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The Peter Principle says that "in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." (MLA Style: "Peter, Laurence J(ohnston)." (Encyclopĉdia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite). Because of the professional experiences I have made in my life - especially in 14 years as freelance management consultant - I agree to a certain degree (it is no law that always reigns), but came to the conclusion that the picture drawn by Peter is much too optimistic. Why so?
The Peter Principle does not take into account the following psychological consequences: Incompetent people cannot tolerate competent people near and especially under themselves, i.e. amongst subordinate people. They accept only still more incompetent subordinates and do everything - as far as their power and influence goes - to discredit more competent people, mock them, promote them to posts offside or scare them away, because they fear to be shown up by more competent competitors.
I would like this to be called the 'Peter-Kloss-Principle'.
In politics, the 'Peter-Kloss-Principle' has especially devastating consequences. First, the majority of the electorate is incapable to detect incompetence and believes promises of the most skillful beguilers. Second, expert knowledge does not count in politics, because almost everyone is incompetent. This becomes evident, for example, when almost all ministers believe to be able to manage every ministry. It seems that those who are almost totally ignorant of social affairs - having no valuable knowledge in economy, sociology, psychology, history and other relevant matters, i.e. the most incompetent politicians - are the most successful. Perhaps not least, because they have less difficulties and moral scruples to play the political power chess games that predominate in this field.