Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Maybe I could be king?

John Mangun
Business Mirror

GIVEN the choice, I would probably choose an absolute monarchy as the best form of government. Of course, that is blasphemy in this age of people empowerment. But this whole idea of “representative government” has gotten way out of hand.

First, the “representatives” are being elected for the most part by people, including me, whom you would never allow to be in control of anything. How can someone who is basically incompetent to be a leader be given the power to choose the leader?

I tend to take my restaurant recommendations from thin people. I figure that people who do not eat a lot probably are more selective in the quality of food they choose when they do eat.

It is like what the famous American comedian Groucho Marx once said: “I don’t care to belong to an exclusive club that accepts people like me as members.”

Second, I think the “representatives” take the “representative” part too literally by trying to please everyone and all the various ideas. I would be really worried if my boss asked the idiot sitting in the cubicle next to me how the company should be managed. “The Boss” is the boss because he or she is supposed to know more than the employees about how to run things. Sure, ask for suggestions but then make the decisions based on knowledge and experience, not by popular vote.

Of course, the problem with a having a king or queen is the job passes down the family line. And like intelligence, stupidity tends to run in the family genes, too. It got so bad in England that they put a distant cousin on the throne that was German, not British.

Over the centuries, though, even the monarchs knew about this bloodline problem. That’s why you had the king of France marrying a Spanish princess. But then no one really wanted to be a part of the Russian royal family and most of their offspring carried the genetic defect for hemophilia.

The ancient Grecians had a partial solution to the problem of incompetent rulers. When an important decision had to be made, they all marched up the hill to visit the Oracle of Delphi. The high priestess was always chosen from among the peasants in the area I guess so she would not be accused of being part of the rich elite ruling class.

The priestess or the Pythia would sit above the smoldering fumes from the volcano, which supposedly held the body of the serpent Python that Apollo killed. After a few centuries, the Pythia was probably inhaling something other than a burning snake. More than likely it was some very powerful ancient Grecian herbs that would be a big hit on the modern nightclub circuit.

The Pythia would go into a trance and babble an answer that was interpreted by other priests. The leaders of Athens would go back down from Delphi, start a war, build a new colony or issue any variety of executive orders with the firm knowledge that they had made the right decision.

Anyone who objected to the EO was referred to the Pythia who was not in the habit of justifying her decisions, as being high from volcano/herb fumes 24/7 limited her ability to care what any mere mortal thought.

But modern “representatives of the people” do not have the benefit of the Pythia. When they make a big decision, they have to go around telling all the varied interest groups that the decision was, well, in everyone’s best interest.

A compromise is defined as a decision that satisfies no one. For modern “representatives,” I suppose the idea is keep all sides from being too angry by not pleasing anyone too much.

I tried that once by intervening in a discussion with my wife and our second son about the girl he wanted to date. I thought I had a reasonable compromise. No one spoke to me for a week.

I think I would make a better king than a “representative.”

E-mail to mangun@gmail.com, Web site is www.mangunonmarkets.com and Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock market information and technical analysis tools provided by COL Financial Group Inc.

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