Revolutionary Social Leadership and Responsibility

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Revolutionary Social Leadership and Responsibility

In the chapters, “We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For” and “These Are the Times to Grow Our Souls,” Boggs views the U.S. as a country requiring a radical cultural and social transformation. The writer considers the economic and social challenges that engulf the country to signify a necessity for people to reject the old American Dream that emphasizes upward mobility through aggressive capitalism. Alternatively, Boggs (2011) favors a new American Dream that embraces standards of humanity and embodies commendable achievements in the country’s revolutionary legacy. The author presents current issues of social and environmental justice as having the same relevance and urgency associated with the civil rights and labor movements of the 19th and 20th century (Boggs, 2011). Boggs believes that Americans can cultivate a renewed spirit of sacrifice and patriotism by engaging in actions that advance social responsibility at the local level while promoting global citizenship internationally.

At a time when fundamental human freedoms and civil liberties are under attack, Boggs finds that this situation tends to limit Americans’ capacity to imagine a future where the constant struggle against oppressors is resolved. Based on this reasoning, the writer posits that people ought to learn from lessons of grassroots initiatives in order to reinvent existing social and economic institutions in a way that offers them the opportunity to assume leadership of their lifestyles and livelihoods. Using the revolutionary election of Obama as the first African American President, the author urges Americans to assert their power of choice progressively as they fight to change prevailing ideologies that victimize the disadvantaged (Boggs, 2011). To establish a nation that the outside world admires rather than condemned for its excessive use of coercive and bullying tactics, Boggs (2011) insists that Americans must go through a monumental philosophical and transcendent transformation. Besides, the notion of “Growing Our Souls” is based on the premise that people should form a conscious awareness of the intimate connection between individual and universal well-being. Thus, people ought to take action against the suffering of locals and others across the globe rather than observing passively.

People ought to demonstrate their conviction as human beings to have free will. Rampant deindustrialization approaches have increasingly exported jobs overseas while automation strategies continuously takeover human labor (Boggs, 2011). In the wake of this situation, society should focus its attention on investing in the younger generation’s education and well-being in order to equip them with the competencies to thrive in an uncertain future. Boggs (2011) uses examples of local empowerment initiatives in Detroit to highlights the actions other communities may emulate, including engaging in locally driven projects and economic development projects. In the face of forces that insist on objectifying people and alienating philosophical principles from human relationships, Boggs maintains that Americans should make choices that serve the greater good and promote constructive change

Boggs is adamant that ordinary people rather than powerful elites in boardrooms of influential organizations or billionaire-funded philanthropic foundations will lead the next American Revolution. The day-to-day challenges that ordinary people face put them in a better position to address such issues personally and collectively. Boggs emphasizes the need for radical social change that involves taking responsibility for the prevalence of oppressions that disproportionately affect disadvantaged people and communities. Given the challenges resulting from constant socioeconomic paradigm shifts, society should divert their efforts toward supporting and investing in the preparedness of their younger generation for future realities.







Boggs, G. (2011). These Are the Times to Grow Our Souls. In The Next American Revolution:     Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century (pp. 28-51). Berkeley; Los Angeles;   London: University of California Press.

Boggs, G. (2011). We Are the Leaders We’ve Been Looking For. In The Next American             Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century (pp. 159-178). Berkeley;        Los Angeles; London: University of California Press.

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