Leadership by Resentment

Leadership by Resentment

From Ressentiment to Redemption

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Ruth Capriles

The author explores the conditions that foster the development of ressentiment, the role of leaders and followers, and the phases of the phenomenon as it encourages destructive behaviors such as murder and suicide. Often considered an incurable disease with destructive social and political repercussions, it is a core motive for acts of terrorism, revolutions, social upheavals and processes of toxic leadership. The author puts forth a model that helps to describe certain historical processes led by ressentiment, like some revolutions and terrorist acts, and to distinguish them from other movements that are usually treated as similar (e.g., independence revolutions). The book then tackles a seemingly impossible question: Can we find a cure for this powerful and destructive impulse? With care and deliberation, the author demonstrates the power of ethical leadership, recognition and redemption as positive unifying forces during human conflicts.

Chapter 3: The psychological disease

Ruth Capriles

Subjects: politics and public policy, leadership


Nietzsche, Scheler and Marañón set the approach to ressentiment as a psychological disease that develops as a phenomenon through several phases of repression. Figure 3.1 describes the process through several stages of emotions and repressions at the psychological level. Phases are set by repressions times. Let us now review the process by time phases.

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