In a perfect world, our leaders would be the ones most skilled at achieving the objectives of the organizations of which they are responsible.
Unfortunately and obviously, our planet is way off from this ideal. We live in a global society where it is perfectly acceptable that our chiefs of state are much more focused on their own interests; We freely accept that our elected representatives may act based on their agendas rather than the agendas of their constituents; Self-serving behavior, narcissism, and domination are effectively the privilege of being in a leadership position, rather than the antithesis of the requirements to achieve it.
We have reached a turning point in our erosion of true moral authority, and replaced our standards with a laissez-faire attitude towards fundamentalism and moral relativism. These latter two concepts are not necessarily evil or bad or incorrect, the problem is that humans on a large socio-political scale are unable to stop themselves from being collectively biased and fearful and xenophobic, etc; Which means that any group of people together, will behave irrationally.
Emmanuel Levinas, a French philosopher of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, spent much of the middle 20th century on this conundrum, albeit from a religious perspective rather than a political one. Yet the parallels are apt and accurate even to this day. He termed this problem of human nature very simply: “Ethics as a First Philosophy”.
Simplifying his profound philosophy into something quickly digestible does both you and him a disservice, (bookmark it here for future reading very much worth your time), but some key concepts for our present discussion are that:
Responsibility obliges one to strive for GOOD rather than TRUE.
Focusing on OTHERS means completely eliminating personal conflict as part of conflict resolution.
Empowerment is a divine gift, and must be treated as such.
The individual, the “I”, must be non-existent in the considerations of Others.
Keeping these things in mind while considering the topic of this article, it is clear that very few people who run our businesses and towns and cities and provinces and states and countries subscribe to this philosophy. On the contrary, rather. Look how much Trump is enabled to behave completely in the opposite manner by his political cronies. His twitter postings are a cesspool of self-aggrandizement and complete lack of respect towards the responsibility he assumed as an oath to 325 million people. Look at Xi Jinping, President of China, who acts under the guise of democracy, but who essentially enslaves 1.5 BILLION (!) people under an authoritarian, censorship focused, thought control platform. And whom just last week, managed to set himself up towards being President for the rest of his life. Similar (and even worse) things can be said about Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey. There are no words that can accurately sum up the shame humans deserve in accepting this. The latter 3 countries are the 3 of the largest economies of our world, complete with massive armies, and are run by madmen with lifetime term limits.
Even Trudeau, our hipster playboy Canadian Prime Minister, once publicly stated his admiration for China’s political machine as a smooth and clean way to accomplish governance. Pardon my language, but what the fuck. Is Justin thinking of bringing back the death penalty too? Shall we convert all the media to state-run or state-controlled organizations like them as well? I agree with the author of that article above, that Trudeau has demonstrated a willingness to assume a totalitarian attitude that is unprecedented in the history of our relatively well behaved and caring nation.
It seems almost too easy to pronounce that the foundations of the major socio-political forces of the world have clearly crumbled. But the evidence is abundant. You must surely be thinking of many other examples not listed here.
We can probably only fix this by changing human philosophy at the core level, educating our further generations with a focus on ethics and behavioral philosophy to eliminate the instinct of domination and control.
But I have no idea how we will ever accomplish this, since it will always be to the massive disadvantage of the Trumps and Putins and Waltons and Devos’s of this world, those whom could actually begin to make it all happen.
From The Editorial Board To Our Readers:
Can you name any prominent politicians who try to follow ethical and moral principles like the ones in this article?
Leave a comment below!