WHY SHOULD THE TWENTIETH CENTURY BE CALLED THE "CENTURY OF CHIEFS"?

Yves Cohen About the author

Abstract

This article concerns the phenomenon of chieftaincy in the later 19th and early 20th centuries in France, Germany, the United States and the Soviet Union. It focuses on the emergence of a new discourse of command, the chief, authority and control of the masses. This discourse, which emerges from the diagnosis of a crisis of authority in these countries, was not only expressed in the cult of the chief, which assumed its more extreme forms in totalitarianism. It is a political, operational and symbolic phenomenon that expresses a new way of constructing and naming the social in the 20th century, which also included liberal and capitalist countries. The article seeks to reveal a modality of the transformation of the social in all domains of activity.

Keywords:
History of authority; Cult of the chief; Leadership; History of practices; Social Transformation

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