Saturday, March 15, 2008

Politics is perhaps the noblest of all endeavors because it is about reconciling the limited resources with unlimited wants

Dr. JP Calls Upon the Brightest to Enter Politics
from Jayaprakash Narayan's Blog by JP
Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP) has underlined the need for ensuring that the best of people enter politics since never before in India’s history the opportunities for resolving people’s problems are as many as they are today...

Dr. JP said large sections of people feel that everybody in government -- politicians, bureaucrats, judges -- is a scoundrel -- and generalize that all rotten people in the country go into politics and all good people stay back. “Shunning politics and public office with such notions is, however, unwarranted and irrational. There are some very fine people in government just as there are very fine people in other walks of life. It is, therefore, absurd to conclude that scoundrels enter government and saints stay away”.

“Politics is perhaps the noblest of all endeavors because it is about reconciling the limited resources with unlimited wants, and reconciling seemingly irreconcilable conflicts among various groups in society, particularly in a very diverse and complex society. Without governments many things that are vital cannot be done.

“But unfortunately, politics has become the playfield of people who do not deserve to be there. Some are there because of their pedigree while many are there because of their money power or caste or muscle power. Strange circumstances catapult some others into high office.

“Such leaders rule the roost not because Indian people are stupid or irrational but because the problem is systemic. In the past 25 or 30 years, we have created disincentives for the right kind of people, and huge incentives for the wrong kind people, to enter politics”.

Dr. JP pointed out that there are answers to most problems. “Leadership is about identifying those answers, leveraging our strengths, and dramatically transforming the situation in the shortest possible time”.

Dr. JP added that great changes in history all over the world had been wrought only when middle classes, the elite and the media joined hands, built appropriate platforms and launched concerted movements. “Do not expect the masses to be at the forefront of historical changes.”. Dr. JP specifically dwelt on certain sectors, which call for transformational leadership.


Emotional and Ethical Dwarfs (by Don Boudreaux)
from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux
Speaking of all-too-many successful politicians, David Brooks -- in his New York Times column today -- notes that "their sensitivity synapses are still performing at preschool levels" and that they "have an almost limitless capacity for self-pity."

In other words, politicians are children disguised as adults - persons who ought to be playing with wooden blocks while seated at their little desks in Romper Room rather than playing with our liberties and resources while seated at their mahogany desks within marble-domed monuments to their stupid power.

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