The Leadership of a Bad Brother – Flash 5

The end of the era of the leaders who are bad brothers need not be obscure, it must never be.

The final evidence of poor but manipulative leadership that has enduringly ruled over others for a long time by way of deception, arrogance, intimidation, force, mystery and fear is the unmanageable chaos it produces within the boundaries of its control. What looked like the effortless genius of the leader turns out to the sheer ignorance and gullibility of the followers. Why educate them? What seemed to be the unquestionable power of the boss turns out to be the learned weakness and helplessness of a specialised class of constituents. Why empower them? What was thought to be undoubtedly genuine ideology on re-examination was actually the inexplicable “herd fear” of those who had nothing else to hold unto. Why deprogram them? Such an experience points us to the importance of freedom and how leaders often take it away from the very people who trust in them in the name of fighting for freedom. Any time a leader is more interested in his capacity and success in controlling their followers, freedom becomes an elusive treasure rather than an unquestionable human right. Such a leader binds you to his self-interest and seeks you out skilfully and captures.
The inevitable flaw in the game of manipulation is that most of those have become beholden to it eventually outgrow it. The golden era of a manipulative rule may be so successful. Lies, myths, tricks and fantasies are made so very persuasive that even the most pragmatic of men often fall for it if there is also a tiny vacuum in their psyche that needs filling. The decline of manipulative leadership always arrives or is ushered in like a very rare but ghastly accident. The effectiveness of the manipulation that was so unobstructed that it became as taken for granted as if it were a law of nature in its own right, suddenly is rendered effete. All attempts at resurrection simply make matters worse and expose the solidifying passé of the ‘has been’ of a leader. Being frantic, frustrated, bewildered, shocked, distressed and desperate all rolled in one become his present state of mind. The manipulative [ex] leader tries to shrug off his sensible recourse to regrets and self-blame by projecting his unexpected failure on others. Nested firmly within his prolific list of blames on others are rampant spikes of ephemeral self-confidence, grandeur, omniscience and an exaggerated expectation of loyalty from followers. The spikes are quickly drowned by inescapable realities his mind cannot reject even with the assistance of mind-altering matter. The troughs are just as dramatic, characterised by a defeated voice, a depressing sense of worth, un-concealable sadness, insecurity and anger. The moods of the [ex] leader swings as rapidly as a clock’s pendulum. The indomitable bravado of last week or last month becomes feeble disconcertment of today and perhaps forever. The man so skilled at manipulating others suddenly inverts his trade on himself, but that too fails him. He fails within and without, without nothing left.
Time to regroup turns into purely a time to reflect for [ex] leader. New forces, new powers or Boiss have arisen and existing stronger ones are closing in ready to defeat, prepared to take over, ready to arrest, to ready to banish, ready to destroy. His day is over. Appeals to memory and history are most indulgently fancied, he knows it is all over. But refuge in the past is even more insecure than his fragile mind at this time. The [ex] leader also realises what may be remembered most about him is how suddenly and completely he lost power. His hubris was always evident but to him only with hindsight. The incentive to regain control of his realm through murder, violence, treachery, deception and unholy alliances become activated, and so is his philosophy of “if I lose it, so will everyone else”. The reality for him is if he does not quit now, his end would be even more severe than if he gave up without a fight. He promises himself he will return but never does.
In the act of righteous self-consolation, the [ex] leader seeks to convince himself he lost his power because of his [unrestrained] goodness; it is time to buy him a coffin or a place far away. It is his last act as leader. Never bother with his confusion and retributive helplessness, he worked for it for a long time but did not know it.
The death of another is often an indispensable tool in the hands of an evil and expedient leader, never a cause for mourning or never a necessity for reflection. Whether the death is as a result of his action, blessing, expectation, or it happens fortuitously without his involvement, it is always an opportunity to exercise his will or power over others more effortlessly. The instance of death is usually just a pivot for persuasion and a call to reason for the drawing board of many a bad leader. His culture respects the dead and extravagant funerals often celebrate the lives of those who lived for most of their life on a pittance, but he disrespects the dead to solve his own problems. Despicable. Just as death fails us, so does the expediency of his temporary solution fail him. The search for the death or misfortune another begins again.
Perpetuating one’s interests through taboos cannot be fortunate. The leader who desecrates the dead somehow unwittingly defiles himself in life. His reputation is usually his central sacrifice on the ‘altar of self’. Reputations are often built carefully over time, but the demands of the egoist are rapaciously dispensed in the now. Bit by bit, the desires of the immediate does much damage to his reputation cumulatively, but he cannot help himself; now is always better than ever. Why else would a man seek to fulfil his interests via taboos? A good reason is most people do not, and in the eyes of the leader are worse off for it. Excellence and greatness fall to a bad name and a bad memory; jealousy he calls it, the hatred he frames it. How could it be his fault?
Those who may not know how the mind of the bad leader works may think the spirits of the dead actually leave their graves and haunt his life in some way. It is his mind that has betrayed him not ghouls from the afterlife. The death of another causes him no superstitions, but his failings on the altar of self do.
Trying to be powerful when one is poor is very contrary to the expected modesty associated with having little or nothing. The bad brother who craves to lead knows no humility. Gratitude is one of the hardest things in this world for him to comprehend, thank you is a reluctantly accepted chore. Let us call him the “professional gruff” because his ways are gruff. His personal image of power is craftily spun with words and postures, many men believe in it, at least for a while – as little as several minutes. However, it takes a certain kind of man to believe in such power, but we spare such a fellow the proper adjectives this time only. Just as real power corrupts, so does spin power.
Exerting power consistently within a group or in society spiced up with a ‘stature of self-importance’ requires much more than modest resources. The goodness or badness of his days as the Man depends on the generosity of his benefactors. Calling him a gifted beggar is a gross understatement. The professional gruff has many euphemisms for his incessant but clever begging; “logistics” and “financial edification” are his favourites, but there are several others. Interestingly, the only time he does not act powerfully is when he needs to be “edified” by another. This not a simple Jekyll and Hyde situation; he needs to minimise the interruptions in his power exertion. To achieve this, he often begs any of his innumerable potential benefactors’ ambush-style’ giving them very little time to think about it and is regularly successful at it. The professional gruff understands from experience, the richer the benefactor, the more humiliation he might encounter causing him to mostly beg those just a little better off than he is. It is a sharp dilemma that offends and contradicts him but one he submits most willing to. He is smart and deprived enough not to tamper with the possibilities of resources. Those who are not generous towards him can become his sworn enemies. Requests for repayments on loans can be stress itself. The wise way to handle a professional gruff is to fob him off with £100 or £50 because it can save you thousands of pounds in personal grief originating from him.


Grimot Nane

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