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Cult of Personality: not just Erdogan

Reader comment on item: How Turkey Went Bad

Submitted by Alex (United States), Oct 3, 2014 at 16:30

It strikes me that we are living in a strange historical interlude where leaders without practical experience build a cult around their personal rule among the followers of a preexisting ideology. I hate to be offensive, but I would lump Abu Bakr Albaghdadi and President Obama in with Erdogan as representatives of this trend, even if President Obama is not a violent or evil man capable of the atrocities that charaterize totalitarian regimes. The last time the world went through a period where leaders built personality cults, the result was Stalin's purges, the Holocaust, and the conquest by Mao of China and by Kim Il-Sung of North Korea. There have been other leaders with similar styles since the World War Two era, such as Pol Pot and Ayatollah Khomeini, but I just think intuitively that the world is currently experiencing a bizarre period in human history when things previously considered impossible are actually now likely to occur.

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