In In Defense of Mandarins, Michael Lind pines for old-school civil servants:
The humanist programme of mandarin education is rejected alike by the professional (for whom education is vocational), the positivist (whose task is to expose the power relations that works of literature or history conceal, in preparation for doctrinal instruction in an ideological system), the populist (whose goal is either to replace the classics with a contemporary canon or to reinterpret them to make them ‘relevant’ for today) and the religious believer (for whom the substitution of mandarin humanism for revealed religion was always an enormity). The mandarin is an amateur, to the professional; a statist, to the libertarian; an elitist, to the populist; and a heathen, to the religious believer. What possibly could be worse than a society run by such people?
The answer is a society without them. The contemporary US, and to a lesser extent Britain, shows the consequences of turning a modern democracy into a mandarin-free zone.