November 14, 2017 issue of Scientific American tries to explain the Global Rise of “Dominance” Leadership. Political pundits, commentators and average citizens continue to have trouble accounting for the rise of populist authoritarian leaders across the globe. A common question batted around continues to be how leaders such as Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicolás Maduro, Recep Erdogan, and Narendra Modi could become the standard-bearers of democracy for countries like the US, Hungary, Philippines, Venenzuela and Turkey and India. Much of the writing has concentrated on the west, and specifically the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president. The suggestions tendered have ranged from a backlash against the first African American president, the rejection of insider fat cats, or a rebuff of Washington policies. But narratives like these fall short of explaining the rise of authoritarian leaders globally, the magazine says.
It tries to study this phenomenon empirically. Attaining social rank within society, the author says, follows two paths: dominance and prestige. People all over the countries prefer the dominant ones to the ones of prestige, especially in hard times. But, when citizens experience economic uncertainty and its accompanying loss of personal control, when they look to dominant leaders, are they going to be benefited? I doubt. Since, as the study then finds, it is unclear why they would be motivated to reduce the threats that got them into office, once they occupy the seats of power.
I think my theory is being proven right again, the decision to go for this form of leadership need not be a well considered one at all. We are only heading fast, to 'the age of the irrational'.