date: 2015 Dec 08
Great piece by David Brooks in the New York Times, summarizing elements of “The True Believer,” by Eric Hoffer, written in 1951.
Brooks concludes that:
The correct response is still the same, however. First, try to heal the social disintegration that is the seedbed of these movements. Second, offer positive inspiring causes to replace the suicidal ones. Third, mass movements are conquered when their charisma is destroyed, when they are defeated militarily and humiliated. Then they can no longer offer hope, inspiration or a plausible way out for the disaffected.