Corruption of leaders
Problem: people in power are usually more greedy, more prone to lying about big things, create war, sell out the people they pretend to represent, betray the organizations they work for no matter how much tradition and theory these organizations have had or how much they are being payed by these organizations, and in general threaten the existence of the human race on a habitable planet; they also do not usually find solutions, do not plot a course for a cleaner and fairer world, give a bad personal example to everybody, and ofcourse are often not very smart scientifically, though extremely cunning when playing in the theater of public popularity. Where do these people come from, and why do they affect the world so badly.
The answer provided by Technical Darwinism (T.D.) is quite obvious: these people in general have been "successful in attaining positions of power". This is true by definition, ofcourse, but it says something crucial about a portion of these people. And that is: they like to have power: why else would they have bothered trying to get it, and they have tried harder to get it then most who wanted this power: why else would they have succeeded where others failed. To think that present day leaders are leaders because they are good in making good decisions, is absurd. They are not good at it.
Trying to get to a position of power is an age old game in the animal kingdom (see Tech.Darw. formulation for arguments and reasons why, without which this argument here has little meaning). Conversely, not trying to get to a position of power is decidedly odd for any animal, because it is a strategy which will cause failure in the race for survival (between non-technical species). It is however a very human (that is, a technical species with social adaptations to its technology) trait, not to want to dominate (lie to, steal from, mislead, torture and destroy) other humans. In other words, to put it as guarded as possible: people in positions of power can be assumed (a-priori, before observation and verification) to have a higher chance of being psychologically run by ancient (extremely ancient) animal morality, then people who are not in positions of power. With animal morality is meant a true moral system, where positive outcomes are assumed from inter individual violence (this should provide for a "stronger species" in the race for survival between naked animals), not the absence of conscience or morality. The inter personal violence is a code of conduct, just as the opposite but very human `friendliness and cooperation and support' is a code of conduct, a moral system, which expects its very own positive outcomes. Both systems seem to collide in quite obvious ways.
This explains the continual historical corruption of political parties, who decide major issues in the world today. These political parties (and virtually all organizations), are run by "people in power". This is not a strict necessity, it is the result of the way people like to organize themselves (leader on top, and the rest follows the decrees given). Because of the era in human development we live in, there are still a lot of people who subscribe to the animal moral code (and may only subscribe to the human moral code in appearances, to hide their true intentions - in true animal-code form, where camouflage is ofcourse an important part of ensuring the survival of the species as well, besides bodily strength). It deserves to be said, that although both moral systems do not mix well, both ultimately have the interest of the human race at heart (whether the actor knows this or not does not seem to matter). It therefore seems wrong to deride one as evil as such. However, both have their obvious place in time, and applying a system out-of-time is technically `wrong' (as in not smart).
There are a number of problems that `a present day organization' has, that previous and future organizations will probably not have. Previous human organizations, say organizations - tribes - before the dawn of technology, would necessarily subscribe to the original animal moral code. What in modern days would be called "corrupt and violently criminal" conduct of any leader, would have been reason to call this leader a great hero for the species. In the far future, it seems absurd to believe humanity will be able to survive under the animal moral code, because this code is incapable of dealing with advanced technology: it celebrates war and cultivates the violent (though it doesn't necessarily go out of its way to destroy forms of solidarity). War is no longer an option when technology has progressed too far. Hence, in the far future all humans (if any) will have turned toward the human moral code of friendliness and cooperation (adapted socially to its technology). Therefore, in the far future "leaders" will no longer be corrupt, if people still like to play the "follow the leader" game.
However this leaves the unique problems of today, when we are neither before nor after the necessary moral change. On the one hand we have a level of technology which requires human morality, and on the other hand the human species is still in the grip of animal morality (perhaps technological progress has been too rapid for social progress to keep up with, and/or social progress has been too slow -- both are dangerously out of sync). The fact that people who subscribe to animal morality converge on positions of power is as natural and predictable, as it is dangerous ... A practical problem seems to emerge: if in the present day, unlike before, and unlike ultimately, we "can not trust leaders as we can trust the common man", then what do we do ?
Enter, ofcourse, `democracy'. But will "the leaders" just give up and discover their hidden humanity or die out. What is this `democracy' anyway. It turns out that on closer inspection, modern `democracy' has not done away with the concept of "leaders" at all. Therefore, it has not done away with the problem, which is the lesser trustworthiness of people who become leaders (as in "having the power of decree", "freedom to exercise their will over others"), it has just shifted the framework in which one can become a leader in the modern world (of state politics). Notably, the rules for becoming a leader in companies or other organizations can be different, allowing different types of "leaders" to find their ideal roads to power. Criminal organizations provide yet more options for the even more socially primitive people, who adhere with more crude perfection to the animal moral code (but incidentally the weapons they use are usually less powerful, making them less of an issue -- and these people do tend to get themselves killed sooner or later, so they seem to die out).
This analysis of the modern-day problem surrounding "leaders" (conceptually, a-priori), seems to predict and explain why political parties have a grand tradition of betrayal. A number of special effects surround "leaders": 1. if the organization they run has a political goal, then achieving this goal means the end of the organization, and the end of their job and livelihood; 2. if the organization does not appear to satisfy those it organizes, the leader can similarly loose its position and livelihood; 3. leaders do not necessarily depend for their livelihood on the organization they currently represent: if they sell-out, this very act may buy them a much better livelihood somewhere else.
The combination of these three problems seem to predict that: political parties will do the least possible to work toward the goal, and in effect attempt to eternally turn around in circles rather then achieving the goals, yet are always attempting to make it seem as if some progress is being made or fought for with all possible might. It is this combination of "requirements", which produce in effect an eco-system for politicians. The politicians become what they are, as a result of the pressures they face in their eco-system; or worded differently: only people very good at these skills tend to survive and do well in politics. This seems to explain the image of politicians, and moreover shows that the system brings out the problem, rather then that the "stupid voters" (as it were) are to blame for choosing bad leaders ... if only they learned and could find the good leaders.
A political consequence of this seems to be, that while in general the politicians are more into animal morality then most (as they follow their primitive instinct for power), this translates into: supporting steep hierarchies, wide income differences, exploitation and the celebration of wealth and parasitism, "we at the top and you at the bottom, then all is well". It also suggests that left-wing and right-wing parties will likely both betray their base to some degree, in order to remain needed. The right is also being betrayed. However, as a whole, politicians will tend to be more towards the political spectrum that promotes wars and steep income differences (exploitation hierarchy). Unfortunately, things are even worse then this: the third effect said that politicians jump organizations... Who has to offer lucrative positions of power and/or salary, the kind of things that are what politics is about and therefore has attracted politicians. Is it the people at the bottom of the steep hierarchy, or the people at the top. Obviously it is at the top where the power can be found. At the bottom the possibilities range from "joining work on the factory floor", to "chiming in in demonstrations and strikes", neither of which offers concentrated personal power.
Two effects cause politicians to be more to the animal morality (reason for being a leader, and future career options), while one effect causes politicians to attempt not to achieve their goals (achieving them ends the reason for the political party to exist). This does not vote well for the capacity of the "democratic" process, when it comes to defending the interests of those at the bottom of the hierarchy. History is the perfect illustration of this. Since the system fundamentally serves "the economic top" (the moral bottom) very well (given the circumstances), keeping the system alive is in the interest of the top, while revolutionizing it is in the direct economic interest of the bottom. This may bind politicians yet stronger to the economic top/moral bottom. The economic top has a fundamental interest in maintaining the system, therefore politicians have an interest in maintaining those that have an interest in maintaining them.
The analysis would not be complete without a look at counter forces: what would the people invested in human morality do. Perhaps they would really want to become leaders, and make things better, offsetting the problems. This is clearly the cultural assumption supporting the current system, and it may happen (why not!). However, the leader/follower configuration causes the followers to not advance their mental/psychological capacities through experience with making different decisions. It seems the deepest of rules/rights that living beings are able to make the most important decisions. Without this capability, life would be reduced to a vegetative state, and only be of interest for plant-like creatures (mentally/psychologically dead). Research has shown that the best way to feel satisfaction and happiness, is if a person is having control over their life. In political terms perhaps `sovereign decisions', at least for adult humans (if any), who won't be satisfied with "fake decisions", decisions about unimportant details, filling in the blanks on a colouring picture.
For animals, making decisions is about relatively simple things (shall I cross that river here, or over there). But these decisions are nevertheless critical for their lives, and mean the difference between food and hunger, life or death. Simple as they are, they are ultimate decisions, sparking interest, learning, adventure. For humans it may mean more intricate things, because the human world has been made more complicated. But that does not detract from the fact that an important question is: what is life worth, if you can't make your own decisions. As a result, people invested in human morality, may have conscience problems when it comes to assuming a leadership role. Instead, the human moral code could likely decide that leadership is a form of direct power and is a mistake, even a crime against the future of those being lead. Making mistakes is the essence of making choices, and the disasters that come from the mistake are what is supposed to make the people reconsider, correct themselves, learn (become better, be alive). The people on the human moral side, may therefore view disasters caused by leaders as opportunities for the followers to come back to life. It may not be that clear cut (always), but it is a possible consideration. It is therefore possibly unlikely in general, that people following the human moral code will 1. want power instinctively, and 2. have a fundamental problem with the mistakes being made by following leaders, because the bad results can be seen as symptoms, chances for correction of the root problem, which is not bad decisions by leaders, but (blindly) following leaders, giving anyone the power of decree.
Having said that, the position of "oversight and planning" can be a necessary part for certain jobs or in organizations. Providing such service is not what above is meant by "leadership". Leadership here means exercising a direct political power, the freedom to make top level political decisions.
Conclusion: political corruption seems virtually built into the system most "democracies" employ today. Corruption, opportunism and betrayal is what has to be expected given the moral position of the present. The historic problems this has caused is no reason for despair. But instead, reason to hope that the pain of the mistake is being felt, and therefore reconsidering and possibly ending the original choice (to play "follow the leader", or to continue with this from animal moral times) may be closer then ever before. I suggest that the search for "the incorruptible" leader should end, because the incorruptible leader may 1. not exist, 2. decline to lead anyone in the first place ! (therefore `not exist' twice over). This search would be hopeless, the system is fundamentally hopeless at this moment. Worse: it is prohibiting a turn toward a human moral code, because of the control it cedes to an on average more backward group, who may attempt to actively block moral progress. Moral progress is threatening to end their "way of life."
Despite all of the above, the most important thing is what people like to experience: life under an animal moral code, or under a human moral code; that should provide the blueprint for the future, not which one makes humanity more likely to survive (IMHO). Life should be an enjoyment. It is quite possible, that people choose the animal moral code when they are very sleepy. It wakes them up, makes them alert (the danger, the excitement).
Thu Sep 28 09:46:21 UTC 2006