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Remember the Peter Principle? Well it is much worse than that. This is because, in all likelihood the person who gave that last promotion to someone who should not have been promoted, had himself reached his level of incompetence. Thus, in many hierarchical structures that have been around for a long time, you have incompetence all the way to the top. This of course explains the systemic disaster that is our current banking and finance industries.
In business and even more so in academia and government the single best way of being successful is to make your superiors happy. In business you only have to test your ideas against the marketplace. But good marketing can often sell a mediocre idea. In non technical academia and in many areas of government, a person does not even need to test their ideas against the gullible populace, but only needs to please their superiors. Give some thought to the implications of this idea. There is little if any check on stupidity and incompetence. It just keeps reproducing itself, getting bigger and bigger like... well like a bubble.
If you want to see what happens when people get promoted just because they please their superiors, and there is no real world testing, then, after looking at the world around you look here
Want to see the nature of these experts? Try this . And here is a more realistic picture of who our leaders are. They are, as the Chinese would say, the empty drum is the loudest. Most of our leaders are empty drums.
These are the Six books that I have read that give a fairly good description of the nature of humans and how they work and, with Sex and War, how evolution caused them to work that way. Although these books span over 50 years, I think that you will find that their conclusions and observations are not in conflict with each other. Some will cover areas that others do not, but if an author comes to a conclusion it will not be contradicted by another author.
I think that these two groups can be thought of as How people are, at the top, and how they got that way, below.
Here is a nice web page that might be considered the elevator version of the above books