Language patterns of leaders and loyalists

Language patterns of  leaders and loyalists

Humans are social animals. Within human social groups, we can notice different patterns of action. Human infants will perform a certain range of actions, while older children other patterns of behavior, and then a variety of behavioral specializations can be developed amongst the adult males and adult females.

One relatively complex form of social organization is the empire. The essential requirement of an empire is that there is a contrast between the actions of the leaders and the actions of the followers.

One form of action is communication, including the use of language. In regard to how language can be used in different patterns, should we be surprised to learn that the leaders in an empire use language in ways that are distinct from the ways that the followers use language? For instance, do military officers speak to low-ranking personnel the same way that low-ranking personnel speak to each other?

One typical statement of the masses would be “that should not be like that.” They do not just make such a statement to calmly note a contrast between their preferences and their observations. The masses practice a religion of hysteria. The hysteria is based on a thin, anxious clinging to ideals of how life should be, how people should be, and, in particular, how they perceive themselves to be.

When one of the masses say “that should not be like that,” they may be expressing distress, embarrassment, or even outrage. In contrast, one of the leaders might calmly say “that should not be like that,” and they could simply mean “there is a difference between what I am observing here and what I expected,” as in “that not does not fit my standards.” Or, they may mean “if you do not conform to my standards, there will be no rewards and may even be punishments.”

If the leader has an ideal of how something should be, then they simply notice when that ideal is only partly matched or totally matched (or totally violated). Leaders also may present to the masses many ideals of how various things should be. The specific ideals presented will correspond to the leader’s interests as well as to their perceptions of their audience.

A leader may train the followers to learn an ideal and then present rewards for those who loyally repeat the ideal. Even larger rewards may be offered to those who conform to the ideal. Of course, punishments are also typical for those who do not conform to the behavioral ideal (including behavioral patterns of speaking).
So, after a follower learns an ideal from their leader (and expects rewards and punishment relative to their continued display of loyalty), then there may be some chronic physical tension for the follower in regard to one or more ideals. There may be a lingering trauma or terror.

If the follower is terrified of the possibility that a particular ideal might be inconsistent with reality, a sudden panic can result from an apparent disparity between the worshiped ideal and actual observations. Especially if other people are present to witness a possible disparity, then a variety of unusual behaviors are possible, including fight, flight, and pretense.

The terrified loyalist (loyal to the programmed ideal) may attempt to repel potential skeptics and dominate an interaction, including through methods of distraction. The curiosity of a skeptic, such as a child, may be targeted with animosity and condemnation.

If the loyalist perceives a potential threat, then they may attempt to humiliate those who are curious or skeptical (or even who show inadequate enthusiasm for the worshiped ideal). If they seem unable to intimidate a skeptic, then they may attempt to confuse any witnesses.

If you fail to display loyalty to an ideal that someone worships, what responses are predictable from a loyalist? If you show a type of attentiveness or curiosity that a loyalist interprets as a threat to their self-image, what responses are predictable from the loyalist? If you directly challenge the fragile self-image of a loyalist, what responses are predictable from the loyalist?

Does a leader rescue loyalists from their loyalties? Or, does a leader have respect for loyalty as well as for leadership?

Loyalty is the natural trait of followers. Within a social herd, there will always be some fanatical loyalists, some loyalists who are much more relaxed, and some leaders who are not terrified about whether or not ideals “should” be worshiped.

Some people may sometimes worship certain ideals. Leaders respect that. Leaders also respect that they may have some influence over which ideals are worshiped and how they are worshiped. Leaders are open to leading (to being followed).

To be a leader, it can be useful to have experience as a naive, terrified follower. It can be useful to understand the typical patterns of hysterical loyalist.

Some may react in a panic and shout that “there should not be so much hysteria.” I completely agree. There should be exactly the right amount of hysteria, and certainly no more and no less.


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: