Leadership by Resentment
Show Less

Leadership by Resentment

From Ressentiment to Redemption

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 4: The social characteristic

Ruth Capriles


Ressentiment is an emotion, thereby ascribable to the individual and describable as a psychological disease. Nevertheless, all authors reviewed follow it through the sociological, political and historical dimensions. For Nietzsche, it was a historical phenomenon engulfing all Europe into nihilism; for Scheler, a social phenomenology leading to decay in modern society; for Marañón and García-Pelayo, a motive propelling leaders towards violent political action. Ressentiment seems to be important for sociology, political science and history; but how can we extend its meaning to aggregations of individuals in groups, masses, multitudes, societies, without committing the fallacy of the wrong level, or of attributing to the group the characteristics of the individual?

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.