The Great Leader
[Reprinted from Fragments, Vol.III, No.1]
Now that the birth of the Great Society has been announced with
joyous fanfare, the time has come to study the mental processes of its
arch-priest, the Great Leader.
Why do people seek a "leader"? Simply because they lack
confidence in themselves. They repose their trust, instead, in the one
person whose pursuits are non-productive.
Take President Johnson for example. Here is a man who has no interest
in economics, and knows no economic laws except those which affect hit
political prestige, Whatever he says -- whether it be in regard to
Viet Nam or the "war on poverty" or land conservation --
must be considered from the strictly political point of view. If an
economic proposal is "good" politics, it is good economics.
This is as far as hit economic wisdom can go.
There are two methods of making a living. The first it the economic
method. The vast mass of the people make their living in this fashion.
They utilize the laws of nature to create values. They are the
producers. The second is the political method. This it the method of
criminals and politicians who live either by stealing or by taxing.
They produce nothing. They give nothing. They only take. For their
talents, they are either put behind bars, or get the adulation of the
public. The more promises the politician gives (and this is the only
thing he may be said to "give"), the more gratitude does he
After being elevated to hit pinnacle, the Great Leader begins to take
himself seriously. He resents criticism. He recognizes that he has
been chosen by Destiny to lead hit people out of the wilderness. Hit
pronouncements are wildly acclaimed. He becomes the Savior of Mankind.
The people begin to regard him as their Benefactor and Guardian Angel.
Some day, perhaps, this nation may again become a nation of people
not bureaucrats - and the Great Leader may have to scrounge around for
an honest living. When that day comes, this essay will become