Suppose there is a village of a hundred people, and the hundred people democratically elect a leader X. Now, X was included in a lot of social circles from the beginning, should the people have the same kind of relationship with 'X' before and after he was a leader? As in, how should the dynamics of the relationship change as a result of this?

The motivation behind this question is that, from my high school life, I recall there'd be a clear power differential between the teacher and the student. The student wouldn't consider the teacher in the same categories he considers his peers but some other one.

Keeping that in mind, I considered how it would be to vote on leaders now that I am an adult. If I were to vote, I am instilling power on a single person. Let's suppose I knew the person as a friend or some other relationship and they win the election. If they win, should I now move them to a category similar to how the teacher is? Or should I still consider him my friend as before? Would my bias be a conflict of interest if I retain the friendship perspective? Or should I prioritize objectively regarding the person for their role? Is that even possible? Or should I recuse myself from the situation in some way?

  • 🤔 The problem is the problem is the problem. A book, a certain kinda book, a locus classicus? We simple solution exists though and despite my reservations and vehement protests, the guy upstairs insists that we all sit tight in our seats ... the plane however isn't the kind you see on reel/in real. Deus Magnus Est. I wonder ... forgot what I was wonderin' about ... good/bad?! Dunno! May 16 at 7:23

2 Answers 2


You have pretty much put your finger on the difference between the ideal of meritocracy and real world democracy (cf Plato's Republic); and on one of the ambiguities entailed by "growing up," "maturing," and joining the ranks of the hoi polloi.

Your archtypical teacher was, presumably, your teacher because [s]he had, relative to you and your cohort, superior education/knowledge/skills/credentials in whatever subject [s]he was engaged to teach. Whereas this differential is not [necessarily] so in the context of democratic governance. Those elected to office [i.e. provided with the levers of power] are not [necessarily] any more knowledgeable/credentialed/skilled than you are [or will be]. They may simply be rhetorically craftier, or more charming than those they electorally defeated. Yet there they are, occupying a logical space that has more power than do you [and your cohort].

So, yes, to some extent you must "move them to a category similar to [the teacher]" in that by virtue of being elected they have, like a teacher, more institutional power than you and your cohort do, AND if they were your friend before being elected, you should [continue to] consider them your friend after their election, while continuing to hold them accountable for the, now more influential/impactful, actions.


Well, that's a tough one... But in short, we treat everyone the same: with their best interests1 at heart.

1 ... assuming we actually know what those would be... and wtf we are doing otherwise -- which is a bitch, as everyone knows all too well!

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