such cases the
but only to formulate in conceptually pure form certain sociologically parties associate different meanings with their actions, and the social
important types to which actual action is more or less closely approxi-
relationship is insofar objectively "asymmetrical" frorn the points of view
mated or, i n much the more common case, which constitute its ele- ci the two parties. I t may nevertheless be a case of 'mutual orientation
ments. The usefulness o f the classification f o r the purposes o f this
Insofar as, even though partly or wholly erroneously, one party pre-
investigation can only be judged in terms of its results.
sumes a particular attitude toward him on the part of the other and
orients his action to this expectation. This can, and usually will, have
consequences for the course of action and the form of the' relationship.
The Concept of Social lielation4 A relationship is objectively symmetrical only as, according to the typi-
"• , cal expectations of the parties, the meaning for one party is the, same as
The term "social relationship"' will be used to denote the behavior of that for the other. Thus the actual attitude of a child to its lather‘may be
a plurality of act9rs,insofar as, in its meaningful content, the action of aleast approximately that which the father, in the individual case, on
the average or typically, has come to expect. A social relationship in
each takes-accdunt of that of the others and is oriented in these terms. which the attitudes are completely and fully corresponding is in reality
I:10. ' a l relationship thus consists entirely and exclusively in the exist- a limiting case. But the absence of reciprocity will, for terminological,.
Vo(L,Q I ) Vo,171-0\1,2
i T h e Basis of Legitimacy 1 2 1 3

interests, or by ideal (wertrationale) motives. The quality, of these mo-

tives largely determines the type of domination. Purely material interests

CHAPTER II I and calculations of advantages as the basis of solidarity between the chief
and his administrative staff result, in this as in other connexions, in a
relatively unstable situation. Normally other elements, affectual and
ideal, supplement such interests. In certain exceptional cases the former
THE TYPES O F L E G I T I M AT E alone may be decisive. In everyday life these relationships, like others,
are governed by custom and material calculation of advantage. But cus-
tom, personal advantage, purely affectual or ideal motives of solidarity,
D O M I N AT I O N do not form a sufficiently reliable basis for a given domination. In addi-
tion there is normally a further element, the belief in legitimacy.
Experience shows that in no instance does domination voluntarily
limit itself to the appeal to material or affectual or ideal motives as a basis
for its continuance. In addition every such system attempts to establish
and to cultivate the belief in its legitimacy. But according to the kind of
legitimacy which is claimed, the type of obedience, the kind of adminis-
trative staff developed to guarantee it, and the mode of exercising author-
ity, will all differ fundamentally. Equally fundamental is the variation in
The Basis o f Legitimacy effect. Hence, it is useful to classify the types of domination according
to the kind of claim to legitimacy typically made by each. In doing this,
it is best to start from modern and therefore more familiar examples.
1. The choice of this rather than some other basis of classification
can only be justified by its results. The fact that certain other typical
criteria of variation are thereby neglected for the time being and can
i. Domination and Legitimacy only be introduced at a later stage is not a decisive difficulty. The legiti-
macy of a system of control has far more than a merely "ideal" signifi-
Domination was defined above (ch. I:16) as the probability that cance, if only because it has very definite relations to the legitimacy of
certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given property.
group of persons. I t thus does not include_ every lirirc;de of- ecising 2. N o t every claim which is protected by custom or law should
"power" or "influence" over other persons: Dominationn("authority")1)1-74e, be spoken of as involving a relation of authority. Otherwise the worker,
in this sense may be based on the most divers °Lives of compliance: ''' in his claim for fulfilment of the wage contract, would be exercising au-
thority over his employer because his claim can, on occasion, be enforced
all the way from simple habituation to the most pure y raTioii-al calcula- by order of a court. Actually his formal status is that of party to a con-
tion of advantage. Hence every genuine form of domination implies tractual relationship with his employer, in which he has certain "rights"
a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on to receive payments. A t the same time the concept of an authority rela-
ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience. tionship (Herrschaftsverhaltnis) naturally does not exclude the possibil-
Not every case of domination makes use of economic means; still less ity that it has originated in a formally free contract. This is true of the
does it always have economic objectives. However, normally the rule authority of the employer over the worker as manifested in the former's
rules and instructions regarding the work process; and also of the author-
over a considerable number of persons requires a staff (cf. ch. I:12),
ity of a feudal lord over a vassal who has freely entered into the relation
that is, a special group which can normally be trusted to execute the of fealty. That subjection to military discipline is formally "involuntary"
general policy as well as the specific commands. The members of the while that to the discipline of the factory is voluntary does not alter the
administrative staff may be bound to obedience to their superior (Or su- fact that the latter is also a case of subjection to authority. The position
periors) by custom, by affectual ties, by a purely material complex of of a bureaucratic official is also entered into by contract and can be
• 2 I 4 T H E T Y P E S O F L E G I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N [ Ch. The Basis of Legitimacy 1 15

freely resigned, and even the status of "subject" can often be freely 4. "Obedience" will be taken to mean that the action of me person
entered into and (in certain circumstances) freely repudiated. Only in obeying follows in essentials such a course that the content of the com-
the limiting case of the slave is formal subjection to authority absolutely mand may be taken to have become the basis of action for its own sake.
involuntary. Furthermore, the fact that it is so taken is referable only to the formal
On the other hand, we shall not speak of formal domination i f a obligation, without regard to the actor's own attitude to the value or lack
monopolistic position permits a person to exert economic power, that is, of value of the content of the command as such.
to dictate the terms of exchange to contractual partners. Taken by itself, 5. Subjectively, the causal sequence may vary, especially as between
this does not constitute authority any more than any other kind of in- "intuition" and "sympathetic agreement." This distinction is not, how-
fluence which is derived from some kind of superiority, as by virtue of ever, significant for the present classification of types of authority.
erotic attractiveness, skill in sport or in discussion. Even i f a big bank is 6. The scope of determination o f social relationships and cultural
in a position to force other banks into a cartel arrangement, this will not phenomena by virtue of domination is considerably broader than appears
alone be sufficient to justify calling i t an authority. But i f there is an at first sight. For instance, the authority exercised in the schools has much
immediate relation of command and obedience such that the manage- to do with the determination of the forms of speech and of written lan-
ment of the first bank can give orders to the others with the claim that guage which are regarded as orthodox. Dialects used as the "chancellery
they shall, and the probability that they will, be obeyed regardless of language" of autocephalous political units, hence of their rulers, have often
particular content, and if their carrying out is supervised, i t is another become orthodox forms of speech and writing and have even led to the
matter. Naturally, here as everywhere the transitions are gradual; there formation o f separate "nations" (for instance, the separation o f Hol-
are all sorts of intermediate steps between mere indebtedness and debt land from Germany). The rule by parents and the school, however,
slavery. Even the position of a "salon" can come very close to the border- extends far beyond the determination of such cultural patterns, which
line of authoritarian domination and yet not necessarily constitute "au- are perhaps only apparently formal, to the formation of the young, and
thority." Sharp differentiation in concrete fact is often impossible, but hence of human beings generally.
this makes clarity in the analytical distinctions all the more important. 7. The fact that the chief and his administrative staff often appear
3. Naturally, the legitimacy of a system of domination may be treated formally as servants or agents of those they rule, naturally does nothing
sociologically only as the probability that to a relevant degree the appro- whatever to disprove the quality of dominance. There will be occasion
priate attitudes will exist, and the corresponding practical conduct ensue. later to speak of the substantive features of so-called "democracy." But a
It is by no means true that every case of submissiveness to persons in certain minimum of assured power to issue commands, thus of domina-
positions of power is primarily (or even at all) oriented to this belief. tion, must be provided for in nearly every conceivable case.
Loyalty may be hypocritically simulated b y individuals or by whole
groups on purely opportunistic grounds, or carried Out in practice for
reasons of material self-interest. Or people may submit from individual
weakness and helplessness because there is no acceptable alternative. 2. The Three Pure Types of Authority
But these considerations are not decisive for the classification of types of
domination. What is important is the fact that in a given case the partic-
There are three pure types of legitimate domination. The validity
ular claim to legitimacy is to a significant degree and according to its of the claims to legitimacy may be based on:
type treated as "valid"; that this fact confirms the position of the persons I. Rational grounds—resting on a belief in the legality of enacted
claiming authority and that it helps to determine the choice of means of rules and the right of those elevated to authority under such rules to issue
its exercise. commands (legal authority).
Furthermore, a system of domination may—as often occurs in practice 2. Traditional grounds—resting on an established belief in the sanc-
—be so completely protected, on the one hand by the obvious commu- tity of immemorial traditions and the legitimacy of those exercising
nity of interests between the chief and his administrative staff (body- authority under them (traditional authority); or finally,
guards, Pretorians, "red" or "white" guards) as opposed to the subjects, on 3. Charismatic grounds—resting on devotion to the exceptional
the other hand by the helplessness of the latter, that it can afford to drop
sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of
even the pretense of a claim to legitimacy. But even then the mode of
legitimation of the relation between chief and his staff may vary widely
the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him (charismatic
according to the type of basis of the relation of the authority between authority).
them, and, as will be shown, this variation is highly significant for the In the case of legal authority, obedience is owed to the legally estab-
structure of domination. lished impersonal order. It extends to the persons exercising the authority
• 2 6 4 . 1 0 T H E T Y P E S o r , L E C I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N C h .
ii) L e g a l Authority W i t h a Bureaucratic S t a i l l 2 1 7
of office r it by virtue of the formal legality of their commands and
only within the scope of authority of the office. In the case of traditional
authority, obedience is owed to the person of the chief who occupies the
traditionally sanctioned position of authority and who is (within its
sphere) bound by tradition. But here the obligation of obedience is a Legal Authority W i t h a Bureaucratic
matter of personal loyalty within the area of accustomed obligations. In
the case of charismatic authority, it is the charismatically qualified leader Administrative Staff
assuch who is obeyed by virtue of personal trust in his revelation, his
heroism or his exemplary qualities so far as they fall within the scope of
the individual's belief in his charisma. Note: The specifically modern type of administration has intentionally
I. The usefulness of the above classification can only be judged by been taken as a point of departure in order to make it possible later to
contrast the others with it.
its results in promoting systematic analysis. The concept of "charisma"
("the gift of grace") is taken from the vocabulary of early Christianity.
For the Christian hierocracy Rudolf Sohm, in his Kirchenrecht, was the
first to clarify the substance of the concept, even though he did not use 3. Legal Authority: The Pure Type
the same terminology. Others (for instance, Holl in Enthusiasinus und
Bussgewalt) have clarified certain important consequences of it. It is Legal authority rests on the acceptance of the validity of the follow-
thus nothing new.
2. The fact that none of these three ideal types, the elucidation of ing mutually inter-dependent ideas.
which will occupy the following pages, is usually to be found in his- i. That any given legal norm may be established by agreement or by
torical cases in "pure" form, is naturally not a valid objection to attempt- imposition, on grounds of evediency or value-rationalit o r both, with
ing their conceptual formulation in the sharpest possible form. In this aclaim to obedience at least on the part o t e mem ers of the organi-
respect the present case is no different from many others. Later on (sec. zation. This is, however, usually extended to include all persons within
r ff.) the transformation of pure charisma by the process of routiniza- the sphere of power in question—which in the case of territorial bodies
tion will be discussed and thereby the relevance of the concept to the is the territorial area—who stand in certain social relationships or carry
understanding of empirical systems of authority considerably increased.
But even so it may be said of every historical phenomenon of authority out forms of social action which in the order governing the organization
that it is not likely to be "as an open book." Analysis in terms of socio- have been declared to be relevant.
logical types has, after all, as compared with purely empirical historical 2. That every body of law consists essentially in a consistent system
investigation, certain advantages which should not be minimized. That of abstract rules which have normally been intentionally established.
is, it can in the particular case of a concrete form of authority determine Furthermore, administration of law is held to consist in the application
what conforms to or approximates such types as "charisma," "hereditary of these rules to particular cases; the administrative process in the rational
charisma," "the charisma of office," "patriarchy," "bureaucracy," the au-
thority of status groups, and in doing so it can work with relatively un-
pursuit of the interests which are specified in the order governing the
ambiguous concepts. But the idea that the whole of concrete historical organization within the limits laid down by legal precepts and following
reality can be exhausted in the conceptual scheme about to be developed principles which are capable of generalized formulation and are approved
is as far from the author's thoughts as anything could be. in the order governing the group, or at least not disapproved in it.
3. That thus the typical person in authority, the "superior," is him-
self subject to an impersonal order by orienting his actions to it in his
own dispositions and commands. (This is true not only for persons exer-
cising legal authority who are in the usual sense "officials," but, for
instance, for the elected president of a state.)
4. That the person who obeys authority does so, as it is usually
stated, only in his capacity as a "member" of the organization and what
heobeys is only "the law." (I le may in this connection be the member
2 1 8 [ Ch.
THE T Y P E S O F L E G I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N Legal Authority With a Bureaucratic Staff 2 1 9

of an association, of a community, of a church, or a citizen of a state.) ship of the means of production or administration. Officials, employees,
5. In conformity with point 3, it is held that the members of the and workers attached to the administrative staff do not themselves own
organization, insofar as they obey a person in authority, do not owe this the non-human means of production and administration. These are
obedience to him as an individual, but to the impersonal order. Hence, it rather provided for their use, in kind or in money, and the official is
follows that there is an obligation to obedience only within the sphere obligated to render an accounting of their use. There exists, furthermore,
of the rationally delimited jurisdiction which, in terms of the order, has in principle complete separation of the organization's property (respec-
been given to him. tively, capital), and the personal property (household) of the official.
The following may thus be said to be the fundamental categories of There is a corresponding separation of the place in which official func-
rational legal authority: tions are carried out—the "office" in the sense of premises—from the living
(1) A continuous rule-bound conduct of official business. quarters.
(2) A specified sphere of competence (jurisdiction). This involves: (6) In the rational type case, there is also a complete absence of
(a) A sphere of obligations to perform functions which has been marked appropriation of his official position by the incumbent. 'Where "rights" to
off as part of a systematic division of labor. (b) The provision of the an office exist, as in the case of judges, and recently of an increasing
incumbent with the necessary powers. (c) That the necessary means of proportion of officials and even of workers, they do not normally serve
compulsion are clearly defined and their use is subject to definite condi- the purpose of appropriation by the official, but of securing the purely
tions. A unit exercising authority which is organized in this way will be objective and independent character of the conduct of the office so that
called an "administrative organ" or "agency" (Behorde). it is oriented only to the relevant norms.
There are administrative organs in this sense in large-scale private (7) Administrative acts, decisions, and rules are formulated and
enterprises, in parties and armies, as well as in the state and the church. recorded in writing, even in cases where oral discussion is the rule or is
An elected president, a cabinet of ministers, or a body of elected "Peo- even mandatory. This applies at least to preliminary discussions and
ple's Representatives" also in this sense constitute administrative organs. proposals, to final decisions, and to all sorts of orders and rules. The
This is not, however, the place to discuss these concepts. Not every combination of written documents and a continuous operation by
administrative organ is provided with compulsory powers. But this dis- officials constitutes the "office" (Bureau)' which is the central focus
tinction is not important for present purposes.
of all types of modern organized action.
(3) The organization of offices follows the principle of hierarchy; (8) Legal authority can be exercised in a wide variety of different
that is, each lower office is under the control and supervision of a forms which will be distinguished and discussed later. The following
higher one. There is a right of appeal and of statement of grievances from ideal-typical analysis will be deliberately confined for the time being to
the lower to the higher. Hierarchies differ in respect to whether and in the administrative staff that is most unambiguously a structure of domi-
what cases complaints can lead to a "correct" ruling from a higher nation: "officialdom" or "bureaucracy."
authority itself, or whether the responsibility for such changes is left to the
lower office, the conduct of which was the subject of the complaint. In the above outline no mention has been made of the kind of head
appropriate to a system of legal authority. This is a consequence of cer-
(4) The rules which regulate the conduct of an office may be techni-
tain considerations which can only be made entirely understandable at
cal rules or norms.' In both cases, if their application is to be fully ra- alater stage in the analysis. There are very important types of rational
tional, specialized training is necessary. It is thus normally true that only domination which, with respect to the ultimate source of authority, be-
aperson who has demonstrated an adequate technical training is qualified long to other categories. This is true of the hereditary charismatic type,
to be a member of the administrative staff of such an organized group, asillustrated by hereditary monarchy, and of the pure charismatic type
and hence only such persons are eligible for appointment to official of a president chosen by a plebiscite. Other cases involve rational ele-
positions. The administrative staff of a rational organization thus typically ments at important points, but are made up of a combination of bureau-
consists of "officials," whether the organization be devoted to political, cratic and charismatic components, as is true of the cabinet form of
hierocratic, economic—in particular, capitalistic—or other ends. government. Still others are subject to the authority of the chiefs of other
(5) In the rational type it is a matter of principle that the members organizations, whether their character be charismatic or bureaucratic;
thus the formal head of a government department under a parliamentary
of the achnipistrative staff should be completely separated from owner-
2 2 O. A . 1 1 1 k u r t T Y P E S O P L E G I T I M A T E D O M I N A T I O N Cis.
Legal Authority With a Bureaucratic Staff 22 I
regime 1.c a minister who occupies his position because of his au-
thority in a party. The type of rational, legal administrative staff is cap- (9) The official works entirely separated from ownership of the
able of application in all kinds of situations and contexts. It is the most means of administration and without appropriation of Isis position.
important mechanism for the administration of everyday affairs. For in (so) H e is subject to strict and systematic discipline and control in
that sphere, the exercise of authority consists precisely in administration. the conduct of the office.
I O f • This type of organization is in principle applicable with equal facility
to a wide variety of different fields. It may be applied in profit-making
4. Legal Authority: The Pure Type (Continued business or in charitable organizations, or in any number of other types
of private enterprises serving ideal or material ends. I t is equally appli-
The purest type of exercise of legal authority is that which employs cable to political and to Isierocratic organizations. W i t h the varying
a bureaucratic administrative staff. Only the supreme chief of the organi- degrees of approximation to a pure type, its historical existence can be
zation occupies his position of dominance (Hen-enstellung) by virtue demonstrated in all these fields.
of appropriation, of election, or of having been designated for the suc-
1. For example, bureaucracy is found in private clinics, as well as in
cession. But even his authority consists in a sphere of legal "competence.", endowed hospitals or the hospitals maintained by religious orders. Bu-
The whole administrative staff under the supreme authority then eon-, reaucratic organization is well illustrated by the administrative role of
sists, in the purest type, of individual officials (constituting a "mono- the priesthood (Kaplanokratie) in the modern [Catholic] church, which
cracy" as opposed to the "collegial" type, which will be discussed below), has expropriated almost all of the old church benefices, which were i n
who are appointed and function according to the following criteria: former days to a large extent subject to private appropriation. I t is also
illustrated by the notion o f a [Papal] universal episcopate, which is
(1) They are personally free and subject to authority only with thought of as formally constituting a universal legal competence in reli-
respect to their impersonal official obligations. ,
gious matters. Similarly, the doctrine of Papal infallibility is thought of
(2) They are organized in a clearly defined hierarchy of offices. as in fact involving a universal competence, but only one which func-
(3) Each office has a clearly defined sphere of competence in the tions "ex cathedra" in the sphere of the office, thus implying the typical
• distinction between the sphere of office and that of the private affairs of
legal sense.
the incumbent. The same phenomena are found in the large-scale capi-
(4) The office is filled by a free contractual relationship. Thus, in talistic enterprise; and the larger it is, the greater their role. And this is
principle, there is free selection. not less true of political parties, which will be discussed separately. Fin-
(5) Candidates are selected on the basis of technical qualifications.' ally, the modern army is essentially a bureaucratic organization adminis-
In the most rational case, this is tested by examination or guaranteed by tered by that peculiar type of military functionary, the "officer."
diplomas certifying technical training, or both. They are appointed, not 2. Bureaucratic authority is carried out in its purest form where it is
elected. most clearly dominated by the principle of appointment. There is no
such thing as a hierarchical organization of elected officials. In the first
(6) They are remunerated by fixed salaries in money, for the most place, it is impossible to attain a stringency of discipline even approach-
part with a right to pensions. Only under certain circumstances does the ing that in the appointed type, since the subordinate official can stand
employing authority, especially in private organizations, have a right to on his own election and since his prospects are not dependent on the
terminate the appointment, but the official is always free to resign. The superior's judgment. (On elected officials, see below, sec. 4 . )
salary scale is graded according to rank in the hierarchy; but in addition • 3 . Appointment by free contract, which makes free selection possible,
to this criterion, the responsibility of the position and the requirements Is essential to modern bureaucracy. Where there is a hierarchical organi-
zation with impersonal spheres of competence, but occupied by unfree
of the incumbent's social status may be taken into account (cf. ch. IV). •'officials—like slaves or ininisteriales, who, however, function i n a for-
(7) The office is treated as the sole, or at least the primary, occup •-•4
:gt• mally bureaucratic manner—tlie term "patrimonial bureaucracy" will be


tion of the incumbent. •used.

(8) I t constitutes a career. There is a system of "promotion" accord- .• •• 4 . The role of technical qualifications in bureaucratic organizations
ing to seniority or to achievement, or both. Promotion is dependent on Is continually increasing. Even an official i n a party or a trade-union
the judgment of superiors.
• organization is in need o f specialized knowledge, though i t is usually
developed by experience rather than by formal training. In the modern
4 •2 2, .4 T H E [ Ch. III
TYPES O P L E G I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N • 41•e•-•,./d
e g a lo Authority
Z 4 L With
, Ja Bureaucratic
4 j Ailm y
Staff 2 2- 5
.4*.ira t f l• a, 6- _C-J

efficiencj ; e to be achieved, it would mean a tremendous increase in whether in a socialistic system it would be possible to proviL Jnditions
the importance of professional bureaucrats. for carrying out as stringent a bureaucratic organization as has been
When those subject to bureaucratic control seek to escape the in- possible in a capitalistic order. For socialism would, in fact, require a still
fluence of the existing bureaucratic apparatus, this is normally possible higher degree of formal bureaucratization than capitalism. If this should
only by creating an organization of their own which is equally subject •• .* prove not to be possible, it would demonstrate the existence of another
to bureaucratization. Similarly the existing bureaucratic apparatus is of those fundamental elements of irrationality—A conflict between
driven to continue functioning by the most powerful interests which are b.rmal and Aubstantive A i Va l l t Y l r i h e sort which sociology so often
material and objective, but also ideal in character. Without it, a society. encounters. s ()tow— /--svd4r4-we
like our own—with its separation of officials, employees, and workers ssk-sku Bureaucratic administration means Fundamentally domination through
from ownership of the means of administration, and its dependence on knowledge. This is the feature of it which makes it specifically rational.
discipline and on technical training—could no longer function. The only :qcpc:_e This consists on the one hand in technical knowledge which, by itself, is
exception would be those groups, such as the peasantry, who are still in 'z sufficient to ensure it a position of extraordinary power. But in addition
possession of their own means of subsistence. Even in the case of revolu- to this, bureaucratic organizations, or the holders of power who make use
tion by force or of occupation by an enemy, the bureaucratic machinery • o f them, have the tendency to increase their power still further by the
will normally continue to function just as it has for the previous legal knowledge growing out of experience in the service. For they acquire
government. through the conduct of office a special knowledge of facts and have
The question is always who controls the existing bureaucratic ma- available a store of documentary material peculiar to themselves. While
chinery. And such control is possible only in a very limited degree to not peculiar to bureaucratic organizations, the concept of "official secrets"
persons who are not technical specialists. Generally speaking, the highest- is certainly typical of them. It stands in relation to technical knowledge
ranking career official is more likely to get his way in the long run than in somewhat the same position as commercial secrets do to technological
his nominal superior, the cabinet minister, who is not a specialist. • t r a i n i n g . It is a product of the striving for power.
Though by no means alone, the capitalistic system has undeniably Superior to bureaucracy in the knowledge of techniques and facts is
played a major role in the development of bureaucracy. Indeed, without only the capitalist entrepreneur, within his own sphere of interest. He is
it capitalistic production could not continue and any rational type of the only type who has been able to maintain at least relative immunity
socialism would have simply to take it over and increase its importance. from subjection to the control of rational bureaucratic knowledge. In
Its development, largely under capitalistic auspices, has created an urgent large-scale organizations, all others are inevitably subject to bureaucratic
need for stable, strict, intensive, and calculable administration. It is this control, just as they have fallen under the dominance of precision
need which is so fateful to any kind of large-scale administration. Only machinery in the mass production of goods.
by reversion in every field—political, religious, economic, etc.—to small- In general, bureaucratic domination has the following
_ social conse-
scale organization would it be possible to any considerable extent to 132s-Lces:
escape its influence. On the one hand, capitalism in its modern stages
(1) The tendency to "levelling" in the interest of the broadest pos-
of development requires the bureaucracy, though both have arisen from
different historical sources. Conversely, capitalism is the most rational sible basis of recruitment in terms of technical competence.
economic basis for bureaucratic administration and enables it to develop (2) The tendency to plutocracy growing out of the interest in the
in the most rational form, especially because, from a fiscal point of view, greatest possible length of technical training. Today this often lasts up
it supplies the necessary money resources. to the age of thirty.
Along with these fiscal conditions of efficient bureaucratic administra- (3) The dominance of a spirit of formalistic impersonality: "Sine
tion, there are certain extremely important conditions in the fields of ira et studio," without hatred or passion, and hence without affection
communication and transportation. The precision of its functioning re- or enthusiasm. The dominant norms are concepts of straightforward duty
quires the services of the railway, the telegraph, and the telephone, and without regard to personal considerations. Everyone is subject to formal
becomes increasingly dependent on them. A socialistic form of organiza- equality of treatment; that is, everyone in the same empirical situation.
tion would not alter this fact. It would be a question (cf. ch. II, sec. 12) This is the spirit in which the ideal official conducts his office.
2 2 6 T H E TYPES O P L E G I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N [ Ch. III

The development of bureaucracy greatly favors the levelling of status,
and this can be shown historically to be the normal tendency. Con- Unless otherwise indicated, all notes are by Parsons.
versely, every process of social levelling creates a favorable situation for s. Weber put Autoritat in quotation marks and parentheses behind Herr-
the development of bureaucracy by eliminating the office-holder who =haft, referring to an alternative colloquial term, but the sentence makes it clear
that this does not yet specify the basis of compliance. However, the chapter is
rules by virtue of status privileges and the appropriation of the means devoted to a typology' of legitimate domination, which will alternatively be trans-
and powers of administration; in the interests of "equality," it also elimi- lated as authority. V e chapter begins with a reformulation of ch. X in Part Two,
nates those who can hold office on an honorary basis or as an avocation
by virtue of their wealth. Everywhere bureaucratization foreshadows
massdemocracy, which will be discussed in another connection.
The "spirit" of rational bureaucracy has normally the following
general characteristics;
(1) Formalism, which is promoted by all the interests which are con-
3 0 0 T H E T Y P E S O F L E G I T I M AT E D O M I N AT I O N
cerned with the security of their own personal situation, whatever this
may consist in. Otherwise the door would be open to arbitrariness and and then presents a concise classification of the more descriptive exposition in
hence formalism is the line of least resistance. chs. XI—XVI. (R)
(z) There is another tendency, which is apparently, and in part 2. Weber does not explain this distinction. By a "technical rule" he prob-
ably means a prescribed course of action which is dictated primarily on grounds
genuinely, in contradiction to the above. It is the tendency of officials touchinF efficiency of the performance of the immediate functions, while by
to treat their official function from what is substantively a utilitarian "norms' he probably means rules which limit conduct on grounds other than
point of view in the interest of the welfare of those under their authority. those of efficiency. Of course, in one sense all rules are norms in that they are
But this utilitarian tendency is generally expressed in the enactment of prescriptions for conduct, conformity with which is problematical.
3. I t has seemed necessary to use the EnFlish word "office" in threedifferent
corresponding regulatory measures which themselves have a formal meanings, which are distinguished in Weber a discussion by at least two terms.
character and tend to be treated in a formalistic spirit. (This will be The first is Ana, which means "office" in the sense of the institutionally defined
further discussed in the Sociology of Law). This tendency to substantive status of a person. The second is the "work premises," as in the expression "he
rationality is supported by all those subject to authority who are not spent the afternoon in his office." For this Weber uses Bureau as also for the
third meaning which he has just defined, the "organized work process of a
included in the group mentioned above as interested in the protection group." I n this last sense an office is a particular type o f "enterprise," or
of advantages already secured. The problems which open up at this point Betrieb in Weber's sense. This use is established in English in such expressions
belong in the theory of "democracy." as "the District Attorney's Office has such and such functions." Which of the
tehxretemeanings is involved in a given case will generally be clear from the con-
t ] C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Modern Bureaucracy
1 9 57
The principles of office hierarchy and o f channels of appeal
(Instanzenzug) stipulate a clearly established system of super- and sub-
ordination in which there is a supervision of the lower offices by the
CHAPTER X I higher ones. Such a system offers the governed the possibility of appeal-
ing, in a precisely regulated manner, the decision of a lower office to
the corresponding superior authority. With the full development of the
BUREAUCRACY bureaucratic type, the office hierarchy is ntonocraticaBy organized. The
principle of hierarchical office authority is found in all bureaucratic
structures: in state and ecclesiastical structures as well as in large party
organizations and private enterprises. I t does not matter for the char-
acter of bureaucracy whether its authority is called "private" or "public."
When the principle of jurisdictional "competency" is fully carried
through, hierarchical subordination—at least in public office—does not
mean that the "higher" authority is authorized simply to take over the
x. Characteristics of Modern Bureaucracy busines o f the "lower." Indeed, the opposite is the rule; once an office
Modern officialdom functions in the following manner: has been set up, a new incumbent will always be appointed i f a
I. There is the principle of official jurisdictional areas, which are vacancy occurs.
generally ordered by rules, that is, by laws or administrative regulations. III. :Tlie management of the modern office is based upon written
This means: documetnts (the "files"), which are preserved in their original or draft
(1) The regular activities required for the purposecof the bureau- form, and upon a staff of subaltern officials and scribes of all sorts. The
cratically governed structure are assigned as official duties. body of officials working in an agency along with the respective ap-
(z) The authority to give the commands required for the discharge paratus of material implements and the files makes up a bureau (in
of these duties is distributed in a stable way and is strictly delimited by private enterprises often called the "counting house," Kontor).
rules concerning the coercive means, physical, sacerdotal, or otherwise, In principle, the modern organization of the civil service separates
which may be placed at the disposal of officials. the bureau from the private domicile of the official and, in general,
(3) Methodical provision is made for the regular and continuous segregates official activity from the sphere of private life. Public monies
fulfillment of these duties and for the exercise of the corresponding and equipment are divorced from the private property of the official.
rights; only persons who qualify under general rules are employed. 'This condition is everywhere the product of a long development. Nowa-
In the sphere of the state these three elements constitute a bureau- days, it is found in public as well as in private enterprises; in the latter,
cratic agency, in the sphere of the private economy they constitute a the principle extends even to the entrepreneur at the top. In princi-
bureaucratic enterprise. Bureaucracy, thus understood, is fully developed ple, the Kontor (office) is separated from the household, business from
in political and ecclesiastical communities only in the modern state, and private correspondence, and business assets from private wealth. The
in the private economy only in the most advanced institutions of capital- more consistently the modern type of business management has been
ism. Permanent agencies, with fixed jurisdiction, are not the historical carried through, the more are these separations the case. The beginnings
rule but rather the exception. This is even true of large political struc- of this process are to be found as early as the Middle Ages.
tures such as those of the ancient Orient, the Germanic and Mongolian It is the peculiarity of the modern entrepreneur that he conducts
empires of conquest, and of many feudal states. In all these cases, the himself as the "first official" of his enterprise, in the very same way
ruler executes the most important measures through personal trustees, in which the ruler of a specifically modern bureaucratic state [Frederick
table-companions, or court-servants. Their commissions and powers are II of Prussia} spoke of himself as "the first servant" of the state. The
not precisely delimited and are temporarily called into being for each idea that the bureau activities of the state are intrinsically different in
case. character from the management of private offices is a continental Euro-
9 5 8 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X /
21 T h e Position of the Official 9 59
pean notion and, by way of contrast, is totally foreign to the American prescribed special examinations as prerequisites of employment. Further-
way. more, it finds expression in that the position of the official is in the
IV. Office management, at least all specialized office management nature of a "duty" (Pllicht). This determines the character of his rela-
—and such management is distinctly modem—usually presupposes tions in the following manner: Legally and actually, office holding is
thorough training in a field of specialization. This, too, holds increasingly not considered ownership of a source of income, to be exploited for
for the modern executive and employee of a private enterprise, just as it rents or emoluments in exchange for the rendering of certain services,
does for the state officials. as was normally the case during the Middle Ages and frequently up
V. When the office is fully developed, official activity demands the to the threshold of recent times, nor is office holding considered a
full working capacity of the official, irrespective of the fact that the common exchange of services, as in the case of free employment con-
length of his obligatory working hours in the bureau may be limited. tracts. Rather, entrance into an office, including one i n the private
In the normal case, this too is only the product of a long development, economy, is considered an acceptance of a specific duty of fealty to the
in the public as well as in the private office. Formerly the normal state purpose of the office (Amtstreue) in return for the grant of a secure
of affairs was the reverse: Official business was discharged as a secondary existence. It is decisive for the modern loyalty to an office that, in the
activity. pure type, i t does not establish a relationship to a person, like the
VI. The management of the office follows general rules, which are vassal's ol- disciple's faith under feudal or patrimonial authority, but
more or less stable, more or less exhaustive, and which can be learned. rather is devoted to impersonal and functional purposes. These pur-
Knowledge of these rules represents a special technical expertise which poses, o f course, frequently gain an ideological halo from cultural
the officials possess. I t involves jurisprudence, administrative or busi- values, arch as state, church, community, party or enterprise, which
ness management. appear ai surrogates for a this-worldly or other-worldly personal mas-
The reduction of modern office management to rules is deeply ter anti which are embodied by a given group.
embedded in its very nature. The theory of modern public administra- The political official—at least in the fully developed modern state
tion, for instance, assumes that the authority to order certain matters by —is not considered the personal servant of a ruler. Likewise, the bishop,
decree—which has been legally granted to an agency—does not entitle the priest and the preacher are in fact no longer, as in early Christian
the agency to regulate the matter by individual commands given for times, carriers of a purely personal charisma, which offers other-worldly
each case, but only to regulate the matter abstractly. This stands in sacred values under the personal mandate of a master, and in principle
extreme contrast to the regulation of all relationships through individual responsible only to him, to everybody who appears worthy of them and
privileges and bestowals of favor, which, as we shall see, is absolutely asks for them. In spite of the partial survival of the old theory, they
dominant in patrirnonialism, at least in so far as such relationships are have become officials in the service of a functional purpose, a purpose
not fixed by sacred tradition. which in the present-day "church" appears at once impersonalized and
ideologically sanctified.

2. The Position of the Official Within and Outside of THE SOCIAL POSITION O F T H E OFFICIAL
A. S O C I A L E S T E E M A N D S TAT U S C O N V E N T I O N . W h e t h e r h e i s i n a
All this results in the following for the internal and external posi- private office or a public bureau, the modern official, too, always strives
tion of the official: for and usually attains a distinctly elevated social esteem vis-a-vis the
governed. His social position is protected by prescription about rank
order and, for the political official, by special prohibitions of the crimi-
nal code against "insults to are office" and "contempt" of state and
That the office is a "vocation" (Beruf) finds expression, first, in the church authorities.
requirement of a prescribed course of training, which demands the The social position of the official is normally highest where, as in
entire working capacity for a long period of time, and in generally old civilized countries, the following conditions prevail: a strong de-
9 6 o B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I 2) T h e Position of the Official 961
mand for administration by trained experts; a strong and stable social purely functional points of consideration and qualities will determine
differentiation, where the official predominantly comes from socially his selection and career. As laymen, the governed can evalute the
and economically privileged strata because of the social distribution expert qualifications of a candidate for office only in terms of experi-
of power or the costliness of the required training and of status con- ence, and hence only after his service. Moreover, i f political parties
ventions. The possession of educational certificates or patents—discussed are involved in any sort of selection of officials by election, they quite
below (sec. 13 A)—is usually linked with qualification for office; naturally, naturally tend to give decisive weight not to technical competence but
Ellis enhances the "status element" in the social position of the official. to the services a follower renders to the party boss. This holds for the
Sometimes the status factor is explicitly acknowledged; for example, designation of otherwise freely elected officials by party bosses when
in the prescription that the acceptance of an aspirant to an office career they determine the slate of candidates as well as for the free appoint-
depends upon the consent ("election") by the members of the official ment of officials by a chief who has himself been elected. The contrast,
body. This is the case in the officer corps of the German army. Similar however, is relative: substantially similar conditions hold where legiti-
phenomena, which promote a guild-like closure of officialdom, are mate monarchs and their subordinates appoint officials, except that
typically found in the patrimonial and, particularly, in prebendal official- partisan influences are then less controllable.
dom of the past. The desire to resurrect such policies in changed forms Where the demand for administration by trained experts is con-
is by no means infrequent among modern bureaucrats; it played a role, siderable, and the party faithful have to take into account an intel-
for instance, in the demands of the largely proletarianized [zemstvo-] lectually developed, educated, and free "public opinion," the use of
officials (the tretii element) during the Russian revolution [of 1905]. unqualified officials redounds upon the party in power at the next elec-
Usually the social esteem of the officials is especially low where the tion. Naturally, this is more likely to happen when the officials are
demand for expert administration and the hold of status conventions appointed by the chief. The demand for a trained administration now
are weak. This is often the case in new settlements by virtue of the exists in the United States, but wherever, as in the large cities, immi-
great economic opportunities and the great instability of their social grant votes are "corralled," there is, of course, no effective public
stratification: witness the United States. - opinion. Therefore, popular election not only of the administrative
B. A P P O I N T M E N T V E R S U S E L E C T I O N : C O N S E Q U E N C E S F O R EX-
chief but also of his subordinate officials usually endangers, at least in
PERTISE. Typically, the bureaucratic official is appointed by a superior very large administrative bodies which are difficult to supervise, the
authority. An official elected by the governed is no longer a purely expert qualification of the officials as well as die precise functioning
bureaucratic figure. Of course, a formal election may hide an appoint- of the bureaucratic mechanism, besides weakening the dependence of
ment—in politics especially by party bosses. This does not depend upon
the officials upon the hierarchy. The superior qualification and integrity
legal statutes, but upon the way in which the party mechanism func-
of Federal judges appointed by the president, as over and against
tions. Once firmly organized, the parties can turn a formally; free elec-
tion into the mere acclamation of a candidate designated by the party elected judges, in the United States is well known, although both types
chief, or at least into a contest, conducted according to certain rules, of officials are selected primarily in terms of party considerations. The
for the election of one of two designated candidates. great changes in American metropolitan administrations demanded by
In all circumstances, the designation of officials by means of an reformers have been effected essentially by elected mayors working
election modifies the rigidity of hierarchical subordination. In princi- with an apparatus of officials who were appointed by them. These
ple, an official who is elected has an autonomous position vis-a-vis his reforms have thus come about in a "caesarist" fashion. Viewed tech-
superiors, for he does not derive his position "from above" but "from nically, as an organized form of domination, the efficiency of "caesar-
below," or at least not from a superior authority of the official hier- ism," which often grows out of democracy, rests in general upon the
archy but from powerful party men ("bosses"), who also determine position of the "caesar" as a free trustee of the masses (of the army
his further career. The career of the elected official is not primarily or of the citizenry), who is unfettered by tradition. The "caesar" is
dependent upon his chief in the administration. The official who is thus the unrestrained master of a body of highly qualified military
not elected, but appointed by a master, normally functions, from a officers and officials whom he selects freely and personally without
technical point of view, more accurately because it is more likely that regard to tradition or to any other impediments. Such "rule of the per-
9 6 2 B U R E A U C R A C Y X I The Position of the Official 9 63
sonal genius,- however, stands in conflict with the formally "demo- rather than upon the socially inferior governed strata, makes for the
cratic" principle of a generally elected officialdom. • fact that officialdom on the whole does not "suffer" much under its
G. T E N U R E A N D T H E I N V E R S E R E L A T I O N S H I P B E T W E E N J U D I d l A t dependency from the "higher-up." The present conservative movement
INDEPENDENCE A N D S O C I A L P R E S T I G E . N o r m a l l y , t h e p o s i t i o n o f t h e among the Baden clergy, occasioned by the anxiety of a threatening
official is held for life, at least in public bureaucracies, and this is in separation of church and state, was admittedly determined by the desire
creasingly the case for all similar structures. As a factual rule, tenure for not to be turned "from a master into a servant of the parish."
life is presupposed even where notice can be given or periodic reap- D. R A N K A S T H E B A S I S O P R E G U L A R S A L A R Y. T h e o f f i c i a l a s a
pointment occurs. I n a private enterprise, the fact of such tenure rule receives a monetary compensation in the form of a salary, normally
normally differentiates the official from the worker. Such legal or actual fixed, and the old age security provided by a pension. The salary is not
life-tenure, however, is not viewed asa proprietary right of the official to the measured like a wage in terms of work done, but according to "status,"
possession of office as was the case in many structures of authority of the that is, according to the kind of function (the "rank") and, possibly,
past. Wherever legal guarantees against discretionary dismissal or trans- according to the length of service. The relatively great security of the
fer are developed, as in Germany for all judicial and increasingly also official's income, as well as the rewards of social esteem, make the
for administrative officials, they merely serve the purpose of guarantee- office a sought-after position, especially in countries which no longer
ing a strictly impersonal discharge of specific office duties. provide opportunities for colonial profits. In such countries, this situa-
Within the bureaucracy. therefore, the measure of "independence" tion permits relatively low salaries for officials.
legally guaranteed in this manner by tenure is not always a source • E . P I K E D C A R E E R L I N E S A N D S T A T U S R I G I D I T Y. T h e o f f i c i a l i s s e t
of increased status for the official whose position is thus secured. In- for a "career" within the hierarchical order of the public service. He
deed, often the reverse holds, especially in communities with an old expects to move from the lower, less important and less well paid, to
culture and a high degree of differentiation. For the subordination the higher positions. The average official naturally desires a mechanical
under the arbitrary rule of the master also guarantees the maintenance fixing of the conditions of promotion: i f not of the offices, at least of
of the conventional seigneurial style of living for the official, and it does the salary levels. He wants these conditions fixed in terms of "seniority,"
this the better, the stricter it is. Therefore the conventional esteem for or possibly according to grades achieved in a system of examinations.
the official may rise precisely because of the absence of such legal Here and there, such grades actually form a character indelebilis of the
guarantees, in the same way as, during the Middle Ages, the esteem official and have lifelong effects on his career. To this is joined the de-
of the ministeriales rose at the expense of the freeman and that of the sire to reinforce the right to office and to increase status group closure
king's judge at the expense of the folk judge. In Germany, the mili- and economic security. All of this makes for a tendency to consider
tary officer or the administrative official can be removed from office at the offices as "prebends" of those qualified by educational certificates.
any time, or at least far more readily than the "independent" judge, The necessity of weighing general personal and intellectual qualifications
who never pays with loss of his office for even the grossest offense without concern for the often subaltern character of such patents of
against the "code of honor" or against the conventions of the salon. For specialized education, has brought it about that the highest political
this very reason the judge is, if other things are equal, considered less
offices, especially the "ministerial" positions, are as a rule filled without
socially acceptable by "high society" than are officers and administrative
reference to such certificates.
officials whose greater dependence on the master is a better guarantee
for the conformity of their life style with status conventions. Of course,
the average official strives for a civil-service law which in addition to
materially securing his old age would also provide increased guarantees 3: Monetary and Financial Presuppositions of
against his arbitrary removal from office. This striving, however, has Bureaucracy
its limits. A very strong development of the "right to the office" naturally
makes it more difficult to staff offices with an eye to technical efficiency The development of the money economy is a presupposition of a
and decreases the career opportunities of ambitious candidates. This, modern bureaucracy insofar as the compensation of officials today takes
as well as the preference of officials to be dependent upon their equals the form of money salaries. The money economy is of very great impor-
9 6 4' B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I 3 1 E c o n o m i c Presuppositions of Bureaucracy 9 6 5

Lance for the whole bearing of bureaucracy, yet by itself i t is by no or by transferring the use of profitable lands of the lord to the official,
means decisive for the existence of bureaucracy. is close at hand, and every central authority which is not tightly organ-
Historical examples of relatively clearly developed and quantita- ized is tempted to take this course, either voluntarily or because the
tively large bureaucracies are: (a) Egypt, during the period of the New officials compel it to do so. The official may satisfy himself with the use
Kingdom, although with strong patrimonial elements; ( b ) the later of these resources up to the level of his salary claim and then hand
Roman Principate, and especially the Diocletian monarchy and the over the surplus. But this solution contains strong temptations and
Byzantine polity which developed out of it; these, too, contained strong therefore usually yields results unsatisfactory to the lord. Hence the
feudal and patrimonial admixtures; (c) the Roman Catholic Church, alternative process involves fixing the official's monetary obligations.
increasingly so since the end of the thirteenth century; (d) China, from This often occurred in the early history of German officialdom, and it
the time of Shi Hwangti until the present, but with strong patrimonial happened on the largest scale in all Eastern satrap administrations: the
and prebendal elements; (e) in ever purer forms, the modern European official hands over a stipulated amount and retains the surplus.
states and, increasingly, all public bodies since the time of princely
absolutism; ( f ) the large modern capitalist enterprise, proportional to
its size and complexity. EXCURSUS O N TA X - F A R M I N G

To a very great extent or predominantly, cases (a) to (d) rested upon such cases the official is economically in a position rather si a r
compensation of the officials in kind. They nevertheless displayed many to tha of the entrepreneurial tax-farmer. Indeed, office-farming, d u d -
of the traits and effects characteristic of bureaucracy. The historical ing eve the leasing of office to the highest bidder, is regular found.
model of all later bureaucracies—the New Kingdom in Egypt—is at the In the pri te economy, the transformation of the ECarolin an] mano-
same time one of the most grandiose examples of an organized natural rial or villica o structure into a system of tenancy relat ns is one of
economy. This coincidence of bureaucracy and natural economy is the most impo nt among numerous examples. By nancy arrange-
understandable only in view of the quite unique conditions that existed ments the lord ca transfer the trouble of transfo n g his income-in-
in Egypt, for the reservations—they are quite considerable—which one kind into money-inc e to the office-farmer or to e official who must
must make in classifying these structures as bureaucracies are based render a fixed sum. Thi seems to have been the ase with some Oriental
precisely on the prevalence of a natural economy. A certain measure governors in Antiquity. d above all, the r m i n g out of public tax
of a developed money economy is the normal precondition at least for collection in lieu of the lor own mana e n t of tax-gathering served
the unchanged survival, if not for the establishment, of pure bureau- this purpose. One consequenc sthe p sibility of the advance, so very
cratic administrations. important in the history of pubh fi noes, towards regular budgeting:
According to historical experience, without a money economy the A firm estimate of revenues, and respondingly of expenditures, can
bureaucratic structure can hardly avoid undergoing substantial internal take the place of the hand-to-m ng from the immediate but un-
changes, or indeed transformation into another structure. The allocation predictable inflows which is so typica f all early stages of public
of fixed income in kind from the magazines of the lord or from his finances. On the other h , however, t control and full exploita-
current intake—which has been the rule in Egypt and China for mil- Lion of the fiscal resou s for the lord's ow use is surrendered and
lennia and played an important part in the later Roman monarchy as perhaps, depending on the measure of freedo l e f t to the official or
well as elsewhere—easily means a first step toward appropriation of the office- or tax-f mer, the long-run yield capacir even endangered
the sources of taxation by the official and their exploitation as private by ruthless expl tation, since a capitalist will not ha e the same long-
property. Income in kind has protected the official against the often
run interest preservation of the subjects' ability to pa s the political
sharp fluctuations in the purchasing power of money. But whenever the
lord's power subsides, payments in kind, which are based on taxes in
kind, tend to become irregular. In this case, the official will have direct The ord seeks to safeguard himself against this loss of n t r o l by
recourse to the tributaries of his bailiwick, whether or not he is author- regul ons. The mode of tax-farming or the transfer of taxes ate thus
ized. The idea of protecting the official against such oscillations by var widely; depending upon the distribution of power betweA the
mortgaging or transferring the levies and therewith the power to tax, d and the farmer, the latter's interest in the full exploitation of'11,
96 8
1 BUREAUCRACY [ Ch. X I 3 E c o n o m i c Presuppositions of Bureauct 969
torture. In China, similar results have been sought by the prodigio a certain development of administrative tasks, both quantitative and
use f the bamboo as a disciplinary instrument. The chances, ho Cr, qualitative.
for su direct means of coercion to function with steadines are ex-
tremely u vorable. According to experience, the relative timum for
the success an aintenance of a rigorous mechanizatio of the bureau-
ffered by an assured salary co ted with the op- 4. The Quantitative Development of Administrative
cratic apparatus
portunity of a caree at is not dependent u mere accident and Tasks
arbitrariness. Taut discip eand control w at the same time have
The first such basis of bureaucratization has been the quantitative
consideration for the officia ense of or, and the development. of extension of administrative tasks. In politics, the big state and the mass
prestige sentiments of the status swell as the possibility of public party are the classic field of bureaucratization.
criticism, also work in the sam tion. With all this, the bureau
cratic apparatus functions eassure than does legal enslavement
of the functionaries. A s ng status sentim t among officials not only E X C U R S U S O N T H E D E C R E E O F B U R E A U C R AT I Z AT I O N I N H I S T O R I C A L
is compatible with t official's readiness to su rdinate himself to his E M P I R E F O R M AT I O N S
superior without y will of his own, but—as in case with the of-
ficer—status uments are the compensatory cons ence of such Our statement is not meant to imply that every historically known
subordina , serving to maintain the official's self-respec The purely and genuine formation of big states has brought about a bureaucratic
impers al character of the office, with its separation of t private administration. For one, the secular survival of an existing great state
spl from that of the official activities, facilitates the official's ra- or the homogeneity of a culture borne by it has not always been tied
on into the given functional conditions of the disciplined mechanis to a bureaucratic structure. Both o f these linkages, however, occur
to a great extent in the Chinese empire, to give an example. The nu-
merous large African kingdoms, and similar formations, have had an
D. S U M M A R Y
ephemeral existence primarily because they have lacked an apparatus
of officials. The Carolingian empire disintegrated when its administra-
Even though the full development of a money economy is thus not tive organization fell apart, which, however, was predominantly patri-
an indispensable precondition for bureaucratization, bureaucracy as a monial rather than bureaucratic. On the other hand, the empire of 'the
permanent structure is knit to the one presupposition of the availability Caliphs and its predecessors on Asiatic soil have lasted for considerable
of continuous revenues to maintain it. Where such income cannot be periods of time, and their administrative organization was essentially
derived from private profits, as it is in the bureaucratic organization of patrimonial and prebendal. The same is true of the [German medieval]
modern enterprises, or from land rents, as in the manor, a stable system Holy Roman Empire, in spite of the almost complete absence of
of taxation is the precondition for the permanent existence of bureau- bureaucracy. All these realms have represented a cultural unity of at
cratic administration. For well-known general reasons only a fully least approximately the same strength as is usually created by bureau-
developed money economy offers a secure basis for such a taxation system. cratic polities. By contrast, the ancient Roman Empire disintegrated
Hence the degree of administrative bureaucratization has in urban com- internally in spite of increasing bureaucratization, or rather precisely
munities with fully developed money economies not infrequently been during its introduction, because the mode of allocation of public bur-
relatively greater than in the contemppraneous and much larger terri- dens, which was associated with it, favored a natural economy. But it
torial states. As soon, however, as these states have been able to develop should be noted that from the point of view of their purely political
orderly systems of taxation, bureaucracy has there developed far more unity and its degree of intensity, the cohesiveness of the first-named
comprehensively than in the city states where, whenever their size re- formations was essentially unstable and nominal, of the nature of a
mained confined to moderate limits, the tendency for a plutocratic and conglomerate, with a steadily diminishing capacity for political action.
collegial administration by notables has corresponded most adequately to Their relatively great cultural unity flowed in part from ecclesiastic
the requirements. For the basis of bureaucratization has always been structures that were strongly unified and, in the Occidental Middle
4] Q u a n t i t a t i v e Changes of Administrative 1-4 9 71
Ages, increasingly bureaucratic in character; the cultural unity also acontinental empire. For the rest, the strictly military character of the
resulted from the far-going homogeneity of their social structures, which magistrates' powers—a characteristic of the Roman polity unknown to
in turn was the after-effect and transformation of their former political any other people—made up for the lack of a bureaucratic apparatus with
unity. Both are phenomena of the traditional stereotyping of culture its technical efficiency, its precision and unity of administrative func-
which favors survival of unstable equilibria. Both factors proved. so tions, especially outside the city limits. The continuity of administration
strong a foundation that even grandiose expansionary attempts, such was safeguarded by the unique position of the Senate. In Rome, as in
as the Crusades, could be undertaken in spite of the lack of political England, one presupposition for this dispensability of bureaucracy, which
unity; they were, one might say, performed as "private undertakings." should not be forgotten, was that the state authorities increasingly
The failure of the Crusades and their often irrational political course, "minimized" the scope of their functions at home, restricting them to
however, is associated with the absence of a unified state power to back what was absolutely demanded for direct "reasons of state."
them up. And there is no doubt that tile nuclei of intensive, "modern" In the continental states, however, power at the beginning of the
state formation i n the Middle Ages developed concomitantly with modern period as a rule accumulated in the hands of those princes who
bureaucratic structures, and that in the end the bureaucratically most most relentlessly took the course of administrative bureaucratization. It
advanced states shattered the conglomerates which rested essentially is obvious that technically the large modern state is absolutely dependent
upon unstable equilibria. upon a bureaucratic basis. The larger the state, and the more it is a
The disintegration of the ancient Roman Empire was partly condi- great power, the more unconditionally is this the case.
tioned by the very bureaucratization of its army and official apparatus. The United States still bears the character of a polity which, at
This bureaucratization could be realized only by putting into effect at least in the technical sense, is not fully bureaucratized. But the greater
the same time a method of distribution of public burdens which was the zones of friction with the outside and the more urgent the needs
bound to lead to an increase in the relative importance of the natural for administrative unity at home become, the more this character is
economy. Individual factors o f this sort always enter the picture. inevitably and gradually giving way formally to the bureaucratic struc-
Furthermore, we cannot assume a direct relationship between bureau-
ture. Moreover, the partly unbureaucratic form of the state structure of
cratization and the intensity of the state's external (expansionary) and
the United States is materially balanced by the more strictly bureau-
internal (cultural) influence. Certainly a direct proportionality between
cratic structures of those formations which, in truth, dominate politically,
the degree of bureaucratization and the state's expansionary force can
namely, the parties under the leadership of "professionals" or experts in
only be stated as the "normal," but not as the inevitable rule. For two of
the most expansive political formations, the Roman empire and the organization and election tactics. The increasingly bureaucratic organi-
British world empire, rested upon bureaucratic foundations only to the zation of all genuine mass parties offers the most striking example of the
smallest extent during their most expansive periods. The Norman role of sheer quantity as a leverage for the bureaucratization of a social
state in England introduced a taut organization on the basis of the feudal structure; i n Germany, above all the Social Democratic party, and
hierarchy. It is true that to a large extent it received its unity and its push abroad both of the American parties are prime examples.
through the bureaucratization of the royal exchequer which, in com-
parison to other political structures of the feudal period, was extremely
advanced. The fact that later on the English state did not participate in 5. Qualitative Changes of Administrative Tasks: The
the Continental development towards bureaucratization, but remained Impact of Cultural, Economic and Technological
an administration of notables, can be attributed—just like parallels in Developments
the republican administration of Rome—to the relative absence of a
continental geography, as well as to some unique preconditions which at Bureaucratization is stimulated more strongly, however, by intensive
the present time are disappearing. The dispensability of the large stand- and qualitative expansion of the administrative tasks than by their exten-
ing armies, which a continental state with equally expansive tendencies sive and quantitative increase. But the direction bureaucratization takes,
requires for its land frontiers, is among these special preconditions. In and the reasons that occasion it, can vary widely. In Egypt, the oldest coun-
Rome, bureaucratization advanced with the transition from a coastal to try of bureaucratic state administration, it was die technical necessity of a
9 7 2 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I Qualitative Changes of Administrative %. - s 9 73
public regulation of the water economy for the whole country and from motives. Of course, these tasks are to a large extent economically de-
the top which created the apparatus of scribes and officials; very early termined.
it found its second realm of operation in the extraordinary, militarily or- Among essentially technical factors, the specifically modern means
ganized construction activities. In most cases, as mentioned before, the of communication enter the picture as pacemakers of bureaucratization.
bureaucratic tendency has been promoted by needs arising from the In part, public roads and water-ways, railroads, the telegraph, etc., can
creation of standing armies, determined by power politics, and from only be administered publicly; in part, such administration is technically
the related development of public finances. But in the modern state, the expedient. In this respect, the contemporary means of communication
increasing demands for administration also rest on the increasing com- frequently play a role similar to that of the canals of Mesopotamia and
plexity of civilization. the regulation of the Nile in the ancient Orient. A certain degree of
Great power expansions, especially overseas, have, of course, been development of the means of communication in turn is one of the most
managed by states ruled by notables (Rome, England, Venice). Yet important prerequisites for the possibility of bureaucratic administration,
the "intensity" of the administration, that is, the assumption of as many though it alone is not decisive. Certainly in Egypt bureaucratic centraliza-
tasks as possible by the state apparatus for continuous management and tion could, against the backdrop of an almost purely "natural" econ-
discharge in its own establishment was only slightly developed in the omy, never have reached the degree of perfection which it did without
great states ruled by notables, especially in Rome and England, by com- the natural route of the Nile. In order to promote bureaucratic cen-
parison with the bureaucratic polities; this will become evident in the tralization in modern Persia, the telegraph officials were officially com-
appropriate context. To be sure, the structure of state power has in- missioned with reporting to the -Shah, over the heads of die local au-
fluenced culture very strongly both in England and in Rome. But it has thorities, all occurrences in the provinces; in addition, everyone received
done so to a very small extent in the form of management and control the right to remonstrate directly by telegraph. The modern Occidental
by the state. This holds from justice to education. The growing demands state can be administered the way it actually is only because the state
on culture, in turn, are determined, though to a varying extent, by the controls the telegraph network and has the mails and railroads at its
growing wealth of the most influential strata in the state. To this extent disposal. (These means of communication, in turn, are intimately con-
increasing bureaucratization is a function of the increasing possession of nected with the development of an inter-local traffic of mass goods,
consumption goods, and of an increasingly sophisticated technique of which therefore is one of the causal factors in the formation of the
fashioning external life—a technique which corresponds to,the oppor- modern state. As we have already seen, this does not hold uncondi-
tunities provided by such wealth. This reacts upon the standArd of living tionally for the past.)
and makes for an increasing subjective indispensability of public, inter-
local, and thus bureaucratic, provision for the most varied wants which
previously were either unknown or were satisfied locally or by the private
6. The Technical Superiority of Bureaucratic Organiza-
Among purely political factors, the increasing demand of a society tion over Administration by Notables
accustomed to absolute pacification for order and protection ("police") in -The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization
all fields exerts an especially persevering influence in the direction of has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of
bureaucratization. A direct road leads from mere modifications of the
organization. The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with
blood feud, sacerdotally or by means of arbitration, to the present posi-
•other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical,
tion of the policeman as the "representative of God on earth." The
former means still placed the guarantees for the individual's rights and modes of production. Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of the
security squarely upon the members of his sib who were obligated to files, continuity,liscretion,-unity, strict subordinationi reduction of fric-
assist him with oath and vengeance. Other factors operating in the tion and of material and,personal costs—these are raised to the optimum /
direction of bureaucratization are the manifold tasks of social welfare point in the strictly bureaucratic administration, and especially in its]
policies which are either saddled upon the modern state by interest monocratic form. As compared with all collegiate, honorific, and avoca-
groups or which the state usurps for reasons of power or for ideological tional forms of administration, trained bureaucracy is superior on all
9 7 4 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I 6 ] T e c h n i c a l Superiority of Bureaucracy 9 75
these points. And as far as complicated tasks are concerned, paid bureau- certain definite impediments for the discharge of business in a manner
cratic work is not only more precise but, in the last analysis, it is often best adapted to the individuality of each case does not belong into the
cheaper than even formally unremunerated honorific service. present context.)
Honorific arrangements make administrative work a subsidiary ac- Bureaucratization offers above all the optimum possibility for carry-
tivity: an avocation and, for this reason alone, honorific service normally ing through the principle of specializing administrative functions ac-
functions more slowly. Being less bound to schemata and more formless, cording to purely objective considerations. Individual performances are
it is less precise and less unified than bureaucratic administration, also allocated to functionaries who have specialized training and who by
because it is less dependent upon superiors. Because the establishment constant practice increase their expertise. "Objective" discharge of busi-
and exploitation of the apparatus of subordinate officials and clerical ness primarily means a discharge of business according to calculable
services are almost unavoidably less economical, honorific service is less rules and "without regard for persons."
continuous than bureaucratic and frequently quite expensive. This is "Without regard for persons," however, is also the watchword of the
especially the case if one thinks not only of the money costs to the public market and, in general, of all pursuits of naked economic interests. Con-
treasury—costs which bureaucratic administration, in comparison with sistent bureaucratic domination means the leveling of "status honor."
administration by notables, usually increases—but also of the frequent Hence, if the principle of the free market is not at the same time re-
economic losses of the governed caused by delays and lack of precision. stricted, it means the universal domination of the "class situation." That
Permanent administration by notables is normally feasible only where this consequence of bureaucratic domination has not set in everywhere
official business can be satisfactorily transacted as an avocation. With proportional to the extent of bureaucratization is due to the differences
the qualitative increase of tasks the administration has to face, admini- between possible principles by which polities may supply their re-
stration by notables reaches its limits—today even in England. Work quirements. However, the second element mentioned, calculable rules,
organized by collegiate bodies, on the other hand, causes friction and is the most important one for modern bureaucracy. The peculiarity of
delay and requires compromises between colliding interests and views. modern culture, and specifically of its technical and economic basis, de-
The administration, therefore, runs less precisely and is more independ- • mands this very "calculability" of results. When fully developed, bu-
ent of superiors; hence, it is less unified and slower. All advances of reaucracy also stands, in a specific sense, under the principle of sine
the Prussian administrative organization, for example, have been and ira ac studio. Bureaucracy develops the more perfectly, the more it is
will in the future be advances of the bureaucratic, and especially of "dehumanized," the more completely it succeeds in eliminating from
the monocratic, principle. official business love, hatred, and all purely personal, irrationid, and emo-
Today, it is primarily the capitalist market economy which demands tional elements which escape calculation. This is appraised as its special
that the official business of public administration be discharged pre- virtue by capitalism.
cisely, unambiguously, continuously, and with as much speed as possi- The more complicated and specialized modern culture becomes, the
ble. Normally, the very large modern capitalist enterprises are them- more its external supporting apparatus demands the personally detached
selves unequalled models of strict bureaucratic organization. Business and strictly objective expert, in lieu of the lord of older social structures
management throughout rests on increasing precision, steadiness, and, who was moved by personal sympathy and favor, by grace and gratitude.
above all, speed of operations. This, in turn, is determined by the Bureaucracy offers the attitudes demanded by the external apparatus of
peculiar nature of the modern means of communication, including, modern culture in the most favorable combination. In particular, only
among other things, the news service of the press. The extraordinary bureaucracy has established the foundation for the administration of a
increase in the speed by which public announcements, as well as eco- rational law conceptually systematized on the basis of "statutes," such as
nomic and political facts, are transmitted exerts a steady and sharp the later Roman Empire first created with a high degree of technical
pressure in the direction of speeding up the tempo of administrative perfection. During the Middle Ages, the reception of this fRoman]
reaction towards various situations. The optimum of such reaction time law coincided with the bureaucratization of legal administration: The
is normally attained only by a strictly bureaucratic organization. (The advance of the rationally trained expert displaced the old trial procedure
fact that the bureaucratic apparatus also can, and indeed does, create which was bound to tradition or to irrational presuppositions.
9 8 0 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X / 71 C o n c e n t r a t i o n of the Means of Administration 9 81
race" of the old patrimonial domination. If, however, an "ethos>" citizenry of ancient cities, the militias of early medieval cities, and all
not speak of other impulses—takes hold of the masses on some,indi- feudal armies; for these, the self-equipment and the self-provisioning of
vidual uestion, its postulates of substantive justice, oriented/ward those obliged to fight was normal. War in our time is a war of machines,
some con te instance and person, will unavoidably collide/with the and this makes centralized provisioning technically necessary, just as
formalism an the rule-bound and cool "matter-of-fact7se of bureau- the dominance of the machine in industry promotes the concentration
cratic administra n. Emotions must in that case reject what reason of the means of production and management. In the main, however,
demands. the bureaucratic armies of the past, equipped and provisioned by the
The propertyless sesespecially are no served by the formal lord, came into being when social and economic development had
"equality before the law nd the "calculab e" adjudication and ad- diminished, absolutely or relatively, the stratum of citizens who were
ministration demanded by bo eois in!ye6sts. Naturally, in their eyes economically able to equip themselves, so that their number was no
justice and administration shou ery(to equalize their economic and longer sufficient for putting the required armies in the field. A relative
social life-opportunities in the fac he propertied classes. Justice and decline of these strata sufficed: relative, that is, with respect to the scope
administration can fulfill this nction ly if they assume a character of the -power claim of the polity. Only the bureaucratic army structure
that is informal because El tical" with re ect to substantive content allows for the development of the professional standing armies which
(Kadi-justice). Not only/any sort of "popula ustice"—which usually are necessary for the constant pacification of large territories as \veil as
does not ask for reas 4and norms—but also any itensive influence on for warfare against distant enemies, especially enemies overseas. Further,
the administrati b y so-called public opinion"t1 at is, concerted military discipline and technical military training can normally be fully
action born o rrational "sentiments" and usually stage \or, directed by developed, at least to its modern high level, only in the bureaucratic army.
party boss or the press—thwarts the rational course of j t i h e just as Historically, the bureaucratization of the army has everywhere oc-
strong! and under certain circumstances far more so, as lit "star curred along with the shifting of army service from the shoulders of the
cha )er" proceedings (Kabinettsjustiz) of absolute rulers used b e propertied to those of the propertyless. Until this transfer occurs, mili-
eto do. tary service is an honorific privilege of propertied men. Such a transfer
wasmade to the native-born unpropertied, for instance, in the armies of
the Roman generals of the late Republic and of the Empire, as well as
in modern armies up to the nineteenth century. The burden of service
7. The Concentration of the Means of Administration has also been transferred to impecunious strangers, as in the mercenary
armies of all ages. This process typically goes hand in hand with the
The bureaucratic structure goes hand in hand with the concentra- general increase in material and intellectual culture. In addition, with
tion of the material means of management in the hands of the master. increasing population density, and hence growing intensity and strain
This concentration occurs, for instance, in a well-known and typical of economic work, the acquisitive strata become increasingly unavailable
fashion in the development of big capitalist enterprises, which find their for purposes of war. Leaving aside periods of strong ideological fervor,
essential characteristics in this process. A corresponding process occurs the propertied strata with sophisticated and especially with urban culture
in public organizations. as a rule are little fitted and also little inclined to do the coarse war
work of the common soldier. Other circumstances being equal, the
propertied strata of the countryside tend to be better qualified and
more strongly inclined to become professional officers. This difference
between the urban and the rural propertied is equalized only where the
The bureaucratically led army of the Pharaohs, the army of the increasing possibility of mechanized warfare requires the leaders to
later period of the Roman republic and of the Principate, and, above all, qualify as "technicians."
the army of the modern military state are characterized by the fact that The bureaucratization of organized warfare may be carried through
their equipment and provisions are supplied from the magazines of the in the form of private capitalist enterprises, just like any other business.
lord. 'This is in contrast to the levies of agricultural tribes, the armed Indeed, the procurement of armies and their administration by private
9 8 2 B U R E A U C R A C Y [Ch. Xi 7 C o n c e n t r a t i o n of time Means of Administrati 983
capitalists has peen the rule in mercenary armies, especially those of the the economy of public administration as for the large centralized capi-
Occident up to the turn of the eighteenth century. In Brandenburg talist enterprise.
during the Thirty Years' War, the soldier was still the predominant In the field of scientific research and instruction, the bureaucratiza-
owner of the material implements o f his business. H e owned his tion of the inevitable research institutes of the universities is also a
weapons, horses, and clothing, although the state, in the role, as it were, function of the increasing demand for material means of operation.
of the merchant of the putting-out system, did already purvey them. Liebig's laboratory at Giessen University was the first example of big
Later on, in the Prussian standing army, the chief of the company enterprise in this field. Through the concentration of such means in
owned the material means of warfare, and only since the peace of Tilsit the hands of the privileged head of the institute the mass of researchers
in 18071 has the concentration of the means of warfare in the hands and instructors are separated from their "means of production," in the
of the state definitely come about. Only with this concentration was the same way as the workers are separated from theirs by the capitalist
introduction of uniforms generally carried through. Previously, the enterprises.
introduction of uniforms had been left largely to the discretion of the
regimental chief, with the exception of certain units upon whom the
king had "bestowed" uniforms (first, in 161o, on the royal Garde du
Corps, then repeatedly under Frederick II).
8. The Leveling of Social Differences
Such terms as "regiment" and "battalion" usually had quite different In spite of its indubitable technical superiority, bureaucracy has
meanings in the eighteenth century as against today. Only the "bat- everywhere been a relatively late development. A number of obstacles
talion" was a tactical battle unit (as today both are), while the have contributed to this, and only under certain social and political
"regiment" was an economic management unit created by the entre- conditions have they definitely receded into the background.
preneurial position of the colonel. Semiofficial sea-war ventures (like
the Genoese inaone) and army procurement belong to private capital-
A. A D M I N I S T R A T I V E D E M O C R A T I Z A T I O N
ism's first giant enterprises with a largely bureaucratic character. Their
"nationalization" in this respect has its modern parallel in the nationali- Bureaucratic organization has usually come into power on the basis
zation of the railroads, which have been controlled by the state from of a leveling of economic and social differences. This leveling has been
their beginnings. at least relative, and has concerned the significance of social and eco-
nomic differences for the assumption of administrative functions.
Bureaucracy inevitably accompanies modern mass democracy, in con-
trast to the democratic self-government of small homogeneous units.
This results from its characteristic principle: the abstract regularity of
In this same way as with army organizations, the bureaucratization the exercise of authority, which is a result of the demand for "equality
of administration in other spheres goes hand in hand with the con- before the law" in the personal and functional sense—hence, of tile
centration of resources. The ancient administrations through satraps and horror of "privilege," and the principled rejection of doing business
viceroys, just like those through office farmers, office buyers and, most "from case to case." Such regularity also follows from the social pre-
of all, through feudal vassals, all decentralize the means of operation: conditions of its origin. Any non-bureaucratic administration of a large
Local requirements, including the cost of the army and of the lower social structure rests in some way upon the fact that existing social,
officialdom, are as a rule paid first from the local revenues, and only the material, or honorific preferences and ranks are connected with ad-
surplus reaches the central treasury. Time enfeoffed official meets ex- ministrative functions and duties. This usually means that an economic
penses entirely out of his own pocket. The bureaucratic state, by con- or a social exploitation of position, which every sort of administrative
trast, puts its entire administrative expense on the budget and provides activity provides to its bearers, is the compensation for the assumption of
the lower authorities with the current means of expenditure, the use of administrative functions.
which time state regulates and controls. This has the same meaning for Bureaucratization and democratization within the administration of
BUREAUCRACY [ C h . XI 8] T h e Levelling of Social Differences 9 85
the state therefore signify an increase of the cash expenditures of the be misleading. The demos itself, in the sense of a shapeless mass, never
public treasury, in spite of the fact that bureaucratic administration is "governs" larger associations, but rather is governed. What changes is
usually more "economical" in character than other forms. Until recent only the way in which the executive leaders are selected and the
times—at least from the point of view of the treasury—the cheapest way measure of influence which the demos, or better, which social circles
of satisfying the need for administration was to leave almost the entire from its midst are able to exert upon the content and the direction of
local administration and lower judicature to the landlords of Eastern administrative activities by means of "public opinion." "Democratiza-
Prussia. The same is true of the administration by justices of the peace tion," in the sense here intended, does not necessarily mean an increas-
in England. Mass democracy which makes a clean sweep of the feudal, ingly active share of the subjects in government. This may be a result of
patrimonial, and—at least in intent—the plutocratic privileges in ad- democratization, but it is not necessarily the case.
ministration unavoidably has to put paid professional labor in place of - W e must expressly recall at this point that the political concept of
the historically inherited "avocationar' administration by notables. democracy, deduced from the "equal rights" of the governed, includes
these further postulates: (1) prevention of the development of a closed
status group of officials in the interest of a universal accessibility of
B. M A S S PA R T I E S A N D T H E B U R E A U C R AT I C C O N S E Q U E N C E S O F office, and (2) minimization of the authority of officialdom in the in-
D E M O C R AT I Z AT I O N terest of expanding the sphere of influence of "public opinion" as far as
This applies not only to he state. For it is no accident that in their practicable. Hence, wherever possible, political democracy strives to
own organizations the democratic mass parties have completely broken shorten the term of office through election and recall, and to be relieved
with traditional rule by notables based upon personal relationships and from a limitation • to candidates with special expert qualifications.
personal esteem. Such personal structures still persist among many old Thereby democracy inevitably comes into conflict with the bureaucratic
conservative as well as old liberal parties, but democratic mass parties tendencies which have been produced by its very fight against the
are bureaucratically organized under the leadership of party officials, notables. The loose term "democratization" cannot be used here, in so
professional party and trade union secretaries, etc. In Germany, for far as it is understood to mean the minimization of the civil servants'
instance, this has happened in the Social Democratic party and in the power in favor of the greatest possible "direct" rule of the demos, which
agrarian mass-movement; in England earliest in the caucus democracy in practice means the respective party leaders of the demos. The de-
of Gladstone and Chamberlain which spread from Birmingham in the cisive aspect here—indeed it is rather exclusively so—is the leveling of
1870's. In the United States, both parties since Jackson's administration the governed in face of the governing and bureaucratically articulated
have developed bureaucratically. In France, however, attempts to or- group, which in its turn may occupy a quite autocratic position, both in
ganize disciplined political parties on the basis of an election system that fact and in form.
would compel bureaucratic organization have repeatedly failed. The
resistance of local circles of notables against the otherwise unavoidable
bureaucratization of the parties, which would encompass the entire
9. The Objective and Subjective Bases of Bureaucratic
Perpetuity ?wi
country and break their influence, could not be overcome. Every ad- Once fully established, bureaucracy is among those social structures
vance of simple election techniques based on numbers alone as, for which are tl_lelardest to_aestroy. Bureaucracy is the means of transform-
instance, the system of proportional representation, means a strict and ing social action into rationally organized action. Therefore, as an instru-
inter-local bureaucratic organization of the parties and therewith an in- ment of rationally organizing authority relations, bureaucracy was and
creasing domination of party bureaucracy and discipline, as well as the is a power instrument of the first order for one who controls the bureau-
elimination of the local circles of notables—at least this holds for large cratic apparatus. Under otherwise equal conditions, rationally organized
states. and directed action (Gesellschaftshandeln) is superior to every kind of
The progress of bureaucratization within the state administration collective behavior (Massenhandeln) and also social action (Gentein-
itself is a phenomenon paralleling the development of democracy, as is schaftshandeln) opposing it. Where administration has been completely
quite obvious in France, North America, and now in England. O f bureaucratized, the resulting system of domination is practically in-
course, one must always remember that the term "democratization" can
The individual bureaucrat cannot squirm out of the apparatus into
9 8 8 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I
9] B a s e s of Bureaucratic Perpetuity
1 989

which he has been harnessed. In contrast to the "notable" performing after the enemy has occupied the territory; be merely needs to change
administrative tasks as a honorific duty or as a subsidiary occupation the top officials. It continues to operate because it is to the vital inter-
(avocation), the professional bureaucrat is chained to his activity in his est of everyone concerned, including above all the enemy. After Bis-
entire economic and ideological existence. In the great majority of cases marck had, during the long course of his years in power, brought his
he is only a small cog in a ceaselessly moving mechanism which pre- • ministerial colleagues into unconditional bureaucratic dependence by
scribes to him an essentially fixed route of march. The official is en- eliminating all independent statesmen, he saw to his surprise that upon
trusted with specialized tasks, and normally the mechanism cannot be his resignation they continued to administer their offices unconcernedly
put into motion or arrested by him, but only from the very top. The and undismayedly, as if it had not been the ingenious lord and very
individual bureaucrat is, above all, forged to the common interest of all creatclr of these tools who had left, but merely some individual figure in
the functionaries in the perpetuation of the apparatus and the per- the bureaucratic machine which had been exchanged for some other
sistence of its rationally organized domination. figure. In spite of all the changes of masters in France since the time of
The ruled, for their part, cannot dispense with or replace the the First Empire, the power apparatus remained essentially the same.
bureaucratic apparatus once it exists, for it rests upon expert training, Such an apparatus makes "revolution," in the sense of the forceful
a functional specialization of work, and an attitude set On habitual creation of entirely new formations of authority, more and more im-
virtuosity in the mastery of single yet methodically integrated functions. possible—technically, because of its control over the modern means of
If the apparatus stops working, or if its work is interrupted by force, communication (telegraph etc.), and also because of its increasingly
chaos results, which it is difficult to master by improvised replacements rationalized inner structure. The place of "revolutions" is under this
from among the governed. This holds for public administration as well process taken by coups cretat, as again France demonstrates in the
as for private economic management. Increasingly the material fate of classical manner since all successful transformations there have been of
the masses depends upon the continuous and correct functioning of this nature.
the ever more bureaucratic organizations of private capitalism, and the
idea of eliminating them becomes more and more utopian.
Increasingly, all order in public and private organizations is depend- o. The Indeterminate Economic Consequences of
ent on the system of files and the discipline of officialdom, that means,
its habit of painstaking obedience within its wonted sphere of action.
The latter is the more decisive element, however important in practice It is clear that the bureaucratic organization of a social structure,
the files are. The naive idea of Bakuninism of destroying the basis of and especially of a political one, can and regularly does have far-
"acquired rights" together with "domination" by destroying the public reaching economic consequences. But what sort of consequences? Of
documents overlooks that the settled orientation of man for observing course, in any individual case it depends upon the distribution of eco-
the accustomed rules and regulations will survive independently of the nomic and social power, and especially upon the sphere that is occupied
documents. Every reorganization of defeated or scattered army units, as by the emerging bureaucratic mechanism. The consequences of bureauc-
well as every restoration of an administrative order destroyed by revolts, racy depend therefore upon the direction which the powers using the
panics, or other catastrophes, is effected by an appeal to this conditioned apparatus give to it. Very frequently a crypto-plutocratic distribution of
orientation, bred both in the officials and in the subjects, of obedient power has been the result.
adjustment to such [social and political.] orders. If the appeal is success- In England, but especially in the United States, party donors regu-
ful it brings, as it were, the disturbed mechanism to "snap into gear" larly stand behind the bureaucratic party organizations. They have
again. financed these parties and have been able to influence them to a large
The objective indispensability of the once-existing apparatus, in con-
extent. The breweries in England, and in Germany the so-called "heavy
nection with its peculiarly "impersonal" character, means that the
mechanism—in contrast to the feudal order based upon personal loyalty industry" and the Hansa League' with their election funds are well
—is easily made to work for anybody who knows how to gain control enough known in this respect. In political and especially in state forma-
over it. A rationally ordered officialdom continues to function smoothly tions, too, bureaucratization and social leveling with the associated
9 9 0 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ C h . XI ix I T h e Power Position of the Bureaucracy • 9 91
breaking up or me opposing local and feudal privileges have in modern possible one. After all, bureaucracy has merely the [limited] striving to
times frequently benefitted the interests of capitalism or have been car- level those powers that stand in its way in those concrete areas that, in
ried out in direct alliance with capitalist interests; witness the great the individual case, it seeks to occupy. We must remember the fact
historical alliance of the absolute princes with capitalist interests. In which we have encountered several times and which we shall have to
general, a legal leveling and destruction of firmly established local struc- discuss repeatedly: that "democracy" as such is opposed to the "rule" of
tures ruled by notables has usually benefitted the scope of capitalist bureaucracy, in spite and perhaps because of its unavoidable yet un-
activity. But, on the other hand, there is also an effect of bureaucratiza- intended promotion o f bureaucratization. Under certain •conditions,
tion that meets the petty-bourgeois interest in a safe traditional "living," democracy creates palpable breaks in the bureauratic pattern and impedi-
or even a state-socialist effect that strangulates opportunities for private ments to bureaucratic organization. Hence, one must in every individual
profit. This has undoubtedly been active in several cases of historically historical case analyze in which of the special directions bureaucratiza-
far-reaching importance, particularly during Antiquity; it is perhaps also tion has there developed.
to be expected in future developments in our world. For this reason, it must also remain an open question whether the
The very different effects of political organizations which were, at power of bureaucracy is increasing in the modern states in which it
least in principle, quite similar in Egypt under the Pharaohs, in Hel- is spreading. The fact that bureaucratic organization is technically the
lenistic, and in Roman times, show the very different economic conse- most highly developed power instrument in the hands of its controller
quences of bureaucratization which are possible, depending upon the does not determine the weight that bureaucracy as such is capable of
direction of other factors present. The mere fact of bureaucratic or- procuring for its own opinions in a particular social structure. The ever-
ganization does not unambiguously tell us about the concrete direction increasing "indispensability" of the officialdom, swollen to the millions,
of its economic effects, which are always in some manner present. At is no more decisive on this point than is the economic indispensability
least it does not tell us as much as can be told about its relatively level- of the proletarians for the strength of the social and political power
ing social effect. Even in this respect one has to remember that bureauc- position of that class (a view which some representatives of the prole-
racy as such is a precision instrument which can put itself at the disposal tarian movement hold).' If "indispensability" were decisive, the equally
of quite varied interests, purely political as well as purely economic "indispensable" slaves ought to have held this position of power in any
ones, or any other sort. Therefore, the measure of its parallelism with economy where slave labor prevailed and consequently freemen, as is
democratization must not be exaggerated, however typical it may be. the rule, shunned work as degrading. Whether the power of bureauc-
Under certain conditions, strata of feudal lords have also put this instru- racy as such increases cannot be decided a priori from such reasons. The
ment into their service. There is also the possibility—and often it has drawing in of economic interest groups or other non-official experts, or
become a fact, as for instance in the Roman Principate and in some the drawing in of lay representatives, the establishment of local, inter-
forms of absolutist state structures—that bureaucratization of the ad- local, or central parliamentary or other representative bodies, or of
ministration is deliberately connected with the formation o f status occupational associations—these seem to run directly against the bu-
groups, or is entangled with it by the force of the existing groupings of reaucratic tendency. How far this appearance is the truth must be
social power. The explicit reservation of offices for certain status groups discussed in another chapter, rather than in the framework of' this
is very frequent, and empirical reservations are even more frequent. purely formal and typological (kasuistisch) discussion. In general, only
the following can be said here:
The power position of a fully developed bureaucracy is always great,
t t T h e Power Position of the Bureaucracy under normal conditions overtowering. The political "master" always
finds himself, vis-à-vis the trained official, in the position of a dilettante
facing the expert. This holds whether the "master," whom the bureauc-
racy serves, is the "people" equipped with the weapons of legislative
The democratization of society in its totality, and in the modern initiative, referendum, and the right to remove officials; or a parliament
sense of the term, whether actual or perhaps merely formal, is an elected on a more aristocratic or more democratic basis and equipped
especially favorable basis of bureaucratization, but by no means the only with the right or the de facto power to vote a lack of confidence; or an
9 9 2 , B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I z T h e Power Position of the Bureaucracy 9 93
aristocratiL collegiate body, legally or actually based on self-recruitment; mentary investigation")" expert knowledge from the interested parties.
or a popularly elected president or an "absolute" or "constitutional" Bureaucracy naturally prefers a poorly informed, and hence powerless,
hereditary monarch. parliament—at least insofar as this ignorance is compatible with the
bureaucracy's own interests.
B. A D M I N I S T R A T I V E S E C R E C Y

This superiority of the professional insider every bureaucracy seeks C. T H E R U L E R ' S D E P E N D E N C E O N T H E B U R E A U C R A C Y

further to increase through the means of keeping secret its knowledge The absolute monarch, too, is powerless in face of the superior
and intentions. Bureaucratic administration always tends to exclude the knowledge of the bureaucratic expert—in a certain sense more so than
public, to hide its knowledge and action from criticism as well as it any other political head. All the irate decrees of Frederick the Great
can. Prussian church authorities now threaten t o use disciplinary concerning the "abolition of serfdom" were derailed in the course of
measures against pastors who make reprimands or other admonitory their realization because the official mechanism simply ignored them as
measures in any way accessible to third parties, charging that in doing the occasional ideas of a dilettante. A constitutional king, whenever he
so they become "guilty" of facilitating a possible criticism of the church is in agreement with a socially important part of the governed, very
authorities. The treasury officials of the Persian Shah have made a secret frequently exerts a greater influence upon the course of administration
science of their budgetary art and even use a secret script. The official than does the absolute monarch since he can control the experts
statistics of Prussia, in general, make public only what cannot do any better because of the at least relatively public character of criticism,
harm to the intentions of the power-wielding bureaucracy. This tend- whereas the absolute monarch is dependent for information solely upon
ency toward secrecy is in certain administrative fields a consequence of the bureaucracy. The Russian Tsar of the ancien regime [before the
their objective nature: namely, wherever power interests of the given appointment of a Prime Minister in islos[ was rarely able to put across
structure of domination toward the outside are at stake, whether this permanently anything that displeased his bureaucracy and violated its
be the case of economic competitors of a private enterprise or that power interests. His ministries, which were subordinated directly to him
of potentially hostile foreign polities in the public field. I f it is to be as the autocrat, represented, as Leroy-Beaulieu very correctly observed,
successful, the management of diplomacy can be publicly supervised aconglomerate of satrapies which fought among each other with all
only to a very limited extent. The military administration must insist on the means of personal intrigue and bombarded each other with volumi-
the concealment of its most important measures with the increasing nous "Memoranda," in the face of which the monarch as a dilettante
significance of purely technical aspects. Political parties do not proceed was quite helpless."
differently, in spite of all the ostensible publicity of the party conven- The concentration of the power of the central bureaucracy in a single
tions and "Catholic Congresses" (Katho1ikentage).9 With the increasing pair of hands is inevitable with every transition to constitutional govern-
bureaucratization of party organizations, this secrecy will prevail even ment. Officialdom is placed under .a monocratic head, the prime minis-
more. Foreign trade policy, in Germany for instance, brings about a ter, through whose hands everything has to go before it gets to the
concealment of production statistics. Every fighting posture of a social monarch. This puts the latter to a large extent under the tutelage of
structure toward the outside tends in itself to have the effect of buttressing the chief of the bureaucracy. Wilhelm II, in his well-known conflict
the position of the group in power. with Bismarck, fought against this principle, but had to withdraw his
However, the pure power interests of bureaucracy exert their effects attack very soon." Under the rule of expert knowledge, the influence
far beyond these areas of functionally motivated secrecy. The concept of of the monarch can attain steadiness only through continuous com-
the "office secret" is the specific invention of bureaucracy, and few munication with the bureaucratic chiefs which is methodically planned
things it defends so fanatically as this attitude which, outside of the and directed by the central head of the bureaucracy. At the same time,
specific areas mentioned, cannot be justified with purely functional constitutionalism binds the bureaucracy and the ruler into a community
arguments. In facing a parliament, the bureaucracy fights, out of a of interests against the power-seeking of the party chiefs in the parlia-
sure power instinct, every one of that institution's attempts to gain mentary bodies. But against the bureaucracy the ruler remains power-
through its own means (as, e.g., through the so-called "right of parlia- less for this very reason, unless he finds support in parliament. The
9 9 4 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I

desertion , e , " G r e a t of the Reich," here the Prussian ministers and 13 I B u r e a u c r a c y and Education 9 99
top Reich —Ada's, brought a monarch into approximately the same
situation in November :918 as did the parallel event under the condi- Educational institutions on the European continent, especially the
tions of the feudal state in 1076." This, however, is an exception, institutions of higher learning—the universities, as well as technical
for the power position of a monarch is on the whole far stronger vis-a-vis academies, business colleges, gymnasia, and other secondary schools—,
bureaucratic officials than it was in any feudal or in a "stereotyped" are dominated and influenced by the need for the kind of "education"
patrimonial state. This is because of the constant presence of aspirants which is bred by the system of specialized examinations or tests of
for promotion with whom the monarch can easily replace inconvenient expertise (Fachpriifungswesen) increasingly indispensable for modern
and independent officials. Other circumstances being equal, only eco- bureaucracies.
nomically independent officials, that is, officials who belong to the The "examination for expertise" in the modern sense was and is
propertied strata, can permit themselves to risk the loss of their offices. found also outside the strictly bureaucratic structures: today, for in-
Today as always, the recruitment of officials from among propertyless stance, in the so-called "free" professions of medicine and law, and in
strata increases the power of the rulers. Only officials who belong to a the guild-organized trades. Nor is it an indispensable accompaniment
socially influential stratum which the monarch believes to have to take of bureaucratization: the French, English and American bureaucracies
into account as support of his person, like the so-called Kanalrebellen have for a long time done without such examinations either entirely
in Prussia, can permanently and completely paralyze the substance of or to a large extent, using in-service training and performance in the
his will." party organizations as a substitute.
Only the expert knowledge of private economic interest groups in "Democracy" takes an ambivalent attitude also towards the system
the field of "business" is superior to the expert knowledge of the of examinations for expertise, as it does towards all the phenomena of
bureaucracy. This is so because the exact knowledge of facts in their the bureaucratization which, nevertheless, i t promotes. On the one
field is of direct significance for economic survival.- Errors in official hand, the system of examinations means, or at least appears to mean,
statistics do not have direct economic consequences for the responsible selection of the qualified from all social strata in place of the rule by
official, but miscalculations in a capitalist enterprise are paid for by notables. But on the other, democracy fears that examinations and patents
losses, perhaps by its existence. Moreover, the "secret," as a means of of education will create a privileged "caste," and for that reason op-
power, is more safely hidden in the books of an enterprise than it is in poses such a system.
the files of public authorities. For this reason alone authorities are held Finally, the examination for expertise is found already in pre-
within narrow boundaries when they seek to influence economic life in bureaucratic or semibureaucratic epochs. Indeed, its earliest regular
the capitalist epoch, and very frequently their measures take an unfore- historical locus is in prebencially organized structures of domination,
seen and unintended course or are made illusory by the superior expert The expectation of prebends, first of church prebends—as in the Islamic
knowledge of the interested groups. Orient and in the Occidental Middle Ages—and then, as was especially
3. Bureaucracy and Education the case in China, also of secular prebends, is the typical prize for
which people study and are examined. These examinations, however,
c.Tc( have only in part the character of tests for specialized "expertise."
A. E D U C AT I O N A L S P E C I A L I Z AT I O N , D E C R E E H U N T I N G Only the modern development of full bureaucratization brings the sys-
A N D S TAT U S S E E K I N G tem of rational examinations for expertise irresistibly to the fore. The
American Civil-Service Reform movement gradually imports- expert
We cannot here analyze the far-reaching and general cultural effects
training and specialized examinations into the United States; the exami-
that the advance of the rational bureaucratic structure of domination
nation system also advances into all other countries from its main
develops quite independently of the areas in which it takes hold. Natu- (European) breeding ground, Germany. The increasing bureaucratiza-
rally, bureaucracy promotes a "rationalist" way of life, but the concept tion o f administration enhances the importance of the specialized
of rationalism allows for widely differing contents. Quite generally, one examination in England. In China, the attempt to replace the old semi-
can only say that the bureaucratization of all domination very strongly patrimonial bureaucracy by a modern bureaucracy brought the expert
furthers the development of "rational matter-of-factness" and the per- examination; it took the place of the former and quite differently struc-
sonality type of the professional expert. This has far-reaching ramifica- tured system of examinations. The bureaucratization of capitalism, with
tions, but only one important element of the process can be briefly
indicated here: its effect upon the nature of education and personal
cult LI re ( F r 7 i P h a n p 14 ad B i l d u n v )
1 0 0 0 BUREAUCRACY [ Ch. X I 1.31 B u r e a u c r a c y and Education t o o t
its denlar,...• for expertly trained technicians, clerks, etc., carries such of the governed which demands that domination be minimized; those
examinations all over the world. who hold this attitude believe themselves able to discern a weakening
This development is, above all, greatly furthered by the social of authority itself in every weakening of the lord's arbitrary disposition
prestige of the "patent of education" acquired through such specialized over the officials. To this extent bureaucracy, both in business offices
examinations, the more so since this prestige can again be turned to and in public service, promotes the rise of a specific status group, just
economic advantage. The role played in former days by the "proof as did the quite different officeholders of the past. We have already
of ancestry," as prerequisite for equality of birth, access to noble pre- pointed out that these status characteristics are usually also exploited
bends and endowments and, wherever the nobility retained social for, and by their nature contribute to, the technical usefulness of bu-
power, for the qualification to state offices, is nowadays taken by the patent reaucracy in fulfilling its specific tasks.
of education. The elaboration of the diplomas from universities, business It is precisely against this unavoidable status character of bureauc-
and engineering colleges, and the universal clamor for the creation of racy that "democracy" reacts in its striving to put the election o f
further educational certificates in all fields serve the formation of a officials for short terms in place of the appointment of officials and to
privileged stratum in bureaus and in offices. Such certificates support substitute the recall of officials by referendum for a regulated discipli-
their holders' claims for connubium with the notables (in business nary procedure, thus seeking to replace the arbitrary disposition of the
offices, too, they raise hope for preferment with the boss's daughter), hierarchically superordinate "master" by the equally arbitrary disposi-
claims to be admitted into the circles that adhere to "codes of honor," tion of the governed or rather, of the party bosses dominating them.
claims for a "status-appropriate" salary instead of a wage according
to performance, claims for assured advancement and old-age insurance,
B. E X C U R S U S O N T H E C U L T I V A T E D M A N 91.
/ and, above all, claims to the monopolization of socially and economically
advantageous positions. If we hear from all sides demands for the intro- Social prestige based upon the advantage of schooling and educa-
duction of regulated curricula culminating in specialized examinations, tion as such is by no means specific to bureaucracy. On the contrary.
the reason behind this is, of course, not a suddenly awakened "thirst But educational prestige in other structures of domination rests upon
for education," but rather the desire to limit the supply of candidates for substantially different foundations with respect to content. Expressed
these positions and to monopolizethem— for the hOlde—rs—of—educational in slogans, die "cultivated man," rather than the "specialist," was the
patents. For such monopolization, the "examination" is today the uni- end sought by education and the basis of social esteem in the feudal,
versal instrument—hence its irresistible advance. As the curriculum theocratic, and patrimonial structures of domination, in the English ad-
required for the acquisition of the patent of education requires con- ministration by notables, in the old•Chinese patrimonial bureaucracy,
/ siderable expenses and a long period of gestation, this striving implies / as well as under the rule of demagogues in the Greek states during the
arepression of talent (olgel Ahanima7) in favor of property, for the so-called Democracy. The term "cultivated man" is used here in a com-
intellectual costs of the educational_patent are always low and decrease, pletely value-neutral sense; it isurTi-d-e-i—r-sto—odtomean solely that a quality
rather than increase, with increasing volume. The old requirement of a . of life conduct which was held to be "cultivated" was the goal of edu-
knightly style of life, the prerequisite for capacity to hold a fief, is cation, rather than a specialized training in some expertise. Such edu-
nowadays in Germany replaced by the necessity of participating in cation may have been aimed at a knightly or at an ascetic type, at a
its surviving remnants, the duelling fraternities of the universities which literary type (as in China) or at a gymnastic-humanist type (as in
grant the patents of education; in the Anglo-Saxon countries, the ath- Flellas), or at a conventional "gentleman" type of the Anglo-Saxon
letic and social clubs fulfill the same function. ariety. A personality "cultivated" in this sense formed the educational
On the other hand, bureaucracy strives everywhere for the crea- deal stamped by the structure of domination and the conditions of
tion of a "right to the office" by the establishment of regular disciplinary in the ruling stratum of the society in question. The
procedures and by the elimination of the completely arbitrary disposition qualification of this ruling •stratum rested upon the possession of a
of the superior over the subordinate official. The bureaucracy seeks to "plus" of such cultural quality (in the quite variable and value-neutral
-"cure the official's position, his orderly advancement, and his provi- sense of the term as used here), rattler than upon a "plus" of expert
-NI- old age. In this, it is supported by the "democratic" sentiment knowledge. Military, theological and legal expertise was, of course,
_ z.-tssc' **Ncz,.
01 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I
14 1 Conclujon :0o3
intensely cult.vated at the same time. But the point of gravity in the in this sense of the term. Hence we may ask: What were these
Hellenic, in the medieval, as well as in the Chinese educational cur- structures?
riculum vas formed by elements entirely different from those which
were "useful" in a technical sense.
Behind all the present discussions about the basic questions of the NOTES
educati-mal system there lurks decisively the struggle of the "specialist"
type of man against the older type of the "cultivated man," a struggle Unless otherwise indicated, all notes and emendations are by Roth and Wittich.
conditioned by the irresistibly expanding bureaucratization of all public
and private relations of authority and by the ever-increasing importance
of experts and specialised knowledge. This struggle affects the most
intimate aspects of personal culture.

8. This is directed, among others, at Robert Michels, to whom Weber wrote

14. Conclusion In November 1906:
"Indispensability in the economic process means nothing, absolutely nothing
During its advance, bureaucratic organization has had to overcome for the power position and power chances of a class. At a time when no "cit-
not only those essentially negative obstacles, several times previously
mentioned, that stood in the way of the required leveling process. In
addition, administrative structures based on different principles did and
still do cross paths with bureaucratic organization. Some of these have
already been mentioned in passing. Not all of the types existing in the
real world can be discussed here—this would lead us much too far o o 4 B U R E A U C R A C Y [ Ch. X I
afield; we can analyze only some of the most important structural
principles in much simplified schematic exposition. We shall proceed izen" worked, the slaves were ten times, nay a thousand times as necessary
in the main, although not exclusively, by asking the following questions: as is the proletariat today. What does that matter? The medieval peasant, the
Negro of the American South, they were all absolutely "indispensable."
t. How far are these administrative structures in their develop- The phrase contains a dangerous illusion.... Political democratization is the
mental chances subject to economic, political or any other external only thing which can perhaps be achieved in the foreseeable future, and that
determinants, or to an "autonomous" logic inherent in their technical would be no mean achievement.... I cannot prevent you from believing in
structure? z. What, if any, are the economic cfrects which these ad- more, but I cannot force myself to do so."
Quoted in Wolfgang Motnmsen, Max Weber und die deutsche Politik, z890—
ministrative structures exert? In doing this, one must keep one's eye tozo (Tubingen: Mohr, 1519), 97 and 121.
on the fluidity and the overlapping of all these organizational principles.
Their "pure" types, after all, are to be considered merely border cases
which are of special and indispensable analytical value, and bracket
historical reality which almost always appears in mixed forms.
The bureaucratic structure is everywhere a late product of historical
development. The further back we trace our steps, the more typical is
the absence of bureaucracy and of officialdom in general. Since bu-
reaucracy has a "rational" character, with rules, means-ends calculus,
and matter-of-factness predominating, its rise and expansion has every-
where had "revolutionary" results, in a special sense still to be discussed,
ashad the advance of rationalism in general. The march of bureaucracy
accordingly destroyed structures of domination which were not rational