Sometimes it’s worth saying things purely in order to explore possibilities. So with the clear proviso that this is what I’m doing here, let’s give it a go...
The real problem we have in the world is irrational behaviour. Not irrational beliefs necessarily, but irrational behaviour. This is caused by distancing ourselves from the imperatives of the physical world which is the main stimulus we have for selecting rational responses.
So we have to stay in touch with physical reality – the earth, the seasons, wind and rain, good harvests and bad harvests. For me this means we have to stay in touch with a range of activities based on the natural world and on manipulating materials, everything from house-building to genetics.
Stray beyond those and we’re in trouble.
In modern times it is possible to stray beyond these imperatives. Leaders have always been able to do it, even in far more primitive societies than ours. This is one of our most fundamental political problems – keeping leaders in touch with real life.
The banquets, conferences, limousines – the whole fantasy world of leadership mitigates against reminders delivered by the real world. The knocks and setbacks from which we learn to be rational. Where there is no natural, real-world stimulus, there can be no natural, real-world response.
In a sense this drives our leaders mad. Not mad in any organic sense, but in the disconnected sense, the failure of empathy sense, the inability to structure concepts sense. The answer of course is to select leaders from the real world and send them back there after their stint of leadership.
There is no sense in taking young men and women who joined the party early with a belly full of ambition. Those smooth-faced blanks from the world of twisted communication who become interns and political advisers before ever achieving the ability to advise. They are no good at all.
We are selecting our leaders from the massed ranks of obvious tossers.