The Happy Slave

This is my surrender to the Powers that Be, who wish we all were just happy little slaves, tooling along without a care in the world, doing what our better-educated masters tell us to do, not daring to step out of line. I'm so bad at surrender...

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Location: Indianapolis, United States

I'm an old-fashioned Get-out-of-my-face-atarian. So long as the gubmint left me alone, I had no problems with it. Gubmint wants to run my life, so I'm doing something about it. (Not just blogging, either.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Do we want Great Men to lead us?

Is George W. Bush a Great Man? Is John Kerry a Great Man? Was Bill Clinton a Great Man? If you say "yes" to any of the above, what does it say about you in light of the following remarkably true observations?

The worst form of slavery is that which is called Caesarism, or the choice of some bold or brilliant man as despot because he is suitable. For that means that men choose a representative, not because he represents them, but because he does not.... Men trust an ordinary man because they trust themselves. But men trust a great man because they do not trust themselves. And hence the worship of great men always appears in times of weakness and cowardice; we never hear of great men until the time when all other men are small.

A fellow named Chesterton wrote that some time back, and he's pretty much spot-on, as far as I'm concerned. These days, we are awash in miserable little anklebiters, desperate to follow a Great Man and horribly offended if we don't blindly worship their personal Great Man. It's time we did away with Great Men and instead concentrated on making all men great.

What does this mean? It means that we all have to stop turning our minds over to other people, for one thing. It means that we must admit that even leaders we admire very well just might pull some severely bone-headed moves. It means that we must stop letting politics be a substitute for religion. Likewise, it means that we must stop seeking a new Christ in the person of any particular politicians or group of politicians. Yes, I used the term "Christ" intentionally. It means "anointed one", "chosen one", or even "one who has the calling" (to be metaphorical).

This is what I have seen all Presidential candidates portrayed as in the last several elections, and it has gotten worse and worse. Both the major parties present their respective Christs to the American people, but that's not the real crime. The real crime is that the American people don't tell the two parties to shove their political Christs back up their party backsides.

Why do we do this? In part, it's because so many of us really do believe that we are, individually, nothing but grease-spots--or in need of a promotion to even be a fully-fledged grease-spot. I've watched a lot of people in my life, and the assistant grease-spots of humanity are actually few and far between. The vast majority of us are nowhere near as stupid as we get told we are. We do not need to look to a political party Christ to save us from the world, ourselves, or whomever it is that a given party deems to be the devil. We need to start looking to ourselves for our solutions, not looking for Great Men to dictate solutions to us.