From a Tribal Chief into an Emperor, King, President or Dictator Leader


By Abdul-Qahar Mustafa:

In Mesopotamia people in the past believed that if they appointed a single person in power with good faith and trust, he would extend justice and goodness over society, over every single individual, and bring them all blessings and rights within the orbit of his justice. But history and life experiences have proven it to be other way around: putting too much power into the hands of one single person can be very dangerous as he can abuse this power and ultimately use it against the same people who placed him in power.

At the beginning of history there used to be no tribal chief, no leader, no kings, no emperor, no president; neither a bishop, rabbi or imam, nor a church, synagogue or mosque. There was no person in charge of governing affairs to organize the lives of people and provide them with work, services, security, other than the fathers of each family.

As was common in the old days, villages would become the targets of unexpected and sudden raids by bands of marauders who would raid them, steal, rape women, kill men and set the villages on fire. Those villagers who survived the raids of marauders would start a new life in the village. Fathers of each survived family would usually get together and decide to help each other defending their village and its people against future aggression by marauders.

Villagers would usually come up with an idea on how to organize a defense force made of villagers, like a small army. They would normally choose a person who was particularly intelligent, strong and brave as a leader who would make plans to lead the group of fighters against the aggressors.

The job of the leader used to be making plans, organizing a defense force and leading the fighters into battle the next time marauders attacked the village. Each time the village came under attack, the leader with his group of fighters would have to fight and fend off the aggressors.

However, for the leader the job of leading the fight and protection of the village could be time consuming and leave no time for him to work for his own family. The leader would either have to work to provide bread for his own family, or take care of protecting the village and fighting against aggressors. So, each family in the village would agree to give the leader a portion of their yearly livestock and farming production so that the leader could devote his time solely to leadership and at the same time feed his family. This was a voluntary gift, and an agreement was made between the leader and the people of the village. Basically, the deal was that the people of the village would provide bread and other basic needs of life for the leader and his family so long as the leader was successful and loyal in protecting the lives of the people and their properties against the aggression of marauders.

The leader would fight for his family, himself and protect the people of village against aggressors. However, some leaders were successful in fulfilling their job and responsibilities while others were not. Some leaders would die or get killed in battles and so the people of the villages and tribes would have to fill their places with new leaders.

Mostly, those leaders who were successful in protecting villages, properties and people would become more powerful and influential to a point where people from other nearby villages and tribes would come to ask for their help to protect them. The leaders would usually agree to this but in return the people from the different tribes and villages would provide them with gifts and shares of their yearly farming and livestock production.

In so doing, obviously the authority and wealth of such a successful leader would increase and this would give him more power to expand his authority beyond the borders of his own village towards other surroundings villages and tribes. More people from nearby tribes and other villages would come under his command and authority. He would unify and teach them on how to become a stronger and a better force to fight against marauders.

Over time other jobs and responsibilities were taken over by the leader, like deciding on quarrels and disagreements between the people and families in the villages and work like organizing religious worship, dividing land for farming among people of the villages. As his responsibilities and power increased so did his pay, especially if the villages prospered under his leadership.

A generation passed and the great leader died. Who do you think would replace him? The common choice would be his son, who had followed his father around all these years and really knows nothing else except leadership and war. Now his son was not necessarily as capable, brave and intelligent as his father was and he might not make as good a leader as his father, but since his father made a will and left behind his money, gold and loyal followers and supporters, he got the power of leadership and replaced his father.

As time went by, sons and grandsons of the village leader became wealthy kings, emperors, khalifas and dictators under the name of presidents and prime minsters. From tribal chiefs and village protectors into invaders, looters, killers and dictators. They got their power, wealth, titles and status in different ways and under different religious texts and political slogans.

They married multiple beautiful women in town. They lived in mansions, castles and palaces. They enjoyed the most delicious food and fruits. Their wealth and power brought them so many followers and supporters. They conquered,and killed people  to the point where streams of blood flowed on the ground.

They would loot and share it among themselves. They would give land, gold and property to their closest ones, and to those who would promise to supply them with votes in election times and soldiers in war times. Below the lower lords and solders were the peasants who would work on the land in exchange for having places to live and food to eat. This way of distributing wealth and power based on loyalty and kinship meant you were born into different classes of society. So, if your father was a leader then you were born a leader, and if you were born into a peasant family, then you were a peasant.

More generations passed. People started to look for another way of govern to get rid of dictator leaders. They found a better way of governance and leadership. And this way came to be known as democracy. However, in order for the people to be able to choose their leaders, they must be free and in order to criticize them, they must be free and in order to be able to dismiss them, they must be free. People who are held captive in fear or slavery cannot do this, nor would it have any value if they did. People who are free from all kinds of slavery, mentally, financially, physically, consciously and intellectually can exercise their free will and their reason to replace a bad leader with a good leader.

Tribes, religious sects and ethnicities of Mesopotamia have suffered and shed blood for centuries. If they were lucky their new leader would do a good job and put an end to the bloody history of civil clashes in the land of their ancestors. He would understand the concept of freedom and democracy that stems from the heart of justice and the voluntary nature of the contract of power between him and the people. If not, he would inherently continue the path of dictator leaders.

Abdul-Qahar Mustafa is a graduate student from Saint Luis High school in Canada. He is an advocate of Justice, Democracy and Human rights. He currently lives in Sarsing/Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan.

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