The "masses must be led", as there are many ways to frame our understandings and commitments in the world. Those that do not know this, but 'bite' on one way of thinking, or are not critical about their own "bias", are prone to be manipulated. Many have opposed such manipulation by leadership or by informing those that are so naive'. Sometimes advantages are gained because of conventional wisdom and there is no ulterior motive as to power, but other times, there is a desire to have power over the masses, so power can be expanded.
Martin Luther stood against the Catholic Church because the Church was using the teaching and belief of indulgences to gain power over those that didn't have any other recourse, as they couldn't even "worship" with understanding, because they were so dependent on the Magisterium. Church teaching was a way for the Church to maintain social order, but in Luther's eyes scripture was useful for educational purposes. The Church believed that they had a justified right over the masses because "God", had ultimate right over the masses. But, "God" ended up being really, the Magisterium.
The Roman Church also resisted change when it came to scientific discoveries that undermined Aritotle's view of "First Cause" as "God". The view that the Church was the center of the universe (the right interpretor/authority), just as Man/Earth was the center of "God's purposes" was to continue to bias the masses. Science and religion became competitors for man's bias.
Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators led the "masses" down their primrose path because they held the reigns of power over information in the press. Propaganda was useful to propetiate the "right message" so that the Germans would think their purposes were above and higher than other purposes. Propaganda was accepted because there was no other way of thinking or judging about "the outsider". Information/education was only allowed within a certain 'context".And these believe that the State, or the Dictator is to determine man's bias.
Marxist ideology believes that the purposes of economic equality can only be furthered with religion's assent. Religion is the opiate of the people, and it is needed after the revolution that creates and benefits the leaders's vision of equality or morality, at the expense of everyone else. Such is the case with class warfare, as it always ends in bloodshed. Vacumns are filled by dictators that create safety out of the chaos/revolution. These people want to use conventional wisdom to their advantage by "useful language" games. Theirs is an "Economic" bias.
Abraham Lincoln created an environment where the States warred for their right of economic benefit. He filled the vacumn by enlarging the centralized State at the expense of the state's right to succeed. Centralization is a bias toward "Statism".
Individual heroes have always stood up, resisted, or lived without such manipulations. But, it takes courage to face one's own bias, and strength to continue to resist opposing forces that want to manipulate bias toward a "mass understanding" or use "mass understanding" to manipulate and control "outcomes".
Our Founding Fathers knew that divided and separated power was needed to protect against such centralized thinking and being in the world, as power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton). It is collective power that is not challenged that corrupts. Such have been the Nelson Mandelas, the Albert Einsteins, the Martin Luthers, the Martin Luther King, Jr.s, the Anne Franks, the Ayn Rands, the Alexander Solzhenitsyns these have discovered, resisted, stood up for, and made a difference against "collective thinking".
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