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Showing posts from September, 2018

Are Leaders Altruists?

“Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 32:52)  
Moses doesn’t get to enjoy the happiness he creates for his people.  This is a fact about leaders more generally.  Plato comments that citizens in a good city “would fight in order not to rule”; for they would understand that a ruler “doesn’t by nature seek his own advantage but that of his subject. And everyone, knowing this, would rather be benefited by others than take the trouble to benefit them.” Leaders are altruists.  
In fact, I will defend an even stronger claim—leaders are the only systematic altruists—as well as one I take to follow from it—leaders must be unemotional, detatched, and rational. You might think I mean that leaders must resist or ignore emotion. Instead, I mean that leaders must learn to operate without the emotional bonds that govern most human relationships, because of the asymmetrical and distant—altruistic—nature of …