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Friday, 6 September 2019

Why do we follow leaders?

My blog of Tuesday raised the obvious question: Why do we follow leaders? My first thought was Money, which is in the Power domain of the 7 Beliefs systems. Knowledge and Love are two other reasons for following leaders. These three define my concept of trialism.

In a recent blog, I realised that Love, Knowledge and Power are the 3 roads to Wisdom (my blogs on Wisdom).

Hence, we believe (sic!) that it's wise to follow a leader because that person is knowledgeable, powerful, and/or we idolize (love) that person.

That perception - rather than fact - of being knowledgeable and/or powerful is, however, often enough to idolize (love) a person (eg, Donald Trump).

This (mis)perception may separate us from other living species (eg, animals, plants, trees).

There is another way of looking at this. Our perception stems from our conscious, rational thinking. However, our subconscious usually "knows" if and/or when our perception is wrong. Please see my blogs on human instinct, survival instinctintuition, and subconscious. Hence, our conscious is the one making flawed decisions.

A recent Vox article ("the myth of rational thinking") argues the same, while discussing the new book, Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason, by Justin E.H. Smith, a philosopher at the University of Paris:
Vox-2019: "Humans, [Justin E.H. Smith] says, are hardly rational, and in fact, irrationality has defined much of human life and history. And the point is not merely academic. “The desire to impose rationality, to make people or society more rational,” he writes, “mutates ... into spectacular outbursts of irrationality.”

In other words, our rational quest for Wisdom may lead to irrational decisions, like following misguided leaders (Tuesday's blog). That thought is highly confusing as it would imply that the quest for Wisdom is futile. Why look for something that our subconscious already knows?

To a large extent, the above explains my own behaviour: most of the time, I follow my instinct, intuition or feelings a.k.a. my subconscious. It seldom betrays me. Last but not least, it also explains why animals do not follow misguided leaders as most animals lack consciousness. In human speak: animals follow their instinct.

Instinct (1996) by Crowded House

When your turn comes 'round
And the light goes on
And you feel your attraction again
Your instinct can't be wrong

I Idolize You (2008) by Lizz Wright
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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