RANGER AGAINST WAR: Cult of Personality <

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cult of Personality

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

--Steven Wright

I sell the things you need to be

I’m the smiling face on your t.v.

I’m the cult of personality

I exploit you still you love me

--Cult of Personality
, Living Colour

The basic break between totalitarianism and liberal government is the orientation of the government to the governed. The story of democracy is that We the People matter, and government exists to serve the individual. Totalitarianism is supposed to be the opposite.

In our myth, citizens are unique individuals, not drop-forged identical personalities. We take pride in our rugged individualism, but a survey of the environment says otherwise. We are, in fact, interchangeable and stereotypical. Rappers don't wear Brooks Brothers, and congressmen don't wear their pants around their knees (though a shav may sport a Burberry cap, exercising his maximum ability to infiltrate corporate culture.)

Our educational and religious systems teach conformity and compliance. Bankers, lawyers and tradespeople are all die-stamped and interchangeable. The same is especially true of military personnel. Yet we continue to perpetuate the lie that we are all unique, when the reality is quite the opposite.

Dictators are always considered to be exceptional people, beyond the norm and above the law;
supreme. To Americans, Stalin, or Mao or Il Duce or Der Fuhrer are all considered unpalatable, to be charitable. And yet . . . there has been a recent transference of these ideas onto our perception of our own leaders. Call it an American hagiography of the ruling class.

Americans like to think themselves so classless and free, but
we do have a caste system, and it is economic and political.

If we do not clearly see the delusion of our exceptionality, how can we address world issue objectively?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

you could call us the new "fiefdom", i guess. that's what osama bin laden called it in his open letter to the american people after the 9/11 attacks. i see a lot of high profile ex-ceos running for office these next couple years. we can trust them.

at the very least a great many of us have become indentured servants. got to go. paying off the interest rate on these damn cards is gonna take a while. see you at the brainwash, friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 1:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take the view that we are all potentially exceptional. To experience it all it takes is to open our minds to that possibility.

As to the question you posited, " how can we address world issue objectively?" I would argue that we can't, and we never will. To hold to the belief we can be totally objective on world or it's issues , is in itself experientially impossible. A waste of valuable time and energy that could be used instead to free us from our delusions. Only then can we call ourselves, Free Men.

Totalitarianism,fascism, communism or liberalism for that matter, can never bind or silence a truly free man.


"They keep you doped with religion
and sex and TV,
And you think your so clever,
so classless and free,
But your still fucking peasants,
as far as I can see.
A working class hero is something to be.
A working class hero is something to be.
If you want to be a hero then just follow me"
John Lennon

Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 8:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i think that one of the biggest things that kept the regulars from using us well, is that the individuality, the willingness to buck the chain that was a hallmark of the teams (and something they purposely trained into us), rubbed many commanders the wrong way.

granted, we didn't help things, we were cocky, often arrogant (you can diplomatically talk superiors out of many stupid ass orders without making the superior feel like a stupid ass dumbshit about it). far too often, we strutted around bases full of regulars in our tiger camos and soft hats, with our decidedly nonreg haircuts and appearance and tended to give the impression that the whole war was being fought for our amusement.

but, when i talk to the kids serving now, i really believe that not only have the mindless authoritarians taken over the playground, it also has a clear, and clearly unconstitutional christian (including mormons and catholics in that, sorry baptists) slant to it.

somehow we have decided that the appropriate way to fight jihad is to go on crusade.

it's worrying. it's also disappointing to know that even if i was young and fit enough to serve, there really wouldn't be a comfortable place for me on the teams anymore.

i could fight like a demon, but, now they want demons who don't think for themselves and follow orders blindly.

something has been lost there. maybe it happened when every swinging dick in fatigues got himself a beret too. i don't know much, 'cept i don't like it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 9:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whenever you hear someone whine about the "rules of engagement" for our troops, you're hearing a cry for indiscriminate killing. And the people pushing for a policy of slaughter ostensibly to bring freedom to Iraq (and Iran) are, of course, the pro-war, religionist socialists we know as the neoconservatives. A neoconservative is neither neo or conservative. They are not neo, because central planning has been with us for centuries, and they're not conservative because they have nothing but disdain for freedom and free markets, preferring to turn to the federal government to "solve" problems. I say religionist and not Christian, because while they do pay lip service to some passages in the scripture, they ignore all of the defining themes of Christ's message according to the gospels: love thy neighbor as thyself and turn the other cheek."


Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 10:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

We do indeed have a caste system! And I'd contend that's it's every bit as rigid as that of India.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 10:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger AgainstTheNorm said...


Your post was quite timely. This past week I challenged the individuality and objectiveness of the students in a class that I am attending a major university in a very red state. A conflict resolution class none the less.

I instigated a dialog on a political issue that's national debate is one whose foundation is rooted in religious belief. I then escalated the conflict by throwing in a few buzz words and catch phrases used often in the local media. The professor saw where I was going with this. I then quickly gained everyone's attention and posed several questions. I told them I didn't require any answers. I just wanted them to evaluate the questions. "How many of you are Christian?" How many of you are Christians by choice who have studied other religions and found that Christianity is the most satisfactory religions for your personal self?" "Now, how many of you feel that you may still be objective discussing the issue we were talking about?" I received negative remarks and verbal assaults on my character at that point. So, most of the previously self proclaimed fair and objective personalities went out the window.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 12:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

for one
am an individual
just like everybody else.

perhaps in my blindness
i fail to see
all are individuals just like me.


God, is that a parable or just a subtle joke?

Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 2:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I'm glad you agree with my thinking on the American caste system. Every bit as entrenched as India's, though we like to keep up the equality rhetoric.


I like your little koan.

Just saw "The Art of Lying" and thought it was a brilliant look at the masses, save for its sops to Hollywood (i.e., the trope of getting the "prize" woman.)

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...

@Minstrel Boy,

I think much of what you miss about "the teams" and sorrowfully observe in today's "kids" is the result of the AVF we've lived with the last 30 years.

Everyone in today self-selected in. And like self-selections in academia, neighborhoods, careers and everything else, ducks chose to be with ducks. Hence, the growing strength of the religiously-motivated "kid" in uniform you observe today.

Self-selectors surely don't rock the boat (much) - especially if the end of the path results in comfortable retirement.

Would a draft restore some of the long forgotten citizen soldiery?? I'm not sure. But you betcha that if there were a uniform, inescapable draft, things would be different and the politicians more reticent to throwing away our blood.


Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not as rigid I would say, and it's rather bland culturally speaking. Anyone aware of it can climb up the ladder quite easily with the "right" social skills. that's kind of the sad thing about it (it's all sad to me), you can be all flash and wit, but have no substance or little intellect/creativity, yet move up rather quickly. it helps to be a good liar and be good looking and make the right people laugh ...and a fearless approach towards the art of brown nosing and tit-for-tat is a must!

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes you old boys speak as if we popped out of thin air. we are your children and your children's children. we were created by your influence or lack thereof. there's plenty of blame to go around. if you were bucking the chain back then, i guess you didn't buck it hard enough or were doing it wrong. cuz now things is really fudged up, ya know what i'm saying? oh, that's right, you are the exceptional caste. it's not your fault everyone else is so stupid.

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Anon,nov 23/932,
Whoa , big boy.
This post is not a generational slam but rather a simple analysis of the situation as i see it.
Your response is emotional and visceral and not related to anything that I said.
Hope you get to be a old boy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 8:44:00 AM GMT-5  

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