A strong leader stands in an un-drained swamp.
“It’s so easy to laugh,
It’s so easy to hate,
It takes guts to be gentle and kind”
Lyrics by Morrissey to ‘I Know It’s Over’ by The Smiths
A recent survey carried out by the newspaper La Repubblica found that 80% of Italians think the country needs to be run by “un uomo forte” (a strong man). In 2006, only 55% of the populace subscribed to this view while 60% held this belief in 2010.
This rising trend is worrying and depressing on many counts. It indicates that more and more voters are willing to be represented by leaders solely on the basis that they adopt strong opinions and maintain a posture of decisiveness.
On the surface this may seem logical and uncontroversial. After all, who would want a leader to be weak and indecisive? The problem lies with what exactly is meant by the word ‘strong’. Continue reading
THE ART OF SEDUCTION by Robert Greene (Profile Books, 2001)
This is not overtly presented as a self-help book but it will mostly be consulted as one.
Although it contains some bleak truths about the human condition, American author Robert Greene takes to the cultural high ground in an attempt to make the salacious details more palatable.
He draws examples from literature, notably Les Liasons Dangereuses by Laclos, and from the amorous exploits of historical figures like Casanova and Don Juan who have all been immortalised in novels, plays, operas or movies.
Psychological mind games are ruthlessly advocated on the dubious basis that the ends justify the means. The object of one’s lust or desire is frequently described either as a “target” or as a “victim” with the ultimate goal being to lure, ensnare and manipulate. Continue reading