Jazz FM DJ Chris Phillips reminded me of the tag-line I have on my Twitter wall.
I can't take full credit for it though. It came to me from something Chinua Achebe once wrote. He was talking about Nigeria, but I thought it applied with many situations.
...mediocrity destroys the very fabric of a country as surely as a war – ushering in all sorts of banality, ineptitude, corruption and debauchery.
Nations enshrine mediocrity as their modus operandi, and create the fertile ground for the rise of tyrants and other base elements of the society, by silently assenting to the dismantling of systems of excellence because they do not immediately benefit one specific ethnic, racial, political, or special-interest group.