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LEADERSHIP March 7, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, US Politics.

You will not have noticed, since I have not yet called for it, that the time is right following the use of executive power to sack the Wollongong City Council for a democratic insurgency. This there would be action not apathy, movement not inaction. The next stage in the process, since the facts are clear enough, and if not known accessible, is for a mass demonstration.

For that to happen, local groups and individuals would need to coalesce, and I imagine that could have spontaneously, but all movements, including democratic ones, require structure and leadership. There are existing local action groups, councillors and aspirant councillors with the skills and personality to perform the role.

Leadership, so it seems to me without much consideration, reflects the culture and structure of institutions and society. Leadership is a major concern in the corporate world because it is believed that it is a essential ingredient in economic success. Corporations are groups of people organized along hierarchical lines as befits the battle for economic survival and prosperity.

They strike me as more Feudal and Medieval in their culture than democratic. And when they are considered in terms of need satisfaction they are strikingly similar. Need satisfaction is structured according to the hierarchy. Lower order needs are satisfied at lower levels, and so forth, although it is noticeable that as Global Capitalism has become more powerful, with ideology reflecting power as always, that security needs are increasingly ignored for the lower orders.

We are constantly reminded of the differences between presidential and parliamentary systems, and between different parliamentary systems with different electoral processes. Still it does come as rather a surprise, and by this yardstick everything is a surprise, given the lack of capacities of the existing President of the United States of America, that Clinton will now be emphasizing her supposed greater ability to act as commander in chief.

The New York Times reports:

. . . Mrs. Clinton’s aides said the results in Ohio and Texas showed that voters had concern about Mr. Obama’s credentials as commander in chief — and that would be a major problem if he ended up facing Mr. McCain.

“Let me state it categorically: This party is not going to nominate somebody who hasn’t passed the commander-in-chief test,” said Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director. “If he can’t convince Democrats in Ohio and Texas that he can be commander in chief, he is not going to be nominee of our party.”

Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, pointed to Mrs. Clinton’s vote in favor of the Iraq war as evidence that she had failed the same test. “The fact remains, on the single biggest issue she’s ever had to deal with, she made a dramatically bad decision,” Mr. Axelrod said. Exchanges like this fed concern among some Democrats that the party had taken a wrong turn on the road to the general election. But other Democrats said that such a debate would in fact benefit the party, keeping Democrats in the spotlight, energizing voters and giving the ultimate nominee a testing that would come in handy.

These concerns reflect that one effect of the Bush Presidency with the acceptance of the assumption of permanent warfare and with it the impost of Pentagon spending. I would have thought the whole idea of having the President as commander in chief was to establish the principle of civilian control of the military.



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