Re: arguments with the faithful

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Wed 04 Dec 2002 - 18:23:00 GMT

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    On Wednesday, December 4, 2002, at 12:33 PM, Grant Callaghan wrote:

    > Maybe the "faith-based leader" is the strange attractor Sam
    > Rose was looking for to fit into his complexity theory.

    Why does one follow a leader, anyway? Is this a 'strange attraction' on the level of some unexpressible thing like love? What buttons are pushed when we pull down the lever in the voting booth, or even attach a bumper sticker to our cars?

    I used to say all my cultural icons are dead, especially as I saw Fuller and Cage and Asimov and Dick fall to the wayside, and Dali and (Eliot) Carter, and recently Gould, but, regardless of how long that list is, there are still people wandering in and out whose ideas have a hitching post for my star.

    I also am found saying that if I'd been alive and of an age after Pearl Harbor, that I'd be the first guy in line at the recruiting station. But, I don't know, and even if I were and could, would I be following any particular leader, or rather, some idea I had of this country that I felt needed my life to maintain?

    I like to think the idea is what my life is worth, not any man. The cases of extreme fandom and idolatry that I see for celebrities and sports figures and for political leaders have not, in my immediate personal atmosphere, prompted any violent fanaticism, but, such things occur- the most recent, in this country, was a night of vandalism and riot after a college football game.

    Strange attractor indeed.

    The leader who leads from faith works from a warped version of strength, but, it does appear to be an element of societies to need this sort of strength, against the tribes without.

    - Wade

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