Two are the important dimensions of political culture, the first one is right/left, which is ignored in this article; the second one is the leader/follower one, which is analyzed in particular linking it with the concepts of regulation, governance and social capital. The dimension leader/follower goes back to the Roman world and was taken up by Machiavelli with reference to the problem of leaders’ corruptibility. The same dimension, recovered by Vico from the Roman world from the study of public law, should be discussed making reference to the «mistake of gender», that is the mistake of the intellectual and the politician. In this article the thesis is that worst mistake of this kind is judged to be that of moving, in a non problematic way, from individual to collective rationality. The main thesis being that this mistake always produces a reduction of social capital and limits to governance (that particular mix of government and empowerment without which is impossible to rule a complex society).