Leadership in the Age of Rage

“Today’s leaders have failed in epic and historic terms. At the central challenge of leadership: elevating and expanding human lives. That failure is quantifiable, self-evident, and glaring. The world is stagnating, advanced economies are declining in terms of social progress, and old unions and societies are fracturing. All that has created an Age of Rage. People are angry – and their anger has unleashed a tidal wave of demagogues across the globe. Extremist firebrands, strongmen, whom desperate, furious people are looking to not for freedom, but for protection. Protection from what? Not from problems like inequality and climate change – but fundamentally, from the very people who should be leaders.”

“Thus, the need for leaders has never been greater in post modernity than it is today. Right here and now. Not just because the world is beset by historic problems, from climate change to inequality to debt crisis to economic stagnation – but also because the world now has an even more fundamental problema: demagogues. For they will make all the problems on the first list even greater threats to global stability and prosperity than they are today. We don’t just need leaders to solve the world’s great problems – we need leadership to stop demagogues, who divide, terrify, and ruin, from turning these problems into calamities.”

“Let me be clear. The proximate problem in an Age of Rage is demagogues – but the ultimate problema in an Age of Rage is what caused them. The failed generation of leaders that gave rise to them. In an Age of Rage, people are lashing out a generation of failed leaders, and seeking vengeance and retribution through demagogues. Their anger is understandable – because their leaders have betrayed, abandoned, and double-crossed them at nearly every turn, imploding middle classes, siphoning wealth to glorified mobsters, sacrificing the young, poisoning their air, food, and wáter, turning their careers into dead-end slave-wage McGigs, phantom-zoning their towns and cities, and smiling beatifically the whole way down the abyss.”

“We need desperately to reinvent leadership

Leadership in the Age of Rage. How to Lift Up a World That’s Falling Down. Umair Haque

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