Saturday, 30 July 2011

Who needs them Leaders?"

Most workers, most people consider that leaders, if rightly chosen, can serve their interests. Then there are those  in that sceptical minority, who think that leaders are self-serving, and are cynical about their efforts, and remain somewhat - shall we say apathetic. But virtually all members of the working class, with the exception of some 'socialists' who like myself are freethinkers, accept without question that leaders are necessary and essential; they cannot envisage a society without them.

I find that when I explain this concept of opposition to leadership, I frequently receive either an incredulous reaction and rejection on the grounds that I am postulating the absurd and impossible, or an accusation that I am indulging in semantics and that people who would otherwise be delegates are in effect leaders. 

It is very important that we realise the misconceptions, which is an erroneous belief on this very subject, because until this subservient and humble political posture is discarded, we will continue to be exploited, impoverished, and massacred in wars, because of the very conditions upheld by our so-called leaders, who exist only through the support and encouragement given them by their misguided followers.

Historically leaders have existed since the advent of private property and class society. The inequities that befall a subjected class as a result of the economics of a class divided system, which is tolerated a politically unknowledgeable majority, creates a social void in which the propertyless seek their solution either through prayer, or in the endless quest from a modern day Moses or political Messiahs, supposedly endowed with superior ability and foresight, to lead them out of the morass of their poverty and problems into the land of  "solved situations". And of course this never happens.

The correctness of the socialist attitude to leaders and leadership is evidenced by an appraisal of present day society. For centuries there have been so-called leaders and Great Men. Capitalism has produced an abundance of renowned leaders who have been both revered and reviled. But notwithstanding all these appointed saviours not one of the social evils of capitalism has been removed. Poverty, insecurity, unemployment, dictatorial regimes and war, has never been greater than it is today.

Socialists are therefore justified in stating that workers past support and hopes of salvation through the leadership philosophy has been ineffective and erroneous. capitalism, in conjunction with the leaders and the led, has brought mankind to a precipitous stage of development that in itself disqualifies the concepts of leadership from logical consideration as a method for solving social problems.

The capitalist ideology of leadership, together with all its entrapment's, should be rejected by the working class. In its place workers must achieve their own emancipation through socialist education. By doing so they will acquire the knowledge necessary to elevate themselves into a position of controlling their own destinies. No one can, or will, do it for them. modern day messiahs and demagogues are political careerists who represent solely the interests of the ruling class, and their own personal ambitions.

The function of leader, as the name implies, is to attempt to lead. Whether he or she really accomplishes this or not is open to debate dependent upon the given circumstances. In the majority of instances the leader reflects the attitudes of his following and in this sense the term"leader" is a misnomer. He is leader from the standpoint that those that give him the support acknowledge his position of leadership, but all time he must be careful that his political positions are acceptable to those responsible for his initial election. Members of the working class democratically and legally appoint their professed leaders, who then proceed to operate the system in the only manner possible - in the interests of the capitalist class, and the leader may or may not be aware of this. He possesses certain attributes that the workers mistakenly find attractive, and naively think that he will be representing them and not the system - or himself. And it goes without saying, the leader, will either consciously or otherwise, must, indulge in this misrepresentation and deceit .

The cult of leadership is not essential to the preservation of capitalism but provides a never ending excuse for its perpetuation. This is accomplished by the devious means of aspiring, competing leaders blaming their counterparts for current troubles, and in the process the capitalist system itself remains untarnished. Never is the accusing finger pointed at the system as the cause of all the social evils. It is always the dishonest, inept, or unaggressive leadership that is to blame. You are advised and cajoled to appoint honest leaders, those that never tell a lie"; more capable leaders, those that have more superior qualities than their predecessors; and more dynamic leaders, those that "know how to get the job done, and the economy moving". This type of trivia and tripe is purveyed by unscrupulous politicians, and some perhaps may genuinely believe their own brand of nonsense. Unfortunately, to date, these notions have of course been accepted by the voters.

The concept of leadership therefore enables the reformism of capitalism to continue because it supplies excuses for failure of reforms by faulting the various leaders who have failed in their tasks, but would have succeeded if they had been better qualified - or so we are told. Capitalism always manages to get off scot-free and unscathed - and it always will until such times as workers see through the hoax of leaderships myth. workers as yet have not realized that when they take for granted concepts of leadership they are at the same time condoning capitalism and accepting a status quo condition.

Socialists of course are not concerned with the personalities one iota. You could have men and women with the brains of an Einstein, the ethics and compassion's of Jesus, and if you will the knowledge and economic genius of Marx, and if they were given the running capitalism, try as they may, they could never get it to operate in the interests of the working class.

1 comment:

Chris H said...

Excellent post comrade!

I think that the rank and file really need to keep an eye on those that are democratically elected to positions of leadership in the mass movements. In a kindly way though.

I joined the Labour Party many years ago through an invite from a union colleague in the MOD. He had been a Labour Party member for many, many years and encouraged me to join and get involved. But even back then, pre-Kinnock it was obvious something was up. We were discussing conference one day. He explained how it was a body, where we had the chance to submit motions and they could be discussed and voted on. In my naivety I assumed that this was also the place where policy was decided. Oh no he said, we can vote and make our feelings known but policy will be eventually decided by the PLP or shadow cabinet or some other grouping. It was a shock to someone new who was expecting democracy, not a nod to it.

The point I suppose I'm trying to make is that leaders should be representative of the body, working to make the wished of the body bear fruit. It seems at the moment that we have leaders where 'leader' means one who will decide what's best and ignores everyone else. Could also be why when politicians get to Westminster they seem to have the socialism knocked out of them, they become embroiled in the Westminster village and work to ensure it's continuation.

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