Done with delusion of ‘strongman’?

Done with delusion of ‘strongman’?

In the 2015 Ukrainian TV show, Servant of the People (available on YouTube), the main character Vasily, who teaches history in high school, breaks into a rant before the election – first of all about how people think that Mathematics is great, but history is rubbish.

That is why, says Vasily, we repeat history. There’s a grain of truth to it when you consider how we could join the first generation of global leaders without the practical experience of World War II; Likewise the partition in India, for that matter.

The individual living horrors of both would have stymied the politicians who held leadership positions in the decades immediately following it. Apparently there are no such scary memories anymore. Surely citizens should know better?

But Vasily’s rant is more specifically about how voters choose the same kind of political leaders over and over again—”they only know divide (the people), and multiply their wealth.” A fellow recording the rant over the phone posted it online.

It goes viral. So much so that Ukrainian crowd-funded history teachers decide Vasily’s nomination for national elections. Literally, overnight, Vasily, played by actor Volodymyr Zelensky, becomes the President of Ukraine.

A pop-culture meta moment that bears no resemblance to history this TV show itself—primarily about the comical spectacle of being “President”; Also that the video inside convinced people so much that they, in fact, chose the 41-year-old producer-actor Zelensky, without any political experience, as the de facto president of Ukraine in 2019.

When this happened, I remember friends laughing at how a stand-up comedian (the top performer in my books) had become the head of state in Ukraine. Against what kind of leader you might ask.

Gambhir, ‘strong leader’, I guess? It seems like there are millions of people across geographies? Typically 70 and plus types – with delicate male egos to match potential physique – have a snoring on their face, repeatedly trying to make it look like they are in command, constantly as ‘strong’ I’m roaring to pose?

Except, the job of a modern government would be to ensure equitable and equitable implementation/distribution of laws and opportunities. That future generations could outsource to artificial intelligence—devoid of ‘geostrategic’ jargon, fanatical blind—and perhaps achieve better results.

Strong leaders apparently take ‘tough decisions’. Only that they hide behind layers after layers of protective cover; Completely bulletproof. Against whom are these ‘tough calls’ directed anyway?

By their actions, and sometimes silence, they expose particularly young people to the streets, putting their future/life at stake, injuring, maiming, or being killed (often in the name of the strong). . endangering unsuspecting civilians as a whole, as if everything were some kind of video game; People only collateral damage.

Vladimir Putin, 69-plus, ex-KGB, and the Russian equivalent of Ukrainian former stand-up comedian Zelensky, will qualify as the “strongman” leader. As do many around the world. It is one thing—this attraction for men with the premises of God. Some of which don’t look/speak like that, which is a little better.

Anyway, it’s a sign of civility, that you at least pretend to do the right thing, instead of claiming to be completely untouchable. Empathy is all that can be looked for in a leader—be it an office owner, or a school teacher/principal. Other skills can possibly be learned.

As John Ronson proves journalistically in his book The Psychopath Test, the opposite is true. More top leaders actually pass the psychopath test than you’d imagine; Starting with the inherent absence of empathy, of course.

Maybe, perhaps, from this complete lack of empathy – misinterpreted for sincerity; Expressing a great deal of hatred in the form of bravery—people who are clearly evil come to the fore? uncertain.

Or as the African proverb puts it mildly: “The child who does not embrace the village will burn it to feel its heat.” Who knows, we are all mentally trained to give reasons for crimes; And for some leaders an insatiable greed for unbridled power.

Some could put nuclear weapons on high-alert or stand-by, as Putin did. As soon as he went to war against Ukraine – except he didn’t. He is at home. As do all leaders.

Wars are inevitably talking about spirited old people, and unrelated young people dying, right? All Ukrainian men between 18 and 60 have been forced to stay within the country – to make them fire rifles, hit the road, make Molotov cocktails and fight their Russian ‘cousins’.

It’s definitely not what they dreamed of – a better professional/personal/love life is what could have constituted their reverence, now that they had also survived the goddamn virus.

The time has come for humans to survive. This is big news from Central Europe. There are not as many episodes as in North Africa or the Middle East. The entire Afghan government, under the tutelage of the Americans, fled the moment the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Of course, the situations are different—stand-up comic Prez Zelensky, a rare head of state, at least pretending to be at war, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his compatriots against Putin’s army with his helmet on. ,

The only fear is that whatever we have come to accept as the ‘new normal’ is not yet another. Or it will portend the end of a fascination for delusional ‘strong-male leaders’ – probing the price of their power. No clue. Sorry for the rant though—can’t help it, no?

Mayank Shekhar has tried to make sense of the people’s culture. He tweeted @mayankw14
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The views expressed in this column are those of the individual and do not represent the views of the paper.



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