...I enjoyed quite a lot of David Graeber's The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, especially the revelation that it was George Wallace who came up with the term 'pointy-headed bureaucrat' in the first place. He certainly had a gift for demonisation.
I'm also struck by the suggestion that 'bureaucracy' isn't necessarily a construction of the state machine, but a borrowing from the larger elements of the private sector.
"British people, I’ve observed, are quite proud that they are not especially skilled at bureaucracy; Americans, in contrast, seem embarrassed by the fact that on the whole, they’re really quite good at it. It doesn’t fit the American self-image... Yet the fact remains the United States is—and for a well over a century has been—a profoundly bureaucratic society. The reason it is so easy to overlook is because most American bureaucratic habits and sensibilities—from the clothing to the language to the design of forms and offices—emerged from the private sector. When novelists and sociologists described the “Organization Man,” or “the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” the soullessly conformist U.S. equivalent to the Soviet apparatchik, they were not talking about functionaries in the Department of Landmarks and Preservation or the Social Security Administration—they were describing corporate middle management."
This back and forth between public and private maybe helps explain something that I've long observed but never quite understood - why the idea of 'persuasion' as a dominant organisational ideology transferred so successfully from large packaged goods companies to large government departments
"The impression that the word “bureaucrat” should be treated as a synonym for “civil servant” can be traced back to the New Deal in the thirties, which was also the moment when bureaucratic structures and techniques first became dramatically visible in many ordinary people’s lives. But in fact, from the very beginning, Roosevelt’s New Dealers worked in close coordination with the battalions of lawyers, engineers, and corporate bureaucrats employed by firms like Ford, Coca Cola, or Proctor & Gamble, absorbing much of their style and sensibilities, and—as the United States shifted to war footing in the forties—so did the gargantuan bureaucracy of the U.S. military"
I've always assumed this marketing mindset was introduced by the COI and its capture by advertising agencies in the 70s/80s but maybe it's a longer standing thing.