At a very stimulating dinner the other day, somebody told me an anecdote that happened to him “at Davos a few years ago”, when he was chatting (as one does) with one of the sons of then-dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
(I should say that the topic of conversation at the table was “meritocracy”, and whether the Chinese Communist Party might, surprisingly, be better at fostering it in its internal ranks than America’s allegedly transparent and hyper-democratic electoral systems.)
In any case, Gaddafi junior (I don’t know which one), said something like:
Do you want to know why Israel wins all the wars against Arabs? Because the Israeli army is meritocratic: they pick the generals that will win wars. In our armies, we pick the generals that will be the smallest threat to the boss.
Explains a lot, doesn’t it? And is applicable to a lot else, isn’t it?