2014-11-10

The Metamorphosis of the Leader

Considering the purest sense of the terms, democracy and capitalism are antagonistic notions. While in democracy the power resides in the people, in capitalism it is held by the capitalists (or by the capitalist mechanisms themselves). Thus, true democracy implies the control of capitalism, while a more pure capitalism means a deficiency in democracy. It is therefore not surprising that the neoliberal capitalist regime that rules throughout the West today is necessarily accompanied by imperfect, empty, fake democracies, if not something prone to totalitarianism.

In addition, capitalism involves a powerful propaganda apparatus, one of their objectives being precisely to build the myth of democracy and bestow
their representatives with an almost sacred character. Thus, neoliberal "democratic" leaders must be sufficiently charismatic and pregnant to appear to be more politicians than actors. For the policy is in reality practiced in the realm of the capital, and the fundamental role of these representatives is to play a theatrical plot. The paradox is that they must look like the old great statesmen, while their attributes must be those of an actor or a public relations professional.

It could be even argued that the best leaders of our time would suffer from a certain schizophrenia
-- at least in practice: they must pretend to have conviction, determination, security, courage, political will; but must be unambitious, obedient, submissive, fearful of the true power. The spectra of many statesmen assassinated in the last century precisely by practicing politics, surely must be present in their worst nightmares [aw].