Relationship between Public Administration and Society.
Society and public administration are related to each other in many ways. Society is as old as human civilization as it automatically came into existence whenever humans began to live together in a group, with their own set of rules and regulations to maintain social discipline.
However, public administration (formal government) has emerged much later in time and actually is a sub-set or a part of society as a whole.
It can be noted that as civilizations or human societies grew in numbers and strength, it became increasingly difficult and complex to effectively manage them and their needs.
The concept of public administration emerged from this critical need to manage and maintain a society.
An organized form of government emerged that made rules and regulations for social order and health. Government included the bureaucracy that implemented laws for the society and a government in action came to be called as public administration.
The actions of a public administration system affected the overall state of the society and the type of a society eventually led to the formation of an appropriate system of public administration to administer it.
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For example, free, democratic societies have a public administration system, that respects individual needs for economic growth, justice, health, safety and education whereas autocratic or communist societies have a public administration system that puts individual citizen’s needs on the back foot and rather focuses on the needs of the state or the ruling elite of that state.
Karl Marx has put forth his own views on the relationship between public administration system (also called bureaucracy or government) and society. According to him, bureaucracy considers itself the ultimate finite purpose of the state.
According to Karl Marx, The bureaucratic society is based on too much formalism, favoritism and nepotism. In the bureaucratic, hierarchical system, the superior lacks specific information about any particular case and the subordinate lacks knowledge about its general principles.
Hence, both of them do not know the reality of the situation. He believed that bureaucracy functions for the fulfillment of the interests of the special class.
On the other hand, the recruitment process of the bureaucrat is just an eyewash as after getting into service, they indulge in red-tapism, corrupt practices, favoritism etc. and become the masters of the society.
Marx has used the word bureaucracy in a depreciative sense. In summation, Marx analyzed bureaucracy as a protector of a special class. He felt that bureaucracy was closely related to the influential and powerful class of the society and worked only to fulfill their interests.