Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Anti-Authoritarianism and Politics

Anti-authoritarianism is fundamental to individuals and to the species.  Developmentally the first major conflict zone between the authorities and self is the parent child struggle named the Terrible Twos.  Developmentally at the age of roughly 2 to 3 a child exerts his individuality with contrarian distinction to the will of the parents.  Historically this was symbolized by the refusal to potty train or the 'no' and the 'temper tantrums.

Developmentally it is also a feature of the early teen years when children are moving from identification with their family to that of their peer group.

An old and simple truism is that the greatest leaders are the greatest followers.  There is great pride and narcissism in our culture with Frank Sinatra's song, "I did it my way" celebrating individual industry and endeavour. However there's a tremendous likelihood form most that this means a horrendous waste of time.  The NASA program doesn't encourage people to avoid the experience of learning from previous astronauts and just try jumping up in the air. Reinventing the wheel is avant garde but frivilous of resources.

Most creativity is done by those who have already accomplished the skills of those who have gone before them. Hence 'we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before" is a truism.

There are 'exceptions that prove the rule' but the facts remain, in todays society there is a direct correlation between years of education and probability of success individually and in community.  It is true that there are PHD's driving taxis and Grade 6 drop outs who have become dot come millionaires. However the ratio is that more than 90% of PHD's are making more than $50,000 a year income while 90% of Grade 6 , perhaps even Gr 11 , drop outs are making less than $50,000.

Inflation in education is that today a Bachelor Degree or Journeyman papers are the same standard as the old Gr. 12 educations.  There's ratios.  The more complex the activity the more likely the need for advanced training.  No one wants a jetfighter pilot 'winging it'.

The difficulty with drug abuse and alcoholism is that they interfere with learning.  They also are strongly associated with anti-authoritarianism. Commonly those in 12 step programs who are supposed to do a Step 4 overlook addressing fears and resentments which they have to institutions and principles. Authority is perhaps best understood as a principle.  The major authority structures in society are government, education, religion, police, military, banks.

We have just had an election in Canada in which three outstanding individuals who all had great leadership skills competed.  Individually most Canadians were well spread in their appreciation for any of them and an anti authority joke that made the rounds was that 'choosing a politician is like choosing which STD one wants."  However, Mr. Harper  had been Canada's leader for 2 terms demonstrating his outstanding democratic leadership skills when winning ever one election is extremely difficulty.  Mr. Mulcair was leader of the NDP Opposition party and while he didn't win the election was a greatly admired leader of the Opposition and NDP>  Justin Trudeau, the present prime minister did exceptionally well as leader of the Liberal Party bringing this third place party to win the election.  His leadership skills on this alone are to be admired.

The fact is that all the Canadian leaders are A students when it comes to political. If there were an exam for "Political Intelligence" , Mr. Harper, Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau would all score A.  To date Mr. Harper has been A+ as a democratic leader serving two terms and having 8 years of leadership experience under his belt.  Mr. Trudeau has survived many months now and continues to lead his liberal party and the government of Canada while having only 40% of the popular vote. Mr. Mulcair has many years of experience and is facing another leadership conference. But the fact all these leaders are exceptional leaders.

Right now the American election is in the beginning delegates phase with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders all leading in the races.  Again , all of these individuals are exceptional leaders. They have demonstrated great success individually in their own personal and public life and now are demonstrating their impressive leadership skills in these really tough campaigns and debates and the rather ugly spectacle of rough and tumble American politics.  Given American Transparency and Journalism every wrinkle and slip of the tongue is enlarged and distributed the world over whereas in the rest of the world where so many police states and so much of politics is behind closed doors no such public demonstration exists.

Elections in western countries are rather like blood sports and the public has a front row seat. That
truly is the issue of democracy whereas in communist totatitarian countries and other dictatorships the public doesn't know and there is no allowance for criticism and dissent.  America quite possibly
can be called the country with the greatest level of free speech in the world. Without 'free speech'

there is no freedom and political correctness is today the greatest threat to 'freedom of speech' and

'freedom' and "democracy" since Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

In a democracy with freedom of speech everyone has the 'right' to criticize the government and the authority institutions.  In Muslim lead countries we have seen that criticizing, questioning or repudiating Allah and Islam is a punishable offence with actual death as a consequence. Charlie was killed in another country by Islamic terrorists but the actions of those terrorist were supported by the Muslim Brotherhood and by Pew Statistics a majority of mainstream Muslims. In Thailand there is a professor in prison for criticizing the historical behaviour of an ancestral King. To criticize the Royal Family today is to risk incarceration.  To criticize the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia is to risk death as death was the lot of so many Argentinians who criticized their government in the terrible years.

Freedom is still a quite rare entity. So many of the leaders of the United Nations countries are guilty of major human rights offences and are quite frankly anti freedom for their citizens and often only pay lip service to the very idea of democracy.  Much of the world is ruled by old style tribalism, akin to gangsterism.  Power whether taken by gun or inheritted by those whose parents and grandparents took power by violence is in many ways the norm for much of the United Nations leadership despite their fatuous rhetoric.  The United Nations Authority has given rise to the black humor joke, "How do you know when a politician is lying. His lips are moving."

However, every leader in the United Nations is an A student in "Political Intelligence" and political leadership.

I'm personally not a very good leader. At most I've been in charge of a unit of 10 to 20 staff. I've been the acting head of units of a few more people but not that many. Mostly my businesses have at most had 2 or three assistants. I've not managed a marriage well. lasting 10 years in that endeavour and haven't had children. By contrast my brother, an highly accomplished administrator has wifh his wife of 30 plus years managed a family of 5, in addition to managing many many people in the work place and handling million dollar budgets.  Note that these are the true basis for judging leadship skills. Critics today are a dime a dozen and usually unskilled in and fundamentally ignorant. They are
however a 'legend in their own minds!"

I can only admire Canada's Prime Ministers and Political Party leaders for their "Political Intelligence'.  My brother's "political intelligence" is greater than mine. Obvioulsy Mr. Trudeau is
very bright politically to be the leader of a nation just like those who are leaders of the United

It also means to my mind that they were all likely less 'anti authoritarian' than I am.  A communist leader might have got into his position of socialist leadership by killing a few competitors just like a leader of the Hell's Angels or Jacuzza or Mafia.  Justin Trudeau, Harper, Obama, etc. all got to their positions of leadershi by playing the 'game' without overt illegal behaviour.

The trouble with 'criminal' leaders is that they may in fact have political intelligence but they're a bit like people who bring guns to golf games. Criminals may win the golf game in their mind by killing the Tiger Woods. That doesn't make themgood golfers. They're losers except as killers.

Authority is power.  The democractic leaders as compared to the totalitarian leaders and the criminal leaders don't solely depend on fear and force. In a great movie excerpt from the classic Grand Canyon, the stupid thug Rocstar has a gun on the old man Simon who is discussing respect with him. Rockstar "are you asking me as a sign of respect or are you asking because I've got the gun' and Simon says "You aint got the gun, we aint having this conversation." Then Rockstar says, profoundly, "That's what I thought: no gun, no respect. That's why I've always got the gun."

So authority comes with fear or love.  Totalitarian regimes and gangter oligarchies and communist Committee run countries  are lead by fear.

In a democracy, the fact is 40% of Canadians voted for Justin Trudeau. Justin Trudeau individually didn't force them to vote for him. He didn't threaten them (except perhaps with the fear mongering Climate Change Cult, vote for me I'll save the world, vote against me and we all die because the planet is going to die) but really, he put forward his 'best sales job' and beat the other two guys who were doing their best to get votes and the majority went to Mr. Trudeau. The same happened for Obama.

In contrast many elections around the world, especially the phony communist elections and the fake democracies, if you don't vote for the dictator you're killed. He rules by the gun.

Now our government may well have the 'illusion' of democracy with the Elite, that 2% of every country that really rules, doing whatever they want to while giving us the illusion of choice.  In the
real politick of communism and socialist countries and other dictatorships the appointed people
simply take charge and tell you what to do.  There's no 'illusion of choice'.

That's fairly cynical and yes, all those who are cynical will naturally be 'anti authoritarianism."  Nihilism and cynicism are by nature 'anti authoritarian'.  The "loser' in the struggle of 'claw and tooth' in the wild will naturally be negative about their not getting the bone. Watching hyenas and lions is a study in such behaviour.  The multiplicity of carion beasts and the hierarchies of any society are complex.

But it remains that Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Obama today are A students in 'Politics'.  Just like Stalin and Hitler, and Henry the VIII and the Ottoman Sultan and Lincoln and Gandhi before them.  These men were all great leaders.

However, as the Golden Bough showed societies like to have leaders as 'scapegoat'.  Collectively the Germans who supported Hitler overnight denied association when the Nazi regime fell.  The same occured in the Bible with even Peter denying his association and following of Jesus, one of the greatest leaders of history.

Jesus was a great Authority, like Mohammed, like Moses, like Buddha, like other religious leaders. Personally I feel Jesus is the son of God but objectively all the religious leaders were A students politically and socially.

So when I criticize Trudeau who I personally do not like, his politics being as opposite my own as say the Montreal Canadienes Hockey team is from the greatest of all hockey teams, the Canucks.

In a democracy, with freedom of speech and political debate we can criticize our government openly
without wanting a revolution.  I love the Beatles song, "We don't want a revolution!"   I can understand why Americans want Hillary Clinton jailed and I can even understand why as many want Obama impeached as did Bush.  I would be ecstactic is Trudeau were step down from leadership of Canada and let someone more to my liking  win. I'd like the Canucks to win the NHL too.

I am interested in this issue of authority and anti authority though because a lot of people who have never even 'lead' anything or anyone speak as if they could do better than Justin Trudeau.  And it saddens me. I don't like Trudeau or even Obama but I really don't think with my experience and record I could do a better job than they are doing.

I'm a ship's captain and a rather adequate one.  I noted that when my ship was in a storm all the crew less experienced and capable than me wanted to be in charge.  I learned then that people who are afraid and unaware of their fearfulness, want to be in 'control'.  So often I have seen those out of control in my psychiatric practice want to 'take control' because this gave them the brief illusion of 'safety'.

I actually believe that our generation dominated by drugs and alcohol , television, movies and video games has an immense egotism and arrogance about their capabilities. I've seen so many picturres of rank beginners jumping on motorcycles and driving them first time. I've play video games. And yet, when I first drove a motorcycle it wasn't long before I crashed it. Even after advanced training and much experience I find riding my motorcycle a very advanced complex skill.  I've done these 'pilot simulation' series and I've been quite good. I've even sat beside dozens of pilots and had some basic training in flying. Still despite all the movies to the contrary I don't want to ever have to pilot or land a 747 or a jet fighter.

A professional is judged by his lowest level. The professional is one who does a whole lot of something and because of experience has quite outstanding successes but mostly can attest to a minimum standard of success.  There is no perfection in this human world despite the demands of authorities.    However a military sniper will hit the target with high probability most of the time.  They can have a bad day. By contrast an amateur can 'get lucky' and hit the target once.  Having delivered a hundred babies or so I see the great tv deliveries by the children, police, neighbour or whatever and think that's great.  90% of the time I really didnt' think I needed to be at the delivery. However there's at least a half dozen or more of the deliveries I attended that mother and child would
have died if I hadn't been there and I had n't had the greatest of teachers.

Because again, the greatest leaders are the greatest followers.  Just as I followed the instructions of
Rusty who taught me motorcycle riding, I had followed the instructions of the obstetricians and psychiatrists and other teachers who I was truly blessed to have as mentors. I also followed my father
and mothers instruction, perhaps not as well as I could have and certainly in retrospect should have, but I did follow them. I am indeed an extremely good follower.

But so is Mr. Trudeau.  He's been a great follower and learned from some of Canada's greatest leaders.  His father, Pierre Trudeau is just one. Both Mr. Paul Martin and Mr. Chretien supported and guided Mr. Justin Trudeau. Sadly even the Conservative weak link Mr. Joe Clark supported him.  He is clearly a great follower with great mentors and despite all predictions he has not totally bankrupt the country in the first 6 months of his leadership.  Obama might well be the devil incarnate but similiar America survived his rule just as it survived Mr. Bush.  Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush were as demonized as Mr. Harper in Canada was.

But the fact remains at this time they all are as great leaders as Mr. Putin or Mrs Thatcher.

Anti authoritarianism contains the inability to appreciate 'authority' in general and comes out specifically in a lot of situations.  Those who do drugs and alcohol are commonly anti law and order because it interferes with their addictions. Criminals are naturally 'anti authority' preferring to be 'a law unto themselves.'

Che guevara was as great a military leader as Ghengis Khan by some arguments but he wasn't as great a political leader as Khan or as his buddy Castro.  A great military leader or even a military hero might well not have the skills or political acumen to be the kind of leader that Truman or Kennedy were.

Political leadership is of a 'kind'.  It's a kind of 'authority'.  One feature is whether it's legitimate, criminal , or democratic.  Is is a product of force or attraction.  Is it 'respect' or is it a 'gun".

Now followers are fickle.  Mr. Harper, one of the greatest leaders of Canadian history, elected two terms and managed Canada through two world economic crisis is rejected overnight by the electorate one the basis of 'change'.  Anything is better than the old ways. Mr. Obama was elected much the same way after.  In democracies we don't as much vote for a person as against the last person. Even Winston Church lost his election despite what he'd done in WWII.  In democracy when a country is doing well the leaders may actually stay in power but the minute events change out they go.

It's been said that Benign Dictatorships are the best government overall for a country or a world however it's also said 'Power corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely".  History shows too that regimes corrupt and eventually competition replaces them with empire after empire till the present world empire today.

Now the whole idea of 'freedom of speech', involves 'criticism' and therefore I can criticism authorities and thankfully in Canada the retaliation is not what it is in Saudi Arabia where the regime is so weak it cannot tolerate any dissension.  It's a government by force compared to Canada and even the US where the government is by attraction.

What's interesting in politics is not just the left and right dimensions but when the quality of criticism is by leaders themselves.  Not outsiders, but rather those leaders who have been before or themselves had the job of running large complex social structures.

The joke of the Alberta NDP election was that never before in the history of Canada or perhaps even the west have so many utterly ignorant and incompetent people gained so much power democratically. The vast majority of elected in that province had far less leadership experience than me and I've run a business, been an expedition leader, had masses of education and am a ships captain. The majority of candidates there had no leadership experience to speak of and had never managed budgets greater than a hundred thousand or so.  Yet despite the bankruptcy of the province they're muddling along showing that politics can 'survive' with all kinds. When there is a revolution such as the Lenin communist revolution that deposed the Russian government lead by socialist Alexander Kerensky after the abdication of NicholasII there is a similiar situation with generally politically ignorant, naive and incompetent people taking their leadership by force and establishing control with a gun.

The loss then is monumental. But it's interesting that a multi billion dollar business like the country of Alberta can be taken over by critics and school teachers and it muddles along.  Indeed experience is mostly associated with efficiency and without corruption, saving.

Now I'm looking forward to the leadership races in Canada. Rona Ambrose has been an amazing conservative interim leader and Mulcair is up for review by the NDP.  Meanwhile Donald Trump and
Hillary Clinton look like they will be the contenders for the next American presidency.  I personally like Country Rock or Country Folk Music but I like to think of these leaders as different types of music,  Obama was probably Rap while Hillary might be called jazz and Trump rock and roll.  I think of Justin Trudeau as hip hop myself and thought Mr. Harper classic rock.  Trump might be Metallica but the bottom line and that's what I want heard here is despite my fear and criticism of Trudeau and Obama I fully recognise them as A plus students of politics. As a Canadian I will follow Trudeau's leadership as well, kicking and screaming as I go. I'm paying his outrageous taxes and choking on his wasteful spending just like Americans who felt that neither the establishment Democrats or Republicans served them so look to the genius of Donald Trump, definitely a major leader.

But this analysis is like respect that which fighter pilots had for each other in WWI.  Downed pilots were treated respectfully and returned exchanged in prisoner exchanges in a civilized way before the rule of mob violence.

ISIS today definitely is lead by an A plus leader but his leadership is coupled with barbarian behaviour.

I guess it's summed up by recognizing that Lucifer was a great angel and remains a great angel but thankful he doesn't play for the Canucks. Personally I think the Angel Michael and even on good days that Jesus plays for the Canucks.  (Jesus was not playing for the Canucks this last season).

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