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Dedication And Leadership Paperback – December 31, 1992
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From the Back Cover
Douglas Hyde (1911–1996) was an English political journalist and writer.
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This book grew out of a series of lectures he conducted that tried to explain the successes of Communism to a Christian audience and to answer the question "Is there anything in Communist methods that can be adapted to serve nobler causes?". The answer to that question is an emphatic yes. Hyde strips away the preconceptions of how Communists recruited and motivated party workers and how they developed them into leaders capable of developing other communist workers.
The main theme of the book is contained in the title. According to Hyde, dedication is a prerequisite for true leadership. The communists had a well defined purpose that every communist could understand and believe in: the hope of a Communist world. In pursuit of that goal, members were asked to make great sacrifices. Rather than driving people away, this demand draws out the idealistic element in them and inspires the sort of dedication needed.
Hyde develops this theme in a number of ways. He discusses how short term campaigns worked, how party education worked, how members were encouraged to excellence in other areas of their life in order to give the communist message credibility with non-Communists.
Looking at the state of communism today, one might question whether there is any value in this book after all. Indeed, Hyde faced the same question himself in the late 80s and refused a reprint of the book because he thought that communist commitment was no longer what was described in the book. In my opinion, the failure of communism was due to its successes proving its invalidity, not to the methods by which it had enjoyed those earlier successes. Militant Islam seems to be the ascendant ideology of our times, and to the limited degree that I am aware, it seems like the Islamists are employing similar techniques. If we are wise, we will choose to learn from them rather than dismissing them outright.
This is one of those rare books that demands the purchasing of multiple copies. You will want to keep one for yourself with all your underlinings and notes, and keep at least one to lend out. Any sort of organisation could benefit from the lessons to be learned here, but Hyde's message is chiefly to Christians. Any believer distressed about the weak impact his church is having should immediately read this book.
Nonetheless, there are excellent works written by Marxists on many topics which one ought not ignore merely for the authors orientation. Hyde notes in capitalism the ruling elite profits by war (page 58), and goes on to note the communists make no bones about governments being in the business of oppression, and so are communist governments, but in the case of communism for a good cause. Accuracy in facts, but fallacy in analysis.
if you want to be an excellent teacher, learn from the Marxists! If you want accurate information read the Marxists. If you want to suffer pointlessly, become a Marxist!
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