Sunday, May 18, 2008

A good leader must always look beyond the needs of his or her country?

The term ‘leader’ is an often-used one today. Since the term ‘leader’ can range from anything from the leader of a small organizing committee in a school to the leader of a world-body, I will limit the discussion to leaders of nations. Most leaders have a vision - a greater long-term goal which they want to achieve during their term as leaders. Therefore, ‘good leader’ can be defined as one whose goals are not limited to his self or his nation but concerns the larger good - for the world as a whole. But is this view always true? With nations drowning in poverty, bleeding with foreign or civil war and failing socially, should their ‘good’ leaders have visions concerning the world such as world solidarity? Does the above statement disqualify leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King from the club of so called ‘good leaders’ since they largely aimed for the success of their nation? In my opinion, a good national leader should have global concerns but they should only come after his nation’s well-being and once the people of his nation achieve satisfactory level of standard of living. If the nation is suffering from domestic problems, then would be better to solve the problems at home first before showing your altruism abroad.
As mentioned above, one of my main reasons for disagreeing with the given statement is that in my opinion, for a good leader, urgent domestic concerns should take precedence over world issues. A leader is answerable to the people of his own nation since they are the one who elect him and entrust him the responsibility of taking care of their welfare. If the nation is suffering from problems like poverty, starvation and foreign dominance, then in my opinion, a good leader should envision and strive for the elimination of urgent domestic concerns. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the prime minister of Iran is a good example of a leader who is largely ignoring Iran’s domestic problems, like stagnant economy and socially downgraded status of women and is striving hard to glorify his country on the world stage. In my opinion, such a leader cannot be termed as a good leader since he is side-lining the problems of the very people who elected him to that post. In contrast, Nelson Mandela was a good leader. He successfully liberated his people from foreign domination and undemocratic practices and then came on the world stage to preach world solidarity and safeguarding of human rights. Thus, a good leader should strive to solve domestic problems before going global.

2 comments:

axe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
webspinner said...

cogent argument. but you may want to include more recent examples of good leaders to contrast historical ones. how is GWB more effective or otherwise than say JFK? how do the two leaders' styles of governmnet work according to theclimate of global politics in their eras?
C=19 L=15