BTW, Speaking about justice…

New Breed of Government

Posted on: September 21, 2010

What does it take to be a leader in government these days?

As a leader, one needs to understand the complexities of his/her community and place that complexity in a dynamic network of externalities. To do all this, one is preferred to be well educated. He/she should be someone with comprehensive understanding of the different dynamics of society (social, economic, geo-political, etc) and should be able to translate these challenges into coherent public policies. Having all this, then it is up to the people to decide who should rule.

Democracy was built on the idea that governing power comes from people. That whoever leads is a result of all citizens being equal, having equal access to power, a selected person is trusted to lead because of his/her representativeness and capabilities. Fair enough.

An interesting yet disturbing development in my view is the establishment of yet another “School of Government”, and this time it is said to be the first school of government in Europe. Guess where… Oxford!

One of the arguments for the support for Oxford’s new school is that it has educated 26 prime ministers and 30 other world leaders. Since when does education become the institutional priming of elites? Perhaps I was wrong to believe that education is to open opportunities, not to become legitimization of elitism.

Does this mean that for people who want to rule a country, all they  need to do is to enroll to any of the world’s school of governments? Does holding a piece of paper that says one has passed the necessary modules qualify them to be leaders?

The admission to Oxford, Harvard, and other head honcho universities plus the amount of money tuition fees cost  have become an almost divine experience to those who are lucky enough to be able to join these institutions, and a sense of exclusion to some who couldn’t make it.

Sure it will be a prestige to Oxford, to the UK for still being the leader in education, but what about the cascading effect of putting out an idea that varsity is the highway to leadership? What would this do to democracy?

Imagine what campaign posters would look like around the world in a couple of years: Vote for Oxford graduate! Vote for Kennedy graduate! Vote for X, Y, Z graduate. We know best because we’ve studied.

As a paraprosdokian would state: Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. Going to schools of government doesn’t make one understand governing and governance, let alone democratic governance.


2 Responses to "New Breed of Government"

Great writing! You should definitely follow up to this topic!

Not just those that you have mentioned, a leader should know his people and what’s the best of their interest and mostly he should have ‘high moral’ and integrity (this is for Indonesia). I agree that they must be educated, I more agree that they must also have ‘heart’ and a ‘built in’ of positive mentality. Well, this is true idealistic but it’s indeed what we need. God bless Indonesia and the world for peace. Cheers!

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Lishia Erza

Searching for answers about life, these are the ones I have found.

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