Rule and Person

In the extent to which societies are governed by rule or person, in traditional societies based on agriculture, personal factors counts for almost everything. People are able to take finer personal distinctions in their businesses and other day-to-day work. In these societies, personal links can be used (or misused) for practically any purpose; and a … Continue reading Rule and Person

Arithmetic and marriage

Few days ago, I read a newspaper story. On suspecting that bridegrooms is illiterate, the bride put him under an arithmetic test: "how much is 15 + 6?". And when the answer given was 17, she called off the marriage. A few childhood memories popped up. When I was a kid, my father asked me … Continue reading Arithmetic and marriage

Do we really need ‘strong’ leaders?

The media coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela and retirement of Sachin Tendulkar brought back the memory of an old essay written 'on charisma' by German sociologist Max Weber. I asked a German colleague how many charismatic personalities he knows in politics in his country. He responded somewhat indirectly, "There are some, but usually … Continue reading Do we really need ‘strong’ leaders?