I believe in leadership. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point “leadership” was replaced by “management”. This has been a gradual change, I remember in the eighties hearing complaints that the two styles were not interchangeable. From a military standpoint, you do not manage a man into battle. But as we faded away, a new generation has attempted to do just that, with foreseeable results. The same change of styles can be attributed to other failures in society, the most obvious being the banking and healthcare industries.
When Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results”, he could not have anticipated an elite that would try the same thing, but call it something different, and expect different results. As words became more powerful than actions, our leaders became our managers, and their concept of the responsibility of leadership became the responsibility of management.
Realizing that this doesn’t work comes from the bottom and works its way up. That a change is necessary is not the object of the debate, but an efficient manager can unify his minions for the purpose of managing them. Yes, everyone wants a change. If we argue about what changes we want we will get nothing done, and if we unite and stand together for change in and of itself…nothing gets done. My desired change and your desired change are not capable of coexisting, but everyone voted for the candidate who promised change. Well, not everyone. Fifty two percent of the fifty seven percent of voting age people who voted. Which would mean that somewhere in the area of one out of five inhabitants of the United States voted for that change in 2008. Not exactly a mandate, but you get what you pay for.
Despite the lack of any positive changes, a slightly smaller percentage of a slightly smaller percentage elected the same person in 2012. In a recent survey, exactly the same amount of people believe that the weather affects cloud computing. Just sayin…
Approximately the same percentage of the population in Egypt voted in a new president last year. Muhammad Morsi was the change the people wanted after thirty years of Hosni Mubarak (who had brought historically unique stability to Egypt). They wanted the change so much they could not wait for the scheduled elections just two months away. Last week, after a mere twelve months in office, he was displaced in a military coup. You can call it a revolution if you wish, I believe the Chinese are still using that term to describe their system, although the Wuchang uprising was over one hundred years ago. The fact is a minority of the Egyptian people decided to protest in Tahrir square and break things until their country changed again. The military, a largely autonomous organization, wasn’t terribly happy with the new leader, so they placed Mr. Morsi under arrest, suspended his new constitution, and appointed the leader of the constitutional court acting president. Yeah, it didn’t make any sense to me either. “Democracy”, “Constitution”, “and “Elections”, are not quite the same there as they are here.
So they went from dictatorship to democracy to military junta in just over a year. And the “people” are calling it a revolution. The people who chose Morsi to replace “the tool of the USA and Israel” wanted Morsi out because he was “a tool of the USA and Israel”. Maybe they should have watched a news report from the states, where Morsi was seen as an enemy of the USA and Israel due to his bonds with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Which reminds me of what some people would call a joke. A guy on his first op (FNG) is told if things go south, to say he’s with the CIA. “But why? Won’t they deny I’m with them?” So you explain, “Of course they will, they deny their own people, so that builds your credibility. They will assume you’re with the CIA, they’ve never heard of us.”
The other day I was reading through my favorite anarchist site, and one young man made the statement “Each and every Egyptian is against Morsi”. I suggested to him that if that was true, why are there protests? With that kind of consensus they should all be getting along wonderfully. I applauded the fifty one percent of voters who had changed their minds. His English was not strong enough to appreciate my sarcasm. I’m finding the anarchists less fun lately, rather than the individualists I grew up with, they want to put forward the idea that everyone agrees.
The over three billion genes we each carry allows for differences that can for all practical reasons be called “infinite”. No two of us are precisely the same, nor do we have precisely the same desires. We build consensuses, we agree to majority rule, but we know that even within the majority there are subtle differences of opinion. A crowd of a million protestors calling for change is looking for a million different changes for a million different reasons. They may take comfort or find strength in their unity, but that unity is often simply in the desire to protest, to express dissatisfaction.