Leadership by Resentment
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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.
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Ruth Capriles


1. Some notes written by Miguel de Unamuno between August 2 and November 26 of 1936 around the Spanish Civil War, shortly before he died, were published in 1991 under the title The Tragic Resentment of Life with a preliminary note by Miguel de Unamuno Adarraga, a prologue by Miguel Quiroga de Unamuno and a study by Carlos Feal. 2. Some media report that Loughner was inspired by recommendations posted on Facebook by Sarah Palin placing a price on the heads of Gabrielle Giffords and 18 other congress representatives who oppose the conservative stand of the Tea Party. Fox News denied such relationship between Loughner with the Tea Party, and Palin and other leaders of the same party removed from their blogs and Facebook pages all messages that could be taken literally and induce criminal acts. 3. Such arguments against the PEME were given by the Arizona schools superintendent, John Huppenthal who called on schools in Tucson, a frontier district that is the epicenter of the dispute, to make a revision to the program or risk losing 10 percent of the state budget assigned to them. (See http://noticias.latam.msn.com/ar/insolito/articulo_bbc.aspx?cpdocumentid=30820714 [30/09/2011]) 4. Shakira’s support of Latin communities can be seen at www.elmundo.es/ america/2010/04/30/gentes/1272638235.html 5. We are caught then on the horns of a dilemma because the question was posed by Hume from a Cartesian dualist (mind/body) view of the soul. The Greeks did not face this dilemma because they had a tripartite view which distinguished between the appetitive,...

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