Have courage to stand upAn official from the Government Information Agency told the presidential transition team that he and his colleagues are only civil servants who do not have souls.
While the transition team kept pointing out the government information agency’s failures, its officials defended themselves by saying they could only do what the president tells them to do.
The official quoted the renowned sociologist Max Weber, who said that bureaucrats do not have souls, a reference to the problems and limitations of government organizations.
However, civil servants must have souls, too.
They can make the right judgments and they have a conscience and common sense. Civil workers are no different from robots or dummies with no souls if they obey the president, ministers or vice ministers, even when their orders are illegal or it is certain that the policies will fail.
They do not need to oppose or resist every main policy.
However, civil workers are paid with taxpayers’ money and they have a duty to serve the people. If they are decent citizens in a democratic society, and if they have their own personalities, they must have standards and integrity.
In practice, if a worker goes against what he is told to do by his employer, he will face disadvantages. For instance, he will have a hard time getting promoted. At worst, he risks being fired. It is hard to work up the courage to stand up to an employer when one’s future and one’s families’ lives depend on the job.
However, a civil worker must not justify his submission by saying that civil servants do not have souls. If civil servants voluntarily trumpeted improper policies just to become successful, even though they knew the policies were wrong, they must pay the price.
They should know that politicians do not have much respect for bureaucrats because even bureaucrats are not proud of themselves, as shown in the official’s lamentation.
When civil servants refuse to carry out unfair orders by the powerful, the society of civil workers can develop, step-by-step.
If one works up courage when it is difficult to do so, many other people will be inspired to do the same.
Everyone in the government, as well as in every other sector, has a soul. Therefore, there is hope for our society.