March 20, 2009

NYT: Deification of National Leader a Bad Thing (Sometimes)

Hatched by Dafydd

From the New York Times:

A Leader Beyond Reproach Limits the Possibilities for Political Change.

Step one block off almost any main road and the streets here are badly damaged or completely unpaved. There are problems with the schools, the health care system and the government bureaucracy, which is plagued by corruption and inefficiency.

Wow, amazing... has the Times finally come to its senses? Have editors finally realized that without honest debate, without a free back-and-forth, without a real debate between competing parties and factions, the administration becomes not only authoritarian, but incompetent as well?

I must be fair to the Times: They do actually understand this point; that's why they're such enthusiastic fans of a two-party system, of freedom of speech, and of national leaders actually listening to the opposition, even if they already control all levers of power.

Well... in Libya, at least:

Libya is a police state, but the trains still do not run on time.

“The administration has failed and the state economy has failed, enough is enough,” Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi said in a recent speech that made no mention of his own role as the man in charge for the last 40 years.

Libya recognizes its problems and is trying to respond, after a fashion. But whatever Libya does, it must stay within the boundaries of a system created by Colonel Qaddafi, or Brother Leader, as he is called. And that is the country’s Achilles’ heel: by nearly every practical measure, the system has failed Libyans, but it is his system, so it is above reproach.

Physician, heal thyself; charity begins at home.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 20, 2009, at the time of 1:57 PM

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