Few people accuse politicians of being genuinely self-effacing. From Al Gore claiming he introduced the bill that made the internet possible (hint: it already existed), to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s seemingly inexhaustible ability to look like an arrogant feudal lord by doing things like hanging out with buddies and family on a beach state government closed to everyone else, conceit and arrogance seem implacably intrinsic to the political DNA.
And now, France brings us what might be the 21st Century capper. Newly crowned French President Emmanuel Macron just said he will rule like the Roman god Jupiter.
This is not a joke.
Evidently intent on outdoing good ol’ Louis XIV, who is claimed to have said, “L'état, c'est moi,” or “I am the state," Mr. Macron is going all godlike, comparing himself not only to the Roman mucky-muck Jupiter, but, because Jupiter is just a renaming of the cooler original, to the Greek god of gods, Zeus.
Here’s what Reuters had to say:
“Macron himself has said he plans a "Jupiterian" presidency - as a remote, dignified figure, like the Roman god of gods, who weighs his rare pronouncements carefully.”
But why just Jupiter? How about a Saturnian presidency so all the Illuminati-esoterica crowd at Bilderberg will get a thrill, or how about a Plutonian presidency? So far out and so insignificant, people don’t really notice?
No delusions of grandeur there.
Of course, he didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize, like Barack Obama did prior to bombing the hell out of multiple nations and thousands of innocent people. But there’s time for the Nobel Committee to make more dumb mistakes. Until then, why not let him play at being Jupiter? He could even don a flowing wig and beard. Anything to boost this poor man’s self-confidence, because, clearly, he’s got a low self-opinion.
It’s strange how such a vast number of politicians seem to find it impossible to stand outside themselves and stop being fat-headed, but for whatever reason, each generation of them falls into the same pathological pattern.
Dr. Leon Seltzer, in a piece called “Narcissism: Why It’s So Rampant in Politics”, for Psychology Today noted something worth remembering when it comes to the great self-love of the politicians intent on running our lives:
Even before winning office, these individuals may have been inclined toward such "entitled thinking." But there's little question that once elected their newly elevated status promotes further exaggeration of this tendency—which, ultimately, must be seen as anti-social.
And that last point is important to reiterate and amplify. Many people don’t understand that government is the greatest anti-social construct created in the history of man. They often miss this truism because they don’t distinguish between society and the state. Society is that which we form through our own voluntary interaction, the “social bonds” we make with one another. The state is that statutory entity that claims a monopoly on the legal use of force and can only exist by taking money and other forms of property from society. Anything the state takes from the people who compose society comes at the expense of decisions those people would have made themselves to reinforce their social bonds or create new ones. As a result, the state is, and always will be, by definition, anti-social.
So perhaps Mr. Macron’s egotistical claim really isn’t too far from the mark. He, like so many other politicians, will just be filling the traditional role of a head of state, leading the giant anti-social machine in all its aloofness and vainglory.
Perhaps he does us a favor by acknowledging it so colorfully, because now we can write it into the history books.
Right next to “L'état, c'est moi.”
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