The Obama cult and self identity

James H. Fetzer and J.R. Dunn
The cultic aspects of Obama worship continue to grow even as the Messiah demonstrates conclusively  that he's not quite ready to walk on water.

The latest example (for which we must thank the Anchoress), and a particularly disturbing one, comes from the Detroit Free Press.

Those wondering what to make of this will find it clearly explained in Eric Hoffer's classic study of the juncture between fanaticism and mass politics, The True Believer:
To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must be stripped of his individual identity and distinctness. He must cease to be George, Hans, Ivan or Tadao -- a human atom with an existence bounded by birth and death. The most drastic way to achieve this end is by the complete assimilation of the     individual into a collective body...

The effacement of individual separateness must be thorough. In every act,          however trivial, the individual must by some ritual associate himself with the congregation, the tribe, the party etcetera...

This is undoubtedly a primitive state of being, and its most perfect examples are found among primitive tribes. Mass movements strive to approximate this primitive perfection, and we are not imagining things when the anti-individualist bias of contemporary mass movements strikes us as a throwback to the primitive.
(p. 60 - 61, "Factors Promoting Self-Sacrifice")

Now , anyone as well-read as Barack Obama cannot possibly be unfamiliar with the work of Eric Hoffer. The problem is, he appears to have taken it as a handbook.
The cultic aspects of Obama worship continue to grow even as the Messiah demonstrates conclusively  that he's not quite ready to walk on water.

The latest example (for which we must thank the Anchoress), and a particularly disturbing one, comes from the Detroit Free Press.

Those wondering what to make of this will find it clearly explained in Eric Hoffer's classic study of the juncture between fanaticism and mass politics, The True Believer:
To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must be stripped of his individual identity and distinctness. He must cease to be George, Hans, Ivan or Tadao -- a human atom with an existence bounded by birth and death. The most drastic way to achieve this end is by the complete assimilation of the     individual into a collective body...

The effacement of individual separateness must be thorough. In every act,          however trivial, the individual must by some ritual associate himself with the congregation, the tribe, the party etcetera...

This is undoubtedly a primitive state of being, and its most perfect examples are found among primitive tribes. Mass movements strive to approximate this primitive perfection, and we are not imagining things when the anti-individualist bias of contemporary mass movements strikes us as a throwback to the primitive.
(p. 60 - 61, "Factors Promoting Self-Sacrifice")

Now , anyone as well-read as Barack Obama cannot possibly be unfamiliar with the work of Eric Hoffer. The problem is, he appears to have taken it as a handbook.