The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Leadership, smeadership...

Disclaimer: the following is opinion, I have no training or qualifications in anthropology.
One of the things I muse about is the human penchant for caste-ing. Ok, that's not a real word, it's one I just made up. It means:

Caste-ing: verb: the creation of tiers, or hierarchies, in society either by law or social agreement.

A long, long time ago, as man (and woman, presumably) discovered the advantages of society and community, he created crude hierarchies in an effort to create and sustain order. A leader was necessary; someone who could direct the activities of the group and who could, therefore, be blamed when things went wrong (the latter developing naturally after something went wrong). But then the problem became one of choosing leaders. A democratic society would simply select a few likely candidates and then seek a consensus on which one should lead.

Unfortunately, society was such a new concept that democracy had not yet been invented. We are talking pre-Stone Age here, there were no philosophers yet, probably not even Greeks. So, it's likely that it was more of a "top down" thing. That is, the strongest guy just beat up his rivals and took the leadership position. Much like aggressive herd animals do. And that was probably the method for countless thousands of years. Even today, you can find this. Just look at our primary system for presidential nominees.

But leaders generally like not only to lead but to retain that position. And agriculture and animal husbandry led societies to emulate the concept of breeding and superior and inferior stock. Enter royal families and the concept of nobles. This was in spite of the offspring often being mediocre and sometimes disasters as leaders. Face it, you really had to screw up royally (I wonder why we use that phrase?) to trigger a revolution. And those revolutions often just shifted control from one noble family to another.
We still practice this caste-ing. At local levels, you see it in the "good ol' boys" who run your town or county. The same families who may have started the community are still running it. Mostly, because they always have and we are suspicious of outsiders and newcomers. We elect Kennedys and Bushes and Rockefellers (and proabably Roosevelts if there any around). Wannabes marry into established families to gain status. Who was Schwartzeneggar before he married into the Kennedy clan? A movie actor of little talent beyond the ability to be a caricature of a heroic figure. We assume greatness of anyone whose father or mother made the big time in spite of the fact that they rarely perform as well as the parent. 

We conveniently forget the failures as we concentrate on the rare exception.


Torggil said...

Hey, I'd be careful mocking Schwartzenegger becuase he might just get an army of soldier cyborgs from the future to wipe you out.

Douglas4517 said...

 Yeah, I shouldn't make him mad...