My dear J,
(…) I hope the book is doing well. Personally I liked it very much and thought the substance of it very sound. (…) It would be interesting to discuss, as a biologist and psychologist, the question of leadership in the modern state. It is any longer possible in communities as large and as complicated as the modern state for one man to be able to lead successfully? It is possible for him to combine those qualities of what, for lack of a better word, one must call animal magnetism – necessary for anyone who is going to make men obey him and impress people with confidence – with the degree of intelligence, sensitiveness to the lessons of experience and vast knowledge required in the leader of a modern state? A good leader must be something of a charlatan and an actor; he must have courage and determination and charm. It seems to me that the chances of finding an active charlatan who is also a philosopher and man of science – and to lead a modern state one must be those too – are almost infinitely small. (…)
And the difficulty of finding suitable leaders will become progressively greater as society grows more complex and communities larger. Society, moreover, can less and less afford to be governed by imbeciles or even by charlatans of genius. The dilemma seems to me serious.
(Letter no. 209: To Julian Huxley, 12 noiembrie 1923, Letters of Aldous Huxley (ed. Grover Smith), 1969, la pp. 222-3)