The most successful leaders, it is said, go and do what the people want but make the people think it is their decision.
There is some truth to this observation but how much is different for different tribes. It is obscured by the language of nations which we are so fond of using and does not allow for the power of oratory to sway opinion. That said there is a fascist side to our thinking (look how we universally treat animals) and there is a totalitarian side to our natures (capitalism is the totalitarian power of money not to allow other forms of society.)
There is also the gentler side to our natures broadly described by ‘altruism’ in which our decisions are made with less vanity and under the auspices of that famous phrase ‘there but for the grace of god go I.’
The thing is as tribes we move very slowly and our political decision making has as much psychology in it as reason.