Having grown up in a country that rivalled Nazi Germany in promoting the cult of a strong leader, I have an intuitive aversion to the notion.
The intuition is backed up by ratiocination and several decades’ worth of observation accrued in countries that are more civilised than either the Third Rome or the Third Reich.
In such countries a longing for a strong leader only appears when society is weak. Seeing the liberties they enjoy being eroded, people bizarrely hope that the situation will improve should they be blessed with a leader strong enough to take their liberties away altogether.
For make no mistake about it: taking liberties away is what strong leaders do. Such men are typically free of self-doubt: they know exactly what the people need, which is usually the opposite of what the people want.
A strong society is one that doesn’t care how strong or weak the leader is. It’s one that wants the government to be small and inconspicuous enough to get out of society’s way and let people get on with their lives.
The British used to understand this better than any other nation, but this understanding is being buried under the rubble of an imploding Western civilisation, one that used to be called Christendom.
Suddenly the British have lost their formerly sure grasp of political fundamentals. Instead of trying to nurse our ailing society back to its erstwhile strength, they call for a strong leader in the Stalin or Hitler mode.
Not by name, of course. No Tory pundit or Ukip politician has to my knowledge explicitly extolled the Führer or General Secretary. But they do so implicitly, by bemoaning our absence of a typologically similar leader.
Just look at the outburst of almost erotic love our supposedly conservative writers feel for Tsipras, who has every potential to become a communist dictator, a sort of Stalin Lite. Yes, he was democratically elected, but so was Hitler.
How would you like your elderly mother being treated by a physician who has Dr Shipman’s portrait on his office wall? My guess is you’d look for a doctor who has different objects of adulation.
Yet we hear hosannas sung to Tsipras, who only recently removed a portrait of the mass murderer Che Guevara from his office wall.
To wit, Peter Oborne, who spoiled an otherwise good article in The Mail by this conclusion: “Marxist or not… Tsipras has been patriotic and bloody-minded enough to stand up for his people against the bullies of the European Union.”
Obviously, the EU getting a bloody nose must please anyone who understands the wicked nature of that geopolitical abortion. But do let’s keep things in perspective: Tsipras lives by an evil ideology, which makes him an evil man.
His actions have coincided with our interests – just as Hitler’s attack on Russia 74 years ago coincided with our interests at the time.
Yet I doubt that even The Mail, which had been openly pro-Nazi until the Luftwaffe started pounding British cities, would have run an article saying “Nazi or not, Hitler has been patriotic and bloody-minded enough to stand up for his people against the bullies of the Soviet Union.”
Even more worrying is the widespread adoration of Putin as another ‘strong leader’ Britain so lamentably lacks. Granted, most people are ignorant about the true nature of Putin’s Russia. But even some of those who know the facts still hold the KGB colonel up as a shining example for all to follow.
Every time I refer to Putin’s regime as kleptofascist, which is exactly what it is, I get irate readers screaming back that they wish we had a strong leader to look after us as well as Putin looks after his people.
Since when have Englishmen acquired this need to be looked after by a strong, fascist-type leader? Exactly what in the 1,000-odd years of England’s political history has pre-conditioned the people to develop this perverse urge?
Putin, gentlemen, doesn’t look after his people – he is rapidly reducing them to the kind of browbeaten automata they were under Stalin. The people he does look after are himself and a dozen close cronies, billionaires like him, all proud of having served in the organisation with the blood of 60 million on its hands.
Just look at the international ratings Russia enjoys under his strong leadership. In the rule-of-law category Russia stands at Number 92 out of 97 countries rated.
In upholding fundamental rights, Russia’s rating is 82, one behind the Emirates.
Russia ranks a derisory 148th out of 179 on freedom of the press, which is widely regarded as a guarantor of liberty. That rating places Putin’s Russia below Bangladesh, Cambodia and Burundi.
Russia is Number 127 on the corruption rating, where she finds herself in a nine-way tie with such bastions of legality as Pakistan and Gambia.
These are all telltale signs of a fascist country, while Russia’s economy shows every trait of a corrupt Third World dictatorship: a small elite enjoying nabob-style luxury thanks to its control of the natural resources, a larger, but still by Western standards tiny, middle class living half-decently, and the masses subsisting in penury.
Add to this abortion still being the dominant method of contraception, a near-catastrophic ecology, and no ill Russian with two hard-currency pennies to rub together even thinking of getting treatment in his own country, and the picture is almost complete.
A massive sewer pipeline keeps disgorging tonnes of nauseating propaganda, catering to the Russians’ historic affection for the Good Tsar, and for the moment it’s working. But since when have the English longed for the Good Tsar?
That our government is weak is the least of its problems. It’s intellectually corrupt, amoral and spivocratic. It’s also the portrait our society has in its attic, reflecting its own moral decrepitude, ignorance and soulless materialism.
This is the government we deserve, and God save us from the evil of a strong leader on top of that. As long as society remains weak, a strong leader won’t make it stronger. He’ll make it enslaved.