The deepest cause of the inhumanity of our time is probably the pedantic application of administrative norms. Its symbol may well be the ‘commissar,’ the ideal type of bureaucrat, who condemns thousands without love and without hatred simply in pursuance of an abstract duty. But we would do ourselves an injustice if we ignored that the commissar is not just a Soviet but a universal phenomenon–the Soviet system simply encouraged it in its most extreme form.  He is the administrator whose world is defined by regulations in whose making he had no part, and whose substance does not concern him, to whom reality is exhausted by the organization in which he finds himself.  Our challenge is to rescue the individual from this process; to escape from the stultifying quality of an atmosphere in which all sense of reverence for the unique is lost in the quest for reducing everything to manipulable quantities.  The way we face this challenge will be the ultimate test of our long-proclaimed belief in the dignity of the individual.

From and article entitled “The Policymaker and the Intellectual” published in The Reporter (1959).

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