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Week 3: The New Deal (CO 5)

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5Given the central role of charismatic leaders in authoritarian movements of the contemporary period, analyze the conditions under which such leaders are able to mobilize the masses in their respective states.

Especially because there was another economic model available in the 1930s (Soviet-style communism discussed last week), it is important to evaluate the serious impact of the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s. Was it a near-failure of the capitalist system? Did governments around the world need to get involved to save their systems? If so, did this forever alter the ideals behind a laissez-faire economy?

(You may post in this discussion for credit Sunday, March 11-Sunday March 18.)

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Charismatic Leaders
Weber describes charismatic leaders as having certain qualities of individual
personality that make them be considered as being extraordinary, and endowed with
superhuman, or supernatural powers (P 241). These leaders are able to communicate eloquently
to their followers, and invoke their emotions, a quality that makes them have fanatic support in
some cases. Spahr stated that charismatic leaders have a clear vision in their fields, for example,
politics, and the ability to engage a large audience (par 6). Owing to the fact that having a clear
vision is a requisite condition for success, having this quality arguably makes charismatic
leaders successful thus reliable in the sight of their followers.
Charismatic leaders rise and mobilize masses in the times of crisis (Shamir et al, p589;
Spahr, par 5). During this kind of crisis when there is no clear direction yet the society...

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