Power is the ability, and also the obligation, to hurt people.
Anyone who has, or has had, any kind of power understands this, either explicitly or intuitively. Having power means you make decisions that affect a group. Some decisions will hurt someone or some people in the group. Hurt their feelings or hurt their wallet, or both. To have power, you have to be ok with this, which is why a lot of people attain some sort of leadership position and end up quitting. They don’t like all the bitching, and the reason they don’t is because they care. Maybe they care too much for others opinions, or maybe they just hate to hurt anyone, but they care.
Some people are ok with the bitching and moaning. They may be able to consistently maintain a higher view, a longer vision for what they’re trying to accomplish that over-rides criticism. IOW, they see the greater good. Others are thick-skinned, some actually like hurting people, some lack empathy, some put blinders on, etc., etc. For a variety of reasons, some just don’t mind hurting people.
Now let’s think about this when it comes to real power. Power over a large group. In a democracy, or a meritocracy, power is not given or conferred. You have to earn it. Which is another way of saying you have to take it. So who’s willing to take it? Who’s ok with hurting large numbers of people? Simple logic dictates that in a democratic meritocracy, the ones who seek the most power are the most sociopathic. People who are just fine with sending young men to their deaths, who’ll destroy anyone in their way, who’ll hide bodies, who’ll lie about their crimes. They do these things, and more, not always because they want to, but because real power demands it.
Who has the advantage in the struggle for real power? The man with higher vision who’s willing to get blood on his hands for the greater good? Or the sociopath who’s not just willing to be cruel, but likes it?
2 guesses, and the first one doesn’t count.
Having a leader means acceding to someone else’s power. In the end, strength is in numbers, so we the masses do have the most power, but we can’t organize, never could. Still there’s always the danger of mass revolt, which means we do have power, when it can be harnessed. So for us, which is the safer bet, conferring power by birthright, or allowing someone to earn (take) it? My bet is on Monarchy.
I’ve read this somewhere: With a Monarchy, you sometimes get a bad king. With a Democracy, you always get a bad king.