[This is the fifth part of a continuing series, excerpting Chapter 22 of my book, Freedom or Serfdom.]
Paving the Way for Tyranny
It is obvious which care-giver most of us would prefer, but what did the nursing home administration do? Gloria was highly regarded and even put in charge when the supervising nurses were away. Ana? She was constantly in trouble, reprimanded for taking the time to be kind to the residents. Ana failed to meet bureaucratic regulations while Gloria complied to the letter.
That, on a small scale, demonstrates how bureaucratic rules give advantage to the heartless and punish people for kindness and personal integrity. Government unrestrained lives by those bureaucratic rules and provides a similar advantage to heartless power-seekers. They are the people willing and able to manipulate the system for their own advantage.
I stood at ease with the other soldiers, enthralled as the commandant of the jump school spoke. One of the most effective teachers I ever had the pleasure to meet, he not only helped us learn the techniques of parachute jumping, he motivated us to jump out of perfectly good airplanes, a thousand feet above the ground. His charisma was amazingly effective, both as a teacher and as a motivator. Because of that charisma he never got another promotion.
In a previous assignment he commanded a brigade of paratroopers. The wind was blowing, hard enough that regulations prohibited airborne operations. You can guess where this is going. Yes, he got his troops fired up. They were tough paratroopers; a little wind wouldn't bother them. Let the wimps follow that silly rule. Out of the C-130s they went – two of them to their deaths. His charisma, unrestrained by wisdom, was dangerous as long as he was commanding officer.
Charisma can be a problem. Timothy Judge of the University of Florida business school says that being an extrovert is correlated with being chosen as a leader, but not with being a good leader. “We go for these effervescent leaders when what's really needed is a dull, focused, plodding [type] building effective groups and organizations.” Leadership requires two distinct but unrelated abilities. First and most important, the leader must make wise decisions. Second, he must motivate people to act on those decisions. Motivation without wisdom only leads people to Hell faster. It is the demagogue, the potential tyrant, who is most likely to motivate without wisdom.
Charisma attracts votes. It also causes people to act without thinking. Extroverts are the people likely to win elections, but not the most likely to make good decisions. The only possible solution is for voters to pay more attention to substance and less to image.
There are two opposite reasons for [supporting democracy]. You may think that all men are so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice... On the other hand you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows. (C.S. Lewis)
Be it a democracy or a dictatorship, advancement requires determined effort, including acquisition and organization of supporters. In a democracy, those supporters are voters and the campaign workers who convince those voters. In a dictatorship supporters must be those already in power, or people with the ability, often military ability, to overthrow those in power. In either system, competitors must be removed or rendered powerless. Only the most able and determined reach the top. That ability and determination can be used either to advance freedom or to enslave the people.
Who has the motivation, the drive, to make that effort? Only those most committed to their goals. Some of course want to help others. Some want power. Some are worse than others but all have a tendency to run roughshod over competition to reach their goals.
Next time we shall discuss the worst of the worst in government rulers, the “cream” that is not only sour, it is downright poisonous.
 Howard, op cit, pp78-79
 U.S. News and World Report, November 2009, p26