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February 26, 2018

Democracy, autocracy and laissez-faireism

Leadership comes in basically three forms– democratic leadership, laissez-faire leadership and autocratic leadership. Among them, the democratic style of leadership is the most favoured type as revealed by a survey which involved interviews with the leading entrepreneurs and employees. According to the researchers who have conducted the above-mentioned survey, there are two things that have made the successful democratic leaders different from the autocratic leaders and laissez-faire leaders. Quite distinct from the autocrats, the democratic leaders let those who report to them know the insights of the issues they have to handle and want them to show they have confidence in themselves, taking their own initiatives. Unlike the laissez-faire leaders, the democratic leaders are involved in the decision-making process whereas the former have delegated the authority to the experts. This being so, the democratic leaders are burdened with their multifarious duties while the laissez-faire leaders can lead a comfortable life, granting laissez-aller i.e. unrestrained freedom to their subordinates.
Our point here in this regard is the question of which type will be best suited for our country. Most people will choose the democratic style. In that case, we will need good and able leaders who have self confidence, who are well qualified, who prefer self actualisation to positions, power, rights, perquisites and a decent enumeration package etc. Even with such leaders it would be wise of us to look at the strong cases of the United States of America, which is widely accepted as the leader of democracy these days. Even a glance at the leadership style of the US presidents will reveal that the most successful presidents are not always democratic. Depending upon the situation, they were sometimes autocratic and practiced laisseiz-faireism. John F. Kennedy is found to have exercised a proper combination of democracy and laissez-faireism. This charismatic leader has been autocratic in the case of the Cuban missile crisis whereas he has pursued laissez-fairesm when he delegated authority to the experts in the case of Apolo Satellite Program. Jimmy Carter is another strong case. Although he was very often flanked by experts, he was sometimes found to be autocratic, not seeking the expert opinion, merely assigning tasks directly to inexperienced subordinates who listened to his orders. The Global New Light of Myanmar would, therefore, like our people not to expect all-time democratic style leadership from the new democratic regime.


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