Download The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork by Ben Kafka PDF

By Ben Kafka

Since the center of the eighteenth century, political thinkers of all kinds--radical and reactionary, specialist and amateur--have been complaining approximately "bureaucracy." yet what, precisely, are they complaining about?

In The Demon of Writing, Ben Kafka bargains a severe background and concept of 1 of the main ubiquitous, least understood varieties of media: forms. States depend upon documents to tax and spend, safeguard and serve, self-discipline and punish. yet repeatedly, this bureaucracy proves to be unreliable. studying episodes that variety from the tale of a clerk who misplaced his task after which his brain within the French Revolution to an account of Roland Barthes's short stint as a college administrator, Kafka finds the powers, the disasters, or even the pleasures of bureaucracy. a lot of its complexities, he argues, were obscured by means of the comic-paranoid type that characterizes a lot of our feedback of forms. Kafka proposes a brand new conception of what Karl Marx referred to as the "bureaucratic medium." relocating from Marx to Freud, he argues that this idea of bureaucracy needs to comprise either a idea of praxis and of parapraxis.

Show description

Read or Download The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork PDF

Similar communication & media studies books

Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture

From Publishers Weekly Feldstein, an award-winning journalist and professor on the collage of Maryland, chronicles the debatable careers of 2 iconic figures, former president Richard Nixon and the investigative said he feared most--Jack Anderson. With the astute research of a psychotherapist, Feldstein indicates how the emotional and spiritual strengths, or flaws, of Nixon, the over-ambitious Quaker flesh presser, and Anderson, the pious Mormon scribe, play out in a three-decade-long video game to win over American public opinion.

Mind Control in the United States

"The most appropriate strategy to provide yourself with protection from unconscious manipulation is by means of being conscious of the way it works," states writer Steven Jacobson. And with wide documentation, Mr. Jabobson takes us on a trip of the multi-faceted size of brain regulate and indicates us tips to store our brain and soul from the brain manipulators.

The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork

Because the center of the eighteenth century, political thinkers of all kinds--radical and reactionary, expert and amateur--have been complaining approximately "bureaucracy. " yet what, precisely, are they complaining approximately? within the Demon of Writing, Ben Kafka bargains a serious heritage and conception of 1 of the main ubiquitous, least understood varieties of media: forms.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times

First released to nice acclaim in 2000, wealthy Media, bad Democracy is Robert W. McChesney’s magnum opus. known as a “rich, penetrating learn” via Noam Chomsky, the publication is a meticulously researched exposition of the way U. S. media and verbal exchange empires are threatening potent democratic governance.

Additional info for The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork

Sample text

If everyone agreed that M orizot deserved justice, why not simply grant it to him? Why make him produce so much paperwork? Why keep sending him down the hall to yet another clerk, yet another office? As he wrote in one of his pamphlets, he was led up with being told by these politicians and administrators “ that the problem does not belong to their departm ent. To their depart­ ment! Does truth have departments, where it can be suffocated? Can the confidence o f king be divided up into departments, like any other operation?

T he deputies w ere d eterm ined to ensure that they w ere properly cared for. A fte r ex p la in in g the c o m m itte e ’s stru ctu re , the Almanach advised its readers that the necessity of avoiding all pretext o f preference, the desire to bring the man living alone and retired in the provinces within range so that he can be heard as easily and promptly as those who live or have relations in the heart of the capital, have caused the committee to suspend, until October 1, the examination o f the memoirs that have been or will be brought to it.

France con ­ sisted o f some 26 million people; not even a metaphorical tree would be able to accommodate them all at once. How could the general w ill express itself over such an extensive and populous territory without destroying its liberty, without endangering its very existence? 11 As societies became larger and more complex, he argued, they were forced to divide up tasks between members. Some cultivated grain, others wove cloth, still others exchanged these products. This division of labor led to greater levels of efficiency and prosperity; it was the foundation of social progress.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.68 of 5 – based on 46 votes