Beating the Most Dangerous Thing in the World: Seeing the Administrative State for what it is and why it exsists

I continue to say that Rebekah Koffler’s book, Putin’s Playbook is one of the best of its kind ever written. I have watched many interviews with her, and everyone misses the point. They booked her on a show thinking they were getting top intelligence agency information on the big bad guy in the world, Vladimir Putin, as Russia invades Ukraine. And they do get that. After all, Rebekah worked at the top of intelligence counseling top VIPs in the American government, including the White House. She was Russian-born and very good at her job. And yes, she does understand how Putin works and what the Russian intentions are in the world that are a significant threat to the United States. Putin’s Playbook is about all those things. Any reader will come away with a great history of Russia and an understanding that they don’t want to be friends with America in any way on any day. Instead, they want to destroy America, and they think about it every day, all days of the year. They never stop thinking about killing off America. It is what they live for. And that is the case with China as well, although outside of Rebekah’s book in this case. Instead, Putin’s Playbook hits on something much more sinister, which is the real terror in the world, which she uncovered as a kind of therapy for writing this book. She discovered an evil much more sinister than Putin, Xi Jinping, or the Desecrators of Davos. Without meaning to, she discovered a threat I have been talking about for decades. Perhaps because she was an idealistic foreign American loving personality full of energy and a do-gooder spirit, she could see it most clearly from the top of America’s DIA view of the world. The greatest threat to America and the world is the Administrative State. 

It was a two-year process for me to write my own book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, and believe me; there was severe contention during its creation. I have a background in Lean Manufacturing and helping people worldwide improve their processes. The Lean tools have always been good. Toyota took what Deming brought to Japan and managed to connect management to production in positive ways. But the smoking gun to inefficiencies has always been the most contentious issue in all companies, no matter how big or small. So I set out to crack that code and create psychological tools to deal with the elephant in the room, rather than putting the elephant in the room with the audience and forcing them to look at each other. A wrong move by the elephant could still crush all the people, so dealing with the elephant was what was needed, and my ideas were undoubtedly bound to ruffle feathers. It got so bad, added to the political problems in the world; I spent much of 2021 traveling with my wife to the far-flung reaches of America with our RV. It was one of the best years of my life, looking back on it. I had over 30 years of work in the world at all levels of society, colliding with the vastness of the wild west as it has been for many thousands of years. To see the problem clearly, I needed to remove myself from that Administrative State as much as possible, and the result was highly satisfying. I’m very proud of the results that ended up in The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business.

I didn’t know Rebekah Koffler, and she didn’t know me. But we arrived at essentially the same conclusion between the two of us. She saw how Russia had created the Administrative State in America through its years of KGB interference in our social structure. She understood it because that’s what she was running from in Russia, much like Ayn Rand did decades before.   Much of the world was suffering under the crush of administrative perceptions. While Putin played his part during his lifetime in sending the bureaucracy of the administrative state to America and into our education systems to then convert all our social practices into the same kind of mind-numbing sameness that Russia was famous for, and that all communist regimes associated, it was just a continuation of a long term goal. But the effort was much older than Putin or Xi from China. Americans had an instinct for the problem, but the administrative state ran so deep into everything we do, including our cable companies, all our places of employment, even the drive-thru windows of our favorite restaurants. We have grown to accept their disfunction even if we don’t like it. Unlike in Russia, where they don’t know better, or in China, where choice is not an option, Americans do have choices enough to be frustrated with the conditions of the administrative state even if they were powerless daily to fight back against it. That was the purpose I was after, in defeating the administrative state without destroying accountability that people and businesses need in their lives. I knew we had found that balance at one point in our history. This position was uniquely American, so I sought to get back to those basics by teaching people how to turn away from the administrative state’s security and think for themselves for a change. That’s how I ended up on several magnificent journeys into the wild west and how The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business was created. 

Here was a wide-eyed Russian with American loving passion writing a book about one of the world’s most dangerous characters, Vladimir Putin, and what she ended up criticizing was a much more significant threat, a creation of communism made well before Putin was even a sparkle in the eye of his parents, the administrative state. The Administrative State is crushing the world today everywhere we look. It gives tyrants an ability to rule as monsters because it channels all the resources of an organization through the bureaucrats who are less inclined to do anything good with that energy. So thus, there is much misery in the world toward their corporations, governments, and even individual lives. Of course, there is a means to overcome this challenge. But the first problem is in understanding the need and recognizing the danger. And so far, I have not read a book that better articulates this recognition better than Putin’s Playbook. As a top DIA intelligence officer, you would think that Rebekah Koffler would be placed on a pedestal for all her excellent work. But instead, she was chastised for being too good because she made ordinary people look bad. The Administrative State was created to make ordinary people look good, just as I say often, “the rules are often made by the losers,” meaning that the best don’t regulate themselves. Only those too lazy to get the skills needed want rules to slow down the best and brightest into the comfort level of the many and the mediocre. And that is the danger of the Administrative State. It allows tyrants to rule the world, but the mechanism that will enable it to happen comes from the mundane bureaucracies of existence. Where the best and brightest are crippled by the lazy and the mediocre, and to my point, if you ever really want to fix an organization at any level, you must unlock the exceptional and turn them loose to solve problems and create wonderful cultures. When they are penalized and crippled by the power of collectivism through the administrative state, that is when the worst things in the world happen, and evil is unleashed to rule over all of us for all our days.

Rich Hoffman

Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

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