The following comment was sent in by Chris H Lansbury lido Blog, in regard to my recent post on Leadership.
"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."
"The antithesis of socialist revolutionary philosophy"
Individuals or any organisation that claim the ability to lead the working class cannot in all honesty serve that class, because this very approach not only being arrogant and self-important is the antithesis of revolutionary philosophy. For it implies a working class that can be persuaded to support a leader because of his promises, or because of his oratory prowess, or because of his dynamic personality, then it is an indication that they do not know how to solve their problems. In this regard both leaders and the led have something in common!
Workers lacking socialist purpose and direction remain susceptible to all forms of incorrect, unscientific thinking thinking that can lead them to the hell-camps of a Hitler, or place them at the mercy of charlatans and political shaman and priest-doctor.
Oh yes, leaders unfailingly will be making their specially rehearsed appearances and doing their thing, as long as workers remain receptive and politically dormant like the doormat, kept physically weak and ineffectual.
In essence the belief in leadership, together with the hero worship and idolatry that accompanies this social sickness, is indicative of political passivity. When workers are prepared to allow others to do their thinking for them, they relinquish their own rights of independent research, and forego the administration of true democracy.
There most certainly is a difference between a delegate and a leader, and yet some are still not able to grasp this concept. So lets look at it this way, on Twitter there are no leaders for the simple reason that the membership of this social group would not tolerate such a creature. The next question is - why not? And the answer is, because of the combined knowledge of the membership which really works.
Within a true socialist party, or for that mater in socialism, the bigger membership of the whole party, or the larger still membership of a socialist society, democratically and consciously would control. No individual or group of numerical qualitative strength would be allowed to take over.
Once the majority achieves for itself an understanding of socialism each individual will have attained a standard of thinking that rejects in its entirety, and completely the concept of leadership.
Delegates, appointed to carry out the wishes and instructions of the majority, and they can operate and function to the best of their ability within this framework. But let them transgress, and they will be corrected; and let them persist, and they will be democratically voted out of their position. So the membership democratically controls all, and the delegates carry out the wishes of the majority accordingly. "Leaders" cannot survive in such an environment. In a society that is classless, with no rulers or ruled, administration without government, delegates without leaders, then man's true emancipation will have been at last accomplished.
Socialist education is therefore the substitute for leadership. Once the working class have this indomitable asset in their hands, they will be off their knees in subservience, and the capitalists and the leaders will be off their backs as parasites!