The problems of a ruler [Archives:2006/1010/Opinion]
Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
Some useful advice for rulers is the necessity of listening to wise individuals, as well as those intellectual and scientific elites who lead public opinion. A ruler may have to allow himself space and/or time to extract himself from his inner circle so he can listen to those outside his entourage, some of whom can't be acquitted of seeking benefit. Thus, such insiders seem keen to hide facts from the ruler because their major concern is the personal benefit or gain they'll receive as long as that ruler remains in power.
A ruler should remain close to the center of things in order to perceive trends and horizons lighting his way so he won't find himself hostage to any situation governed or controlled by those around him or which seeks to erect a barrier between him and his people, thus automatically becoming the power of pressure, making the ruler hostage to his palace and a prisoner of those inside it, who have become an invisible leadership running, controlling and imposing their ideas upon everything.
A ruler also must disentangle himself from the clutches of those close individuals who control and impose their desires within their capacity as trusted advisors, while at the same time purposefully excluding any elements that may beneficially counsel the ruler.
An entourage mainly is concerned with the political stability of a ruler and his party, so it vetoes anything else. For this reason, a ruler must seek alternatives so the situation won't be difficult for him to deal with, as well as to avoid all matters exploding in his face at once.
U.S. President George W. Bush is an example of one such beneficiary whose surrounding group of evil advisors has placed him at a serious impasse from which he can't liberate himself. Events and paradoxes have affirmed that Bush was neither wise nor reasonable; thus, he missed the goals, which in turn have gone astray. This is what happened to Saddam Hussein and Gamal Abdul Nasser lost the 1967 war due to the phrase, “Everything's perfect sir!” History teaches us lessons.
Therefore, a ruler should be awake, learn, listen to others and comprehend such lessons. He must listen to the people's voice because they represent the source and the springhead wherein is transparency and purity without beautifying makeup because that's simply enough. Thus, they are free of any personal motive.
Rulers should learn this failing lesson from Bush. U.S. public opinion has talked about, demanded and held opinion polls confirming recession in Bush's popularity and support, but he didn't pay any attention because his advisors presented him a rosy picture, conveying what they wanted him to know.
Moreover, they blocked his sight, intentionally resorting to imposing a blackout in order not to disclose their deceptive acts, which seek to hide all of the gaps. They granted him false hope that his policies reflect God's will.
When will our rulers understand this situation and recognize that listening to others is one of the basics of democracy and peaceful transfer of power?
Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb is an economist and a professor in Political Science. He is the head of the Arab Group for Investment and Development.