Good ol’ Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities, has a great description of bureaucrats and what they secretly crave in his short piece Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers. If you’ve ever been at the mercy of a bureaucrat demanding the proper forms, this one will probably resonate with you.
“There are those who may think that the bureaucrats and functionaries of City Hall are merely time servers, with no other lookout than filling out their forms, drawing their pay, keeping the boat from rocking and dreaming of their pension like the lid on an orderly life. But bureaucrats, especially in City Halls, have a hidden heart, a hidden well of joy, a low-dosage euphoria that courses through their bodies like thyroxin … Because they have a secret: each, in his own way, is hooked into The Power. The Government is the Power, and they are the Government…”