"4. Puritanical Purging
Social movements tend to turn on themselves in puritanical purging of anyone who falls short of moral perfection, leading to preemptive denunciations of others before one is so denounced. The witch crazes of the 17th century degenerated into such anticipatory condemnations, resulting in a veritable plethora of nonexistent sorceresses being strapped to faggots and torched. The 20th century witnessed Marxist and feminist groups undergoing similar purges as members competed for who was the purist and defenestrated those who fell below the unrealizable standard. On the other side of the political spectrum, Ayn Rand’s objectivist movement took off in a frenzied build up after the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1959, but by the time the philosopher-novelist died in 1982 most of the insider “collective” had been expunged for various sins against the philosophy, from listening to the wrong music to challenging the founder on any point of substance or minutia. Such purification purges are among the worst things that can happen to a social movement."