Don’t follow Leaders …

Someone gave me Dude where’s my Country, for christmas, 2004, which I read and I also watched Bowling for Columbine on DVD
Dude where’s my country, is a snappy easy read and lays it on the line in a language people can understand. How corporations through miscreants like Bush and Blair are taking us all for idiots. So in this respect it is good that the information contained in this book is reaching a wide audience. On the other hand.

Who does Moore suggest as replacements for the psychopaths who run America? Oprah Winfrey and Paul Newman. This may be tongue and cheek on Moore’s part but it exposes a fundamental weakness of our society . When your only option for democracy is so narrow, such as replacing one leader with another leader you can run out of ideas very quickly. The handsome Paul Newman V the gun loving Charlton Heston?

The war on leaders

So who do we come up with to replace Bush, or Blair? Another

Leaders should be our last resort not our first. And when we do need to rely on leaders, which we don’t, we should make sure they are ones we can control.

charismatic leader? This is the classic notion we have been accepting as democracy for centuries, the right to vote for a leader. Who does it serve? Think of it’s major achievements? (Particularly the last century the bloodiest in history). What did we do before we had kings and leaders? What’s the alternative? The answer lies in every page of Moore’s book and many others like it –

The people who are unhappy with this state of affairs. And if armed with the will and vision could change it and lead the change. Leaders should be our last resort not our first. And when we do need to rely on leaders, which we don’t, we should make sure they are ones we can control.

We need represented, not led

The problem with exposing the ills of the world to people is balancing it with a vision for change that gives hope rather than re-arranging a system that doesn’t work. We don’t need new leaders, who inevitably turn into megalomaniacs and will do or say anything to keep power. I use the we here, speaking of any countries people, who will sooner or latter feel the might of leaders who are out of the control of public opinion.

We need people to represent us who are not in the clutches of the ruling class of big business. And, representatives who are not in power long enough to be corrupted by the same.

And, we will not achieve this by voting or elevating personalities into powerful places. We will only achieve this by taking an active part in our affairs, starting in our communities and ensuring the same judgments and values we hold there, permeate through our dealings in international relationships.

So as well as reading Michael Moore it could be instructive to consider Michael Albert who far from changing the system is involved in creating a new one. An economic system that would better suit the values of our communities rather than serve the values of the corporations Moore’s book highlights so well.

Dude Where’s my Country? Michael Moore

Participatory Economics (Parecon) Michael Albert.