A good friend/comrade has posted a excellent interesting article on his blog about the role of leadership and his view that they are not needed to advance our cause as workers.
you can read this interesting post here. http://thesocialistway.blogspot.com/2011/07/who-needs-them-leaders.html?spref=tw
I thought i'd offer a reply and some of my own thoughts.
The comrade starts by stating
say apathetic. But virtually all members of the working class, with the exception of some 'socialists' who like myself are freethinkers, accept without question that leaders are necessary and essential; they cannot envisage a society without them.
Whilst i do agree with this to a degree that we all must become our own leaders to ourselves in a sense i think the idea of casting away all leaders could be a tad premature and risks us throwing the baby out with the bathwater somewhat.
I would suggest that our leaders in order to not be dragged in to a self serving situation which the blogpost i am looking at suggests often is the case. I would suggest that no leader or elected representitive should recieve no more than the average skilled workers wage. Being linked to the same earnings as those who you are representing is key i feel to remaining committed to doing exactly that.
I can understand why a lot of people do think there are many union leaders only in it for their own self interest and career prospects and money gains. But i am not totally sure this is always the case. I do feel their inflated salaries are always pointed to rightly when people are angry at their roles. So i would suggest a flat rate of a average skilled workers wage with the rest they dont take being donated back to the labour movement and the cause of workers.
The comrade then goes on
tes a social void in which the propertyless seek their solution either through prayer, or in the endless quest from a modern day Moses or political Messiahs, supposedly endowed with superior ability and foresight, to lead them out of the morass of their poverty and problems into the land of "solved situations". And of course this never happens.
This has been the case more often than not i agree with this but the role of a leader isnt to just lead people in their chosen direction it is also to raise contiousness within the mass's of workers. Spending time explaining socialist ideas is leading as it is popularising ideas that you wish more people to take up. In affect as socialists we are all leaderstrying to win more over to our cause and to change the world for the better.
But i would just point to the Russian revolution in 1917 where through the strong leadership of lenin and Trotsky the workers were able to feel confident enough to take control of the worlds first ever worekrs state. Although not perfect and a true class-less society initially the feeling was there that this could be achieved .
The feeling of revolution was strong at the timea nd if this had spread back then to other countries namely Germany or even England we could be living in a very different society today. I wont go into all the reasons why i feel this didnt happen now but just wanted to highlight that not all leaders are bad and some are genuinely wanting to changes things for the betterment of all not just themselves.
I think it is a common misconception that leaders will always betray the working class and we should not bother with them and instead self organise. Whilst i do agree to a point i do still feel there is a good place for revolutionary leaders who have experience and knowledge to ensure we remain united and focused on the eventual goal which is a class-less society where eventually the need for leaders is not nessesary which i do think the comrade i've quoted is looking towards.
Of course therea are good and bad leaders in our movement some we will warm to some we wont but i think by influencing the leadership of various unions and groups we can start to win support for our ideas of socialism.
So i do hope the comrade doesnt mind me commenting on his blogpost as i say i agree with large parts of it but i differ where i can see the benifit of having a strong leadership with revolutionary ideas and morals.
All part of the debate comradely i hope.