Fidel, power, allegiance and democracy

What kind of culture defines “maturity” as the time when young men and women sacrifice principle to prudence, when they pledge allegiance to the boss in the name of self-promotion and “realism”? What kind of culture defines adulthood as the moment when the self goes underground? One answer might be a military one. The problem is that while unthinking loyalty to one’s commanding officer may be necessary in war, it is disastrous outside of it. Why? Because loyalty, by definition, qualifies individualism, discouraging the expression of individual opinion, recasting honesty as a type of betrayal. Because loyalty to power, rather than to what one believes to be true or right, is fatally undemocratic, and can lead to the most horrendous abuses.
from http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/06/0082039

I’m thinking of cuba/fidel here and the notion that maintaining a constant state of war reinforces this notion of allegiance to the jefe comandante. It creates cadres who will do almost anything in the name of loyalty. In a war fine, maybe. Out of war a disaster for democracy because that kind of allegiance, that loyalty to power, recasts honesty as betrayal.

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