Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek

 F - Follower

Follower: Practical believer in or supporter of some leader, religion, faith, creed, ideology, or group.

By and large most men are followers because most men are totalitarian ideological apes: Intelligent enough to need some sort of worldview to orient themselves and make choices; not intelligent enough to reason out their own; and emotionally, instinctually, and socially much disposed and pressurized to follow and trust and believe in leaders, and to engage in wishful thinking and groupthinking. (Our Group Good; Their Group Bad.)

It should also be noted that in 'civilized western societies' most men, especially those with a university degree, will in ordinary circumstances disdainfully reject the thesis that most men are followers - until there is some social crisis, war, or catastrophy, and one can see the 'independent individuals' of yore cry loudly for Leadership, Uniformity, Unity etc.

Besides, one sees the nature and large majority of natural born followers in such groups as political parties, religions, sports fans, health food fanatics etc.: For the vast majority of men there seems to be an instinctual basis for their strong liking or need to follow leaders and be a conformist member of some group.


See also: Dissident, Ideology, Faith, Fanatic, Religion, Terrorism


Aron, Goffman, Orwell, Talmon, Revel, Thieme

 Original: Dec 6, 2004                                                Last edited: 12 September 2005.   Top