The execution of the last French monarch Louis XVI, in 1793. The writer says rule by birthright is an outdated form of government which has over the years held humankind back. /UIG/Getty Images
Is it not better to be ruled by an idiot you have elected than by one you had no hand in installing?
Such is the question raised by the disconcerting state of the institution of traditional leadership in South Africa today. Kings and chiefs in our country are generally treated with a sensitivity not dissimilar to that accorded to religion. Yet none of these men has ever been coronated by a deity.
This undue elevation of mere mortals to a kind of spiritual position is in fact a product of history, a deliberately constructed history of dominance by the strong over the weak.
Karl Marx was right to paint a picture of modern man as a victim of a history that weighs heavily like a nightmare upon him.