Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Psychopaths as Leaders

What is this animal called ‘leadership’ and why all of a sudden the intense interest to mass breed it? Today almost all countries on our continent are feverishly engaged in its production and support, be it psychological, financial, etc, not surprisingly, is gushing from the rich North. For example leadership training for military personnel might be supported by the US, business leadership by the World Bank, civic leadership by a northern NGO and gender leadership by the UN, etc. Literally there is no end to the whole litany! But what is seriously frightening about this eugenic mission is the very criterion by which many of the potential trainees are selected!
By and large and by the ideology of reductionism, which we are going to generously employ today, those selected are; invariably highly gullible and excitable creatures, completely lacking wisdom even maturity that is appropriate to their chronological age. They are simpletons through and through with blind ambition that knows no bounds and certainly not tempered by basic decency. These recruits are expected to harbor inflated egos that crave for top positions, irrespective of their chronic disability in almost everything, God-given or man-given! Depraved background coupled with lack of integrity/confidence is a highly valued asset of prospective recruits, since such afflictions can easily foster slavish mentality and servitude in the upcoming ‘leaders!’ At this point many might think our profiling is already harsh and unwarranted, but in actual fact what we are doing is merely stating what others have verified scientifically!
Again by and large, the ‘leadership animal’ that is now roaming the world is not known for its humane qualities or even aspirations, consequently the training exercise for would be ‘leaders’ is only to instill some kind of skill impostering as a leadership import! After all, the whole mission is not to create a Gandhi, a King, a Nyerere, a Mao, a Mandela, a Lenin or a Castro. In short, i.e. by our reductionist ideology of the day, it is to forge zombies or ‘yes men/women’, that can obediently serve the prevailing world system and its powerful operators; leaders that abhor independent thinking and submit wholeheartedly to worshiping authority! To make sure these creatures are properly looked after in the modern world system, they are awarded all sort of gonzo credentials (standardized to the level of Zombeism) to secure undeserved remuneration and status.
As it pertains to Africa, the ever present condescending attitude/assumption (about us) forces the conclusion; Africa’s leadership, political or otherwise, unlike the leadership of other countries, say China for example, can be created at will to perpetuate the prevailing system under which Africans toil and serve as foolish fodders. In this regard, we Africans, at least so far, have not disappointed at all! Even countries like Ethiopia whose tradition/experience force-embedded the qualities of caution/suspicion, have succumbed to embarrassing simple mindedness! It seems, Ethiopia’s elites that are coming out of the mills (schools, universities, etc) are frighteningly non-inquisitive or to again use the ideology of the day, certified zombies! These chappies which are now stuffing the regional states and their administrations (to say nothing about the federal one) have (in a very short period of time) refined shallowness/corruption to an art form! Thanks to our reductionist ideology of the day (which we don’t plan to make a habit of) we can confidently say: welcome to the Nige…zation of Ethiopia!
We have absolutely nothing against psychopaths and sociopaths, so long as they keep to themselves and don’t meddle in our collective life, but unfortunately that is not what obtains! Unless something is done locally, regionally and globally, sooner or later there will be a determined effort by the beast (human mass) to dislodge these born clowns from positions of responsibilities. How long can people stand the grotesque injustice caused by a bona fide psychopath of a judge, or the maladministration of a monster minister, an embezzlement of a public common (money) by a bankster banker, a playboy pontiff, etc? Some countries have managed, (throughout their long histories) to devise built-in mechanisms against psychopaths and sociopaths; at the same time, many countries in Africa, including ours, have no institutional safe guards to protect them from these societal affliction and continue to suffer unjustifiably.
Amongst many other things, leadership is also the quality/capacity to thoroughly investigate existing situations/conditions and carve out better options leading to desired outcomes, taking into consideration given constraints. It is not to mimic/parrot what was learned elsewhere and mindlessly repeat them, like the unexamined belief in the established global order; economic, political, cultural, environmental, etc. To finish off, if leadership were to be produced en masse, is it still appropriate to call it leadership? Be that as it may, our young elites in government bureaucracy, business, civil society, etc should continuously thrive to learn and think more along with the cultivation of humility and modesty, which are also part and parcel of the knowledge process. They must also aggressively avoid the phony/pseudo leadership trap that is not only vacuous, but is also grossly stifling. Remember the old adage: “Little knowledge is dangerous.” Good Day!