A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and, at times god-like public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as “charismatic authority”. A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda. Wikipedia
Culture of the People’s Republic of China before 1981 were highly influenced by the personality cult of Mao Zedong and went to a peak during the Cultural Revolution. Mao was referred as “the great leader Chairman Mao” in public and was entitled as “the great leader, the great supreme commander, the great teacher and the great helmsman” in Cultural Revolution. Badges and books of his quotations were largely produced. Most of people were required to recite the quotation of Mao and printed material at that time usually quote Mao’s words in bold in preface. Loyalty dance was also introduced in Cultural Revolution. Wikipedia
In the French Indochina of the 1940′s children began their school-day with prayers to Marshal Philippe Pétain, opening with the words, “Our father, which art our Leader, glorious be thy name… deliver us from evil” in essence perpetuating the concept of Petain as a savior.
North Korea’s dynamic father-son succession of leadership is widely used as an example of a state mandated cult of personality with its glorification of “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung and his son “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. As in other countries with this perversion, children are taught to sing the praises of the Dear Leader and thank him for all blessings. Once again, a depiction of the country’s autocrat as a savior.
The personality cult around Hitler was of epic proportions. Germans, generally depressed about post-WWI conditions, looked to Hitler for guidance out of their dismal circumstances. Hitler’s rhetoric and symbolic representations furthered this notion of Hitler as a savior. However, these are not the only factors that contributed to the personality cult around Hitler. Further research could include the role of the media and propaganda in fueling the personality cult, as well as other influences. A comprehensive understanding of the personality cult around Hitler could supplement the debate over how seemingly ordinary Germans participated in the implementation of the Final Solution. This theory helps to show how ordinary people became emotionally attached to a charismatic leader like Hitler and, because of this attachment, were willing to embrace his ideas and carry out his plans. Fascist Personality Cults: Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin’s cult of personality became a prominent part of Soviet culture in December 1929, after a lavish celebration for Stalin’s 50th birthday. For the rest of Stalin’s rule, the Soviet press presented Stalin as an all-powerful, all-knowing leader, and Stalin’s name and image became omnipresent. Wikipedia
There was even a hymn of adoration written to Stalin
Thank you, Stalin. Thank you because I am joyful. Thank you because I am well. No matter how old I become, I shall never forget how we received Stalin two days ago. Centuries will pass, and the generations still to come will regard us as the happiest of mortals, as the most fortunate of men, because we lived in the century of centuries, because we were privileged to see Stalin, our inspired leader … Everything belongs to thee, chief of our great country. And when the woman I love presents me with a child the first word it shall utter will be : Stalin …
Now consider the following.
Or who can forget: