Absolutized Human Figures and Dogmas as Icon/flags and Flag/Icons

Most of us are not able to live without gluing to absolutized human figures, political dogmas and existential axioms. Without these giants and their immensely exaggerated wisdoms ordinary humans are like bees without pollen, like birds without the sky, or like feet without ground. The world is so large, and we are so small, and our life span is so short. Besides, one third of our life we are children – we are the children of our smallness. When we grow up the psychological legacy of our childhood is still with us as a nucleus of our personalities – it goes along with us into our every venture.

As children of the world and of the grown-ups we need protection and encouragement to keep on living. We are prone to idealize our leaders, teachers, and ancestors and exaggerate their intellectual powers. We take them as an ultimate frame of reference. We feel better – safer, when we think about them as stronger as and wiser than they actually are in reality.

There are two absolutized types of human figures, political dogmas and existential axioms (HFPDEAs) – the ones we worship (and are ready to die for), and those we “use” as a banner to fight our enemies (and are also ready to die for while our grip is on the flags pole). The first we can name as icon/flags, and the second as flag/icons. The difference between icon/flags and flag/icons is a relative one. They are both our Masters. We worship our icon/flags passively with the hope to influence them to protect us. And on the other hand we worship our flag/icons actively using them to intimidate our enemies and assure our victory.

When our HFPDEAs turn to us with their icon/flag aspect we identify with them as a masochist does with a sadist – the master is located on the pole of power over us, while we bow in front of it. The dichotomy between our weakness/blindness and our icon/flag’s power, our dependence and its sovereignty is absolute.

But with HFPDEAs as flag/icon a very important modification takes place. Now the human beings and their “super-human” agencies come to share facets of sadistic position! Humans and flag/icons come to “collaborate” in punishing their mutual enemies (from other countries). Something like relative democratization of power takes place. Now worshippers and their HFPDEAs (in the form of flag/icons) are completely on the same side. We as if got rid of our previously held masochistic position toward our icon/flags by “transferring” it to our enemies. But our enemies in a state of war with us go through the same psychological process of transformation by changing their icon-flags into flag-icons and then deploying them against us. Both sides just by finding an enemy are, as if, gaining in social status in relation to their authorities. The posture toward flag-icons then is based less on masochistic obedience and more on a sadistic collaboration and co-enthusiasm against the enemy.

That’s the main socio-psychological benefit of wars – the presence of enemies automatically “improves” relations between people and their authorities. Of course, the improvement is not real by any means – it is the illusion of the masses. But people feel much better. And it looks that the right to hate and to kill has a therapeutic value. That’s why the periods of wars are the most enthusiastic moments in history. Wars cure our socio-political wounds and heal the scars from the pressures and clashes between the rulers and the ruled. Now it’s our enemies who occupy the bottom place in our society (and we in theirs). This illusory pacification of “class war” while at war with other countries is more important for the mass people than the endless casualties and suffering inflicted by international clashes.

This situation is one more example of the amazing phenomenon of negative collaboration between the decision making elites of the countries at war who on the one hand compete and fight by using soldiers’ bodies as a weapon, and who on the other hand stabilize the position of their rivals over their poor not less than their own position in their country. The smell of the enemy and spill of blood pacify the masses’ resentment against the financial and political elites. That’s how we, the people, are transformed into re-enforcers of existing norms and values and self-sacrificial defenders of the rich decision-makers. The existence of enemy helps the poor psychologically (hating makes them feel stronger) and helps the rich materially (they are free from the resentment of the masses).