1Person Nation

One single person can stand for a whole country. At least that’s what mass media have tried to make us believe. Whole countries or even empires have been associated with single personalities. Maybe for simplicity we start with Caesar, Cleopatra and the like. These personalities reach historic status through the literature that has reported on their achievements and fame. Mass media of today copy that strategy to create fame out of images. The American journal “Cineaste” has recently exemplified the making of an idol with the popular actor “Jean Gabin”, who happened to be the representative not only of French cinema, but the image of France across countries and even continents. Identification with an actor or the projected image of a person are common goals in politics as well. The actor Ronald Reagan became elected as president of the USA. Zelensky in Ukraine has followed a similar trajectory. The examples are manifold, but the underlying mechanism remain pretty similar. Before we had the concept of influencers, not influenza, popular spreading of messages is key. Only the technology changed. New ways to prepare a 1person nation have been added over time. Followers are the new political currency. Beware of signs “Follow Me”, even if it is the police asking you to do so. (Image: Deutsche Kinemathek Exhibition 2024)