The Wizards of the Violet Flame. A Magical Mystery Tour of Romanian Politics

Doru Pop

Abstract


This study presents the manifestations of irrational practices in recent Romanian politics. Providing a short history of the mystical and the occult in Romanian politics, this research uses as a case study the alleged use of the occult "violet flame" in the presidential campaign of 2009. By showing how public religiousness and the daily mystical practices are changing, the author is describing the transformations of the national political communication under the pressure of the news media, which are becoming more and more pervasive to the occult discourses and the magical thinking. The author describes these transformations as part of the general transformations of the political imaginary inRomania. The Romanian public psyche belongs more and more to the culture of infotainment, a culture based on cultivating superficiality, where mystical and simplistic thinking have replaced the traditional processes of public exchange of reasonable ideas. Thus a main trait of this video-pathology in which the Romanian media is engulfed, is the substitution of the rational discourses with the superficial understanding of the world and supernatural explanations about the universe. One of the conclusions is that the manifestations and functions of the irrational in the Romanian political sphere have become more innocuously connected with a deep mysticism already in place, and are profoundly changing the society as a whole.


Keywords


Political campaign, deliberative democracy, political communication, news media, irrationality in politics, occult practices, mysticism in politics, the violet flame, magic rituals, superstitions, wizardry

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