Monday, March 11, 2013

Winning the Hearts of Other Men -- the Leadership of Hugo Chavez


Why does everything have to be all good or all bad?  Humans will never attain perfection.  Hugo Chavez knew how to tap into an entire class of people -- the poor and the powerless.  He made the powerless feel powerful and that their interests would be recognized and served by him.  If he did it through strong-armed techniques and perpetrating the longest hatred of some so be it. As long as the need to eat and the need to see a doctor when sick were met then he was elevated by many to idolatry status.  I think Chavez did that for the vast numbers of poor in a poor but very oil rich nation.  He rewarded himself, of course, handsomely for it.

I love George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies."  Both knew the impossibility of purity and all-good leadership.  One system falls and another system often worse than or as bad as the one before fills a vacuum to take its place. Mostly, man has an almost innate desire to be led.  As long as he does power will emerge to fill a void in peoples' hearts by tapping into what they want most -- protection, healthcare, a full stomach and a job. The leader who sees so presciently what man most needs will invariably fall short but often take advantage of this ever-present need for leadership nonetheless.

All institutions, whether in the form of government or in the form of religion like the Vatican, see a universal need of humans for help and hope for the hopeless.  They tap into it, gain a reputation for caring about the least and while they are at it grab power and the great security of wealth it brings for themselves. So what if they are a bit corrupt -- just a bit?  The millions will look the other way not because they have to but because they need to.

It does NOT take a genius to figure out what people want. Both religion and government always do and manage to put one over on the follower masses multiple times.  As Bob Dylan said “You do not have to be a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing.”

My motto:  Question EVERYTHING and know that most leadership does things NOT out of the goodness of their heart but out of their singular need to win the hearts of other men.  It is the give and take constant in man’s evolutionary struggle to survive.


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