An English In Kentucky


















Friday December 8th 2017Tim Candler9


      The term "Cult of Personality" was used in a political context by Khrushchev in a speech he made bravely criticizing blind devotion to Stalin. And it's also the case that sometime in the late 19th Century the term was used by Marx to describe his aversion to the idea of assigning anything like popularity to the individual rather than to the usefulness or accuracy of the individual's idea. There's a suggestion Marx was here influenced by an earlier use of the term which referred to a more romantic "Cult of Genius" where it was the person, the Genius, who was worshipped as in someway extra special. If you go back to Pythagoras, his personal cult concluded that their leader could be in two different places at the very same time and they could prove it apparently, which several thousand years later was an interesting quantum quandary for Heisenberg's understanding of atoms. The point being that it's not the person, it's the person's idea that should be given solid consideration and/or reverence, otherwise you just have a bunch of yes-men, automatons who take their breakfast without ever having to think or question. In my own warped manner I think of the "Cult of Personality" in terms of the word "Savior." And it's this in my view that informs a more useful understanding of relationships between blind faith and reason, and can give me a sense of why it is that the current Vice President seems to believe that once long ago at a Christian Woodstock he shared the pain of crucifixion, became one with the cross and rather than devote his life to something like the peculiar consequences of hallucinogens he chose to accept the existence of a personal God, and was called by destiny to became born anew.



     "Eh!" I hear the call. Well the answer is a simple. George Washington, while president had a bad case of the influenza and those around him thought he was going to die. Trouble was there was nothing in the US Constitution that would resolve the issue of what to do when a line of succession was waiting around for a very unwell president to journey into the next world. Madison during the war of 1812 created a similar problem when he started suffering from high fevers and delirium, not something a democracy really looks for in a Commander in Chief during wartime. Franklin Roosevelt who was pretty much at death's door throughout his third and fourth terms as president, really did get people thinking. With Roosevelt the line of succession was to the Vice President and many thought Roosevelt's second Vice President was obviously a wishy-washy communist, which is one of the reasons Truman became Roosevelt's third vice president just in time for Roosevelt's last breath.  In the end and what with one thing and another, the line of succession has moved around with the political conveniences of changing fortunes. Sometimes if the president became unwell or croaks the Leader of the House was President in waiting, sometimes it was a Cabinet Secretary, and sometimes it was the Vice President. Currently if the President becomes unfit, the Vice President becomes top man, and if the Vice President happens to experience The Rapture then it's down to our current Leader of the House, an objectivist who shares the Randian view that poor people and victims are stupid, sinful and undeserving, it's a form of eugenics that's very fashionable amongst the upper echelons. The moral high ground, I guess..


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