May 2024 Forums General discussion Anti-Leadership

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    I came across this quote from a Chartist who I didn’t know about, a Methodist minister, the Rev. Joseph Raynor Stephens, hence the religious imagery.

    “My friends, never put your trust in, and never follow after, men who pretend to be able to manufacture a revolution. A revolution, a rolling away of the whole from evil to good, from wrong to right, from injustice and oppression to righteousness and equal rule, never yet was manufactured, and never will be manufactured…”

    A good place to stop but he goes on to preach,

    “…God, who teaches you what your rights are, what the blessings He has endowed you withal, will, in his own good time, if that time should come – God will teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight”

    But even Eugene Debs evokes religion when he says if a Moses can lead you into the promised land, another can equally lead you out again


    The concept of leader and leadership has been screwed in our minds for many centuries, it is going to take time for mankind to recognize that we do not need leaders for our own liberation. All left-wingers laugh when we say that leaders have never done anything for mankind because that they have never broken away from the concept of leadership, the vanguard party to lead is the typical conception of the leader and leadership which contradicts Marx, he never supported the concept of leaders and leadership


    I think Rev. Stephens was wrong on both counts – God isn’t going to teach us anything, and a revolution will be manufactured – not by leaders, but (we hope) by the working class.

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