Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Why Are Our Countries Led By The Worst People Imaginable?

I am asking this question since the Swedish election is quickly gathering steam and our parties have descended upon our voters like a throng of demented baboons in heat.

What have we done to deserve these people?

I think I just may have the answer.

One of the most fundamental rules of organizational theory is: Never gather a team where everyone is too similar; you need a bit of diversity to avoid the worst effects of group think.

Do note that I am not necessarily talking about diversity in the sense that we need people from very different cultures. Nor do we need to hire people with completely different areas
of expertise.

Building a suspension bridge that is to cope with harsh and changing conditions is helped little by hiring someone with a PHD in psychology; a collapsed bridge, unlike a human, has
little need for counseling to help it pick up the broken pieces.

What is needed is generally a group of people with different points of view capable of forming a more complete picture of the issues at hand. Willing and able to come up with bold new ideas and challenging orthodox methods to avoid stagnation.

But what if you did exactly the opposite of that?
Where can we find an example of the worst possible assortment of people if we want to follow this rule – but in reverse?
Ah, that’s right. In a political party.

Political parties are designed be gathering spaces only for people with the same – often rather stupid – ideas. People with fresh ideas need not apply.

You might think that your party is very diverse. After all it likely has a multi point plan for diversity somewhere. Which it, no doubt, is very eager to show of at every opportunity.

But the only kind of diversity political parties care about is the one that serves no functional purpose. The one that can be used for political posturing without actually changing anything.

3000 Marxists will never disagree on the need to implement the dictatorship of the proletariat no matter how many shapes and colours* they come in.

A gathering of UKIP supporters is likewise highly unlikely to feature a deeper multi faceted discussion on the – admittedly rather few – aspects of the EU that are of benefit to normal people.

Hell, even a vapid medium like TV has figured out long ago that teams of people should have a diverse talent stack. Just look at the A-team, Mission Impossible or just about any other team.

We may claim we want a well functioning society yet we have organized it over the years to achieve as high levels of stupid as possible.

Perhaps it is time for a change?

(* though I suspect most of them come in red.)

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6 years ago

The tendency toward orthodoxy in a party is because you need to win in order to achieve anything, and adversaries will exploit any disagreement as proof that you cannot govern. (Headlines: Cabinet in disarray! Allies abandoning Trump! Melania wants out!) America is designed for exactly two parties, as the Electoral College and runoff elections try to have the final election decided by a majority. Both parties have used “big tent” rhetoric; if in the minority, a party dilutes its platform to attract its adversaries; if having a surplus of voters, the party will purge wobbly members and adopt more extreme… Read more »

6 years ago

It’s one of the reasons why, as a Brexiter, I remain in my party, to ensure there is a diversity of views, remind them a quarter of our supporters voted Leave, to challenge the blind orthodoxy and try and stop them fixating on overturning Brexit to the exclusion of all else. That plus I have no natural home anywhere else.

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