The tragedy of one successful politician after another is the gradual substitution of narcissism for an interest in the community.
-- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)
With an Indonesian presidential election coming up it is worth contemplating this quote from Bertrand Russell. It goes without saying that for most individuals the drive to become a politician or to become a public servant or enter into any kind of public service requires an intense personal drive and ambition. In many respects this is narcissistic in its very nature; wanting to put yourself front and centre, to expose yourself to scrutiny, to sacrifice your privacy to the public interest. Yet, there are plenty of people who want to do it all over the world.
It is perhaps arguable that Indonesia has not reached this level of tragedy yet as there would seem to be many politicians that are still in it for their personal interests and not the community interest. These personal interests are somewhat different from the narcissim that Russell refers. Simply, many Indonesians still see public service as a politician as a means of enriching one's self rather than enriching the community as a whole.
However, if the recent wealth reports submitted by the presidential and vice-presidential candidates are anything to go by, then SBY, the current president, must be in it for the community interest and not the self-enrichment available, as he remains the poorest of all the candidates for either president or vice-president. However, he still has not lost that narcisstic streak as a recent music album release suggests. So, the tragedy has yet to be fully realized.
The leader of the pack in terms of wealth is an alleged violator of human rights and suspected of ordering the disappearance and murder of activists, perhaps running for public office and giving back to the community is a weak attempt to clear one's conscience and purge one's soul, good luck!