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Monday, 2018-03-19, 4:14 PM
Typical Herd President: Barack Obama, the Social Networking President. The FaceBook/MySpace/Bebo politician. Doomed to be as disastrous as Bush.
According to Riesman, most people in the modern world are "other-directed". The greatest influence in their lives is their peer group. They have no core values and follow whatever is in vogue at a particular moment. Their stance could flip from one moment to the next depending on the people around them. As Riesman wrote, "The other-directed person wants to be loved rather than esteemed." They want to relate to others and be in emotional accord with them. They are the typical employees of large corporations - malleable, compliant, docile, easily controlled, willing to perform the humiliating 9-5 routine indefinitely. They are too busy interacting with their peers to worry about bad government, conspiracies, unlawful and unmerited authority. In other words, they are suckers, willing to tolerate any nonsense so long as it doesn't threaten their position in their peer group. They will join popular, trendy protest groups providing their friends are doing the same. Anxiety, rather than guilt, is their main affliction. They are a herd, a flock, moving in whatever random direction the most purposeful of them has chosen to go in at a particular moment. They're highly impressionable and gullible, perfect victims for advertising manipulation and the latest fads. Fundamentally, they are rudderless, have no internal values, are continually buffeted by the winds of fashion. Deep down they are profoundly lonely and in constant need of others to give them a sense of purpose. These people are Riesman's "lonely crowd." They are the perfect members of a consumer society, and have little to offer in the way of creativity, spiritual awareness, or human greatness.
On the Internet, they inhabit FaceBook, MySpace, Bebo. Social Networking sites were made for them.