What do such disparate events as Occupy Wall Street, Iran's Islamic revolution or Venezuela's socialist revolution have in common? Emotion, specifically resentment, based on past grievances or shortcomings, seems to emerge from the depths of individual and collective psyches. This emotion, or more specifically the related philosophical concept of ressentiment, can have a profound impact on the course of history and on the role of leadership within societies. Expanding on the concept of ressentiment, this book addresses the importance of emotions in historical events. The author explores the conditions that allow the incubation and apparition of the disease of ressentiment, the role of leaders and followers and the phases of the phenomenon towards destruction, 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 elaborates a model that serves as a tool to describe historical processes led by ressentiment, like some revolutions and terrorist acts, and to distinguish them from other movements that are usually treated as similar (i.e. independence revolutions). The model is applied to actual events like terrorism and 'Occupy' movements, and proves useful to understand phenomena such as the so-called Venezuelan socialist revolution. The book then goes further into the impossible question: Can we find a cure to this hitherto incurable disease? Reposing the problem, the author shows the role of ethical leadership as bridging over the crevasses of human conflicts through recognition and redemption. If not the cure, the reader will at least find here alternate paths to avoid epidemic outbreaks of the disease. A philosophical endeavor to understand events from the Boston Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, from the French revolution to Hugo Chavez's revolution in Venezuela, this book is a journey from ressentiment to redemption, bridging over contemporary conflicts.
It will be fascinating reading for scholars and students of the social science and humanities and those with a particular interest in leadership.