I remember when I was young and began looking around at history documents. I mean just looking. I was struck by the term, “Cult of the Personality.”
I wasn’t fully aware what it meant but after a few years got more curious about this designation and saw it focused on Socialist leaders of times past. It was these leaders who were most identified with having a cult of personality.
I came to understand this term meant masses of people of a country were enthralled with a leader through his personality and charisma, and followed that person into mindless destruction and death.
The pictures I saw depicting this were masses of people marching down some street in Russia, Germany or Red China holding banners along with giant pictures of their leader. The people marched mindlessly chanting their leaders slogans.
I understand now that my understanding of cult of the personality was very accurate for several reasons. First it is the personality of the leader which had captured the following of the people and the historic news article or cartoon explaining this phenomenon was exact.
However, despite good depictions of the cultist behaviour, the underlying reasons for the emergence of cult of personality in leadership was not explained. Nor was there any reasonable explanation for the cult following so blindly. It took my understanding of Ayn Rand’s philosophy before I could understand the full picture.
My deeper philosophic understanding of the cult of the personality took the form of seeing Russian leaders adhering to Hegelian dialectics, a wholly idealistic philosophy which based a human struggle in returning to God as final master of this earth. The practical fulfillment was man’s destiny to socialist utopia.
China followed suit with their own variation through Mao Tse Tung. Nazi Germany also was idealist with a strong cult of the personality through Hitler The philosophy that led their charge to sacrifice was provided by Immanual Kant (Europe’s Favourite philosopher) smiling at the starry heavens from his grave.
Why a citizenry should come to a cult of personality was not explained by a leader that personified strength, and leadership towards obvious destruction? The reason for such a contorted direction was because the people themselves held and identified with utopian ideals in every area of their lives. They had lost their ability to think for themselves, independently and realistically.
A, “cult” is inherently mindless and opposite of an individual thinker. A country of independent thinkers cannot be ruled by force, but when the mind is abandoned or undermined, ruling by force increases and as the independence diminishes, irrational ruling replaces mere aberration. Government eventually becomes total.
North America with our simple, straight forward, hard working view of life during the world wars came to save Europe not once but twice from these variations of idealism and sacrificial views of life. We, in this North American continent were not so fully ingrained in Platonic, Hegelian, or Kantian idealism so had more confidence and independence.
North America largely was a result of an Aristotelian philosophy of reason, ego, and reality.
In news reporting of Ontario’s 2014 elections I have noticed the cult of personality emerging. Destruction today however is slower with, “Great recessions” and balkanizing, not (yet) total as between the war torn years of Europe.
Personality was particularly strong in Ontario politics where Kathleen Wynn won largely due to personality and Tim Hudak’s personality “stunk” – as had been repeated endlessly in political commentaries. Little to no principles were explained.
If anything is to be remembered in Ontario about the two World Wars, it is the fact that principles matter. Principles are not to be abandoned in politics.
The specific principles are written in the Freedom Party of Ontario’s founding constitution:
3. The FPO is founded on the principle that: “Every individual, in the peaceful pursuit of personal
fulfilment, has an absolute right to his or her own life, liberty, and property” (hereinafter referred
to as the FPO’s “Founding Principle”).
When these specific principles, which are rooted in reality, become forgotten, purposefully ignored, or otherwise lost, men have no other purpose than to chase utopian idealism since principles are no longer a choice.
When is the last time you heard a leader discuss individual rights and property rights? Except for the Freedom Party of Ontario, you will have to strain your memory. Today, you may hear a lot about “democracy” but without definition. You do hear about personality or even, “integrity” without what one is supposed to have integrity about. The very real principles of individual rights and property rights deserve immoveable integrity, but are buried in government takeovers called, “Strategic planning.”
There is much more I’d like to say about these destructive expressions of idealism, but I’ll stop here. My point is cult of the personality has now replaced principle in Ontario politics.
Only the Freedom Party of Ontario retains the fundamental principles necessary for just governing.