On Writers as Heads of State

With the passing of Vaclav Havel this week, we saw the loss of a special person. He was a writer, political dissident, and politician…and by most accounts, he was damn good at all three. Amazingly, he seemed to be a pretty decent guy as well.

Upon reading the various articles memorializing him, it was tempting to imagine: what would the world be like with other writers at the helm of the ship of state? Results vary. Here are but a few possibilities, chosen at random:

Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Type of Government: Juche dictatorship supported by a cult of personality.
Energy Policy: Aggressively pushes for a nuclear program, but mainly to support the overhead for his nation’s economic powerhouses (cocaine manufacturing and tanning salons).
Domestic Policy: “Disappear Here”
Foreign Policy: “This is not an Exit.”

Author: Jorge Luis Borges
Type of Government: Kabbalic religious oligarchy.
Economic Policy: Create potentially infinite jobs through a public works program focusing on the construction of innumerable labyrinths.
Homeland Security Policy: Scrying crystals. Lots and Lots of Scrying crystals.

Author: Ernest Hemingway
Affliliation: Libertarian Socialist
Running Motto: Tough on Marlins. Tough on Bulls. Easy on The Rest.
Economic policy: Initiatives based on travel writing and mojito production.

Anyways, you get the idea. Many writers capture the spirit of their times, possibly even the essence of the human condition, and turn a nice phrase to boot. But how many could actually lead a country? Vaclav my man, you were one in a million.

What other writers not mentioned above would have been terrifically terrible leaders? Perhaps more importantly, who else would have been a great leader?

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About provenanceunknown

Daniel is still recuperating from school.
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