A Carrie Full-Text 
Electonic Library Book

04. Leavening of Identity
by H.B. Paksoy

     1. Each polity will have in its collective memory a sense of its origins.

     2. The origin myth is written down centuries later. During this recording process, the 'contents' may be altered to suit the tastes of the governance strata.

     3. When the decision is made to construct an official identity, one of the first acts will be the resuscitation of the origin myth; generally with modifications.

     4. In some polities, an origin myth is not found despite diligent search. In place of such a myth, a person of the past is created, with no documentation available, to act out the "new" origin myth as if he was a real person.

     5. Sometimes, the purpose of creating a "new" myth is to escape the stigma attached to the term "myth," yet to announce the exalted qualities to be followed.

     6. The message of the origins myth will be presented to the literati and the Thought Employers. In fact, some of the Thought Employers actively participate in the process of creation and management of the new identity.

     7. The message to the literati and the Thought Employers: create works using this model and attributes for the people to follow in their new identity.

     8. The reward for the Thought Employers and literati is the dissemination of their works; hence, fame.

     9. To accomplish the official task, authors and would be writers strive to overcome a number of natural barriers. Oftentimes, they will have to reject the received wisdom and evidence in order to create afresh elements for the identity to be constructed.

     10. Not every attempt at creating a new identity succeeds.

     11. Some efforts at creating an identity fail because the desired official identity is too far removed from the existing base existing elements.

     12. The failure at creating a new identity is assured if the old identity already existed in documentation or arts.

     13. In the endeavor to create a new identity, the constructors will also build or at least encourage a personality cult.

     14. Not every person who eventually becomes a cult in his lifetime has begun to construct his "living deity" status. Frequently, an inner circle (Designer Community) engineers the process with the expectation to benefit by association. Not many living deities have been intellectually mature enough to resist the charms of living beatification. They are commonly referenced as 'dictators' or 'charismatics.'

     15. Initially, when altruistically motivated, the "living deity" leader category may have been started to unify an otherwise contentious and seriously fragmented population around the an admired person or a strongman.

     16. When the motive is not altruistic, the results are invariably disastrous. The inner circle of the nominal cult-personality will exaggerate the need to have such a sect, and will abuse the powers it brings.

     17. Personality cults may be constructed in every conceivable type of polity. They are much more destructive in polities where the general level of education is relatively low. Education level certainly is not defined as a high proportion of the population holding a diploma or diplomas of any kind.

     18. The personality cult constructors will also attempt to have leavening institutions, rites and methods in imitation of natural leavening process of a given culture.

     19. Unlike the natural leavening process, the personality cult agents will, for the duration of the personality cult, escape consequences for their actions.

     20. Natural identity evolves both by individual and external perceptions.

     21. In either case, the evolution of natural identity is directed by the desire to access a larger share of existing wealth.

     22. When the wealth is limited, the method of access will turn inward and become restrictions to access so as to preserve the privileges of those having first call on available resources.

     23. In polities where the state owns the resources and property, the restrictions will take the form of state disallowing a uniform accessibility to the resources by all members of the identity. 24. Members of the governance strata, through established institutions, will allow themselves to have the first call on all resources under the argument that the identity must survive before the component individuals of the identity.

Return to: Identities: How Governed, Who Pays? Index.