For the society to function without chaos, a good leader to guide the rest in the correct direction to achieve the common goal is essential. However, when ideas and decisions of these people in positions of authority are misguided, blindly following these leaders would be severely injurious to the future of the society. It is thus important to question the ideas and decisions of those in positions of authority, as meek obedience can engender catastrophic consequences as seen from China's famine under Mao Zedong, German students' prejudice against the Jews due to the biased teaching of German teachers during Nazi and the grand Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff.
Mao Zedong might be a hero in China's history, but his actions that devastated the country's economy and led to the catastrophic famine in 1960s should never have been absolved. Mao embarked on a grand scheme called 'The Great Leap Forward' in which the whole population was relocated to the countryside, to live in communes and produce steel from rudimentary tools. His hope to industrialise the country was crushed as the plan failed at the expense of Chinese citizens. Thousands of tonnes of steel were wasted as it was not qualified to be used in any industry. Focusing on producing steel led to a severe shortage of food, which killed millions of people just within five years. Granted that Mao had the supreme power in China at that time, had anybody dared to speak up and question Mao's decision, perhaps such tragedy would not have happened.
The German teachers during the Nazi period were also the epitome of how people in positions of authority could be mistaken. These teachers played an essential role in shaping the mindset of young German. However, what the teachers passed down to the students were nothing but hatred and prejudice against the Jews. They led the students to believe that the Jews were inferior and that they did not deserve to exist. These prejudiced teachers had nurtured generations of xenophobic Germans who enlisted or took part in condemning the existence of the Jews in one way or another when they grew up. If the teachings of these teachers had been questioned, there would have been considerably less unfounded hatred towards to Jews.
Lastly, the grand Ponzi scheme caused by Bernie Madoff serves as a painful reminder for us that blindly following a leader without questioning his belief and actions would engender severe consequences. Madoff was the CEO of a stock-market company and the senior financial advisor of many companies; his voice was highly trusted. This allowed him to make profits for himself from the gargantuan amount of investment and lose all of it, causing millions of Americans become broke and out of jobs after just one night. The financial crisis was so severe that even other economies in the world also collapsed, like a Domino effect. Had Madoff's unscrupulous actions been questioned sooner, such debilitating situations could have been avoided.
Overall, a careful analysis of all the above cases shows us that even though having a good leader is important, we should not blindly follow his decision. Questioning their ideas and decisions is a good way to make sure that our leaders are on the right track. After all, we would thrive if we heed the wise words of a capable and morally upright leader, and questioning the leaders' ideas and decisions helps us decide whether our leaders are the ones we need.