Putin Dead?

The rumor mill is busy today. Russian president Putin has not been seen in public since March 5th. is he, therefore, dead? Well, most likely not. But as vox reports, while this story may be a bit silly, the reality behind it is serious.

The reality is that Putin has centralized power to himself .And there is no succession plan  for when he does exit the stage. That raises the possibility of confusion, and perhaps violence.

On a broader level, this also tells us something about modern institutions. They are less easily run by a charismatic leader than they perhaps once were. We might think of it this way. Charisma is a broadcast effect. It can be effective in delivering a powerful message to a group. But it is a one way message. It does not empower and it does not allow for flexible decision making.

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