La place des grands hommes

CAMBRIDGE – L’histoire s’écrit souvent à l’aune des héros militaires, mais l’immense potentiel des meneurs humains s’échelonne d’Attila le Hun à Mère Térésa. La plupart des leaders de tous les jours sont méconnus. Le rôle de dirigeant guerrier héroïque accorde une importance démesurée au commandement et à la puissance militaire pure et dure. En Amérique aujourd’hui, le débat présidentiel se déroule entre le sénateur John McCain, héros de guerre, et le sénateur Barack Obama, ancien organisateur de communauté.

L’image du chef guerrier persiste à l’époque moderne. L’auteur Robert Kaplan évoque la naissance d’une nouvelle “classe de guerriers, aussi cruelle que jamais et mieux armée” qui va des mafiosi russes aux rois des stupéfiants latinos en passant par les terroristes qui glorifient la violence, à l’image des Grecs anciens lors du sac de Troie. Pour Kaplan, les gouvernants modernes doivent répondre à l’avenant, et la gouvernance moderne demande une philosophie païenne enracinée dans le passé.

Les guerriers intelligents, cependant, savent diriger sans se limiter à l’usage de la force. Les soldats s’amusent parfois à peindre un portrait simpliste de leur travail : “tuer des gens et casser des trucs.” Mais comme les États-Unis l’ont découvert en Irak, les cœurs et les esprits ont aussi leur importance, et les guerriers clairvoyants ont autant besoin du pouvoir paisible de la séduction que du dur pouvoir de la contrainte.

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