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Quo vadis?
1.       vineyards
1954 posts
 06 Apr 2011 Wed 12:05 am

Let´s remember the last 5 Presidents in the US and the last 5 PM´s in Turkey. I believe all of of them lag behind Thomas Jefferson in terms of the basic tenets of democracy, equality and human rights. They are nowhere near Ben Franklin or Kemal Atatürk in terms of innovation and influence. What will remain to future generations from this generation?

Do we need a pathfinder? Are we even aware of such a need?

Elisabeth liked this message
2.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 06 Apr 2011 Wed 03:33 am

 

Quoting vineyards

Let´s remember the last 5 Presidents in the US and the last 5 PM´s in Turkey. I believe all of of them lag behind Thomas Jefferson in terms of the basic tenets of democracy, equality and human rights. They are nowhere near Ben Franklin or Kemal Atatürk in terms of innovation and influence. What will remain to future generations from this generation?

Do we need a pathfinder? Are we even aware of such a need?

 

These men you speak of blazed new trails.  They did not try to fix the present to fit into the ideals of the past.  These men invented thinking outside of the box.  What they did for their people had never been done before.  Do we need a pathfinder? YESSSSSS!!!  Are we aware?  Some of us are acutely aware...some of us are still trying to fit round pegs into square wholes.

 

 

3.       Burak7777777
96 posts
 06 Apr 2011 Wed 05:19 am

like russia and china, turkey is also a country of single men in charge. people got used to that. they got used to just opression. the figure of such a single man has been forcefully eliminated in near-trukish history with the execution of menderes and warning of ecevit. in the shadow of such events its easier to see how the social psychology about structure is disrupted and broken. we will always need a leader and will dabble in corrupted democracies. thats why recep tayyip has been so popular in his career. people are very clinging to their need for a leader.

 

but an ideal leader must be in deep empathic relationship with his/her people. as said in that movie, ruler is the land, land is the people. menderes understood this and ecevit came close. the only way for turkey to flourish under democracy is to have a strict system of self-inspection and to unite with other turkish countries. otherwise we will keep struggling in our game of oligarchy.

 

and no matter who could find the mettle to lead us, there will never be anyone as good as Atatürk.

 

 



Edited (4/6/2011) by Burak7777777

4.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 06 Apr 2011 Wed 09:41 pm

I think Clinton kicked *ss You have to consider that the media in the old days was unable (or unwilling) to dig up the deepest dirt on presidents and PMs. They had a certain respect and distance for them. If we didn´t know about Clinton´s cheating we would have respected him much more, and remembered him for the right reasons. And if we take it beyond the 5, and remember the 6th we would end up with Carter. That man has done amazing things for international diplomacy, and is a real peace bringer, even today!

There is always a problem with viewing the past in a better way. Time distorts. We forget all the meaningless or even bad presidents there were in the past. At the same time we celebrate Jefferson for his views against slavery, but the fact that he relied on slaves on his estate seem to float away. If a politician today would be against prostitution, but at the same time "visit" a prostitute, the media would slaughter him.

5.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 06 Apr 2011 Wed 11:28 pm

 

Quoting barba_mama

I think Clinton kicked *ss You have to consider that the media in the old days was unable (or unwilling) to dig up the deepest dirt on presidents and PMs. They had a certain respect and distance for them. If we didn´t know about Clinton´s cheating we would have respected him much more, and remembered him for the right reasons. And if we take it beyond the 5, and remember the 6th we would end up with Carter. That man has done amazing things for international diplomacy, and is a real peace bringer, even today!

There is always a problem with viewing the past in a better way. Time distorts. We forget all the meaningless or even bad presidents there were in the past. At the same time we celebrate Jefferson for his views against slavery, but the fact that he relied on slaves on his estate seem to float away. If a politician today would be against prostitution, but at the same time "visit" a prostitute, the media would slaughter him.

 

I agree with you barba...I think the media distorts modern Presidents and PMs and the passage of time distorts our view of past ones.  Maybe if we knew our past Presidents and PMS as intimately as we know our current ones, we wouldn´t be so quick to idealize them.  I do think there is truth to the fact that the examples vineyards gave where exceptional men.  They seemed to have the right ideas at the right time and were able to inspire the right people to do the right things all at once.  You don´t see too many people like that anymore.

 

6.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 07 Apr 2011 Thu 12:00 am

I´m Polish, we have no respect for individuals, there are no leaders we will not find flawed. I´d rather believe in democracy, not authority. The majority decides, we can´t expect one person to be an expert in all areas of life. A great army leader does not mean a great economist or a great public speaker. That´s what governments should do: have different people professional in their areas, not have one person deciding about everything

7.       vineyards
1954 posts
 07 Apr 2011 Thu 02:48 am

First of all let me congratulate you for addition of a new one to your family.

The real question being asked here is not about authority and with the exception of Ataturk none of the leaders I mentioned are remembered as an autocratic ruler. You have opened an interesting window into the general description of what an ideal European leader must be like.

We can say without thinking much that there are three kinds of leaders in today´s Europe: classical bourgeois leaders who represent the interests of the wealthy families. Berlusconi fits here the best followed by Sarkozy. These leaders exhibit a strong personal touch. They have big egos and want to stick to a version of European ideal derived from more conservative past of Europe. There are also socialist leaders like Zapatero of Spain. Engliand set a model for them for years but the Labor party is barely discernable from right wing parties at the moment.

Formerly, the European leadership models were more or less confined to these two types. Of course, all the aforementioned qualities existed in a more accentuated and iron-clad form. Let´s keep in mind that we are not discussing political views here; just the type of leadership.

Today there is a new kind of leader. He/she has an office term, that office term starts and ends in utter monotony. These leaders are unable to introduce any perspective other than those which are already established. They are more like civil-servants. They could make excellent secretaries but not national leaders, did we live some 30 years ago. More importantly, they do not inspire much to new generation. They seem to be taking care of a boring responsibility. It is evident that I am talking about Merkel.

If you want to assess the contribution a good leader can do to a nation, remember the transitions when Gorbachev was in power and the brisk development at the hands of Putin. Germany is talking about inflation and recession. Isn´t this a time for stronger leadership?

8.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 08 Apr 2011 Fri 06:24 pm

 

Quoting vineyards

First of all let me congratulate you for addition of a new one to your family.

The real question being asked here is not about authority and with the exception of Ataturk none of the leaders I mentioned are remembered as an autocratic ruler. You have opened an interesting window into the general description of what an ideal European leader must be like.

We can say without thinking much that there are three kinds of leaders in today´s Europe: classical bourgeois leaders who represent the interests of the wealthy families. Berlusconi fits here the best followed by Sarkozy. These leaders exhibit a strong personal touch. They have big egos and want to stick to a version of European ideal derived from more conservative past of Europe. There are also socialist leaders like Zapatero of Spain. Engliand set a model for them for years but the Labor party is barely discernable from right wing parties at the moment.

Formerly, the European leadership models were more or less confined to these two types. Of course, all the aforementioned qualities existed in a more accentuated and iron-clad form. Let´s keep in mind that we are not discussing political views here; just the type of leadership.

Today there is a new kind of leader. He/she has an office term, that office term starts and ends in utter monotony. These leaders are unable to introduce any perspective other than those which are already established. They are more like civil-servants. They could make excellent secretaries but not national leaders, did we live some 30 years ago. More importantly, they do not inspire much to new generation. They seem to be taking care of a boring responsibility. It is evident that I am talking about Merkel.

If you want to assess the contribution a good leader can do to a nation, remember the transitions when Gorbachev was in power and the brisk development at the hands of Putin. Germany is talking about inflation and recession. Isn´t this a time for stronger leadership?

 

I wouldn´t call Berlusconi classical bourgeois.  Far from it! He is a self-made man. He started as a singer on a cruise ship! I think he looks out for his own interest first, but there are many accounts of him helping random strangers, who were´t high class or anything. Now, if you say he is a power-hungry, sexist, law-breaking vain man... yes, I would agree.

The way you spoke about Merkel is what is wrong with democracy today. The comments about Merkel are mostly about her image, about how stuffy and boring she looks and comes across. Today it´s not important anymore that you can actually do your job, but it´s important that other people THINK you can do the job, or that other people THINK you are just damn cool. You can´t judge Merkel solely on the state of the German economy. Of all Western European countries, Germany recovered the best from the crisis. But yes, there is recession. We can blame the world wide financial system for that.

I think we also have to see that the role of governments has changed. More and more power has moved to companies. And if you look at the CEOs of the biggest companies of the world, you´ll see some inspiring leaders there! A leader doesn´t have to be a president, those days are over.

9.       vineyards
1954 posts
 08 Apr 2011 Fri 08:58 pm

It all depends on how you describe bourgeoisie. Still, the main focus is not on the past of Berlusconi here though he qualifies as a perfect example of the aforementioned. As a matter of fact, all the world leaders today, even the Chinese leader could be classified as bourgoise leaders. Maybe, we should settle on a more proper word to describe the likes of Berlusconi.

If we analyze his past we see a strong macho link that is in line with the Italian tradition, a big-spending womanizer leading a decadent life. Though not all Italians are this way, there are many Italians for whom what Berlusconi lives is nothing more than dolce vita. I have met at least a dozen wealthy senior Italian men. I was amazed at the amount of money they spent on the gifts they bought for their wives or girl friends. Quite a few of them have wives and/or mistresses at least 20-25 years younger than them. They are quite pragmatic about their relationships. They know they need to pay if they want to hold on to their otherwise impossible (my opinion) relationships. I want to stress again, I am trying my best not to generalize, and this is not something that can be done by an average person. Berlusconi fits in this picture quite well. Of course, we should normally be talking about his policies. I think he is one of the most consistent and reliable leaders. You know he is getting you nowhere...

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