Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Introvert as Bureaucrat

I write quite a bit about introverts and extroverts. In general, extroverts are destroyers - the Sheeple, the Borg, the HiveMind. The low-IQ ones make up almost all prisoners, and the high-IQ ones become mass-murdering politicians. Almost all of the creative are introverts.

Yet there is a certain kind of introvert who is a trouble-maker, although he doesn't usually mean to be. The Faceless Bureaucrat.

I once knew a man who was quite introverted, as was his wife. Guess who he worked for? The IRS. He wasn't stupid, but he wasn't brilliant, either.

He got a degree in Accounting (how's that for introverted) but only had a C average. He said he put in about 20 applications and got nothing but rejections - because of the C average. Only one place hired him - the IRS. He put in about 30 years before he retired.

He was actually rather a pleasant man, but still was hobbled by all the bureaucratic rules of the IRS. And that made him a Faceless Bureaucrat.

He's not like he was an extroverted, stupid, rabid war-monger. Quite the opposite. But he was still a bureaucrat.

Bureaucrats are actually cogs in a machine - that machine known as the State. I'm always been amused by the fact the mythologist Joseph Campbell once called Darth Vader "the perfect bureaucrat" - and Vader was probably more machine than man. And what was he? The scariest representative of the Empire.

My friend the introverted IRS agent ended up as he did because he wasn't that smart of a guy, so ended up working for the State. He spent his life slaving away in a cubicle like Dilbert, another introvert. Wally, too, for that matter.

I wonder how my friend would have turned out if he had not slaved away in a bureaucracy? If he had not been a cog in a machine? If the government had not morphed into the monster that it is now?


Anonymous said...

Stalin, Mao and Hitler were quite introverted, Hitler especially. This book goes into Stalin as introverted:

Again, maybe introverts are better leaders than extroverted, but I've read biographies on all three, and all three were quite introverted apparently. So your theory on introversion as something superior doesn't hold up in my opinion.

Unknown said...

Anyone who can manipulate the masses isn't introverted. They're extroverts. That includes the three you mentioned.