Sunday, November 06, 2005

Meeting and Bureaucracies and Nazis (Wannsee)

Bureaucrats are supposed to love meetings. By this criteria, Simon Ramo, a major figure in aerospace who has written a book on meetings reviewed in the LA Times is no bureaucrat.
"During his 69 years in the aerospace industry, Simon Ramo figures he's attended more than 40,000 meetings — an average of two or three per workday.

About 30,000 of those meetings could have been shorter or not held at all, he laments."
By bureaucratic criteria, the Nazi's Wannsee meeting, which is dramatized in the HBO movie "Conspiracy", which we watched last night, was very effective. Of course in a tyranny a man like Heydrich (played by Kenneth Branagh) can bribe and threaten to get a bunch of bureaucrats to agree on a course. What was interesting, and effective, in the movie was the differing perspectives brought to the movie by the various participants (the lawyer (Colin Firth) who'd done the original Nazi race laws, with their careful and bureaucratic categorizing of Jews and near-Jews, was especially interesting. What was horrible was the duality: on the one hand watching the tactics and concerns of the bureaucrats; on the other remembering the reality behind the bureaucratic language--that all of this led to 6 million dead.

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