Solved Ethics Papers

Q8. The Morality of State Bureaucracy

Q8. ‘Max Weber said that it is not wise to apply to public administration the sort of moral and ethical norms we apply to matters of personal conscience. It is important to realize that the state bureaucracy might possess its own independent bureaucratic morality.’ Critically analyse this statement. (150 words)
Most of our moral and ethical principles come from our family and relatives. They are useful when we are dealing with small groups of people like our family, relatives and friends. However, these principles don’t hold good in the professional discharge of duties. For example, when someone in a family commits an error, we may forgive him due to our love and affection for him. However, if a person in our office or a citizen commits a crime, we have to take action against the person according to the law or else many more people would be tempted to break the law.
Individuals are entitled to follow their own values like human rights, nonviolence, forgiveness, compassion or animal rights. However, public servants have to implement the rule of law. Even if a civil servant disagrees with the law, he has to enforce it as a duty. State bureaucracies evolve over decades and they develop their own morality which they follow to achieve the goals of the organization. (167 words)
Q8. The Morality of State Bureaucracy
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