The most interesting point in ophie
's resume of Robert S. McNamara
, is his backround in business administration
, and his tour at Ford
, particularly as manager of planning and financial analysis.
I think it can be argued that his lasting gift to the government of the United States is the business administration approach to issues that of their very natural are not business, but political economy.
Regardless of his views after leaving office, his career before epitomizes all that is wrong with public administration. It is not business.
The application of business methods, by business people, who move back and forth between business and government, is what is meant by the term military-industrial complex, though it extends far beyond the military.
Notions of pure efficiency, generating profit, cutting those activities that don't, may make for a good bottom line but they do little to create an equitable country. This is the province of the public sector.
By 1967, ophie reports, McNamara was looking for ways to end what he had started. But the train was already moving too fast to stop. It is the way of business that must be changed. It is the way of thinking that must be changed.
The change of heart of one of the technicians of destruction is too little, too late--and only goes, maybe, to ease the conscience of this poor man.