IlluSionS667 wrote:ASMarques wrote:Come to think of it, isn't the study of the history of political ideologies that require total engagement and blind obedience to illuminated leaders, rather than one's education and ability to reason relatively free of emotional interference in other areas, the crucial element to identify the worst kind of poison [*] in politics?...
In ancient times, the nation's intellectual elite came to realize that the masses are incapable of deep complex thought.
True, then as now, and a frequent red (and brown) herring. The point of democracy, in antiquity as in modern times, is not to make the masses capable of deep complex thought, but rather to make the power elite -- I suppose that's what you call the "intellectual elite" -- capable of fear, a most salutary simple feeling people in power tend to forget.
Like a pack of wolves, these people need a hierarchy to guide them. Where a pack of wolves is lead by a single alpha-male and a single alpha-female, human society was divided into many layers.
And yet that didn't mean human government that shouldn't organize society as a pack of wolves, should emulate the rules of an insect colony instead. Now, I wonder why would that be. Can you give me a hint (perhaps by looking in a mirror)?
The priest caste would provide the intellectual elite, the warrior caste would provide the warriors and the labor caste would provide all sorts of goods. The nation was run by the priest caste which shaped and nurtured the nation's Weltanschauung by providing the spiritual and intellectual leaders and the warrior caste which provided both political and military leaders.
Since we are talking of the history of political ideologies, I must say I find your schematic presentation rather doubtful. It's probably inspired by Georges Dumézil, who saw the roots of Indo-European social organization in traits that according to him were common to all Indo-European mythologies and pointed to such a division.
I have my doubts, I don't think it's such a good idea to extrapolate societal data from religious myth. Indeed the opposite seems more justified to me. We could proceed with this interesting subject, but we would be straying from the point I was making, namely that total engagement and blind obedience to illuminated leaders is the worst kind of poison in politics.
Of course, I wasn't trying to suggest a theory of political ideas equally valid for prehistoric and modern times. I was thinking of basically modern political ideas and trying to suggest that the political change brought about by folks like George Mason, Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, none of them in love with power or in awe of the powerful, was much more desirable than the catastrophes brought about by people like Robespierre, Lenin or Hitler.
As long as the Weltanschauung is accepted by the vast majority and people live by their Weltanschauung, society remained stable. Unfortunately in time leaders became powerhungry and corrupt, leading to the downfall of empires, the starvation and exploitation of millions and bloody wars with only losers in the end.
May I assume you meant to write "remains stable", as the rest of the sentence suggests, but felt slightly embarrassed by the universal the intellectual elite schooled in logical thought might be tempted to draw?
Let me put your truism this way: as long as any society accepts and lives by any Weltanschauung, that society, short of natural catastrophe of great proportions, will remain stable.
I'm sure you'll agree that a stable society is not necessarily virtuous or desirable. Even worse, an immobile Weltanschauung would be dreadful. We might as well revert to the pre-insect stages of consciousness. Hence the convenience of an apprehension of the political world that trusts elections and freedom, even in imperfect form, rather than permanent stickers to power through totalitarian means.
Nevertheless, a hierarchy remains necessary to guide the masses. The NS system tried to provide such a hierarchy and most Germans loved it. It may not have been perfect and the national-socialist experiment was in fact far from completed, but the results Hitler actieve in only 6 years definitely deserve a thorough objective investigation.
Isn't it interesting that the many qualities of the good people as a whole, unfortunately incapable of deep thought, are always deposited in humble offering at the feet of the glorious pharaoh in charge?
I mean, good people of German heritage, where was Hitler after 1945?! Oh yeah, sure, maybe Adenauer, Erhard and their likes had some mediunic séances with the great achiever. Well, you decide.
I do understand that it may be hard to give away a part of your individuality for the collective, but the benefits are there. Also, if you manage to prove that you're better and stronger than most people, the leadership of a national-socialist state may actually pick you and make you one of their leaders. After all, the national-socialists state is based on technocratic principles.
Nice touch. Reminds me of "democratic centralism": join the Party and take the lift to happiness. Eventually you will reach the Central Committee and have your own way with the Cheka and the Supreme Soviet with its filiated soviets down the many rungs of the chain of obedience. After all, Stalinist collectivism was based on technocratic principles and he electrified his empire etc.