Hallo there, Anya!

Preferably a person SHOULD be good to be a good leader (a person who is able to ACTIVATE a crowd to do his bidding).

However, that is NORMALLY not the case...

Most people who have the abilities to LEAD are turning out EVIL...

But, their AFFECTS are felt all over the WORLD -- after a while (that could be THOUSANDS OF YEARS)...

People, like Hitler, had many people looking up at THEM, but, many of SUCH people will turn out to become OPPRESSORS and MASS MURDERERS...

Even someone like Putin, who seems to have a great following, are becoming a mass murderer who are going to end up in the MILLION-CLUB with people like Stalin and Hitler...

A great leader can be EITHER good or bad (but mostly bad in a practical sense)...

Usually such a person don't know when to STOP ACTING on their SENSE-OF-JUSTICE, to begin with...

Hitler, and many like him, wanted to set the past wrongs straight, but they continue on that PATH for too long...

And, this is where the trouble that they usually cause, starts...

Yours sincere

Pieter J (PJ)


Expand full comment

One does not have to be a good person to be an effective leader, tho to be a good leader I think one has to be a good person-sort of by definition of the word “good”.

Expand full comment
Jul 17Liked by Classical Wisdom

"Power should never be granted to those who love it too much."

Roman proverb

Expand full comment
Jul 17Liked by Classical Wisdom

Good leader for whom is a critical question as far as I’m concerned. A tyrant can serve himself and/or a ruling class quite effectively, but at the expense of the ruled or by subjugating foreign lands for sure.

Is that good? Its a tough question, and depends who you ask! I think this changes a lot with tech development, which makes it easier to be inclusive, share wealth and power more broadly as societies become more powerful masters of their surroundings. As Marx pointed out, scarcity of resources creates conflicts.

History is constantly distorted because few have the privilege to write it down, to tell it according to their own perspective. Wars are fought over this privilege, as perspectives often conflict. Those individuals slaving away to build the Pyramids or Roman aqueducts didn’t get much of a chance to weigh in, express their suffering. (Except the Jews whose suffering in Egypt and later under Roman occupation in Israel would inspire an overturning of morality in the ancient world)

My perspective is that one does indeed need to be a decent person to be able to hear and adequately serve the wide variety of interests a leader should for best functioning. At least by modern standards. We should heed the lessons of the Jews and Jesus about rejecting certain Gods, certain parts of our nature or else the suffering we inflict upon one another will be extreme. See: Fascist Russia terrorizing Ukraine today.

Expand full comment

But the first instance of state attempt to destroy a civilization was the Greeks coming against the Jews who did not support the gymnasiums, the Maccabean Wars.

You need to be good to be a good leader because as Lincoln said : " He contends that whatever community wants slaves has a right to have them. So they have if it is not a wrong. But if it is a wrong, he cannot say people have a right to do wrong." And homosexual activity and abortion -- you must know the morality before you lead to ruin or success.

Expand full comment

"Do you need to be Good to be a Good leader?"

A good leader is a leader who is good. Therefore being good is a requirement for this category. See also: a good driver, a good cook, a good gymnast etc.

"is it really necessary to be a “paragon of virtue” to rule?"

To 'rule' is not the same as to 'lead'. A leader is a person who demonstrates the qualities of leadership. A 'ruler' is someone who asserts their monopolistic right to control others by force. Therefore a 'ruler' is (by definition) a tyrant. A violent, controlling husband or wife is a 'ruler'. A schoolyard bully is a 'ruler'. A politician is a 'ruler'. All of these people assert their monopolistic right to control other people by force.

We cannot define such behaviour as virtuous because any virtue MUST be - at the very least - universally applicable. If ruling people is virtuous then it must apply to all, but this violates the meaning of 'to rule' which is a MONOPOLISTIC right to impose your will on others by force. Any ruler has (by definition) acted outside of any moral framework.

So no, 'to rule' other people can never be defined as virtuous behaviour.

Expand full comment