Monday, June 1, 2009

Why leaders act like leaders

You gotta love the Greeks! Their mythology wasn’t so much a religion as it was an explanation of human behavior. Specifically, it explained why leaders are such assholes.

Take, for example, Aite, the goddess of divine infatuation, or ruin. She was the daughter of Zeus and Eris (strife). Zeus booted her out of Mt Olympus when, by switching babies, she deprived Heracles of his rightful inheritance.

She ended up on earth where she moves across its surface by walking on men’s heads instead of the ground. (Men are more susceptible to her wiles than women.)

Aite’s divine infatuation has nothing to do with religion, though religion is often used to justify the madness she creates. Her specialty is generating the blind hubris that leads to an individual’s or a nation’s downfall.

There is a cure for her madness. Feeling remorse for the chaos caused by his exiling her to earth, Zeus sent his daughters the Litae who offer a cure for Aite’s madness, but only if they are asked through prayer. Since they are lame and wrinkled crones, this rarely happens.

When last spotted, Aite had taken up permanent residence in the Beltway, though she’s been known to take the shuttle down to Wall Street for an occasional visit.

--Case Wagenvoord