From The Red Ripper: Inside the Mind of Russia’s Most Brutal Serial Killer by Peter Conradi:
Either way, the director’s inaction reflected a dangerous weakness running through Russian society: namely, the fear of authority and the desire, at all costs, for a quiet life. Given the likely, consequences, it is easy to understand why the director behaved as he did. If he had reported Chikatilo to the police, then an investigation would have been ordered not just of Chikatilo but also of the rest of his staff. Like a factory or an office, a school was a collective, with its own group targets and group assessments. If someone did something well, the whole collective claimed credit. But if someone did something badly, then they all suffered, including the director himself.
Someone once defined fascism as any system where there was only a single path to success, but analysis shows that this describes any meritocracy or centralized system like a bureaucracy.
To get ahead, you fill out the right papers, do the right activities, and have the correct credentials. That is the only path, and therefore it is controlled, allowing authorities to filter out those who are not ideologically fervent enough.
Inevitably, bureaucracies protect themselves because they are inherently individualistic ventures. People join bureacracies as workers in order to have power without accountability, since The System™ is always to blame if something goes wrong.
Contrast a king to a bureaucrat. A king makes the decision alone, and then will be known to his peer group and history by the results thereby achieved. A bureaucrat remains faceless, like a person in a crowd, and can claim only the victories and ignore the defeats.
Meritocracies do the same thing. Those in charge have endless reasons to deny any applicant, and therefore become powerful without accountability, since those who fail will be blamed for personal insufficiency instead of a system failure.
The only exception involves categories. If someone is excluded for their group, or an argument can be made that they are an exception who has been mistreated, the system is to blame, and corrects for this by promoting the entire group.
Centralized systems provide one path to success: through the system. If someone fails, they tend to hide the results and scatter the blame, so that the actual error is never discovered.
In return, they also hide their suppression of those who are not loyal to the system and willing to conform, obey, and jump through hoops. This ensures that the System survives even if its best hopes are excluded, as is usually the case.
Like jobs themselves or symbolic goals, these meritocracies produce citizens who are geared toward obedience and not making independent, boundary-free decisions as required in nature.
Not surprisingly, they accumulate waste humans like Andrei Chikatilo — a pedophile and serial murderer — while rejecting those who are not obedient because they wish to get good at boundary-free thought.
Humans adore the idea of bureaucracy because it appeals to our simple sense of linear logic. The bureaucracy, like equality, does the same thing for everyone, and that seems both fair and comprehensive to us.
In reality, all it does is replace reality with obedience, symbolism, credentialism, careerism, and manipulation, gradually destroying through degeneration the capacity for the population to act independently.