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Bureaucracy Quotes

I always get back to the question, is it really necessary that men should consume so much of their bodily and mental energies in the machinery of civilized life? The world seems to me to do much of its toil for that which is not in any sense bread. Again, does not the latent feeling that much of their striving is to no purpose tend to infuse large quantities of sham into men's work?''

Author: William Allingham (1824-1889)

Profession: Poet

A bureaucracy is sure to think that its duty is to augment official power, official business, or official members, rather than to leave free the energies of mankind; it overdoes the quantity of government, as well as impairs its quality. The truth is, that a skilled bureaucracy is, though it boasts of an appearance of science, quite inconsistent with the true principles of the art of business.

Author: Walter Bagehot (1826-1877)

Profession: British Economist, Critic

A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office a Republican wants.

Author: Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956)

Profession: American Politician

In the US we find the label requirements are crazy. It is almost as if we had to label a bookcase with the warning 'do not eat this bookcase -- it can be harmful to your health'.

Author: Bjorn Bayley

Profession: Business Executive, President of Ikea US

Poor fellow, he suffers from files.

Author: Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960)

Profession: British Labor Politician

Nothing can be more contemptible than to suppose Public Records to be true.

Author: William Blake (1757-1827)

Profession: British Poet, Painter

Those who can, do, those who can't teach; and those who can do neither, administer.

Author: Calvin Calverley


A multitude of little superfluous precautions engender here a population of deputies and sub-officials, each of whom acquits himself with an air of importance and a rigorous precision, which seemed to say, though everything is done with much silence, ''Make way, I am one of the members of the grand machine of state.''

Author: Marquis De Custine (1790-1857)

Profession: French Traveler, Author

If the copying machines that came along later had been here during the war, I'm not sure the allies would have won. We'd all have drowned in paper.

Author: Alan Dickey

Profession: American World War II Pentagon

It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the earth can sustain, and that human civilization will collapse when the number of, say, tax lawyers exceeds the world's total population of farmers, weavers, fisherpersons, and pediatric nurses.

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich (1941)

Profession: American Author, Columnist

The inventor of the Xerox machine will, I am sure, find a special place reserved for him on one of the inner circles of Dante's Inferno.

Author: Nicholas Goodison

Profession: British Business Executive, Chairman of London Stock Exchange

Endless meetings, sloppy communications and red tape steal the entrepreneur's time.

Author: James L. Hayes

Profession: American Businessman, President, American Management Association

Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.

Author: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Profession: British Author

A bureaucrat is a person who cuts red tape sideways.

Author: J. Mccabe


The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.

Author: Eugene J. Mccarthy (1916)

Profession: American Politician