Friday 9 December 2022

Four signs of Not a real-leader

1. An important tool for discrimination is that real leaders are anti-entropic (i.e. creative), and usually best discerned by their ability to reverse an adverse trend. 

2. Figureheads who preside over increased rates of destruction are not leaders. 

3. Neither are those who ride powerful waves. 

4. Nor is successful self-enrichment or the gaining of fame evidence of a real leader.


Note: The above continues from two previous posts.


Epimetheus said...

What is your view of Napoleon Bonaparte, Dr. Charlton? With his tremendous gifts and his rapid rise and fall, I wonder whether he had a mission or destiny that he failed to carry out. I sometimes think he was meant to snuff out the French Revolution and all its children and permanently restore Catholic Monarchy to France. Perhaps he was mistaken to claim the throne for himself?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Epi - A friend, who knew his stuff, told me firmly that Napoleon was one of the very greatest generals in world history. So, without doubt, a great leader.

Aside from that - I regard N as a national disaster who *used* his nation for personal ambition (especially second time around); and was responsible for so severely depleting France of its men, that the country never recovered.

Mike Bryant said...

Our current glorious leader in the UK has obviously been brought in to manage the breakup and decline of the country they are not even pretending to be leaders, more like the official receiver in a bankruptcy case.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Mike B - All externally-controlled puppets and figureheads since Margaret Thatcher.

Although I never liked her at the time, and underestimated her; history shows that Thatcher was a real leader, specifically as evidenced by her qualitative reversal of three decades of UK economic decline - in the teeth of strong and vitriolic opposition.

Guy Jean said...

A journalist and fiction writer (now specializing in satire) wrote and podcasted a couple of months ago on the subject of a real leader. What if a real leader became president of a large corporation, or governor of a state, or even Prez of the nation? What if such a leader built bully pulpit, a way to speak directly to the people, a livestream open 24/7, whenever the leader felt he had something important to say?
His premise is simple: it might be that all it takes is for one straight-talking leader loudly proclaiming that the emperor has no clothes, to blow apart the fog of cowering timidity that keeps people locked into a prison.

Bruce Charlton said...

@GJ - I suppose that part of being a real (and great) leader is that it is hard to be sure of what may be possible.

But I am pretty sure that we are now beyond the point at which a real/ great leader would be able to reverse the adverse trends in The West. It would have been possible up to around the millennium, I suspect; but now the damage is too extensive and deep to imagine it being possible to mend sufficiently.

Also, there are too many people who are so corrupt that they have inverted values - such that most that is good is regarded as evil, and vice versa. A leader cannot give courage to a population that has embraced this-worldly materialism; he can only enhance courage that is already latent.

This can be seem in that someone like Trump was attacked far more viciously for his good policies (such at attempting to build The Wall or deal with corruption) than his evil policies (such as embracing the birdemic-peck agenda).

Also, a leader does not operate in a vacuum - and it is no coincidence that real leaders are almost extinct in our most-evil of societies. Societies like ours neither develop nor encourage real leaders - and indeed try to prevent and suppress them. Good-affiliated and -aiming societies are much more likely to have real leaders.

Guy Jean said...

"I am pretty sure that we are now beyond the point at which a real/ great leader would be able to reverse the adverse trends in The West."
Probably right. But the writer I referred to suggests that there are still a lot of ordinary people who know something isn't right, know that a lot of what is being pushed on them is bs and would respond enthusiastically to someone who stood up and said so. Look at Trump's initial popularity. They just need someone outspoken to let them realize they're not alone, not weird, not wrong for questioning or feeling the way they do.
Are they all like "the people of Canterbury... living and partly living..."?

And maybe there is no single leader of the calibre required, but there are many lower-tiers "leaders". Yourself being one. The writer I referred to being another. And there are countless more. There is a danger that, viewing the world thru the lens of the MSM and the various social networks (and how many of their posters are really just bots?) we get a completely false impression, that the PC-ers are in the majority. Let us not fall into the trap that Denethor did.

Anyhoo, it's "summons up the blood" to read his stuff and gives me a good belly laugh.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Guy - Fair points.

Yet I have for the past (umm... 12 years it must be!) been repeating that any such change of heart from the masses can only come on the other side of a sufficiently widespread Christian conversion.

I would nowadays (since about 2014) add that (because of the gross and worsening corruption of the Christian churches) such a conversion needs to be of the individually-rooted 'Romantic Christian' kind.

So, whatever the Good impulses of the masses, a leader will have nothing substantive to work with until such a time.

(BTW. You are completely wrong if you assume that I am, or want to be, any kind of leader. I managed to get through 35 years of medical/ scientific/ academic/ editorial work without ever having any kind of administrative responsibility or control over people - which I think is perhaps unique in this era. I actively avoid anything like leadership - and indeed tend to 'sabotage' any situation where this might possible be developing. This is just the way I am made, for better and worse.)

Guy Jean said...

I was just talking with a couple of friends, neither of them Christians or believers in any particular religion, and they both expressed your view, in their own ways: "because of the gross and worsening corruption of the Christian churches) such a conversion needs to be of the individually-rooted 'Romantic Christian' kind."

I don't assume anything. In my opinion, you are a leader of a kind, simply by writing here, expressing your views cogently and thanks to blogger, readers can go back and read your connected posts on a particular topic (e.g. Romantic Religion, which I'd never heard of previously) You are someone who has thought about certain topics deeply, and as such your opinion and judgements are helpful to others. Leadership is not only (or evenly primarily) about taking on administrative positions or bossing other people about. At least not in my book.