Cedric J. Robinson contends that our perception of political order is an illusion, maintained in part by Western political and social theorists who share a dependence on the concept of leadership as a basis for describing and prescribing social order.
Robinson uses a variety of critical approaches in his analysis: he synthesizes elements of psychoanalysis, structuralism, Marxism, classical and neoclassical political philosophy, and sociology to support his case for considering Western thought on leadership to be mythological rather than rational. He then presents examples of historically developed “stateless” societies with social organizations that suggest conceptual alternatives to the ways political order has been conceived in the West.
As an American Black political theorist, Robinson examines Western thought from the vantage point of a people only marginally integrated into Western institutions and intellectual traditions. His perspective on the conceptualization that structures Western thinking on the most basic levels contributes to the questioning on how our conduct, values, and even perceptions may be shaped by our symbolization.