Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States. He was also a very important general during world war 2. Apparently also, it was Eisenhower who “talent spotted” Ronald Reagan and schooled him in foreign policy. But before all of that (after the war, before the US Presidency), Eisenhower was the President of Columbia University in New York, one of the Ivy League colleges.
There is a famous Eisenhower story that illustrates not only Eisenhower’s wisdom, but also the accuracy of the experts.
During Eisenhower’s tenure at Columbia University, the campus was undergoing significant expansion and pathways and pavements needed to be built. The architects and planners presented 2 different plans for the location and layout of the pavement. The 2 proposals were different and incompatible.
Rather than making a choice between the 2 expert plans, Eisenhower decided to not commission the pathways but rather to lay grass and watch where the students walked (marked by worn grass). At the end of 1 year, they would lay the pavement where the students walked.
Lo and behold, both of the expert options were nowhere near the mark. The students found their own best path.
This is a true story. It is also a metaphor for the role of government and the different philosophies underlying government. Is the role of government to tell citizens which path to take or to create the conditions for citizens to work out the best path for themselves.
Spartacus knows what he, and probably many Cats prefers the role of government to be. Sadly it does not appear to be the philosophy of our government-bureaucratic industrial intervention complex. And unless we change our direction we will end up where we are headed, down the road to serfdom.
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