Insolence and arrogance

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INSOLENCE AND ARROGANCE – the insolence of the office is based, according to Michael Walzer, on claiming the right to dominance, which results from the fact that along with the office some goods, in the form of honour and status, power and prerogatives, wealth and comfort, are distributed. The source of the i. of public administration is legal and political condition, low level of education of the society and lack of organisational culture of the office. The cause of insolence and arrogance can paradoxically be professionalism, which is one of the prerequisites for maintaining a distance between an officer with an expert knowledge and a citizen who does not need this knowledge in everyday life. The superior may be guided by i. in relations towards subordinates – the insolent superior assumes that, by virtue of their subordinate status, the employees should obey his/her orders, even when they are incompatible with accepted cultural patterns, good morals or oscillate on the boundaries of the rules of work and law. A public official may be insolent towards a citizen. This i. is expressed in the patronizing treatment of citizens, lack of impartiality in decision-making, neglect of the personal interest of the citizen or the public in the decision-making process, dishonesty, attempts of making citizens dependent on the institution. A. of public-trust professions is expressed in citizens waiting in long queues, treating citizens in public institutions as intruders, incompetent officials, doctors or lawyers, multiplying bureaucratic regulations, using official, medical or legal jargon in conversations with customers/citizens or even refusing to proceed with a case. A. of an institution towards a citizen manifests itself in the violation of the principles of social justice, the mockery of their bases, deceiving the citizens, breaking the law in the light of the headlights – in the conviction of total impunity. A. of the institution towards the citizen is also expressed through lack of economy. The lack of clear criteria of external control and poorly functioning or non-existent internal controls, unclear system of recruitment, selection, promotion and punishment of employees in public administration, and lastly lack of employment stability promotes the spread of arrogance and insolence (mainly among the middle management in public administration, but it also touches higher positions) [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: J. Itrich-Drabarek, Etyka zawodowa funkcjonariuszy służb państwowych [Professional ethics of the state officials], Warszawa 2016.