Freeman

November 1986

Volume 36, 1986

FEATURES

Underground Government

NOVEMBER 01, 1986 by HANS SENNHOLZ

n a similar way, when constraints on government pose a major threat to politicians, government employees, and powerful interest groups that benefit from political largess, government goes underground. When budget cuts threaten the position and incomes of politicians and bureaucrats they react by going "off-budget." Whether they are committed philosophically to expand the political arena or just defend their economic existence and life style, off-budget operations are an important procedure for achieving their goal.

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For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited out social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
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