Ezra Lb. wrote:The real question I suppose is not why there are people like McNamara and Cheney but how we allow them to get to the upper echelons of power? Is there some essentiel flaw in our society that encourages these people to thrive in power?
I'm of a slightly different mind than Chuck is about this. My firm belief is that these people are allowed to rise to power because, by and large, humans have the tendency to let stronger personalities take charge. As in any pack of animals, the strongest usually leads, and we have yet to outgrow this basic instinct to let it happen. I've seen this evidenced in business many times over -- and while the vast majority of upper management on companies are sound, reasoning individuals, I've also seen McNamara- and Cheney-esque personalities hold positions of power for far longer than is healthy. And I've seen companies suffer for it. Governments have no exemption, and McNamara and Cheney are excellent examples of the damage that can be done to governments by these individuals.
We have trouble telling them "No". And that's the pity, and the fault.