Monday, November 3, 2008
Is Barack Obama A Cult Figure?
There are various factors that may occur that set forth the conditions best suited for charismatic leadership. First, people have to be fearful and hopeless about current conditions. Secondly, the solutions to the social ills have to correlate with the populous' experience and optimistic feelings about itself. The solution should tap more into the emotional rather than logical region of the psyche. It is at this point where details don't matter. The leader must tap into the emotional heartstrings of adherents and create the logic as they go along. Philosopher Thomas Carlyle noted that people seemed to be hard-wired for "Hero Worship." In this instance, Obama's ascension is a bit different than the normal development of cults. Normally, cults transform paradigms by: Isolating the individual, disorienting him through confusion or fear, retraining through reframing thoughts and experiences to correlate with a new paradigm and reinforcement by gathering old adherents with the new charge. The zeal within Obama adherents is more of what was already there as opposed to what was put there. The Obama craze is a reflection of economic upheaval, America's lackluster position in the world, two major concurrent wars and a pessimism about civilization as it currently exists. If anything, the Obama Camp has done as excellent job of identifying the visceral feelings of Americans and created a campaign to cure what hurts them emotionally and psychically.