Commandism and Tailism are boundaries that are on purpose poorly defined. Let’s say you are part of a political movement, or you are working for a company. The leader of the political movement or a leader in your company asks you to do a special task or project. You approach it with enthusiasm and get it done on time and better than expected. Everything should be good. You should be recognized for your extraordinary efforts.
Yet, you are chastised for being too enthusiastic. You did your project too well. The leader feels threatened because he feels that other will look at you as the leader. He puts you in your place by telling you that he appreciates what you did for him but that you showed too much enthusiasm and care in completing the project. As a result, you are no longer asked to work on any significant projects or tasks. This is because you violated the law of Commandism. You were impetuous. You took too much command.
Did you? Here’s the problem, “too much” is never defined. As a result, the leader controls the situation by eliminating or minimizing those who show, in his opinion, too much leadership. He can’t stand your threat to his leadership. As a result, he makes an example of you. In totalitarian regimes you mysteriously disappear. In business you either get fired, demoted or keep your title with less responsibilities. Other people see this and take note. They are not going to be accused of Commandism.
So, let’s say this did not happen to you but to someone you know in the political movement or at work. You are watching this. You tell yourself you will not show too much enthusiasm and ingenuity. After all, Commandism can be fatal. As time goes on the leader trusts you. He asks you to do a project or task.
You immediately remember the example of the person who took too much command. You cordially thank the leader for his trust and giving you the assignment. You go about doing it. You complete it as asked. There is no fanfare. You give a workmanlike performance. But, your quiet leadership and ability to get things accomplished is noticed by others. The leader feels threatened. He accuses you of Tailism. You did not perform with enough zest or enthusiasm. He determines that he can’t have people in his organization who are slackers. He makes an example of you. And, the consequences are the same as with Commandism. In a political movement you can disappear. In the work environment you either get fired, demoted or keep your title with fewer responsibilities. You did not show enough enthusiasm?
Did you? Here’s the problem “too little” is never defined. Once again, as in the Commandism example, the leader controls the situation by eliminating or minimizing those, who show, in his opinion too little desire or outward emotion for doing what the political movement or organization wants. And as before, the leader can’t stand the threat and makes an example of you.
In life, in all areas we can be easily swayed by very visual examples. The consequences of Commandism and Tailism is to atomize people by causing them not to trust others, let alone themselves. Atomization keeps people in fear and from coming together for the common good, which in this case, would be a change in leadership. Once again, the boundary is never clear on what is “too much” or what is “too little.” The boundary is something that is situational and determined at the time by the leader.
And this lack of boundaries creates fear throughout a political movement or organization. And, people cannot be themselves when they are scared.
When it comes to free speech, when Commandism and Tailism become part of a culture’s fabric, free speech no longer exists. The only speech that is allowed is that which is in agreement and supports the leader or ruling class. But what if your speech in support is not passionate enough or seems to lack passion? Then Commandism and Tailism are doing what they do best. They keep us in fear and those whose sole desire is power over us to remain.
The rule of law should be as impartial as possible in a free society. When the law becomes subjective, the rule of men, not law, look behind the curtain of those who are trying to justify controlling free speech. When you do you will find Commandism and Tailism doing their harmful work of keeping people in fear and of atomizing society.