I wanted to add another few points, Svetlana Voreskova, in hopes that our hosts’ illegible…
Ron Collins
42

Yes: One of the most useful terms you invented during your Shakespearian phase was “movement illness.” I have used it so many times now myself because it is so apt.

I think party members; (and when I say party members I mean the functionaries of any doctrine or idealogical driven initiative) go through several stages as they rise through the ranks. First they are the young Bolsheviks on the barricades who are angry and sometimes even have a real reason to be angry. The system is corrupt and they want to change it. Of course it is not nearly as corrupt as they think it is but they have already been mesmerised by inspirational leaders who were them twenty years previously. Then they become functionaries of the new regime which is even more corrupt than the old one. They can rationalise all the wrong doing of their own party by reminding themselves that the last one was even worse and you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs and anyway, those people being lined up in from of firing squads are anti-revolutionaries. It is either us or them.

Finally they get comfortable. They are rising within the party and the party is now the whole of their world. They are beginning to realise that it is all nonsense and that the party doesn't represent anyone except itself; but now they have a nice house and a good career all because of the party and they are not about to lose all that. So now they have to work hard to rationalise it all by trying to find reasons to convince themselves that it all makes sense.

Finally they become a member of the inner circle. By now they are absolutely sure that it was all bullshit all along. They cannot even convince themselves any more, but its good to be the king and that is all they care about now.

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