Psychological games that people play : 7. The Loyalist


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For my first post on this series, please click here.

As opposed to the Rebels who constantly seek  to overthrow establishments, the Loyalist is someone who believes very deeply and strongly in pledging allegiance to an organisation or the nation state. Their passion for serving a master or an organisation delves deeper than loyalty itself. It almost seems as if the very reason that they are living is because of the very people whom they serve.

“Unlike the Rebels, the Loyalists have no issues with authority or established rules. In fact, they relish the very fact that they have a a father figure to look up to, or a mother figure to protect. Films of bravado and patriotism flame their passion and strengthen their belief that the very purpose of their lives is to protect and to serve – something that the Rebels will probably not understand.”

There are many such literary figures in history. In Chinese culture, there is Yue Fei  (岳飞) (a famous Chinese general who defended his country against foreign invades and who, ironically, died in the hands of traitor Qin Hui) and the Yang Family (杨家将) (whose entire family, including females, served the country’s military for generations, with some family members killed in the line of duty), who willingly risked and ,at times, sacrificed their lives for their patriotic beliefs.

Much can be said for patriotic figures in western cultures too.  Consider William Wallace, who was popularised in the movie “Braveheart“, who led the war during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1286 – 1328). Then there is Sir Lancelot du Lac, one of the most courageous and loyal knights serving under King Arthur.

The above examples prove that individuals take on such roles regardless of their cultures.  The inclination to be grateful breeds loyalty and this tendency to serve is imbued in Loyalists more than others. Hence, the Loyalists , in their lifetime, often position themselves as advisors to a leader, although sometimes they will bear the responsibility of the leadership themselves when the situations call for it.

“The Loyalists are often highly valued in corporate organisations since they offer unwavering loyalty to the organisations they work, and are not as easily tempted by higher monetary remuneration offered by competitors. This innate ability to value their contributions to the organisations they serve over higher salary packages often makes their steadfastness look almost saintly in the eyes of others. “

When it comes to ads, the unfaltering faith of a soldier saluting the national flag, images of soldiers conversing with the natives that the former protects, policemen who keep the streets safe, samurais bowing down to their shoguns and national flags swaying to the winds all evoke feelings of loyalty, an attribute which the Loyalists take well to.


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Alter ego of the Loyalist:

The Blind Devotee

When this role is played to the extreme, the Loyalists turn into the Blind Devotees, where their unflagging and unflinching support for their cause turns them against everyone and/or anything that is perceived as a threat to the people and the cause they defend.

Now, the end justifies any means that they need to use to secure their objectives.

“The blind devotees have forgotten the initial reason  for pledging their loyalty, persisting with an adamantly fierce loyalty that simply refuses to switch course, even when the original rationale for being loyal is no longer there (such as the case when the initial ruler is removed and a tyrannical dictator has taken over).  An overemphasis on the significance of loyalty has made them blind to the adverse changes occurring around them. Even when their lords are pillaging the nearby villages and looting valuables from peasants, blind devotees remain oblivious to the fact and devote their time to protecting the stability of the existing regime.”

Their obsessive strive for the integrity of what they fight for are almost cult-like, working single-minded to defend against anyone or anything that they consider as adversaries and opponents.

What is interesting about both the Loyalists and the Blind Devotees is that power is never their original motive for their actions, and probably never will be. Instead, what drives them, besides their undying loyalty, is their belief in hope, in the hope that through their struggles, justice (as defined by them) will prevail eventually and everything will be all right again.

“The role of the Loyalist is a popular role that – even if not taken on by someone – serves as a constant reminder to all of us that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and that with continuous determination and faith, one can prevail against all odds. However, it is very important that Loyalists temper their unwavering faith with a dose of rationality, and not be entirely swayed by emotions – else they will – more often than not – inadvertently inflict more harm than good on the masses.”

In our next post, we will explore a role that is more in touch with our five physical senses and takes it to such an artistic level that they become often exemplifies charisma.

We will look at the Lover.


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