Since so many essayists and commenters are interested in the activities and consequences of people espousing ideology of false patriotism, dominionism, fundamentalism and other -isms, I thought I’d play with the principles a bit and explore what can be done to counteract the effects.
The framework of a preferred paradigm that I’m using is that of embracing the classic Roman virtues. Don’t remember them? You’re not alone.
While there are many systems and classifications of virtues, I am going to refer solely to the Roman-defined virtues to avoid an overly lengthy and needlessly complicated presentation. However, as far as I have been able to ascertain, any well-defined listing of socioculturally significant virtues is applicable to the following relationship of using virtues as a criteria by which to evaluate leadership attributes.
A caveat for those of you who aren’t familiar with my posts: I am very dyslexic, myopic, and arthritic. I re-read my posts and most often continue to edit them for wrong words, poor grammar and unclear sentences after I post. I appreciate it when readers point out errors, and I do my best to make posts works-in-progress which reflect commenters’ participation and contributions.
There are many scholarly texts which outline characteristics of cults and attributes of members. This isn’t a post to regurgitate or criticize those foundational works. I include them here to distinguish between genuine leadership and subliminal and detrimental group influence which morphs into group-speak, propaganda, social behavior norms and voter behavior.
Essentially, the things that most people look to cults to fill are factors of socialization:
- Clear rules of membership
- Delineation of US and OTHERS
- Reward system for compliance
- Punishment and threat of shunning/ostracism for noncompliance
- Clear normative values
This post originally was going to compare the attributes of cults with today’s two major political parties in how they court voters, but I’m now going to hijack my own essay and speak to leadership values. Keep the attributes of cults handy in looking at attributes NOT to reward, enable or use in selecting political candidates.