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.

The end

Ruth Capriles

Subjects: politics and public policy, leadership

Extract

The end of our quest is similar to the one encountered by ‘Deep Thought’, the super computer in Douglas Adams’ novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which after spending seven and a half million years calculating the answer to the ultimate questions of ‘life, the universe and everything’, announced in the end that the answer was in fact ‘42’. So another, bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was. In relation to ressentiment, the answers to the questions of why or what remain as inscrutable as all answers to ultimate questions. What we need to pose are the actual questions. 149 CAPRILES 9781781006566 PRINT.indd 149 02/10/2012 11:11

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