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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

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128

The Question of Leadership

2
terms
2
notes

on the two main perspectives of what politics is: as marketing (within a narrow scope of possible policies and potential candidates), and as social change determined by the power of various social groups within the populace

Gilbert, J. (2016). The Question of Leadership. In ? Corbyn and the Future of Labour: A Verso Report. Verso Books, pp. 128-155

pertaining to Karl Marx and ideas he explicitly explored in his writings; differs from Marxist in that the latter includes ideas developed by others in the same vein of thought

136

This is a view which some might call vaguely ‘Marxist’, but which might more accurately be called simply ‘sociological’, because it is perfectly possible to endorse this view while remaining very sceptical about many analytical and political assumptions of most of the Marxian tradition

—p.136 by Jeremy Gilbert
notable
1 year, 8 months ago

This is a view which some might call vaguely ‘Marxist’, but which might more accurately be called simply ‘sociological’, because it is perfectly possible to endorse this view while remaining very sceptical about many analytical and political assumptions of most of the Marxian tradition

—p.136 by Jeremy Gilbert
notable
1 year, 8 months ago

(noun) preponderant influence or authority over others; domination / (noun) the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

140

What you do, simply, is convince enough of those other social groups that their interests are best served by throwing in their lot with you than by supporting the other side. This is what it means to achieve ‘hegemony’ (leadership) within a wider ensemble of social forces.

—p.140 by Jeremy Gilbert
notable
1 year, 8 months ago

What you do, simply, is convince enough of those other social groups that their interests are best served by throwing in their lot with you than by supporting the other side. This is what it means to achieve ‘hegemony’ (leadership) within a wider ensemble of social forces.

—p.140 by Jeremy Gilbert
notable
1 year, 8 months ago
143

The great difference between the liberal and the sociological models, however, is that the latter can at least explain the former. It is easy to understand where the idea of politics as marketing comes from and why it has so much support if we think about the fact that it essentially serves the interests of exactly the same groups that other forms of commercial marketing serve: the wealthy capitalist elite. From the other side however, the liberals of the political class are completely mystified by the emergence of another model of politics, and can only denounce it in the most confused of terms. Calling someone mad is not an argument, but an admission that you cannot understand what they are doing. If anything demonstrates the redundancy of their models of both politics and leadership, it is this inability to grasp the motivations and the objectives of their opponents.

—p.143 by Jeremy Gilbert 1 year, 8 months ago

The great difference between the liberal and the sociological models, however, is that the latter can at least explain the former. It is easy to understand where the idea of politics as marketing comes from and why it has so much support if we think about the fact that it essentially serves the interests of exactly the same groups that other forms of commercial marketing serve: the wealthy capitalist elite. From the other side however, the liberals of the political class are completely mystified by the emergence of another model of politics, and can only denounce it in the most confused of terms. Calling someone mad is not an argument, but an admission that you cannot understand what they are doing. If anything demonstrates the redundancy of their models of both politics and leadership, it is this inability to grasp the motivations and the objectives of their opponents.

—p.143 by Jeremy Gilbert 1 year, 8 months ago
146

We have a movement to build. In the process, we may lose the next two or three elections. As long as our enemies control the media, dominate workplaces and determine the nature of so many community institutions, they will always be able to frighten enough of the electorate into voting against us to prevent us from winning an election.

They will only allow us to come close to winning office if we simply remove all radical demands from our programme. We could do that – we could make ourselves ‘electable’ by becoming so ‘moderate’ that the existing elites they would be willing to let us form a government for a while. But to achieve that, we would have to abandon much of our support among the poorest sections of society, and would demoralise our own forces to the point where we would have lost more than we had gained. We might get into office, but all real power would remain in the hands of our enemies, and we would have lost the opportunity to build a real movement for social change.

We have to build our forces across culture and in civil society, in order to take our positions and deepen our networks, and in order to fight what Gramsci calls the ‘war of position’. We have to develop our own institutions, our intellectual networks, and above all our own media. Only then will we be in a position to form a government. This may take a decade – it may take a generation – but it is the only path open to us.

I think this is a hypothetical speech (written by Gilbert) that the Bennites could have made back in the 80s (but didn't)

—p.146 by Jeremy Gilbert 1 year, 8 months ago

We have a movement to build. In the process, we may lose the next two or three elections. As long as our enemies control the media, dominate workplaces and determine the nature of so many community institutions, they will always be able to frighten enough of the electorate into voting against us to prevent us from winning an election.

They will only allow us to come close to winning office if we simply remove all radical demands from our programme. We could do that – we could make ourselves ‘electable’ by becoming so ‘moderate’ that the existing elites they would be willing to let us form a government for a while. But to achieve that, we would have to abandon much of our support among the poorest sections of society, and would demoralise our own forces to the point where we would have lost more than we had gained. We might get into office, but all real power would remain in the hands of our enemies, and we would have lost the opportunity to build a real movement for social change.

We have to build our forces across culture and in civil society, in order to take our positions and deepen our networks, and in order to fight what Gramsci calls the ‘war of position’. We have to develop our own institutions, our intellectual networks, and above all our own media. Only then will we be in a position to form a government. This may take a decade – it may take a generation – but it is the only path open to us.

I think this is a hypothetical speech (written by Gilbert) that the Bennites could have made back in the 80s (but didn't)

—p.146 by Jeremy Gilbert 1 year, 8 months ago