'Lebendige Menschen' als 'tote Registraturnummern...' - Eine Bürokratie-Kritik nach Franz Kafka: Eine Bürokratie-Kritik nach Franz Kafka
Publication date: January 2005
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In this scholarly piece, the author, a German scholar with strong interest in human action(s) and acting human, follows the well-know writer Franz Kafka who had, above all in his novel 'Der Prozess', visioned a terrible bureaucratic world basically forming a specific policy of 'taking lives'. Giving this setting, Richard Albrecht goes the way from early fictional warnings according to bureaucratic totalitarism and totalitarian bureaucracy as fictionalised by Franz Kafka within his literary work to that most effective bureaucracy mass-destruction -meanwhile named genocide-, and personally represented by a subaltern officer within the Nazi system at work like Adolf Eichmann when organising the ´final solution´ of the ´Jewish Question´ in Europe under the umbrella of the Word War II in occupied Eastern Europe empirically. In contrary to any well-functioning bureaucratic system and naive myth according its justness (as coined our by the prominent German sociologist Max Weber) in general, and that specific one as organised by the German fascists which Hannah Arendt in her report on 'the banality of evil' named the permanent ´rule by decrets´, Richard Albrecht gives a critique of that Weberian ´theory´ of bureaucracy as one of the legitim forms of rule which the author characterizes as at least (sociological) naive if not, in the very last instance, as a matter of scholarly obscurity to be characterised as rubbish talk. - Richard Albrecht tries to pick up reflections of Franz Kafka productively when looking upon bureaucracy and its specific rules transforming living human beings into dead numbers of registration whenever bureaucracy is working empirically as an effective ´huge organisation´ which, above all, persecutes innocent people to be accused within a juridical trial without making any sense at all but dominated by a huge organisation ´which occupies not only corrupt wardens, controllers, and coroners, but also affords a caste of high and highest ranked judges followed by a numerous inevitable tail of servants, butlers, clerks, plotters, typist, constables, cops, confidents, and perhaps even hangmen´ (Franz Kafka). - Following this very perspective the authors view can be characterised with what Irving Louis Horowitz (1980) named a policy of 'saving lives'.