The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown

The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown

Author:Archie Brown [Brown, Archie]
Language: eng
Format: epub, pdf
ISBN: 9780465080977
Publisher: Basic Books


Some revolutions, then, are led – as in Russia in November 1917 or Cuba in 1958–59 – and others are relatively leaderless, as in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011. It is clear that regime change of itself does not necessarily require an established organization, an outstanding leader or even a handful of leaders but can, in a revolutionary situation, be a much wider, looser and unstructured movement. That is not to deny that in some revolutions particular leaders have been so important that the system would not have changed when it did, or would have changed in very different ways, in their absence. When the opportunity of holding leaders and regimes accountable for their misdeeds is absent, the case for systemic change is overwhelming. When that can be done by peaceful means, as it was in post-Franco Spain or in Eastern Europe in 1989, this is hugely preferable to revolution. In the last resort, however, there is justification for violent revolution – the forcible removal of tyrants from power – when all attempts to change an oppressive system by peaceful means have failed. What follows, however, seldom lives up to the rhetoric and hopes of the more idealistic of the revolutionaries, as most of the cases examined in this chapter and the next illustrate all too clearly.


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