“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” ~Douglas Adams
No single human being should ever be allowed as much power as the president is given, no matter how competent, worthy, or wise they may be. Power can take down the most robust of characters. It’s a fire that burns unless it is somehow dispersed and expiated. The irony is that nobody who wants to be president should be president, because they are the ones most likely to become corrupt, if they’re not corrupt already. Lured by power, lured by the need to rule, lured by the need to control, those seeking power are the least fit to wield it. So it most definitely goes.
Sure, there might be exceptions out there somewhere. But it is highly unlikely. There may be a “Harry Potter” out there in the real world, who is willing to break the “Elder Wand” so its power doesn’t have a chance to corrupt. But it is very doubtful. There may be a “Maximus” out there somewhere, willing to “defeat Rome” and “once all of Rome is his,” simply walk away. But it is highly doubtful. Barring any real-life mythological heroism, power over others is simply too much responsibility for one person, or even a group of people, to handle. With that taken into consideration, here are seven reasons why we do not need a president.
1.) Power Tends to Corrupt
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ~Lord Acton
This is the biggest reason why we do not need a president. The average human simply cannot handle power. As Abraham Lincoln observed, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Authentic power empowers others. Honest power has no need to cling to power, it releases it instead. It spreads it out. It expiates it. It empowers others.
We don’t need a president with power, we need more leaders who understand the nature of power. We don’t need a president for the same reasons we don’t need leaders who are intent upon gaining followers. We need leaders who are intent upon creating better leaders. Authority be damned. Hierarchy be damned. The only thing that matters is the prevention of corrupt power, lest we inadvertently slip into a tyrannical state.
The president is given too much power. That’s the bottom line. On a long enough timeline such power becomes corrupt. And here we are, living in a time where the corruption is rampant within a bloated, unhealthy, unsustainable system built upon violence and ignorance. And still, the ballot boxes are fat with the myopic votes of the blindly obedient.
2.) The Presidency Just Propagates the Outdated Power of the State
“The Great Lie is that this is civilization. It’s not civilized. It has literally been the most blood-thirsty brutalizing system ever imposed upon this planet. This is not civilization,
this is the Great Lie. Or if it does represent civilization, and that is truly what civilization is, then the Great Lie is that civilization is good for us.” ~John Trudell
The state: a mass of paranoia and ignorance accumulated over time to create the most monstrous beast of human ill-thought to have ever defaced the planet. The state: billions of people elbowing each other through the codependent wretchedness of hierarchical violence. The state: a propped up entity of ominous design, placating its citizens with freedom like a carrot dangling on a stick. The state: a distended concept of the overreach of power, fattening and fattened upon, the reasoning centers of the brains of those fooled by the trickle-down theory of (an inhumane) human commodification. Or, as Nietzsche claimed, “The State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.””
Alas, the accumulation of the state has led to the erosion of individual freedom. A bottom-up approach toward reclaiming individual power, and thus individual freedom, should come first. But that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to what must come second (if there is to be anything left to be free in at all) –a systematic collapse from the top-down. It begins when we get over this outdated notion that we need a president.
3.) Anarchy Trumps All Other Forms of Governance
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” ~Plato
Anarchy has a bad rap. This is due, in no small part, to the false accusations and trumped-up charges vomited out by statist-individuals with propagandized soup for brains.
Anarchy is so simple it should be common sense. It literally means no masters, no rulers. It does not mean no rules. It simply means following rules that actually matter (cosmic law; common sense, the golden rule, the non-aggression principle, etc.), rather than obeying rules and laws made up by other fallible human beings.
Blind obedience is the problem, the glitch, the fly in the ointment within any and all governance that falls under the corrupt umbrella of the state. And so blind allegiance to a president is a hindrance for any human being seeking freedom from the tyranny of would-be rulers and upstart masters.
4.) Horizontal Democracy Trumps Representative Democracy
“There is nothing more difficult to execute than to introduce a new order of things; for he who introduces it has all those who profit from the old system as his enemies.” ~Machiavelli
Ours is not a democrat/republican issue. That’s just smoke and mirrors; another way to keep the people divided on tough issues so that it gets the government off the hook for making bad decisions. It doesn’t get them off the hook, but it does slow things down.
No. It’s not a bipartisan problem, it’s a system problem. The struggle here is against a corrupt construct, not against people. This type of struggle requires a different tactic. The answer is not to win, or to give up, or to get revenge, but to create something new –in this case, new ways of communicating and updating policies within that construct, while questioning outdated policies and misconceptions regarding politics and civics that can get us out of the statist box.
Giving into the bipartisan propaganda just makes matters worse for everyone. True democracy, horizontal democracy, doesn’t work this way. It never has and it never will. Like JFK said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” And the “right” answer just so happens to involve individualized freedom that thwarts the tyranny of representative bipartisanship.
5.) We Need Prestigious Leaders, Not Power-Hungry Rulers
“You are only a disciple because your eyes are closed. The day you open them you will see there is nothing you can learn from me or anyone. What then is a Master for? To make you see the uselessness of having one.” –Anthony de Mello
Leading by example will always be healthier than leading by authoritarian rule. The former allows for the blossoming of the human spirit under freedom. The latter blocks the flourishing of the human spirit under rule of tyranny. Real leaders don’t need followers. They don’t even need power. They lead by prestigious example and slip out of the strangleholds of power like a snake shedding its skin.
As it stands, the typical person seeking to become president falls under an authoritarian bent. Which is all the more reason why we don’t need a president to begin with. Our precedence should be that we don’t need a president. And if that’s not cryptic enough for you, there’s this metaphor:heads of state and heads of snakes must be chopped off often, and for the same reason.
6.) Bestowing Power to a President Leads to an Apathetic Citizenry
“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.” ~Stanley Milgram
A community leading itself tends to be a proactive community. A community commanded by a leader atop a hierarchy tends to be an apathetic, politically myopic, and civically inert community. So it goes with the “commander and chief” tossing dictates down an ill-conceived chain of command. We have an entire nation playing the victim, caught-up in a viciously codependent chain of obedience.
A wide-awake citizenry is almost impossible under such barbaric conditions. We must have the audacity to turn the tables. We must have the courage to flip the power dynamic, to take our power back from the outdated chain of command. No longer should we bestow power to a so-called head of state and hope it trickles back down to us. We should bestow power to the only thing in existence that we can ever morally hold tyranny over –ourselves.
7.) Progressive Evolution is Handicapped by Outdated Tradition
“What is this inner revolution? This revolution is a breaking away from the old, repetitive, dead structures of thought and perception that humanity finds itself trapped in. Such a revolution requires an ongoing emptying out of the old structures of consciousness and the birth of a living and fluid intelligence. This intelligence restructures your entire being—body, mind, and perception. This intelligence cuts the mind free of its old structures that are rooted within the totality of human consciousness.” ~Adyashanti
Liberated evolution becomes healthy revolution. The ebb and flow of the human experience through time must be allowed to be one of trial and error. Trial and error that becomes law and order is the bane of human evolution. As James Russell Lowell intuited, “Time makes ancient good uncouth.”
As such, it is incumbent upon us to learn from the mistakes of our forefathers by not being like our forefathers but, rather, learning from their mistakes and using what they got right as stepping-stones toward something healthier. Which just so happens to place anarchy against tyranny, amoral agency against the so-called “morality” of the state, and passionate freedom against the conformity of the status quo.
If it’s true, as Aldous Huxley said, “that men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” then it behooves us to keep this lesson at the forefront and not allow outdated traditions to hinder the healthy, progressive, and sustainable evolution of our species. The ill-conceived concept of the presidency is precisely such an outdated tradition. It’s time we left it behind on the parochial woodpile of all things obsolete, dried-up, and combustible. Burn baby burn! While we’re at it, we can toss the Imperial State Crown of England into the fire as well.
(Related Reading: Vote Nobody: Lead Yourself 2016)