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How much power should we give strong and charismatic political leaders?
  A strong decentralization.viewpoint:  

A strong centralization.viewpoint:
Never let empowerment at the bottom  
Realistically, to get things done, leaders
atrophy by giving it up to the top    
need to be empowered "people pushers"
All trends in the direction of absolute  
Long run success depends on the emer-
power also help corrupt absolutely  
gence of strong leaders to handle crises
The real test of a leader is his ability  
Really good leaders are so rare that they
  to be survived by his subordinates    
must be treated as if irreplaceable

Sample argument: It is always very dangerous to give any single individual too much power, which always tempts him with its intoxicating effects. Even if he is basically honest and self-restrained, this can inflict quiet opportunity costs. It can condition people towards authoritarianism while atrophying their ability to engage in viable grass roots political organization. The public will eventually get a pie in its face when the next leader turns out to be a rotten tyrant and then they discover that they have lost the grass roots ability to resist him. Political power must always, without exception, stem from the grass roots locality. People must resist jingoism that takes the focus off hard-headed examination of real issues, the realities of government power abuse, and the continuing need for local action and local empowerment. The best leaders have their subordinates so well developed that they can easily "assume the mission" if their leaders falter.
. . .

Sample argument: In the real world people tend to run in gangs with pyramidal power structures. Effective leaders usually accumulate quiet forms of power that are off the table of organization charts. This tends to be true regardless of the official political philosophy. All human societies have a strong emotional cravings for father figures as well as a rational component. When they fall into disarray, cynicism, and despondency, it is vital to have a charismatic leader who can restore the people's idealism so that they can be jump-started out of their lethargy and move forward again with vision. To accomplish this task, a leader must not only be strong, but must also actively motivate followers to restore their pride. He must even be prepared to act in a very firm and forceful manner. Without strong, authoritative leadership, people tend to wallow in chaos and general social ineffectiveness. Certain very gifted individuals can become for all practical purposes irreplaceable as vital leaders..


Decentralization viewpoint:
I derived the second bullet point: "All trends in the direction of absolute power also help corrupt absolutely" from the famous saying "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" from Lord Acton, the famous late 19th century British classical liberal. Acton also said, "Great men are almost always bad men." which is his response to the first bullet point.

The maxim that a good leader has his subordinates so well trained that they can replace him is a leadership principle that appears in a small brochure that was once handed out to me at Marine Corps officer candidate school. The idea is that if an officer gets shot, his men can still continue the mission in his absence.

There is an interesting paradox involved here. Sometimes the "decentralization" concept whereby a leader should develop his subordinates so that the leader himself becomes replaceable by them works better in certain types of centralized, hierarchical organizations than in certain types of decentralized organizations. This is because under ordinary peacetime circumstances, unless he gets taken out in combat, a Lieutenant or Captain in charge of an infantry unit is normally not afraid he will get replaced by enlisted personnel. On the other hand, in certain civilian organizations with easy upward mobility and very little job security for people in leadership positions, one often finds leaders with a very paranoid attitude about getting replaced by more competent subordinates.

In line with this paradox, the author of "Effective Group Problem Solving" (carried by America First Books) claims that one of the biggest problems with the techniques in the book for eliciting grass roots ideas and creative suggestions is that they are often too effective for many managers. Some managers just want to rock along and maintain the perks of their position. They really do not care about improving the effectiveness of their organizations by soliciting and utilizing grass roots beneficial suggestions. Instead, their primary focus is upon keeping their jobs without rocking the boat. Therefore, obtaining high quality feedback and beneficial suggestions is actually threatening to these types of people.

Centralization viewpoint: My argument here is based on many different influences. The idea that national leaders tend to operate as "criminal gangs" was a favorite observation of the anarcho-libertarian writer Dr. Murray Rothbard. Interestingly enough, it also a point that individuals on a very different end of the political spectrum such as Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance like to make a lot as well. The radical left (to include the "anarcho" side) and radical right are often closer on certain issues that then so-called center.

The idea that formal organizational charts rarely apply in the real world is a common staple of most "get ahead" books about the importance of social networking for business success.

Another part of this discussion was based upon the "Theory X" side of the famous "Theory X and Theory Y" paradigm developed in the 1960's by Douglas McGregor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

In regard to a need for a charismatic leader, this concept generally falls under the rubric of "cult of personality." Dr. Thomas Woods has commented in his lectures about how Teddy Roosevelt was the first American to turn the Presidency into a genuine cult of personality.

A hardcore version of this on the European authoritarian right was the famous Führerprinzip or "Fuhrer Principle." But we need to remember that this was not just an authoritarian right wing thing. The Communists had their own versions in such forms as Stalinism and Maoism. So did the Zionists in the form of Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky and his Revisionist movement. The Introduction to The Judas Goats by Michael Collins Piper (carried by America First Books) notes that Jabotinsky was known as "The Jewish Fascist." (Other web sites also note that Jabotinsky was a great admirer of Mussolini, although the Wikipedia article on Jabotinsky has sanitized this out, probably due to the presence of illiberal, paranoid Jews within its editorial organization).

Getting back to Teddy Roosevelt, he coined the phrase the "bully pulpit" and dispatched the "Great White Fleet" to circumvent the globe to give American prestige and grandeur a huge shot in the arm. He preached the virtues of the life lived in perpetual "strenuosity." With his fist-smacking public sermons, he definitely tried to be a "motivator."

On the European side, former French President Charles DeGaulle wrote in his War Memoirs (Vol I, "The Call"), "

All my life I have cherished a certain idea of France, that is inspired by feeling as well as by reason. . . My instinct tells me that providence created her for triumphs and disasters. If, in spite of this, France behaves in a mediocre fashion, I feel that there has been an error, due to the mistakes of the French [people] rather than the character of the nation. The positive side of my mind is convinced that France is true to herself only when she stands in the first rank; that only great enterprises can neutralize the ferment of disunity which her people carry in their veins... France cannot be France for me without grandeur. France is not France unless she is great... "

Another big believer in rising above the so-called "mediocrity of the masses" towards hardcore "grandeur" was an ostensible ideological adversary of DeGaulle in the form of Waffen S.S. General Leon Degrelle. Around the time of the German surrender in Europe, he very narrowly escaped Allied capture by flying to Spain to seek the protection of Franco. He barely survived crash landing on a Spanish beach when his plane ran out of gas. At the very end of his riveting book Campaign in Russia: The Waffen S.S. on the Eastern Front, Gen Degrelle wrote:

. . Certainly we had been beaten. We had been dispersed and pursued to the four corners of the world.
But we could look to the future with heads held high. History weighs the merit of men. Above worldly baseness, we had offered our youth against total immolation [in trying to shield Europe as part of a self-styled Nazi crusade against Bolshevism]. We had fought for Europe, its faith, its civilization. We had reached the very height of sincerity and sacrifice. Sooner or later Europe and the world would have to recognize the justice of our cause and the purity of our gift.
. . .For hate dies, dies suffocated by its own stupidity and mediocrity, but grandeur is eternal.
. . .And we lived in grandeur.

Indeed, man does not live by bread alone.

The tie breaker:
Often the degree of centralization or decentralization that people feel that they require depends upon many different variables. When people feel threatened by war, they tend to feel a stronger need to rally around charismatic leadership than under normal peacetime circumstances. A couple of speakers at the Mises Institute seminar on the Economics of Fascism made the point that many supporters of Mussolini's fascism were motivated more by their fear of a very real threat of a Communist takeover of Italy in the early 1920's than by their love of Mussolini's brand of authoritarianism.

Often the ethnic and racial character of the underlying population is censored in discussions of fascism, but in fact this can be an important variable. For example, according to my 1957 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, during the 1930's fascism was mostly a Southern European phenomenon and never really caught on in the Nordic countries such as in Scandinavia or Anglo-Saxon England.

Britannica also claims that while Napoleon Bonaparte preached "Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality," he in actuality pioneered the modern fascist state. An episode about Napoleon on The History Channel noted that just to "make sure," Napoleon controlled every newspaper in France and had a secret police spy quartered on every single block of Paris. Despite all of this, Britannica noted that never before had the average Frenchman "been so happy." One explanation offered by Dr. Lothrop Stoddard in Racial Realities in Europe is that France consists of four different white strains: Nordic in the North, Celtic in Brittany, Alpine in the center, and Mediterranean in the south. Dr. Stoddard believed that Alpines tend to prefer authoritarian government by innate temperament, and they had come to dominate the middle class of France.

Unfortunately to this day the public is bombarded with misleading images created by Jewish-controlled Hollywood studios that go back to World War II Allied propaganda. They often portray Nordic-looking people as Nazis. In actuality, Nazism found its greatest stronghold in southern Germany which is more Alpine than Nordic. Although there were certainly many Nordic-looking German citizens who served the Third Reich, I think that this can be explained more by a fear of Bolshevism and sense of general loyalty to their nation and government than a special love of Hitlerian authoritarianism as a characteristic of their own people.

The general history of the Nordic peoples has actually been more in the direction of decentralization than centralization. This includes Icelanders who went for centuries without any real central government, except for informal annual meetings of regional representatives at their Parliament Plains (Thingvellir). America itself was founded by mostly Anglo-Saxon people, who are a Nordic people. In fact, the white population of early America was majority Nordic, a point made by such writers as Madison Grant in his classic work The Passing of the Great Race and by Wilmot Robertson in The Dispossessed Majority. Early America was a de facto Nordic ethnostate.

Return to question 5

Proceed to commentary for question 6


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