The Value of Rituals
New York Times
You've probably heard that the presidential candidates have been crossing the country arguing about Iraq and taxes, but, as usual, the press has ignored the true anthropological significance of their journeys.
"Ritual is absolutely central to modern politics," Professor David Kertzer, an anthropologist at Brown University, said. "The press wrings their hands at what they call the lack of substance at conventions, and some people think of political rallies as being outmoded or even dangerous, but rituals like these are essential for creating solidarity and allegiance to a leader." >>continue