From Assange to Schweitzer, the Cult of Personality Will Fail
Well, tonight I finally watched We Steal Secrets, and despite being exposed to the damage-control attacks from the Wikileaks camp via platforms like Twitter, I found the documentary to be quite credible, and compelling.
One of the big takeaways I got from the film is how destructive the cult of personality can be to worthy causes/ideas/movements, especially when moral righteousness is your main public currency.
Maybe this is just my own biased perceptions, but I seem to remember, in regards to the early reporting of the OWS protests, a palpable desire by the media to find personalities to stand-in for the discontent that was being expressed. Not providing those characters seemed to confuse and upset the establishment media.
Despite all the difficult groundwork a non-hiearchal structure takes to maintain, in hindsight it was a smart move, because to this day it’s the idea of OWS that persists, and not the face of some blond-haired Aussie who relished the fame he finally caught.
When it comes to the cult of personality, I’m concerned supporters of Brian Schweitzer are making a similar mistake as the burned supporters of Julian Assange.
Bob Brigham, for example, cites Schweitzer’s stunt of bussing old people to Canada as evidence of a substantive commitment to a single payer health care system in a post at DownWithTyranny!:
For the last decade, Brian Schweitzer has butted heads with Max Baucus over health care. Schweitzer made a name for himself pioneering the bold campaign tactic of taking busloads of seniors to Canada to get their prescriptions filled cheaper. Baucus on the other hand, is PhRMA’s top guy in the senate. Brian Schweitzer has been one of the country’s leading voices for single payer. Max Baucus took out the Public Option and replaced it with the Individual Mandate. And in this senate primary, Baucus’s hand picked successor is sticking with Baucus while John Bohlinger is changing the dialogue to health care as a right and trumpeting the success of the Schweitzer state health clinics for public workers.
When you tie your rope to the mast of personality, it’s a fickle wind that blows your sails.
The primary battle of Johns is not “a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party” it’s a personal grudge match.
Good luck with that, MT politicos.