Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, have dedicated the fourth chapter of their book ‘The new digital age‘ to the future of revolution.
In the middle of the chapter, authors state their opinion about leading future revolutions considering the unprecedented connectivity tools provided for the rebels and opposition.
Authors believe that the technology can be a lubricating tool for starting revolutions. However, the leadership role is fundamentally different from digital herding facilitated by social networks and other new media.
Here is a passage of the book, quoting Henry Kissinger, about future of leadership in the Facebook era:
We asked the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who has met with and known almost every revolutionary leader of the past forty years, what is lost when that timetable is advanced [and revolutions are accelerated by technology without providing time for fostering the leaders].
“It is hard to imagine de Gaulles and Churchills appealing in the world of Facebook,” he said.
In an age of hyper-connectivity, “I don’t see people willing to stand by themselves and to have the confidence to stand up alone.”
Instead, a kind of “mad consensus” will drive the world and few people will be willing to openly oppose it, which is precisely the kind of risk that a leader must take.
“Unique leadership is a human thing, and is not going to be produced by a mass social community,” Kissinger said.