by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
A friend of mine from the United States a few months ago told me a funny as much as unnerving joke, he said: Do you know how Italian universities or hospitals succeed in having good results without recognising the merit of their researchers and doctors Simple, the director of a department always chooses as his second a person who is less efficient than him not to risk to be fired before his retirement. This cycle will go on for three or four times until the chief is so stupid that he won’t be able to choose a person who is more stupid than him! And then, with a valid leader, the cycle will start again.
Ever since the birth of civilisation, the talent of the individual together with the merit of the collectivity have allowed the social and technological growth we all know. It is the relationship between the talents and values of the individual and the merit of all that should be analyzed better. Amongst the fundamental needs of the human being, the necessity of belonging is one of the strongest driving forces. But belongingness to a group necessarily means equal opportunities for all its members. Then being born with a particular talent or in one particular family or with a particular physical gift puts the lucky subject in contrast with the other members of the group. Thus the first obstacle to the emergence of the deserving individual is his very belongingness to a group. He will be envied, hindered, taunted for several reasons, first of which the fear not to be able to compete with his abilities.
Only coincidence of favourable events, eclecticism in dodging obstacles, will power, resistance to dejection, the alliances established and above all the necessity of redemption for the collectivity at large, will allow the talented person to emerge and become a leader and to contribute to human development. To conciliate merit and equality, to impede the production of census, familiar, or geographical barriers, thus becomes the preliminary and paramount factor that will have to be structured in the best possible way so that the society can project itself towards innovation and development. But it is this very aspect that is never taken into consideration. In the past centuries the aristocracies occupied the leading positions in the civil and military societies based on their rights of lineage. In the last century the big financial and capitalist families have used money to direct the political power.
Today the political class seems oriented only towards assuring its members a leading position in society. Thus in the future it will be necessary to push people to exercise their own talents, so that they won’t live without developing, or even knowing, their own values, so that feelings of competition and envy, which come from lives that are not worth living, will be weakened, so that our progress will not be hindered by stupid leaders, and we will instead have a new leading class founded on creativity, talent and merit.
Translated by Martina Delser