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

What can we do beyond Occupy Wall Street? Political and economic systems are failing us, and it’s time for citizens to create change—individually and collaboratively. In The

Overview

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

What can we do beyond Occupy Wall Street? Political and economic systems are failing us, and it’s time for citizens to create change—individually and collaboratively. In The Leaderless Revolution, Carne Ross sounds a call to action. With dramatic stories from the United States and around the world, Ross’s analysis contrasts with the naïve, Panglossian optimism of globalization boosters like Thomas Friedman. Uncontrolled economic volatility, perpetual insecurity, rampant inequality, and accelerating climate change are heading us into a dangerous period of prolonged crisis. Ross—a former British diplomat to Iraq who resigned over his nation’s involvement in the U.S.-led invasion—draws from his own experiences to offer an empowering new vision of how we can put things right.

Editorial Reviews

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298941
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/26/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
356,213
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(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 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