Personality Driven Governance Systems

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Heather Marsh:

"Representative democracies are part of a personality driven celebrity culture where people are encouraged to support their chosen personalities or groups in any action they take. This has changed from recent history, where celebrity culture existed but was moderated because people were encouraged to choose principles they supported and ensure those principles were met by any action, regardless of the actor.

The advantages of this system to those in power is obvious. When any criticism of an action taken by person A is met by cries that you must then support person B, we are dealing with a personality driven system. When similar actions that make Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe a war criminal make the US’s President Obama a Nobel Peace Prize winner, we are dealing with a personality driven system. When no action taken by a person ‘you support’ must ever be criticized, when we are encouraged to just trust an authority with no knowledge of their actions, when we are given the opportunity to vote for a person instead of actions, we are dealing with a personality driven system which allows us no real control over our governance or the actions taken by our society at all.

Where once soldiers were regular civilians who left their everyday lives to fight in defense of their societies, and were therefore worthy of the highest honour and gratitude, those civilians are now called ‘terrorists’, ‘militants’ and ‘unprivileged combatants’ and we are informed they have no right to fight in wars and are in fact war criminals for doing so. The people who deserve honour we are told, are professional paid killers, willing to do anything they are told, not in defense of their society but in offense to any country they are paid to attack. Our laws have been twisted to grant impunity to those we once reviled as mercenaries and make war criminals of those we once celebrated as heroes.

The world once had a system of laws which was written to apply equally to all people in all cases. Many states have been attempting to circumvent those laws by reclassifying people as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist groups’ and pretending these groups are not allowed the same rights as others (in direct contradiction to the underlying principles). ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’, once a commonly repeated cliché, is now never heard, it is accepted that wrongs towards some people in some cases are ‘necessary’. If instead of categorizing groups of people as above or not worthy of the law we used the law as it was intended, to equally judge the actions of all, these situations could not exist.

The new power of personality driven systems is being illustrated in wars where all effort is expended trying to cloud or identify who is behind each group of fighters, seen horribly in places like Syria and the DRC. The effort to identify groups is meant to aid allegiances and guide people in supporting one group of men with guns committing atrocities or another. An action or idea driven system would reject all who commit atrocities equally and support those building society. That is an incredibly simplistic statement when applied to the two cases above, but the root evil of investing in men with guns instead of people building societies is recognized in all areas of the world which suffer permanent ‘instability’; the solution of just identifying ‘the good guys’ or deciding ‘there are no good guys’ was created and is continually promoted by those selling the weapons.

The disease of personality driven systems extends to entire groups, where the same action taken by one is terrorism, by the other is self defense. Most extreme are those who feel killing babies is justified if Israel is killing them, or those that feel the US NDAA’s provision for indefinite detainment of US citizens is horrifying, the US Patriot Act’s same power over everyone without US citizenship not worthy of notice. The faults of personality driven systems have been called by many names, racism, sexism, ageism, nationalism and more, but all of those -isms mean the same thing; people are being judged as nouns instead of verbs. If instead of supporting nouns, we supported ideas and actions, it would be far easier to follow our chosen principles in all cases." (

More Information

See: Governance Systems Based on Idea and Action Amplification