About diplomacy, hypocrisy & opportunism


Which do you prefer – the diplomatic hypocrite or the hypocritical diplomat?

First, let me give you a “for instance” given I’m into giving “for instances” and have a rampant penchant for them.

         It’s 1938 and Rosenberg Wolfson who is Jewish through and through has to meet Adolf Hitler. Wolfson is a diplomat and has to convince Hitler to stop anit-semitic activities. Wolfson hates Hitler but can’t let this show and needs to use all his skills to dissuade the Fuhrer from further violence. He uses all his diplomatic skills, never letting on how much he loathes the German leader. Is Rosenberg a diplomat, and just a diplomat?

         It’s 1938 and Joe Bloggs meets Hitler. The German leader gets up his nose immediately but Bloggs pretends to like him. Is Bloggs a hypocrite and just a hypocrite?

         Hitler in both instances goes away thinking how nicely they treated him. He gives a box of chocolates to Rosenberg and a box to Bloggs as thanks for a pleasant parley.

         Rambo Rimamboloid meets Hitler in 1938. He doesn’t like the German leader and immediately floors him with an uppercut to the moustache. The Fuhrer’s protectors rush in to execute summary justice on the pernicious Rambo but the guy fishes out his American atomic tommy-popper and pops them all off to that Frankenfurter In The Sky where dead military go. Rambo hops on an aero and flies back to the U.S. of A. where he is given a hero’s welcome.

         Today, if you want to get anywhere you have to be diplomatic and it’s a bit like fibbing. You rub shoulders with people you don’t particularly like, you never ever tell your truth if it will get in the way of your success, and you soldier on like that. You obviously believe in ladders, meritocracy and pecking-orders and know absolutely that expertise is rewarded and incompetence punished, and part of incompetence is creating contexts of contention and criticism, thereby persuading your peers, your equals and your underlings to dislike you, therein creating problems for ladder-climbing and pinnacle-swingdiggery. People respect your diplomacy. You know how to behave. Your cunning and your acceptable knavery are rewarded accordingly. If you do not behave like this, they consider you inept, stupid, or worse.

         You are being diplomatic (and opportunist, of course).

         And being hypocritical? What is being hypocritical?

         I have been watching diplomacy, hypocrisy and opportunism making love in an uncomfortable bed called the workplace for many years now, and those dudes’ energy is truly incredible.

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