Bureaucrats, Inertia and Desuetude

Seneca III checks in with a report from the coronavirus-afflicted British Isles.

Bureaucrats, Inertia and Desuetude

by Seneca III

“In human affairs there is no certain truth and all our knowledge is but a woven web of guesses.”

— Xenophanes

The inbred inertia of the pedantic British Civil Service, including its Medical Mandarins, is disheartening in the extreme. Their insistence that the use of hydroxychloroquine and zinc is forbidden until normal, peacetime, snail-paced regulatory testing has been carried out reminds me of the attitude of our senior officers at the outbreak of WWl.

They refused to accept — or simply did not understand — that the conduct of war had changed since their last outings in the Zulu and Boer wars, and that with the advent and widespread use of highly efficient, belt-fed, water cooled machine guns, cavalry charges or the slowly advancing thin red line of old were no longer a viable strategy.

In this case history is repeating itself, albeit in a different way in a different theatre of war. As in 1914 onwards it is the troops and the junior officers who lead them into battle and the people they are defending who will pay the price resultant from this institutionalized inertia and lack of critical thinking… thus this current demonstration of an innate inability to swift-footedly change standard practices as circumstances change; they seem to not understand that these are very dangerous times indeed.

Essentially, we are at the beginning of a different war and on a different front. Even if this particular treatment turns out not to work, little or nothing will be lost and the search for a viable form of counterattack will continue unabated.

There are times, and this is one, when career self-serving risk-aversion is dangerously counterproductive, so start field testing now. There will be no shortage of willing volunteers who have nothing to lose either way, and perhaps a life to gain.

— Seneca III, in sunny, quiet part of Middle England this 7th day of April in the Year Zero.

For links to previous essays by Seneca III, see the Seneca III Archives.

6 thoughts on “Bureaucrats, Inertia and Desuetude

  1. Unfortunately this is not a war like the government’s would have us believe. The virus, if in fact there ever was one is simply not a threat and is already in retreat. it never tried to overthrow government’s or wage war in land grab or pushback or restrain rouge
    dicktators hell bent on the distuction of it own people or other lands. When the Imperial college professor told us in the UK 10,000 would die, they aready knew how it would play out in the numbers as the figures were already present in China. Just throw the switch early lock the people down desecrate the economy and bring on the Universal State income for complete control over the masses.
    Then when the numbers drop simply claim the credit for saving thousands of lives.
    It’s a no lose situation for the state.

  2. The bureaucrtic (and cumbersome) method of issuing ammunition in the British army played a crucial part in the defeat of the British by the Zulus at the battle of Isandlwana in Africa.

    • It played a part for sure, but the shocking incompetence of the commanding officer who failed to choose a defensible location for the camp inside enemy territory, failed to laager or fortify the location, and then split the force leaving behind a small contingent while he was off with the majority of the soldiers a relatively short distance away looking to try and locate the Zulu army all played bigger roles in the defeat. Once the battle was joined and the camp under attack, Lord Chelmsford failed to march his army to the sounds of the battle until it was far too late.

      The similarities between Isandlwana and the Battle of the Little Bighorn are many. The main bureaucratic incompetence that I see in relation to battle was the system that led to an idiot of the calibre of Lord Chelmsford being placed in charge of the local army and the invasion in the first place.

  3. Better (for you) to die than to try.
    I wonder if they’ll make an exception for BoJo?

    • They will, the old “Quod licet Iovi non licet bovi” still holds, albeit in its novel (re-) incarnation.

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