Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Underground Leader?

Underground writer Brady Russell is pushing the idea of finding a new leader for the rebellion, as outlined here:

Though I think "uniting the tribes," as I attempted to do, is close to impossible, I support Brady's project in theory.

His characterization of my problems as one of "ego" is a simplification, as I'm sure he knows. (I'm used to the criticism.) Many factors were involved, including having no mechanism for resolving disputes, and no way of using members' talents rationally, leaving things to be done on an ad-hoc basis. Differences between radicals and moderates in the team were never resolved. These are problems which come with a volunteer, non-hierarchical organization. People have to buy into the program completely.

Part of the problem is that any rebellion faces intense reaction, from all sides, even on occasion from within. Rebellion creates real enemies. How people deal with this determines success or failure.

My first priority was keeping the campaign on course, following the strategy, adhering to its principles. Under my watch, the movement was not co-opted or compromised.

I believe that in a project of this nature, anyone without a strong ego will quickly be destroyed.

I should mention that the campaign had many successes which will be hard for anyone to duplicate. Currently I'm following a strategy of ideas. I believe the rebellion will triumph based first on its ideas.
Two key questions about Brady's project:
1.) Does the rebellion need a leader?
2.) What qualities and abilities are required for that person to succeed?

I've been reading about the great rebels and revolutionaries of history-- Vercingtorix, Brutus, Jesus, Washington, Robespierre, Lenin, Trotsky-- and have my thoughts, but I want to know: what do you think?
(Serious replies only. Others will be deleted.)


Karl Wenclas said...

Brady may be finding out that motivating people in the underground lit scene isn't easy.
Too many of them love the cozy comfort of their fiefdoms.
Obviously I don't agree with everything Brady says (too many people confuse ballyhood with ego),but at least he's thinking creatively, which this movement needs.
Re ULA readings: What made them noteworthy, as Jackie Corley noted, was the wide variety of writers presented. All types-- we've even had McSweeneyites read with us.
Brady did a great job at the reading he was in-- and contrary to what he says, the crowd loved him. His role wasn't easy-- playing straight man in one of our read-offs.

King Wenclas said...

One revolutionary I forgot to mention is Emilio Zapata. How could I leave him off?
There's a great scene in the movie "Viva Zapata" when Pancho Villa and Zapata, having come from different directions in their fight against corrupt power, finally meet up when their cause is successful, both men kicking back, smoking cigars. That will be the literary rebels when this fight is over.