The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century

The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century

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by Carne Ross
     
 

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The Leaderless Revolution explains why our government institutions are inadequate to the task of solving major problems and offers a set of steps we can take to create lasting and workable solutions ourselves. In taking these steps, we can not only reclaim the control we have lost, but also a sense of meaning and community so elusive in the current

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Overview

The Leaderless Revolution explains why our government institutions are inadequate to the task of solving major problems and offers a set of steps we can take to create lasting and workable solutions ourselves. In taking these steps, we can not only reclaim the control we have lost, but also a sense of meaning and community so elusive in the current circumstance. In a day and age when things feel bleak and beyond our control, this powerful and personal book will revive one's sense of hope that a better, more just and equitable order lies within our reach-if only we are willing to grasp it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Writing before the Occupy movement erupted, Ross (Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite) explores how the current interconnectedness of the world provides a fecund framework for leaderless revolutions, and why we should take advantage of it. Drawing on his experience as a former British diplomat, Ross believes we need to replace the current political system with what Stanford Professor James Fishkin calls "deliberative democracy," wherein a representative sample of individuals are brought together to decide on an issue. Ross wants people to take back the power from special interest groups and lobbyists and make their own decisions in a collaborative environment, trusting people to manage their own affairs. He cites successful examples in post-Katrina New Orleans (where 92% of involved citizens supported the "Unified Plan" for rebuilding the city) and in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Though Ross urges individuals to act, he provides no real specifics on how to proceed beyond encouraging people to locate their convictions, "act as if the means are the end," and use nonviolence. It may be that the leaderless nature of the revolution prevents Ross from being too prescriptive, but readers expecting a precise answer to the titular "How" will be disappointed.
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Kirkus Reviews
A personal assessment of the transforming power of consultative democracy in the coming century. Political advisor Ross (Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite, 2007, etc.) looks back at his disaffection with the British diplomatic service and resignation in the wake of the exposure, and subsequent suicide, of the government's top weapons-inspection scientist David Kelly. He had been intimately involved with Iraq sanctions and the buildup to war, as well as many other conflict situations, and he portrays the violence resulting from official "group think" with the Milgram experiment's proof of people's unquestioning potential for cruelty. The author provides many fascinating personal insights into the crises not only in Iraq, but also Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mauretania and Sudan. While many will be drawn to this aspect of his account, Ross' concern is not the past but the lessons to be applied now. In his view, the nation-state basis for the international diplomatic order has been undermined by the increasing power of particular interests acting through global institutions. Writing that society requires "authority in order to enjoy peace and stability," Ross questions authority itself by pointing to some of the worst outrages in human history--e.g., Nazi Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union. In democracies as well, he writes, "the very rules and institutions established to protect us in fact do the opposite," mainly because people tend to abdicate responsibility when they empower elected representatives to act on their behalf. Ross is an advocate for deliberative democracy--typified by Gandhi's nonviolent movement against the British in the 1920s and '30s--which he distinguishes from terrorism, anarchism and representative government. Intriguing but not entirely convincing. Stay tuned to see if the author's contentions play out in the next decade or so.
From the Publisher
“So bold, so full of incontestable truths and overwhelming convictions, that it should be read by every diplomat, politician and thinking citizen with the courage to pick it up.” -John Le Carré

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a more interesting, informing and inspiring book than The Leaderless Revolution." -Bill Moyers

"Carne Ross takes up where Naomi Klein, Noreena Hertz, and others left off. This is an impassioned, idealistic critique of the state of global politics and the deepening rift between those with power and those without." -The Guardian (London)

“Intriguing…the author provides many fascinating personal insights into the crises not only in Iraq, but also Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mauretania and Sudan.” -Kirkus

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399158728
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/19/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for THE LEADERLESS REVOLUTION by Carne Ross:

"An impassioned, idealistic critique of the state of global politics and the deepening rift between those with power and those without."
The Guardian

"So bold, so full of incontestable truths and overwhelming convictions, that it should be read by every diplomat, politician and thinking citizen with the courage to pick it up."
—John le Carré

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a more interesting, informing and inspiring book than ‘The Leaderless Revolution."
—Bill Moyers

“Intriguing … the author provides many fascinating personal insights into the crises not only in Iraq, but also Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mauretania and Sudan.”
Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Carne Ross was a high-flying British diplomat who focused on many of the world's toughest issues, including Afghanistan, terrorism, and climate change. After working on Iraqi WMD and sanctions, he was one of only two British diplomats to resign over the 2003 Iraq War. That experience forced him to confront the deeper problems of a volatile, globalized world. A frequent commentator on current affairs on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera, and a contributor to The Guardian, Ross also founded, and now runs, Independent Diplomat, an advisory group that assists democratic countries and political groups around the world. He lives in New York City.

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The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author, a widely experienced British diplomat now living in New York City, affirms that our horror at what our government and corporate institutions are doing in our name is truly justified! It is time to do something! His Nine Principles to guide action are challenging and invigorating. Practicing these principles is surely a cure to our malaise and may just save us from further disaster. Carne Ross is clear and specific about what has gone wrong in recent wars and financial debacles. He himself admits to being part of the problem in an earlier government position. He can speak as an insider yet offers original approaches to communal action for good that involve all the people. Things will get better if we all lead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PhilosophyGeek More than 1 year ago
Provoking, engaging writing style. A truly inspiring book about the possibility of a better future polity and provides a guide to get there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago