Friday, January 25, 2013

Why We Are Ruled by Petty Tyrants

We love a winner.  We love to admire people we perceive to have done great things.  Sometimes, we love them too much.  Sometimes, we give them a free pass.  Sometimes, we pretend a rotten loser is a winner.

When we allow them to get away with something, because of our admiration, we are encouraging them to do something worse.  With each ignored imposition, we make them stronger and less likely to hesitate before making the next imposition.

Then we glorify them for it.

We make more excuses defying the logical and move purely into rhetorical arguments.  We burnish their reputations and pretend to see our reflection in them. 

Then, we become afraid of them.  After we've made them so strong, they begin to fear us less.  This makes them even less likely to be influenced by anything negative we say.  They believe the hype and start to use it against the very people who brought them power.

We live very comfortable lives, compared to any time in history.  To many, politics is an annoyance, or, worse yet, a game in which to pull for a team... or to gamble upon.  This makes very fertile ground for the petty tyrant.

He will sink his roots deep. 

By the time many realize that their hero isn't who they've been lying to themselves and other about, it's too late.  The petty tyrant now has enough roots and connections to keep your efforts to remove him or her from having any effect. 

Why is it we love the 'winner' figure so much that we'd give up our logic and individuality to promote this person?  Bottom line: We just don't want to take responsibility for ourselves.  We seek out those we perceive to be capable of taking care of us.  This is a story as old as humanity:  When a strong figure arises, we are usually willing to give up our basic rights to have our needs met.  We lionize the figure and create a mythical character who will meet our needs.