Friday, 13 March 2009

Political Apathy and the Division of Labour

Much has been written over the years about the division of labour, or specialisation of labour, in economics. From Xenophon to Durkheim, according to Wikipedia. And politics is just another specialist job. Among the disadvantages of the division of labour listed on Wikipedia are

  • Disconnection of effects from actions
  • Lack of motivation
  • Dependency
  • Loss of flexibility
All terms that fit rather neatly with the political apathy often seen in modern society.
So, maybe the division of labour shouldn't be applied to politics quite as stringently as may be warranted on a production line. Maybe we shouldn't have expert lawmakers or career politicians and maybe much greater involvement of the electorate would be a good thing.
There are a number of businesses, using less hierarchical management structures, that provide evidence for increased efficiency with increased involvement: Ricardo Semler's organisation and WL Gore and Associates are examples.

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