The Odds of Getting a Good Leader

The Odds of Getting a Good Leader by Jeff Thomas for International Man

The larger the country, the less the likelihood of getting a leader who can be trusted with the job.

On the surface of it, this would seem to be an illogical claim. Surely the size of a country has no bearing upon whether its leadership is competent or trustworthy, and yet, it’s very much the case.

This is due to a combination of conditions that can be found in every country.

First, studies have long revealed that, in any population, roughly 4%, or one in 25 people, will display significant sociopathic traits. These traits are as follows:

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulativeness and Cunning
  • Grandiose Sense of Self
  • Pathological Lying
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
  • Shallow Emotions
  • Incapacity for Love
  • Continual Need for Stimulation

Picture a leading politician in your own country, of any party. Whether you supported this individual in the last election or opposed him, he is very likely to possess these traits.

But why should that be? Why should it be likely that sociopaths would rise to the top in politics?

Well, the answer is quite simple. First, those with this pathology are likely to be drawn to a job that allows for self-aggrandisement and minimal consequence for actions taken, plus considerable rewards, both in income and power. Second, a sociopath will have fewer scruples than others, so he’ll be prepared to do whatever it takes to gain office, whilst others are more likely to have limitations as to how far they’ll go to succeed.

That suggests that the 4% will not only be more attracted to a career in politics, they will be more likely to be successful. And of course we know this to be true, as we so commonly note the above traits when describing most any specific politician.

But why, then, is this more likely to occur in a larger country than a small one?

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