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Revolutionary Leadership and Organization

Revolutionary Leadership and Organization
(Coordinator Comment)

Revolutionary leadership is explicitly addressed in Lenin's masterpiece, What is to be done?. He starts from the description of a trade union leader: "The ideal leader, as the majority of the members of such circles picture him, is something far more in the nature of a trade union secretary than a socialist political leader. For the secretary of any, say English, trade union always helps the workers to carry on the economic struggle, he helps them to expose factory abuses, explains the injustice of the laws and of measures that hamper the freedom to strike and to picket (i. e., to warn all and sundry that a strike is proceeding at a certain factory), explains the partiality of arbitration court judges who belong to the bourgeois classes, etc., etc."

But, as Lenin continues, that is not enough. The revolutionary leader must be "the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat."

For Lenin, revolutionary leadership is not just a matter of individuals but of the revolutionary party. He emphasizes that they must be in touch with and serve as a leader for all oppositional strata of the society, not just the working class: "We must take upon ourselves the task of organising an all-round political struggle under the leadership of our Party in such a manner as to make it possible for all oppositional strata to render their fullest support to the struggle and to our Party. We must train our Social-Democratic practical workers to become political leaders, able to guide all the manifestations of this all-round struggle, able at the right time to "dictate a positive programme of action."

Leadership for nonviolence promises to be an important part of revolutionary leadership in the future. As Mahatma Gandhi has pointed out, "It takes a fairly strenuous course of training to attain to a mental state of non-violence" and "it has to be a course of discipline though one may not like it, like, for instance, the life of a soldier." And, as Martin Luther King has emphasized, "The method is passive physically, but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive nonresistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil."

For Che Guevara, the revolutionary leader must "combine an impassioned spirit with a cold mind and make painful decision without flinching." For this, revolutionary leader must act out of love: "Our vanguard revolutionaries must idealise their love for the people, for the most hallowed causes, and make it one and indivisible ... revolutionary leaders must have a large dose of humanity, a large dose of a sense of justice and truth to avoid falling into dogmatic extremes, into cold scholasticism, into isolation from the masses."

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game administrator Jun. 13 2019,18:22
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