Re: Defunct Democracy

Ira Brodsky (
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 11:35:35 -0600

Eric Watte Forste wrote:

>I like to think that anyone can lead. The real question is whether
>or not anyone chooses to follow. In my ideal world, everyone is
>the leader of a contingent of one, and there are no followers.
>But I'd be willing to settle for a world in which individual
>followers each choose their several leaders with a bit more care
>and consideration, and concentrate more on learning from their
>chosen leaders than on trying to draft the other sheep into their
>contingent. And leadership goes way beyond politics: there are
>leaders in art, leaders in science, leaders in philosophy, leaders
>in business, leaders in engineering... the list goes on and on,
>and it is my hope that this list of different kinds of leadership,
>different arenas of excellence, will keep growing.

I think you are drawing the distinction between personal responsibility and
leadership. Personal responsibility is about recognizing you have control
over what you do -- you choose your own role models and mentors.

The problem arises when people confuse personal responsibility with

Today's politicians are care-takers, not leaders in the classic sense. The
self-indulgent see nothing wrong with redistribution of income -- as long
as *they* are on the receiving end.

The problem with today's teachers is they have stopped teaching; education
is now "child-centered." The self-indulgent believe you learn what you
want to learn when you want to learn it.

The problem with parents is they are told and believe the village will
raise their kids. The self-indulgent are too busy to tackle this complex
problem. Let somebody else figure it out.

Intellectual and moral leadership have become passe in Western culture.
Today's heroes are basketball players. The self-indulgent are too busy
feeling good to have any time for noble actions or noble thoughts.

Can we all lead? Sure, through personal responsibility we can lead
ourselves. But you have to master that before you can lead others.

Just think of me as a very pro-technology reactionary. <g>

Ira Brodsky
Datacomm Research Company
Wilmette, Illinois