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The Origin of ‘Cult of Personality’

August 20, 2011

If one is to advocate free market capitalism, one must understand not only the basic foundations of this political and economic system (e.g., individual rights, rule of law, limited government, and economic freedom), but also the difference in strategies, style and mentality between the pro-capitalist camp and the pro-socialist mob.

Who were the true, genuine advocates of free market capitalism and how did they promote and spread their advocacy and ideas? The champions of this political ideology and system were Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F. Hayek, and Adam Smith. In promoting the ideology of capitalism and the virtue and value of freedom and individual rights, these advocates of free market system spent most of their lives studying and understanding not merely the basic principles of capitalism, but most primarily the nature of man in relation to existence or reality. All of them understood that capitalism is a vital, fundamental condition of man’s existence on earth. Just as man needs “rights” and “freedoms” in order to exist and live as a dignified, free human being on earth, so he needs a political entity called “government”, the only proper role of which is to protect his rights and to guarantee economic freedom and free trade.

All of them focused on the basic issues concerning man’s survival on earth. Capitalism is just a political and economic tool for man’s proper and dignified existence. They understood that property rights, economic freedom, intellectual property rights, and the protection by the government of trade and contracts are the fundamental institutions of capitalism and the pillars of a free and prosperous society. But how did Ayn Rand, Mises, Hazlitt, and Smith promoted their pro-capitalist, pro-freedom ideas? Unlike the socialist and communist intellectuals in the past century, these true defenders of capitalism never relied on and used iconography, heavy political slogans and acronyms, hymns, among others to promote their advocacy.

Now, how do we distinguish between a true political philosophy (e.g., capitalism) and a political platform (programs of a ‘potential’ political party or pressure group)? I offer the following as guidelines:

1. The use of iconography. No advocates of free market capitalism (e.g. Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, etc.) ever used or endorsed the use of a specific political icon or logo. Any alleged political advocacy/philosophy represented by a logo or an icon is, in reality and in fact, a political platform or a political pressure group.

2. The use of acronyms. No advocates of capitalism ever used or employed acronyms to describe their political ideas. Political acronyms (e.g., BAYAN, AKBAYAN, BAYAN MUNA,  CoRRECT™, etc.) are usually used by political parties, organizations and advocacy and pressure groups that tend to influence the government and the people.

3. The use of political slogans. No advocates of capitalism ever used or endorsed the use of political slogans. They simply focused on ideas. Political parties are known for their clever, creative use of political slogans. Some of the most popular political slogans in history are FDR’s The New Deal, Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward, Ferdinan Marcos’s The New Society, and Barack Obama’s Yes We Can, among others.

4. The use of political hymns. No advocates of capitalism ever used or endorsed the use of political hymns. Only political parties, political groups, pressure groups, and political regimes are known for their creative, excessive use of political hymns as part of their indoctrination agenda. The communists are also known for using political hymns and songs.

5. An alleged, disguised political philosophy/advocacy is, in reality and in fact, a political platform if it merely promotes superficial reforms and ideas. True advocates of capitalism (e.g. Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, etc.) primarily focused on the basics and the foundation of the system. For instance, Ayn Rand focused on the morality of capitalism, the nature of government, the proper concept of rights; Mises focused on the economic foundation of capitalism; while Smith focused on the system’s political and economic concepts. Thus, you may know that an alleged, disguised pro-capitalist advocacy is indeed a political platform if merely targets superficial issues like economic liberalization, change in the form of government, removal of protectionist policies, etc.

Now take for example the curious case of an  infinitesimal political farcical advocacy group in the Philippines called the CoRRECT™ movement that is being pushed by a pseudo-intellectual. Take a closer look at the movement’s logo below. Apart from beaming the iconic “star” of the Philippine flag and the dominant check mark, the logo is visibly concertized by one particular domineering letter: the Letter “O”. I believe this is not merely incidental. What is very much obvious is that this logo was deliberately designed to emphasize and advertise not merely the alleged advocacy of this new political movement, but also the man behind the movement. Indeed, this tells us something about an orchestrated, deliberate attempt to build a “cult of personality” around the empty abyss of the symbolic letter “O”. To make it clearer, let me borrow the statement of Pajama TV host Bill Whittle. I’m going to substitute “O for Obama” with “O for the CoRRECT™’s founder”.

“Now we come to the gold standard. From the pure design standpoint I always find this to be a little infantile, but the fact is, it’s a classic. Plowed fields of green under the sunrise of a new tomorrow all in the shape of the ‘O’. O for the [CoRRECT™’s founder] of course, but also ‘O’ for the One. The circle, complete, and self-contained. Sunrise in prosperity within the circle of life and outside it nothing but barren emptiness.”

Sounds familiar? Of course! This is how a cult of personality begins.

Examples of political hymns:

21 Comments leave one →
  1. terence_18 permalink
    August 20, 2011 3:38

    nice one

  2. barefoot cinderella permalink
    August 21, 2011 3:38

    one of my favorite commentaries from bill whittle

    • August 21, 2011 3:38

      Ditto!

  3. GabbyD permalink
    August 21, 2011 3:38

    ” No advocates of free market capitalism (e.g. Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, etc.) ever used or endorsed the use of a specific political icon or logo. ”

    but were they against branding in general? as a concept? as an idea?

    • August 21, 2011 3:38

      They are against “branding in general.” That’s why they didn’t INVOLVE themselves in their ideas. A true political philosopher does not have any political or personal agenda other than spread his/her ideas. The brand itself is capitalism. It is a self-contained concept and idea. So they clearly understood that it’s the idea itself that must be promoted. Thus, the idea (e.g., capitalism, freedom, individual rights) is defeated once it is contaminated by the propagator’s personal biases through the use of icons, logos, acronyms, hymns, etc.

      • GabbyD permalink
        August 21, 2011 3:38

        interesting. how do we know this? is there a document out there that that confirms that?

        seems that mises understood the point of branding, here:
        http://mises.org/daily/3558

        which suggests he may NOT be against branding per se.

      • August 21, 2011 3:38

        “interesting. how do we know this? is there a document out there that that confirms that?”

        — The works of the true, genuine advocate of free market capitalism confirm my statement. Just read and understand their works.

        Or, name at least one political philosopher or well-known advocate of free market capitalism that described this political and economic system through slogans, logos, icons, hymns and the like. Name at least one.

        “seems that mises understood the point of branding, here: http://mises.org/daily/3558

        LOL! GabbyD, did you read and understand that link? It’s about PRODUCT BRANDS, consumer demands, and economics. It seems that you simply hit google using the following search terms: branding, Ludwig von Mises, Capitalism, economics, etc.

        Here are a few excepts of what Mises wrote about BRAND or BRANDING, which you deliberately took out of context:

        “The public does not heedlessly patronize every shop. If possible, a man prefers a store or a BRAND with which he himself or trustworthy friends have had good experience in the past.”

        “There are some instances in which customers are prepared to pay a higher price for a special BRAND of a compound although the BRANDED article does not differ in its physical and chemical structure from another cheaper product.”

        “One does not make a man happier by preventing him from discriminating between a BRAND of cigarettes or canned food he prefers and another BRAND he likes less.”

        Of course, Mises “understood the point of branding”. That article you linked is the best PROOF. Please read it because it seems you didn’t even bother to read it.

        The question is: Did he ever BRAND his pro-capitalist and pro-freedom advocacy using icons, logos, acronyms, hymns, etc. NO!

        Do further research, GabbyD.

      • GabbyD permalink
        August 21, 2011 3:38

        “Did he ever BRAND his pro-capitalist and pro-freedom advocacy using icons, logos, acronyms, hymns, etc. NO!”

        i dont know if he did. but did he ever say that it was a bad thing? explicitly?

        another way is this: if its OK to brand a product, why NOT an IDEA?

        if its good to brand a product, as mises said, why not an idea?

      • August 21, 2011 3:38

        “another way is this: if its OK to brand a product, why NOT an IDEA?”

        Did you not read what I said? I said: “The brand itself is capitalism. It is a self-contained concept and idea. So they clearly understood that it’s the idea itself that must be promoted. Thus, the idea (e.g., capitalism, freedom, individual rights) is defeated once it is contaminated by the propagator’s personal biases through the use of icons, logos, acronyms, hymns, etc.”

        Branding is necessary in a capitalist economy. That’s the gist of Mises’ article. It is necessary to aid consumers in their decisions. How would you distinguish a superior, quality product from an inferior one? Apart from that, it supports the intellectual property rights (e.g., patent, copyright, trademark, logo, etc.) of companies and businesses. That’s the purpose of branding. Do you now understand?

        Are there other brands of capitalism that you insist that it must be “BRANDED”? LOGIC, GabbyD.

      • GabbyD permalink
        August 21, 2011 3:38

        for the purposes of this discussion, we agree on the benefits of branding.

        “Are there other brands of capitalism that you insist that it must be “BRANDED”? LOGIC, GabbyD.”

        capitalism doesnt compete with itself, but with other ideas. other ways to organize society. wont it help, using the same logic as products, to brand the ideas in capitalism, to compete against alternative ways to organize society?

        the fact that you have to “sell” free market ideas, tells us that you need to “market’ it, in a similar sense of marketing a product.
        __________
        finally: “Thus, the idea (e.g., capitalism, freedom, individual rights) is defeated once it is contaminated by the propagator’s personal biases through the use of icons, logos, acronyms, hymns, etc”

        why use the words contaminated?icons, logos, etc.. arent they just reflections of the brand, the “brand of capitalism”, as you say?

      • GabbyD permalink
        August 21, 2011 3:38

        but at least its clear that they are NOT against branding in general. as mises said.

        but whas is NOT clear is your argument that they would decry branding ideas.

        look at that first video — he wasnt against branding per se. what he is against, is personal branding. branding leaders, individuals. (i.e. obama should be branded as president, using the president’s seal, etc)

        now, is this your view?

      • August 21, 2011 3:38

        It seems that you don’t understand what you’re talking about. There’s no use arguing with you on this matter. Know the proper concepts of brand, capitalism, propaganda, and cult of personality. Understand why the concept of capitalism is opposed to the cult of personality. Know why only statists, fascists, socialists, or potential dictators seek to establish cult of personality.

        Here are the reasons why capitalism must not have any kind of brand or be motivated by the cult of personality:

        1. Capitalism is for LIMITED (NOT intrusive) government;

        2. Capitalism is all about distrust of BIG government or statism;

        3. Capitalism is all about separation of state and economy;

        4. Capitalism is all about objective rule of law, NOT rule of men.

        5. Capitalism upholds individual rights, not the might of any potential dictator or gang.

        If you properly understood these basic tenets and principles of free market capitalism, which I DOUBT, you’d understand the message of my blog and why capitalism does not need any kind of “brand.”

        Indeed, arguing with someone who knows VERY LITTLE is futile and never productive.

      • GabbyD permalink
        August 21, 2011 3:38

        so it is the PERSONAL branding that you find bad. not branding per se. or even branding concepts.

        so, in the video above, its OK to have brands for movements, or parties (the democratic party, for example). just not brands for people.

        you also seem to believe that branding/logos for personality can become cults of personality. actually, i’m sympathetic to this.

      • August 21, 2011 3:38

        “so it is the PERSONAL branding that you find bad. not branding per se. or even branding concepts.”

        What do you mean by brand as applied to the concept of capitalism? Kindly illustrate your so mediocre a process process of thought? Kindly give an example?

      • August 21, 2011 3:38

        “so, in the video above, its OK to have brands for movements, or parties (the democratic party, for example). just not brands for people.”

        Are you ignorant or just a plain IDIOT? I’m sorry but your ignorance or idiocy is simply astounding. Did you read my blog?

        I said:

        “Now, how do we distinguish between a true political philosophy (e.g., capitalism) and a political platform (programs of a ‘potential’ political party or pressure group)? I offer the following as guidelines…”

        Since you’re so IGNORANT, political platform of political parties is totally different from capitalism, which is a political and economic ideology. You must have proper understanding of basic concepts and CATEGORIES to get what I’m trying to feed you here…

  4. weh? permalink
    August 21, 2011 3:38

    ASA

  5. August 22, 2011 3:38

    This video really convinced me about the parliamentary system and the rectitude of CoRRECT!!

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