I'm not just talking about the ones we find in governments at every level because they also exist in other organizations. Every business, both profit and non-profit, develops a bureaucracy of its own once it reaches the size where it must divide itself into departments with specialized purposes and forms for everyone to fill out.
The noted philosopher Hannah Arendt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Arendt) was an expert on totalitarianism, having escaped Germany during the Holocaust. Here in America she became the first female lecturer at Princeton and wrote extensively on the power and psychology of violence.
She predicted there would soon be a great increase of domestic violence and social unrest in modern societies for a particular reason: bureaucracies.
How could that be? Don't they exist to help businesses and governments to function smoothly and efficiently? How could anyone blame everything from road rage to mass shootings on the very organizations that make modern life possible?
Well, let's start off with what the word means: government by bureaus. That's pretty obvious, right? But what does the word "bureau" mean? It turns out that the original French word means "writing desk." Yep, it's government run by people at writing desks. What do they do? They make you fill out forms which they process, file away, or send on to other desk jockeys. They enforce the policies and rules that their bureau creates. If you can't document that your situation qualifies for their aid, you're out of luck.
As Hannah Arendt wrote, "The greater the bureaucratization of public life, the greater will be the attraction of violence. In a fully developed bureaucracy there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances, on whom the pressures of power could be exerted. Bureaucracy is the form of government in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-rule, and where all are equally powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant."
That lack of accountability on the part of our rulers, for that's what bureaucrats have become, leaves us without reasonable recourse when their decisions deprive us of our freedom, our income, perhaps our homes. And what makes it doubly frustrating is that they are insulated from the results of their actions. As bad as it was for the victims of Nazism, where the guilty were "only following orders" and had to wait for the war to end for any justice, today it's worse in that guilty bureaucrats are almost never held accountable.
Most of the time the guilty are blissfully unaware of how their decisions are inconveniencing, disturbing, or even killing people. Consider the career officers in the Food and Drug Administration... If they approve a drug that harms perhaps a few hundred people (and the press finds out!), their careers will be over... but if they withhold approval no one is likely to note the thousands that will continue to die for lack of that medicine.
Of course, the largest bureaucracy we have to deal with in the US is that which Congress has created and funded with our tax dollars. While a certain amount of bureaucracy is necessary to enforce and uphold the laws Congress creates, the real danger is that Congress has abdicated much of its power to those bureaucracies! One of the most egregious example is "Obamacare" which has at least 200 points at which the Secretary of Health (a bureaucrat with a huge bureaucracy to lead) gets to create the rules and regulations that we must live under.
The only solution is to elect legislators who will rein in the organizations that Congress has created and abdicated their powers to. If the candidates we put into office fails to act, we need to replace those people, and each and every successor, until we get ones who will uphold their oath of office and quit spending their time fundraising and planning their next campaign.