Many workers think we cannot function without leaders. This is a fallacy and one perpetuated by the master class to help them maintain their rule over our lives. Indeed, so prevalent is this philosophy, that from the cradle to the grave we are taught to mistrust out own intelligence and to look up to our ‘betters and superiors’ (schools, church, politicians, parents etc) and to accept without question the plans they draw up for our future.
It is assumed leaders run the world. Well, we think it is we, the workers who run the world. Politicians might make government policy, which becomes law, but it is we who build and man the hospitals and schools. It is we who build the bridges, roads and railways, ports and airports, all the products that humans need to survive. It is we who produce everything from a pin to an oil-rig and provide humanity with all the services it needs – we the working class. We don’t depend on leaders for these skills or for their guidance. They have no monopoly on our knowledge and intelligence and the inventions we dream up, but benefit from them the most. If all the worlds leaders died tomorrow, few would really miss them and society would function as before. If all the bosses decided not to turn up at their factories, their business would still function because it is we who see to it that they function. Do you need a boss standing over you all day in the office or workplace, showing you how to work? Are you constantly in search of the guidance of a more superior individual to tell you how to run your life?
The concept of leadership has emerged as a result of class society and will end when we abolish class society, when abolish the capitalist mode of production and all that goes with it. The master class have been allowed to lead because of their control over the means of living, because of their control of the education system and their monopoly of the media and other and information processes.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The greatest weapons we posses are our class unity, our intelligence, and our ability to question the status quo and to imagine a world fashioned in our own interests. The master class perceives all of this to be a threat and so will do anything to keep us in a state of oblivion, dejection and dependency. Our apathy is the victory they celebrate each day. Our unwillingness to unite as a globally exploited majority and to confront them on the battlefield of ideas is the subject of their champagne toasts.
Only sheep need leaders, and if workers want to be sheep then they can expect to get fleeced. The truth is, we have been led for so long by idiots that we have forgotten our own collective strength and lost sight of just what we, as a species, working together, are capable of.
The WSM has no leaders and has existed for 97 years without one. If someone can lead you into socialism, there will always be someone who can lead you out again. Socialism must be the free and conscious decision of the majority, otherwise it will never work. Our position is now as it was in 1904 at our inception – there is nothing that we can do for the working class that it is not already capable of doing for itself. For Socialism to be a success, it must be established without leaders and followers. It must be established by ordinary people al over the world uniting and working together to establish a new system peacefully and democratically – a world in which the exploited at last regain control of their own destiny.