Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Existentialism: A Link to Look Up?

Random Thoughts: Has academic study of the category "The Charismatic Leader" tended to legitimize such a category in actual political life?

Interestingly, Rudolf Otto identifies the Holy as that which arouses intense dread in the breast of the one who encounters the mystery of the fullness of Being. This same dread also comes upon the one who encounters the total absence of Being, the encounter with nothingness (as in Sartre’s existentialism, or Heidegger’s). The concept of the charismatic leader – the one who possesses some measure of Holiness – who is said to be needed in the time of a crisis of legitimacy, poses a danger through the political thought of political science. When a charismatic leader in a time of grave legitimation crisis calls out for support on the basis of his charisma alone, we are in dangerous times. 

This is something I’ve been musing upon for some time.


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