Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Special Envoys and Monuments

Secretary Tillerson is looking to eliminate dozens of "special envoys"; liberals are looking to eliminate dozens of memorials and monuments to flawed people of the past.

What's the similiarity?  For me, I'm assuming many of the envoys are more symbolic than functional.  There can be an advantage to appointing a coordinator-type person to try to break down some bureaucratic silos.  But often they have the weakness of their position--outside the chain of command where "real work" (real at least in the eyes of the bureaucrats in the organization) gets done.  So their ideas are not invented here, and they just serve as a symbol for the outside organizations which sponsored the creation of the post, a sort of flag of attempted conquest planted on the foreign continent of the bureaucracy.

Memorials and monuments are also symbols, more important to a small group than most people going about their business.

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