The Year of 2021 is revolutionary. Countries like India which boasts ‘socialists’ in its constitution and Cuba which is found on communist ideals are explicitly shifting to privatization on its future economic planning. It is being indicated as structural reforms in budget report 2021 of India and Cuban labor minister’s announcement. But is it a structural reform or reformation in the direction of public policy? To answer this question we’ve to venture into the part called public administration which works behind politics and how it’s working and shortcomings lead to this situation.
REMINISCENES OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
J.J. Rousseau identifies “Politics is head; administration is the body”. Nicholas Henry quotes “Politics requires intellectual understanding and administration requires knowledgeable action”. Public administration as a subject has its conspicuous roots in United States of America from the essay ‘The study of administration’ by Woodrow Wilson. From then on it was shaped by politics, structure of operations and economic policies of USA which is very much capitalistic that benefitted from slavery, segregation, difference in wealth transfers and scholars who are mostly business thinkers such as Henri Fayol, Lyndall Urwick, F.W.Taylor, etc…. After the World War II and with decolonization there came a requirement for welfare governance aiming on inclusiveness. To find common course of public administration to the future, Minnowbrook conference, 1968 was convened to look for humane approach. But it was in 2nd Minnowbrook conference there was official acceptance of capitalism and business techniques in public administration. Then the structure of public administration was shaped by capitalism.
CAPITALISM AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Public administration is implementation of government policies i.e. delivery of services offered by the government to the people. This service delivery is done through institution called bureaucracy. Max Weber observed “The capitalistic system has undeniably played a major role in the development of bureaucracy. Indeed, without it capitalistic production could not continue. Its development, largely under capitalistic auspices, has created and urgent need for stable, strict, intensive and calculative administration. It is this need which gives bureaucracy a crucial role in our society as the central element in any kind for large scale administration”. This depicts bureaucratic structure used for service delivery is very much a capitalistic form of public administration. On considering Rousseau’s statement you can’t match head of elephant with body of giraffe that is the reason for the failure of any public policy which follows principles of economic model other than capitalism. Because Public administrative techniques and structure we using today are very much capitalistic techniques which is being used by capitalists to create surplus, hoarding, and exploitation by pressing on profit and wealth accumulation. Countries which are privatizing are not changing their administrative structure instead they’re changing the direction of public policy which is going to shape the society.
You may say we’re a welfare state through public administration. When we urged for inclusiveness of people we exploited nature now we’re witnessing its revolution through global warming and other frequent natural calamities. Because capitalism cannot survive without creating surplus which comes from exploitation of others and capitalists do not form a part of the society as Adam Smith concludes in book one of ‘wealth of nation’. Capitalism creates class and As long as classes exist last word of social science will be as George sand said “struggle or death”. But in contemporary world we’ve other economic models such as socialism, communism and anarchism which lacks public administration structure because early and middle 19th century lacked views on public administration.
THE WAY FORWARD
Public administration we practice suits only capitalistic policies and this type of public administration is not dynamic but a stagnant water in a leaking cup where every techniques we use is just a cork to stop water flow which may lead to another depression, world war or a new mass extinction due to climate change. So a new form of public administration for each economic model is the need of the hour. So that equity in distribution of wealth can be created. Unless this gap in public administration is addressed, governments with any economic model across world will be shifting to market approach where crony capitalism will assert its will on society in future. To strengthen public administration its true poverty should be addressed i.e. Absence of ideas that synchronizes with different economic models which can help in executing the policies successfully according to the principles of political economy enshrined in the policy.