Community leaders

Sarkozy’s going to need to look for some soon, but I fear that the current Parisian definition is the guy with the newest fridge. The earliest mention I’ve found here also floats in on a wave of urban violence:

It is in the anxious and transforming 15th century that we begin to discover forms that appear to introduce us to another type of subversive activity. In the Ocaña Parliament of 1422 there is talk of civil disturbances in which some people rise up in revolt, “designating themselves community captains”, and saying and demanding that mayors and councillors should do nothing “without first agreeing it with the community.”

(Pero es en el inquieto y renovador siglo xv cuando empezamos a descubrir formas que parecen llevarnos a otro tipo de actuación subversiva. En las Cortes de Ocaña de 1422 se habla de disturbios ciudadanos en los que algunas personas se alzan en rebeldía “haciéndose capitanes de la comunidad” y diciendo y exigiendo que nada sea hecho por alcaldes y regidores ordinarios “syn que primeramente se acordase con el común”.)

(José Antonio Maravall, Las comunidades de Castilla)

Community leadership has also migrated to more peaceful contexts. Check Mr Tung-He Chen, who describes himself as “An Insignificant Person with Significant Vitality” and who says that “A community leader is kind, wise and decent. He is responsible and willing to serve”. I assume he’d have his knackers cut off by the authorities if he strayed too far from this line, but his mitre is cause for pope. The Italians on the other hand think a community leader’s someone who offers technological legitimacy for communication in a virtual learning environment. Let’s hope the riots don’t spread there.

(PS: check Laurent Greilsamer’s interesting piece in Le Monde on the etymology of that Sarkozy fave, racaille.)

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