Rules of Ruling

I am reading the book "King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership" by Arnold M. Ludwig who tries to define the characteristics of political leaders by analyzing the biographies of 377 rulers of the last century, in detail.

When this book was published in 2004, it was on the newspapers in Turkey, because Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was defined as the most qualified political leader amongst the others by Ludwig. Yes, it was a populist tendency to bring this book on the papers at that time just because of the book points Atatürk as number one. Besides, the book itself is a really good one. The most impressive side of the Ludwig's approach to political leadership is that he compares the leadership properties of human beings and apes in the book, and to be honest, we humans are very likely to our relatives in the jungles when it comes to governing the society. As far as I know, this book is the first scientific attempt to categorize the leaders of different countries according to some set of very objective attributes of leadership. Beyond this, the method of the human societies and the ape colonies comparison in leading makes the book unique, already.

What I am trying to do here is not writing a review to this book. In fact, I will write down the major findings of Arnold M. Ludwig about world leaders and leave the rest of the book to your interest. Here are the brief items in Ludwig's words: (Pages 2-4 in the book)

  • All nations have rulers.
  • Essentially all the rulers of all the nations in the world during the last century have been men.
  • In many societies throughout the world, male rulers have a decided breeding advantage over other men, not only in their access to women but in the size of the harems and the number of mistresses they keep.
  • No identifiable form of intelligence, talent, genius or even experience seems necessary for ruling a country.
  • Leaders need not be sane, rational, or even mentally competent to rule a country.
  • Although intellectual or academic credentials seem irrelevant for ruling, one of the time-honored ways individuals establish their qualifications for leadership is by showing physical prowess and courage in battle.
  • Many leaders who come to power forcibly do not seem to learn from the mistakes of the past rulers.
  • In many instances, would-be rulers risk their lives to gain ultimate power and, once they have it, risk their lives to keep it.
  • Throughout the history, rulers who attain legendary status often tend to be those who have conquered other nations, won major wars, expanded their country's boundaries, founded new nations, forcibly transformed their societies, and imposed their own beliefs on their subjects.

No women among the rulers! I cannot believe the submission that women have. If I were a woman, I am sure that I would be very angry and unhappy. Anyway, this might be another topic in the blog :)