Monday, January 02, 2012

Leadership Is Dead

From Americans’ Confidence in Its Leaders Hits New Low:
The 2011 National Leadership Index indicates that Americans’ confidence in its leaders has hit new low points: the overall index has fallen from 101.4 in 2005 to 89.4 in this month’s survey, even below the 2008 level in the midst of the financial meltdown. (100 is the normative level of confidence.)
The index is highly reliable as it is based on interviews of 1,065 Americans and conducted by the Center for Public Leadership, headed by Professor David Gergen at Harvard Kennedy School. These results are very worrisome to me, as without trust and confidence in our leaders, America cannot recover the energy and optimism required to restore its domestic economy and global leadership.
The survey indicates that 77% of Americans believe the U.S. has a leadership crisis. Without better leaders, America will decline as a nation, according to 77% of those interviewed. Seventy-six percent disagree with the proposition that our country’s leaders are effective and do a good job.
Among leadership categories, military and medical leaders continue to top the list, scoring at 112 and 105, respectively. At the very bottom are Congressional and Wall Street leaders, with ratings of 73 and 71, both down sharply from the upper 90’s in 2005. Business leaders fare slightly better at 87, with the White House at 84.5 and media at 84.
Although the results are not unexpected (what the hell is wrong with the other 23%?!?), the editorializing about the results is the typical tripe one has grown accustomed to the last few years.  (It gets worse than the above quote.)  For one thing, the angst about the decline of America fails to take into account that supposed better "leaders" in the past, since World War II, ran the country into the ground by supporting the domination of the military-industrial complex, allowing infrastructure to decay, sent jobs overseas, debased public eduction, nurtured the financial system to become a blood-sucking parasite, etc.  The current crop of "leaders" is the end result, not the cause of these policies.  It also fails to ask the one question that cannot be answered: where are the supposed better "leaders" to be found?  The answer, of course, is that they do not exist.  The climate will not allow their development, and only a complete idiot would think otherwise.  Hence, anyone who is not a craven coward pining away for someone to come and tell them what to do, and has given it some thought, will conclude that people will need to do things for themselves.  This thought scares the weak and feeble minded.

One of the reasons the OWS movement is viewed with trepidation is its rejection of "leaders" and demands of "leaders".  This is an example of true cultural evolution, and should not be taken lightly as the inevitable backlash is authoritarianism.  Thankfully, there are no "leaders" who are in a position to take advantage of it, but, like any decadent instinct, it can still be destructive as it degenerates into nihilism.

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