in my discussion sections, people got too excited about
charisma. So we did speak a lot about
charisma. I ask your patience.
We will cover some of the same
grounds, but I hope I can give you new jokes about charisma.
This is one of the most
exciting features of Weber theory,
and probably one of–next to the Protestant Ethic,
right?–the one which entered the common language,
more than anything else. Right? That we all talk about
charisma, and people’s charisma, or charismatic leaders,
all the time. Just like the Protestant work
ethic, which entered the popular vocabulary, and everybody who
has not read any Weber still uses the term.
It’s also very important to
come to terms with the idea of charisma because Weber was
suspected in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s to be actually a
proto-fascist, and with the idea of charisma
advocating for a strong leadership for Germany,
a calling for a charismatic leader for Germany,
and in a way almost demanding Adolph Hitler.
Well, of course,
he died in 1920; he could not do that.
But especially the philosopher,
George Lukács, accused him to be an
irrationalist, and being a proto-fascist,
laying the ideology for Nazism and Adolph Hitler.
I have to tell you that I am
not absolutely certain what Weber would have done in 1930 or
’33. I hope, like his brother,
he would not have gone for the fascists, or Nazis.
But it’s complicated.
I will try to make a case that
in fact the concept of charisma is not quite what Adolph Hitler
was. So the main major themes of the
presentation today. First of all we will deal with
the definition of charisma; what is charismatic authority.
Then we will talk about the
sources of charisma, where charisma is coming from,
and this is particularly important,
to see why Weber is actually not a proto-Nazi.
Then we will be talking about
the followers of the charismatic leader.
Then we will talk about
charisma as a revolutionary force, charisma as a vehicle of
change. And I think this is an
interesting idea in Weber, though one of the weaker points
I think of Weber theory. I think Karl Marx has a much
more coherent and much more persuasive theory about
historical change as class struggle,
you know, and the contradictions between forces
and relations of production. This is historically
invalidated, but a very coherent and very persuasive kind of
argument. Weber’s idea of charisma as a
revolutionary force actually has empirical relevance,
but it’s rather unpersuasive, and I will talk about this.
And then we come to a big
problem with charisma, how charismatic leadership can
be routinized or transmitted from a charismatic leader to the
next, and what are the methods of
succession for a charismatic leader.
So, I mean, those of you who
were in my discussion sections, you can see it will not be just
a regurgitation of the discussion sections.
And I don’t know what happened
in other discussion sections; also the charisma may have come
up. This makes people move;
minds move a great deal. So I’ll just step back a minute
and again revisit the idea of different types of domination
and authority. And this is the simplest scheme
I can come up with. But I think this is a good one.
I’ll copyright it;
I did it.>
So the question is where is
obedience due to? It can be due to rules,
impersonal rules, or it can be due to a personal
master, to an individual. That’s the big story. Right?
And if it is due to rules,
that’s when we are talking about legal-rational authority–
and this will be the topic–and bureaucratic rule,
modern liberal democratic system or modern
not-that-democratic system, but systems which still do have
rules of law. There are actually
authoritarian systems which do operate with rules of law,
where authoritarian leaders actually do themselves follow
the law and take law seriously and implement laws seriously.
So legal-rational authority
does not mean liberal democracy. It simply means that this is a
system in which there is a rule of law, even if the leader
itself can be not particularly democratic.
Democracy, as we understand it,
is a very recent phenomenon. Universal suffrage in the
Western world became widespread since the 1920s,
and it really became the dominant form–
right?–of political rule much, much later;
I would say more like after the Second World War.
I mean, Switzerland,
for instance, gave rights for women to vote
just very recently. So well, you know,
democracy is a–liberal democracy–is a very new
invention. And legal-rational authority is
not such a new invention. There was a rule of law in
England going back to the Orange Revolution.
It’s going back to the late
seventeenth century. There was rule of law in the
United States before the late eighteenth and nineteenth
century, though there was no liberal
democracy as we understand that. Right?
There was no universal suffrage
at all. So, I mean, you could have rule
of law without democracy. But that’s still very different
from a system where you obey a master.
There are two ways how you obey
a master. You obey because the tradition
appointed that master– and that’s what we were talking
about Tuesday– or because the master is
believed to have some charismatic features.
I also mentioned it last time:
that the differences between the three types of authority–
legal-rational authority, traditional authority,
and charismatic authority–do not have the same,
I’ll use the term, ontological status.
The two big forms in history
are traditional authority which through rationalization
eventually becomes legal-rational authority,
and charismatic authority usually is a transitory stage.
Charismatic authority is a
charismatic leader emerges in times of great need,
desperation and need for change, and charismatic leaders,
if they deliver–you know, as long as they deliver–
they remain leaders. If they stop delivering
charisma is taken away from them.
And it is extremely difficult
for a charismatic leader to establish an ongoing system of
charismatic authority– right?–because it will be very
difficult to transfer their own personal charisma to somebody
else– right?–and to keep running a
charismatic system. Okay, so that’s about
generally, you know, what is charisma?
As I said, this really we keep
using the term all the time. The last eighteen months we
used it a lot because of candidate and later President
Obama. And there is probably nobody in
this room who at one point did not say something about Obama’s
charisma; or, you know,
if you did not like him, the lack of his charisma.
But, you know,
this was a commonly used term. Now this is coming from Weber,
because he dug this term out from a rather obscure
theological language, where charisma actually
referred to some superhuman qualities of individuals,
I would say almost semi-gods, who have some very personal and
exclusive relationship to God, and therefore,
like any other human beings, they kind of can talk to God
and then they can interpret God’s will to the people;
these were charismatic leaders. So, in the most classical
definition, charisma refers rather to the great founders of
great world religions; that’s what charisma,
in initial meaning, meant.
Moses, or Jesus, they had charisma,
because they had a special access to God.
Moses got the two tables from
He could not see the face of
God but nevertheless got the two tables from God.
Nobody else could walk
up–right?–there on the mountain and get these tables,
you know, and tell people, “This is the law.”
It was only Moses who could.
And Jesus had a very specific
relationship to God. Right?
was even the Son of God, embodiment of God.
you know, it is believed by Christians that Jesus could
actually convey to us what God wants us to do.
Had this very special unique
charismatic appeal. And Mohammed had this special
appeal to God. Or if you are Mormon,
then Mr. Smith had this very unique–right?–relationship to
God. At one point an angel came,
you know, got a new sacred book, a continuation of the
Bible, left it with Mr. Smith. He translated it,
and when the translation was gone, you know,
the angel came and took it away.
This was a charisma–right?–a
very specific superhuman; it did not happen to any other
human being, only to Smith. Right?
That is the initial notion of
the meaning. But now Weber makes it here a
little- kind of a broader conception,
and he said–right?–that charisma will be applied to a
certain quality of an individual personality.
It’s important still an
individual who is considered extraordinary and treated as
endowed with supernatural, superhuman.
This sounds like the original
definition. But then he goes on and he
said, “Or at least exceptional powers and
And these are regarded as of
divine origin–that’s the founders of the great
religion–or exemplary; he modifies that. Right?
It can be just exemplary.
You don’t have to believe that
this is semi-god or the embodiment of God.
You only have to believe that
this is an exemplary being who has some exceptional abilities,
exceptional qualities, and that will qualify that you
will call somebody a charismatic person or a charismatic leader.
Let me also underline one more
term from these quotations which is extremely important.
He said the person is
considered to be extraordinary and treated
as endowed with superhuman or exemplary features.
So–and what I think is
extremely important to see, that Weber does not tell us
that this individual is actually extraordinary,
that it is actually superhuman. In a way it is in the eye of
the beholder. It is among the followers who
attribute–right?–to these qualities, to somebody.
So in a way charismatic leaders
are being made by the followers. Well, and what is the source of
charisma? This is now making it even more
clearer and more precise. It rests in recognition.
You have to recognize it,
charisma. So the relationship of charisma
is in the interpersonal relationship between the leaders
and the followers, and in this interaction is
charisma being created. Right?
It is not given by the grace of
lord–right?–to an individual person.
It is created by those who are
subjected to authority. Right?
And it’s also important that
those who follow the charismatic leaders are usually seen as
followers or disciples. Right?
They have some extraordinary
commitment to this leader. Right?
This leader creates excitement
in them, and this excitement, what creates the community of
the followers or the community of the disciples.
And well this was one of the
reasons why many people in the last eighteen months regarded
Barack Obama as a charismatic leader,
because he was capable to appearing in a crowd,
and moved the crowd–right?–create excitement
in the crowd. Right?
followers–right?–almost one would say disciples,
as such. Now but the charisma can be
withdrawn. This is again a very important
idea in Weber. He said if the proof of success
alludes the leader for too long, it is likely that the
charismatic authority will disappear.
So the charismatic leader gives
you– right?–promises that it will
produce miracles, and then the charismatic leader
does not producing these miracles–
right?–he must work miracles, said Weber–
then the people withdraw the recognition of charisma from the
leader, and the master simply becomes a
private person, an ordinary person;
it loses its individual appeal. Well what is very
important–right?– that the charismatic leader has
to promise you miracles– right?–has to promise you that
it will deliver something what you desperately need.
Charisma is deeply rooted in
the conditions in the situation in which a charismatic leader is
being constructed by the followers.
When you are in a desperate
need, then you are looking for a charismatic leader which can
solve this problem what you think is almost unresolvable.
Then the charismatic leader
will come and will promise you that this problem,
that the charismatic leader will be able to solve,
because of its extraordinary characteristics.
And again if I can come back
again to the last elections, that was, you know,
clearly the case, the way how candidate Obama was
capable to win the elections. You remember one of the key
words–right?–which characterized the campaign:
hope, change, yes we can.
I mean, these are very typical
elements–right?–of a charismatic appeal.
You are in need,
you want hope, you want to have business as
not usual, you want to have a new type of business,
now this is what I promise you. Right?
Change and hope,
and I empower you. I am the person who can empower
It can be done. Right?
We can do it. Right?
Yes, it can be done.
Hope, change, yes can be done.
These are very typical
elements–right?–what a charismatic leader does produce.
In recent history other
charismatic leaders, which are probably not as
attractive in historical perspective as Obama,
did become charismatic leaders the same way.
Fidel Castro established
charisma for himself. The Cuban society was in
desperate need for change in 1960, and Fidel Castro appealed,
and he said, “Well I will bring change
to you. I will get rid of this corrupt
government. I will create equality.”
“I will help the poor.
The poor will get wealthier.
I will create affluence.”
“I will create a just and
affluent society.” Right?
And therefore he came up with
promises what people were looking for, and then charisma
was attributed to Fidel Castro. Adolph Hitler emerged as a
charismatic leader. Right?
Germany suffered a humiliating
defeat in the First World War. Then it was hit with a Great
Depression, which hit Germany even worse than it hit the
United States. And then Adolph Hitler
appealed, though he was not quite as an attractive
personality as Obama; he was, you know,
quite a ridiculous guy. But he actually said,
“Well I can solve the problems for you.”
Defined an enemy;
“It’s all Jewish conspiracy.
We get rid of the Jews,
and I will turn things around. And, you know,
we will have a new empire.”
And there he was capable with
this problem. There was a need in the
situation where people were looking for leadership,
and they were looking for a strong leader,
a charismatic leader, and they attributed this
charismatic leadership– people to them.
The problem comes when they
cannot deliver. Certainly Hitler,
when the Russian troops were already fighting around Berlin,
was no charismatic leader any longer.
He was hiding in the bunker,
considering suicide, and his charisma was gone all
together, because he did not deliver,
he did not do the miracles– right?–and therefore his
charisma was withdrawn. Now about the followers. Right?
He said the followers of a
charismatic leader are often bound together by emotional
ties, and they create an emotional community with each
other. Weber uses the German term
Vergemeinschaftung; they become kind of a community.
There is a real religious
leader with a charismatic appeal.
It creates always communities
of people. I don’t know if any one of you
ever had experiences of some fundamentalist religious
experience. I did when I was a teenager.
There was a
preacher–interestingly, he also did not look
charismatic; he was even not a great speaker.
I don’t know how on earth he
had this curious charismatic appeal;
but he did. He did have an impact on me.
I attributed charisma to him.
And he kind of created a
community around himself. Right?
We all were brothers and
sisters together, who kind of believed in the
charismatic preacher. This is very often in kind of
sectarian, fundamentalist religious groups,
be it Christian, or be it Muslim,
be it Evangelical. There must be people in this
room–right?–who at least when they were teenagers experienced
When you are a teenager and you
want to get out of your family, and you are looking for a new
community; I mean, this kind of religious
community is very often offered an alternative.
And some of you may still be in
such a community. And if you are, I envy you.
I think it is–you know,
as I recall, it was a wonderful experience
in some ways. Vergemeinschaftung.
You had your family. Right?
You have your spiritual family
where you belong to. Does it make any sense what I’m
saying? I think there must be
people–right?–who experience that or are still experiencing
So that’s what he calls
Vergemeinschaftung. Gemeinschaft means
community–when the mass society relationships becomes a
relationships like a community. And indeed, even in charismatic
political campaign, you have this sense that we
belong together in the common cause.
Vergemeinschaftung in the Civil Rights Movement–
right?–where there were these charismatic leaders,
Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy–right?–
and the whole idea of civil rights,
and that we’re called together–right?–
and we go to the South and we demonstrate–
right?–and we demand civil rights from these bloody
That created a sense of
community among people–right?–who had this
belief in change. Well and if you are actually in
such a community, you have a kind of personal
devotion to the leader, and there is a certain degree
of enthusiasm what emerges in you–
right?–which is occasionally coming out of despair,
that you are desperate and then you hope to have some salvation,
some solution to an irresolvable problem by the
charismatic leader. That’s how in Communism
charismatic leaders like Lenin or Mao or Castro emerged.
These were all societies in
deep trouble, after humiliations,
after wars, in big need for some major structural change,
and then they were looking for a savior–
right?–who will solve these irresolvable problems and will
lead out to paradise. Well it’s also interesting
that, you know, in charismatic communities
there is usually relatively little hierarchy,
not all that much of a bureaucracy.
Those who are actually serving
the charismatic leader usually do not get salaries or benefits.
It’s again true,
you know, even for charismatic political leaders,
that they get a whole army of volunteers;
because they so strongly believe in the cause that they
volunteer their time and money. Well here comes an interesting
and disturbing proposition– that he said,
“Well because charisma is such an extraordinary form,
it’s–as a system of charismatic authority–
it is opposed to a rational and bureaucratic authority.”
Therefore it is kind of
irrational, in the sense of being foreign to all established
rules. Because what is a charismatic
leader about? To change.
And the change means that there
will be new rules of the game, and you don’t know exactly what
these rules of the games are. And this is what makes,
if the charismatic authority as a whole system is operating,
a high level of uncertainty to the system.
And now forget about American
politics. Because in the United States we
clearly have a legal-rational system–right?–that’s what
characterizes the United States of America.
And occasionally we see
emerging politicians who actually do implement some level
of change– or promise change,
whether they can deliver or not–
will greatly affect how long we attach charisma to these people.
But from Roosevelt to JFK to
Martin Luther King to Obama, there were politicians with
this charismatic appeal. But the system itself was not
Charisma helped leaders to get
elected, and charisma actually may help a leader to be able to
make some strong and important changes early in life.
Those who are critical of
President Obama usually are critical of him,
that he has not moving fast and forcefully enough–
was not cashing in, in his charisma early–
right?–in his presidency. And there is,
you know, some signs that in fact, you know,
his charisma, charismatic appeal is
There are some people who say,
“Well I feel betrayed. You know?
I was promised change,
and I see a lot of politics as usual.” Right?
So this is, of course,
an inevitable problem, if a leader who has this
charismatic appeal finds itself in the legal-rational
authority– right?–where actually it’s
very difficult to implement a change.
You want to change the rules,
the laws, you have to go through Congress to do that.
You just cannot declare that
from now onwards there is a new game, rules of the game.
And that is–sounds very much
like politics as usual. That’s very different from what
Lenin or Mao Zedong did. Right?
Lenin and Mao Zedong were not
guided by rules. They established the rules.
I mean, Mao Zedong is a
particularly interesting character.
He established first a
bureaucratic rule in China, and then he launches the
Cultural Revolution. Right?
He launches an
anti-bureaucratic movement, and the top leader of the
bureaucracy is becoming the major popular leader of an
anti-bureaucratic movement. I mean, this guy was really
quite something, quite extraordinary.
And in a way he did that,
you know, because his charisma was weakening by the 1960s.
First he promised “a great
leap forward”; you know, in no time we will
catch up and we will look like the United States.
And what happened with the
great leap forward? Disaster;
people were starving to death. So he was not delivering the
miracle. So what does he does next?
He shows as his–we’ll change
the rules of the game. He launches the Cultural
Revolution, and he suddenly becomes the leader of people who
actually should be opposing him. You know, he’s generating these
kind of miracles; you know, the last miracle what
he’s trying to generate at old age, that he goes swimming in
the Yangtze River. You see?
You think I’m old and I’m dying?
No, I’m superhuman,
I still can swim. Right?
This is the kind of–trying to
rescue–right?–your charismatic appeal, where it is about to be
taken away from you. But on the whole,
as we see, as they establish, these charismatic leaders,
establish this charismatic system, they can change the
rules. And, you know,
if you look at Chinese history, every five years everything is
completely different. Right?
First a hundred flowers
flourish. We will let–everybody
will–then, you know, great leap forward;
then, you know, Cultural Revolution.
He’s changing the rules all the
time. This is an unpredictable
environment. Can the economy work in this
unpredictable environment? No, it cannot.
The same goes for the Nazis,
and the same goes for the Stalinists.
It was an unpredictable
environment. It was not good for business.
Business needs a predictable
It needs the rule of law.
That’s why capitalism–business
at least—likes legal-rational authority.
They don’t necessarily like
democratic system. Right?
Capitalism can live nicely with
authoritarian figures. Capitalists loved Pinochet.
But, you know,
Pinochet was, you know, reasonable
legal-rational authority; I mean, at the beginning,
you know, he was killing people like crazy.
But then he established a
reasonably predictable system and capitalists loved it,
and for awhile, you know, the Chilean economy,
partially advised by Milton Friedman,
you know, boosted. So, I mean, what capitalism
really wants is a predictable environment.
And in many ways,
you know, democracy is not all that good for a predictable
environment, because every fourth year we go
to the polls and then we elect other people,
and then they come up with other ideas,
and this is a bit of a mess. So really I would almost say
that a good free market economy loves rule of law,
with a kind of authoritarian leader and a longstanding
political stability. They don’t like these big
changes–right?–in the political system.
Well now and charisma as a
revolutionary force. This is very important.
I think Weber first of all
makes a very specific argument. He said it is always in
authority, when charisma is the great revolutionary force.
So, in fact,
in a modern legal-rational authority, it is not so much
charisma which carries the change through.
It is technical innovation,
and it is the kind of routine and boring elections every four
years which brings changes by gradually and incrementally.
The big change is occurring
from one type of traditional authority to another type of
authority, and in order to change the
value system of one type of tradition to another type of
tradition, that’s when you need
charismatic leaders. So he
said–right?–bureaucratic rationalization is the major
revolutionary force. But, you know,
in a bureaucratic system like what we have,
it is really a revolution from without.
It is coming from technological
change. We have revolution.
I mean, the first time when I
heard there is stuff like internet–email–it was 1976.
And now I’m an email addict,
as many of you know. You send me an email,
and occasionally in five minutes you get an answer from
me, because I’m always checking my email like crazy.
This was all new.
This was coming from the
outside. Now, charisma,
on the other hand–this is very insightful, very important–it
is revolution from within. What charisma is doing is
changing the value systems in you.
That’s what charismatic leaders
do achieve, to persuade you that you have to have a different
kind of value system. And that’s why I think
charismatic leadership does play a role, not only in traditional
societies. But charismatic leaders,
in a legal-rational authority, do play a role to change
people’s value systems in substantial ways.
Again we discussed that in
discussion sections. Those who are not in my
discussion sections–just let me invoke the Civil Rights
The Civil Rights Movement in
ten years, in the United States,
produced a change in value systems–
our attitudes to race relationships and gender
relationships– which otherwise would have
taken a hundred years. Right?
It happened in ten short years,
that we completely rethought race and gender relationships in
this country. Right?
And this to a large extent
Luther King–right?–who had a dream–right?–about a society
where there can be a different type of value system.
And in no time–I mean,
you were too young to experience that,
but your parents and grandparents experienced it,
and talk to them, they will tell you–
right?–how fundamentally their world outlook and looking at a
person of another race, or how they began to treat
women in their family, or girls in their family,
how radically it changed, almost instantly. Right?
Because it was a change from
That’s what charismatic
revolution is all about. And well this is,
of course has everything to do against routine.
Charismatic is not doing
things as they used to be. That’s why it is the
opposite–right?–of one type of traditionalism,
and the problem is what happens if the charismatic leader
disappears and dies? And that’s when we have the
problem how can the charismatic leader be replaced?
It’s a very big issue,
and there are different methods of succession.
And let me just walk you
through of this. It’s not quite uninteresting.
It can be search.
It can be by revelation.
It can be designation by the
original leader. It can be designation by a
staff, which is particularly qualified to decide who the next
charismatic leader will be. The issue is how can you
maintain a charismatic system going on?
It can be hereditary,
that some hereditary line is established.
And it can be office charisma;
the office itself can carry charisma.
Now let me just briefly talk to
each one of these. Search.
Well the best example is how
you find a Dalai Lama. Right?
It happens through a search.
The Dalai Lama dies.
You know that the Dalai Lama is
reincarnated. So you send out people and
looking for a child who is the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
There must be just one child
who is the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
And then you have experts,
who can tell, go around and then they find
this child. This is the new Dalai Lama,
and then it will be brought up, and will become the Dalai Lama
and, of course, will have a great deal of
charisma. And you can see it works.
The Dalai Lama does have a lot
of charisma. Right?
Well whether you believe in
reincarnation or not, that’s another story.
Probably most people in this
room do not believe in it, but if you do not believe in
it, even more miraculous why the Dalai Lama has this quite
extraordinary charisma. There are people who just get
wild if they can get near to the Dalai Lama.
I had a student in Taiwan who
actually turned into a Buddhist and became a great follower of
the Dalai Lama. He got a Ph.D.
from UCLA, but he’s following;
wherever the Dalai Lama goes, he’s always there.
Because he has this charisma.
His charisma is attributed to
He was found in the right way,
and he was established as a charismatic leader.
It can happen through
revelation. Revelation actually means that
there are some people who are believed to have some kind of
access to some divine authority who can declare that this is a
person who is the next charismatic leader.
Well I don’t think in
contemporary world revelation is all that much.
Though, I mean,
newspapers do it for you. Right?
The newspapers do create
charismatic leaders for you. They attach charisma,
they build up the charismatic powers of a person;
the media does it for you. And certainly the charisma
attributed to rock stars–right?–rock stars do
have charisma, right?–is created through the
media. The media has the oracle. Right?
He knows who the great guys are
and whom you have to get absolutely excited when you get
to the concert. Well, there can be a
designation by the original leader.
If the charismatic leader is
dying, then the charismatic leader has a problem to find a
successor. That’s very difficult to do,
because charismatic leaders are bloody scared that if they
designate a leader then they will be poisoned or murdered.
Or the new leader wants to take
it over–too often, very often, we see charismatic
leaders designating leaders and then murdering them.
That’s a long history in
humankind. But, you know,
an interesting example was that Stalin tried to build up his
charisma by faking a testimonial of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin,
in which assumedly Lenin said that Stalin will be the
successor. This was all a lie.
Lenin actually disliked Stalin
a great deal and was very reluctant to name a successor.
But he forged this letter and
tried to say, “Well I inherited the
charisma.” And he had a lot of problems
actually to establish his charisma.
Eventually, in fact during the
Second World War, he managed to emerge as a
charismatic leader, and not only in the Soviet
Union but even in the West. There’s a lot of people in the
United States, as the Soviet Army defeated the
Germans, first in Moscow and then of
course in Stalingrad, that they began to see Stalin
as a great leader– right?–as a charismatic great
leader. But he probably had nothing to
do with the success of the Red Army.
Well, or it can be designated
by a qualified staff. This is the way how,
for instance, the Pope is being selected;
and the pope does have–right?–a charismatic
authority. If you are Roman Catholic,
you know that the Pope has some access to God,
what you, ordinary Roman Catholics, do not have.
And how is–but it’s going on
from one Pope to the next. The character of the Pope will
There are some more,
you know, charming, more persuasive popes,
whom you see more of charismatic leaders.
There are other popes who are
more like bureaucrats. But nevertheless,
even the bureaucratic kind of popes, are assumed to be
charismatic and they are selected by a designated staff.
There is a certain set of
archbishops; when one pope dies,
they gather together in Rome, and they cannot leave,
you know, the room until they agree,
they achieve a consensus, who is the other person who
will have this special relationship to God.
There is also hereditary
charisma, that you try to pass charisma on through your
children–very hard to do. North Korea is trying to do
Kim Il-sung passed his charisma
on to Kim Jong-il, which is an absolutely
ridiculous guy. But nevertheless,
you know, somehow it looks like, you know,
that in Korea he does have some kind of charismatic appeal.
So, I mean, this is not totally
impossible. I mean, it’s a bad idea,
you know, if you are a charismatic leader to pass
charisma on this way. Finally office charisma–this
is very important. Incumbents of an office is
supposed to have some charisma, depending on the office.
But the office of the Pope,
of course, is supposed to have charisma.
But we actually do use this
very often. We do–well in the United
States we call this leadership. Right?
That we expect people in
position of certain authorities to offer leadership–to have
vision, right? And this is a kind of a
charisma which goes with the office.
And, you know,
I have been department chair quite a few times,
and it’s so interesting moving into the position of department
chair and moving out of it. Your relationship to your
colleagues changes a great deal. You know, when you are the
department chair, there is– certainly some
charisma is attributed to you. Right?
You are supposed to offer some
kind of leadership, and you are believed to be able
to bring in some change. I just remember,
you know, one of the institutions when I was an
incoming outside chair, how people said,
“Oh, you came in like fresh air.”
Well in two years’ time it was
all gone. I was not fresh air.
I was routine.
You know, I was operating in a
bureaucracy, massaging the bureaucracy to get things done.
My charisma was all gone.
But there is,
right?–I think it’s a very American thing,
right?–that you attach expectations to incumbents of
the office, that it can actually carry out
change, bring in fresh air–right?–to
have a vision and to do things better than it was done before.
Okay, that’s about charisma.