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Is the best political leader one who knows nothing?

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
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Re: Is the best political leader one who knows nothing?

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2017, 5:06 am

hmm I believe I need to re-read the restaurant at the end of the universe :)
I'd recommend re-reading all of them. Full of fun philosophy. I love the manifestation of the The Guide as a strange birdlike creature who can do "reverse temporal engineering" in the last book.

The one part I didn't like was "Bistro-mathematics". I think that tipped from being funny because it took and idea and stretched it, to being just plain silly.

-- Updated Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:12 am to add the following --

Yes imagine being the president and being concerned about getting everything 'right'. It would certainly slow down decision making. I'm not sure if Obama really suffered from this or not, on the surface he seems like the most reasonable president in my life time. But I don't know him well.
I'm not sure either. That's just the "chin-stroking" caricature. As with all caricatures, it's difficult to assess from a distance how accurate it is.

-- Updated Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:34 am to add the following --
I dimly seem to remember Zaphod is the official ruler of the universe? But I also think he realises that he shouldn't be (and isn't)? I may be giving Zaphod too much credit :)
The story goes that he wanted to be president but realised that this alone disqualified him for the job. So he cooked up the plan with Zarniwoop to perform surgery on his own brain to cheat the system. But he had to leave clues for himself to find later. At least, that's how I remember it.

The idea of a comparison between Trump and Beeblebrox is growing on me. Perhaps Steve Bannon is Zarniwoop. (Apologies to anyone who might be reading this who isn't a Douglas Adams nerd.)

-- Updated Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:36 am to add the following --

And the guy in the shack is therefore "the swamp" who Zarniwoop wants to find and confront. The more I think about this, the more creepily it seems to make sense.

-- Updated Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:07 am to add the following --

The horribly inevitable conclusion is that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the fictional one in the novels) is Breitbart News.

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Re: Is the best political leader one who knows nothing?

Post by NeilWallace » October 11th, 2017, 3:36 pm

Modern Political "Leaders" are often fairly irrelevant. The reason being - they do not lead and restrictions on their power. They are quite akin to figurehead managers. Real decisions appear to be made be consensus amongst elites and occasionally from popular groundswell trends amongst the greater population.

The population of the USA is 320 million people. It is absurd in my judgement to believe that a billionaire reality TV man could have the wits to guide the destinies of these people. Nations run themselves to a greater extent on the basis of centuries of traditions and institutions.

Often it is the strength of these traditions and institutions that enable nations to endure considerable shocks due to the interventions of politicians "leadership" skills. The modern political leader can also be seen in some instances as a form of parasite exploiting the wealth of nations through some fairly tried and tested 'manufactured consent' statements.

Often the crisis the politician claims to solve are virtual ones they have effectively created and manufactured themselves e.g. North Korea, Brexit, Threat of Islam.

An intriguing question is given the saturation coverage given to politicians in the media at the expense of other forms of life art, science, music and so on with relation to their possibly much more limited use to humanity - have people got their priorities wrong?

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Re: Is the best political leader one who knows nothing?

Post by Eduk » October 12th, 2017, 3:00 am

Politicians don't wield absolute power. Nor are they absolutely powerless.
To an extent the amount of good or harm they can do is limited to what the population as a whole will allow.
But within those restrictions there remains a great deal of potential for harm or for good.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Is the best political leader one who knows nothing?

Post by Steve3007 » October 12th, 2017, 5:41 am

I think the power of all people to effect change is limited to the extent to which they can persuade other people to do things. This is as true of presidents as it is of you and me. Presidents just have a bigger audience.

When people "set the world to rights" over a drink they usually do it by assuming that somebody somewhere has a godlike power to shape the world as they see fit. Obviously that isn't true.

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