Lack of competence: Important feature of
governors and bureaucrats of all
kinds at all times and places in history, so
About incompetence there is Peter's Principle: In an institution,
everybody rises to his level of incompetence. This seems empirically
well-founded, and especially about those institutions that are not effectively
controlled by the public or by a more or less objective criterion:
and bureaucrats of all kinds.
In fact, for bureaucracies, especially governmental bureaucracies, the Peter Principle may be overly optimistic, since it presumes people start at a level of competence.
In any case, also e.g. with respect to specialists of all kinds: Everybody knows
something, but very few know as much as they believe they do. (See:
In general, and with a few exceptions, the intelligent seek to understand,
explain or beautify the world, while the
incompetent rule it, whether as
politicians, priests or
clergy. The reason is that it is much easier to
deceive an average audience for one's own or one's party's benefits than it is
to do good science or make great art and also - it would seem, from the normal course of history at most times and places - that there are more willing to abuse others for their personal benefit than there are with real talent and good will. And it is much easier to pretend to be a good leader than to be one.