1990s >> 1999 >> no-1135-march-1999

Editorial: A leader gets lost

So one of our leaders is to quit. The era of Paddy Ashdown has ended. The capitalist media predictably wailed at the loss of such a fine leader. What a loss to “the nation” the man will be! The man of action seems to have astounded British newspapers by his personal energy levels but such energy hardly constitutes great achievement since it is exhibited by thousands of men and women.

When you look beneath the hype Ashdown’s achievement as a leader was superficial, since he did not achieve the ultimate goal of leaders—mpower. Ashdown, unlike Blair, was never in a position to flounder around in the anarchy of capitalism’s cesspit trying to control the uncontrollable. The only real power the Blairs of this world have, as leaders, is to create scapegoats for their own failures to control capitalism. So the one-parent family, the unwaged, the homeless, the wage slave, and their demands, all are seen as demons trying to destroy the good work of the leaders of the nation. So they must be sorted.

Of course “the nation” has other sets of leaders; for instance the bishops and the Windsors, who are farcical in their prancings and pronouncements but devoid of any real power to affect the lives of the people. Not so the political leaders. Their fatuous pronouncements often have disastrous effects on those scapegoats they have decided should be picked on for a week or two (usually ably assisted by the capitalist press).

This is not a new phenomenon. It is a mark of leadership wherever it has reared its ugly head. Just like the fox who is blamed for ruining the country way of life and is hounded to death by the leaders of that way of life, so the scapegoats of capitalism are sometimes hounded to death to preserve the nation. Hitler the Leader or, in German, the Führer.

Since Ashdown never reached the dizzy heights of Blair he can only be looked upon as one of capitalism’s failures. His sexual meanderings entertained the wage slaves for a short while (just as randy Bill’s are entertaining now, as long as you are not immediately involved) but it is not a lot to be proud of, since there are far better comedians to entertain.

The only way for humanity is to step aside from the vicious deception of leaders and their telling us what we need. For that to happen the majority need to become conscious of their real interests. A socialist revolution, a democratic revolution without leaders, is an urgent necessity—before leaders lead us nowhere, or worse.

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