It is understandable, given the way things are economically and politically, that people should look for leaders, a big brother - or even a sister - to lead the way forward. Old habits die hard. Old certainties have died much more easily than might have been thought. For the western world, growth and the ease of affluence was one of the latter; the confrontation between capitalism and communism, fossilised in the Cold War, another. The dissipation of the latter produced a feeling of euphoria, a conviction that a new era - not just of peace but of plenty - was on the way.
For all our sakes it is just as well that optimism is believed to be incurable, but it can lead to misconceptions and letdowns. Largely, that's where we are today. The collapse of communism as a system and the consequent international genuflexion to the market economy would have been a much better thing had not that old market suddenly reminded us of its ability to falter as well as forge ahead. Where communism has collapsed, fissiparous nationalisms have emerged. It is almost as if a huge pie-crust has been removed only to reveal a '30s filling.
So everyone looks around for answers, for a more suitable scenario, and the concomitant of this search is the hope for a leader who, though inevitably not omniscient, is open to the expectations and potential of people and can devise strategies to realise them.