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Heh, Lucien Leuwen is fairly esoteric fare, specially for a non-Frenchman. I read the first part because I had some similarities with Lucien (same school, and enamored of a belle from Nancy), but found the second part too dispiriting to finish.

Successful politicians don't appoint yes-men or sycophants to positions under them, they appoint fixers, people whose skill is getting things done, and thus get their boss reelected. It may not be a technical skill, but it is an eusocial one, and highly necessary to stave off Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy. Even in a dictatorship, the guy in charge answers to a core constituency that expects results, whether it is the Pretorian Guard or whatever faction keeps him in power.

There is something like that in the West as well, the "Laws of Jante" prevalent in Scandinavia and the Netherlands:

  1. You're not to think you are anything special.
  2. You're not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You're not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You're not to imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. You're not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You're not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You're not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You're not to laugh at us.
  9. You're not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You're not to think you can teach us anything.