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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #100 on: March 07, 2016, 07:26:08 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't strive for that.
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #101 on: March 07, 2016, 07:27:44 AM »

I think, by definition, grass-roots movements do not have 'a leader'. I also think unions are not grass-roots movements. I think that in this conversation, the term 'grass-roots movement' has been co-opted to mean 'organized campaign.'

Exactly! See my comment in Reply #56: "I think you may be using a definition of grassroots that I have never encountered before"
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filledeplage
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« Reply #102 on: March 07, 2016, 07:32:01 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't do that.
CSM - while leaders may "emerge or be produced" (as you cited Chomsky,)from a movement, it is more efficacious to have someone who has some organizational background to bring a movement to fruition, and get the issues out there.  And, for good or bad, it is why the PR firms have been effective in managing campaigns who have no effective leader and organizational ground-game at the ready.  With no ground-game, or way to reach masses, nothing goes anywhere.
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filledeplage
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« Reply #103 on: March 07, 2016, 07:33:33 AM »

I think, by definition, grass-roots movements do not have 'a leader'. I also think unions are not grass-roots movements. I think that in this conversation, the term 'grass-roots movement' has been co-opted to mean 'organized campaign.'

Exactly! See my comment in Reply #56: "I think you may be using a definition of grassroots that I have never encountered before"

Emily - ever read Germinal by Emile Zola?  Or see the movie? 
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #104 on: March 07, 2016, 07:37:44 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't do that.
CSM - while leaders may "emerge or be produced" (as you cited Chomsky,)from a movement, it is more efficacious to have someone who has some organizational background to bring a movement to fruition, and get the issues out there.  And, for good or bad, it is why the PR firms have been effective in managing campaigns who have no effective leader and organizational ground-game at the ready.  With no ground-game, or way to reach masses, nothing goes anywhere.

The point is that leaders do not bring movements to fruition; movements are already at fruition by the time a leader emerges. This is why leaders are at best superfluous and at worse a negative influence on a movement.

As far as your point about nothing going anywhere, I cited several historical and contemporary examples that prove that point false.
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Emily
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« Reply #105 on: March 07, 2016, 07:38:34 AM »

I think, by definition, grass-roots movements do not have 'a leader'. I also think unions are not grass-roots movements. I think that in this conversation, the term 'grass-roots movement' has been co-opted to mean 'organized campaign.'

Exactly! See my comment in Reply #56: "I think you may be using a definition of grassroots that I have never encountered before"

Emily - ever read Germinal by Emile Zola?  Or see the movie? 
I have read everything by Zola, yes.
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filledeplage
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« Reply #106 on: March 07, 2016, 07:52:52 AM »

I think, by definition, grass-roots movements do not have 'a leader'. I also think unions are not grass-roots movements. I think that in this conversation, the term 'grass-roots movement' has been co-opted to mean 'organized campaign.'

Exactly! See my comment in Reply #56: "I think you may be using a definition of grassroots that I have never encountered before"

Emily - ever read Germinal by Emile Zola?  Or see the movie? 

I have read everything by Zola, yes.
Emily - Bravo - And, I have not read all of Zola, but Germinal, for me, marks the beginning of unions. 

Semantics, (for organization) aside, this is an excellent year to move an issue into the media via the election.    Wink

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filledeplage
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« Reply #107 on: March 07, 2016, 08:01:01 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't do that.
CSM - while leaders may "emerge or be produced" (as you cited Chomsky,)from a movement, it is more efficacious to have someone who has some organizational background to bring a movement to fruition, and get the issues out there.  And, for good or bad, it is why the PR firms have been effective in managing campaigns who have no effective leader and organizational ground-game at the ready.  With no ground-game, or way to reach masses, nothing goes anywhere.

The point is that leaders do not bring movements to fruition; movements are already at fruition by the time a leader emerges. This is why leaders are at best superfluous and at worse a negative influence on a movement.

As far as your point about nothing going anywhere, I cited several historical and contemporary examples that prove that point false.
CSM - I am quite familiar with the Berrigan brothers.  Priests are, very well-educated, articulate, generally well-written, and, know how to network (even in the 60's) and having a name out there, renders a movement capable of having contact sources to become involved and expand membership. 

And, I believe in visionary leadership, where a core group can be held accountable to it's membership, and who have the resources and ability to both get the message out, and motivate whatever movement they are involved in.  I guess it is the formula about which we might not agree.  The bottom line for me is, first to have an issue that needs resolution and someone who has the vision, determination, and the ability to engage large numbers of people to get the job done.  If it is only one issue, then the group would theoretically disband, once that goal is achieved. More of an ad hoc organization and not a permanent organization. 

Organizing for any cause, whether for political issues, or charity, requires a specific skill set in my opinion.   Wink
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Emily
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« Reply #108 on: March 07, 2016, 08:07:18 AM »

I think, by definition, grass-roots movements do not have 'a leader'. I also think unions are not grass-roots movements. I think that in this conversation, the term 'grass-roots movement' has been co-opted to mean 'organized campaign.'

Exactly! See my comment in Reply #56: "I think you may be using a definition of grassroots that I have never encountered before"

Emily - ever read Germinal by Emile Zola?  Or see the movie? 

I have read everything by Zola, yes.
Emily - Bravo - And, I have not read all of Zola, but Germinal, for me, marks the beginning of unions. 

Semantics, (for organization) aside, this is an excellent year to move an issue into the media via the election.    Wink


I agree that this is a good year to push for adjustments that would be acceptable within the margins of the current system and I'm always active within the campaigns for the tweaks I support. For more significant change we have to wait until the current system breaks down a bit further. In the meantime, just talking about it as much as possible may prompt some people to rethink the foundations. When the time is ripe for significant change, hopefully (though I've gotten quite cynical on this) enough people will have come to agree that our corporate oligarchy is the real problem.
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Emily
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« Reply #109 on: March 07, 2016, 08:13:02 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't do that.
CSM - while leaders may "emerge or be produced" (as you cited Chomsky,)from a movement, it is more efficacious to have someone who has some organizational background to bring a movement to fruition, and get the issues out there.  And, for good or bad, it is why the PR firms have been effective in managing campaigns who have no effective leader and organizational ground-game at the ready.  With no ground-game, or way to reach masses, nothing goes anywhere.

The point is that leaders do not bring movements to fruition; movements are already at fruition by the time a leader emerges. This is why leaders are at best superfluous and at worse a negative influence on a movement.

As far as your point about nothing going anywhere, I cited several historical and contemporary examples that prove that point false.
CSM - I am quite familiar with the Berrigan brothers.  Priests are, very well-educated, articulate, generally well-written, and, know how to network (even in the 60's) and having a name out there, renders a movement capable of having contact sources to become involved and expand membership. 

And, I believe in visionary leadership, where a core group can be held accountable to it's membership, and who have the resources and ability to both get the message out, and motivate whatever movement they are involved in.  I guess it is the formula about which we might not agree.  The bottom line for me is, first to have an issue that needs resolution and someone who has the vision, determination, and the ability to engage large numbers of people to get the job done.  If it is only one issue, then the group would theoretically disband, once that goal is achieved. More of an ad hoc organization and not a permanent organization. 

Organizing for any cause, whether for political issues, or charity, requires a specific skill set in my opinion.   Wink
I agree that effective organizations are effective. My issue arises where you say "motivate". One person's 'motivating' is another person's 'manipulating'. I think there is too much 'motivating' by 'leaders' who are actually manipulating people to support what benefits the 'leader' or the 'leader's' vision. I'd want the people in a movement to be motivated strictly by their own understanding.
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filledeplage
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« Reply #110 on: March 07, 2016, 09:26:17 AM »

It is quite simply untrue that "someone will always emerge as a leader" - from the leaderless revolution in Catalonia Spain in the 1930s, to the Kibbutz movements in Israel, to many successful workers co-operative movements around there world, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily successful collective movements that are not ruled.

Chomsky is instructive on this topic, particularly when discussing Martin Luther King (forgive the fact that the transcription appears to be verbatim and thus grammatically incorrect in spots):

Well, you know, itís kind of inevitable in a celebrity run culture that people will be picked out and identified as leaders, but yeah, itís a negative factor. Iím sure the Berrigans [Dan and Phil] would have been the first to say that, thereís nothing special about them, theyíre doing these things because others are making it possible. I mean if you think about, say, the Civil Rights movement, what mainly comes to mind is Martin Luther King. Who was a person of great significance undoubtedly, but, again, I presume, he would have been the first to say, that heís able to lead demonstrations and give speeches because SNCC workers are riding freedom buses, and sitting-in on lunch counters, and facing violence everyday of the week and theyíre organizing activities. Mass popular movements will sometimes, somebody will show up, to appear to be a leader. Itís dangerous, and very often, the leaderís cynical, and is using it to gain power, and to crush the ideals of the mass movement. Itís what Lenin was doing in 1917 for example. But, sometimes itís authentic, like Civil Rights movement, or the Berrigans. But it shouldnít be emphasized. The apparent leadership is riding a wave of popular activism.

--

Chomsky's point here is a fascinating one and I think essentially correct: that mobilized activist communities do not come about because of leaders, but, rather, that leaders can be produced by mobilized activist communities. But that's merely an effect of the culture we live in and as Chomsky points out, it is an unnecessary effect since the real work is being done by the collectives, and further more, it's a mostly "negative" effect since it reinforces values that these collectives are usually appropriately against.

There is simply no historical evidence to suggest that collectives cannot function without leaders, and that genuine progress can't take place without leaders and furthermore, simply as a matter of principle, we should be striving for purely democratic collective action if that's the kind of society we hope to ultimately create because we won't create it if we don't do that.
CSM - while leaders may "emerge or be produced" (as you cited Chomsky,)from a movement, it is more efficacious to have someone who has some organizational background to bring a movement to fruition, and get the issues out there.  And, for good or bad, it is why the PR firms have been effective in managing campaigns who have no effective leader and organizational ground-game at the ready.  With no ground-game, or way to reach masses, nothing goes anywhere.

The point is that leaders do not bring movements to fruition; movements are already at fruition by the time a leader emerges. This is why leaders are at best superfluous and at worse a negative influence on a movement.

As far as your point about nothing going anywhere, I cited several historical and contemporary examples that prove that point false.
CSM - I am quite familiar with the Berrigan brothers.  Priests are, very well-educated, articulate, generally well-written, and, know how to network (even in the 60's) and having a name out there, renders a movement capable of having contact sources to become involved and expand membership. 

And, I believe in visionary leadership, where a core group can be held accountable to it's membership, and who have the resources and ability to both get the message out, and motivate whatever movement they are involved in.  I guess it is the formula about which we might not agree.  The bottom line for me is, first to have an issue that needs resolution and someone who has the vision, determination, and the ability to engage large numbers of people to get the job done.  If it is only one issue, then the group would theoretically disband, once that goal is achieved. More of an ad hoc organization and not a permanent organization. 

Organizing for any cause, whether for political issues, or charity, requires a specific skill set in my opinion.   Wink
I agree that effective organizations are effective. My issue arises where you say "motivate". One person's 'motivating' is another person's 'manipulating'. I think there is too much 'motivating' by 'leaders' who are actually manipulating people to support what benefits the 'leader' or the 'leader's' vision. I'd want the people in a movement to be motivated strictly by their own understanding.
Emily - I think the best organization is an ad hoc one to handle one issue.  Then, there is less of a power play.  Motivation or manipulation?  It is a matter of getting the word out and the job done.  If people acquire good leadership and organizational skills, they are transferrable to another project down the line.  Wink
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