Re: What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?
I found my study of this subject so interesting that I am providing my take on what I found out. This is my own personal study, not some borrowed report here.
I find this subject, and your report, to be both interesting and relevant--primarily because I have done a similar examination of this very same 'phenomenon' myself, although I have never formally written it down, I've expounded on it verbally and thought it over in great lengths.
Reading this completely through I think is worth it.
I agree. Thanks for sharing the results of your effort.
I think this subject deserves some attention in light of today's politics.
I certainly agree--and maybe not so much in the interest of politics is it important (although definitely showcased therein) but rather it is crucial for humanity, as a family/society, to understand the monsters that we (yes, all of us, in a sense) create. We find ourselves at an utter loss when faced with such a person--a clear and present danger--a true moral concern for all of us when others are tortured and killed--but what to do?
I truly think understanding and empathy is the first step to healing any wound--and even though these despots caused wounds and pain beyond description, it was their own wounds that led them to inflict the same upon others--albeit in an exponentially heinous degree--the needless damage to one soul is no better than the needless damage to many.
Hussein and Castro were included even though they are probably not be as bad as some others, but I think that they qualify for the list because they are bad guys, and dictators, and they are fresh in our minds as being part of current history.
Is Castro still in power? Have you ever known anyone who emigrated from Cuba to America? And the things they willingly endure just to escape his regime? I'm talking about things like crossing shark-infested waters using only an innertube! Can you imagine such a thing? It must be unspeakably miserable there, from what I understand.
And as far as Hussein--something that doesn't seem to be widely known or perhaps not completely considered--but it is very likely that, at the time he was deposed, he had exterminated at least half of Iraq's population over the time he was in power? Half of all the people of Iraq all the years he was there!--wasn't it something like 20 years?
Both of these men are definitely just as qualified as the others, IMO.
I hope you don't mind if I share my own conclusions--which are based, in detail, upon only Hitler and Hussein, but in general, upon the personality type of what I call the 'despot' type. As far as detail, I mean life history and events leading up to their time of infamy.
1 - Dysfunctional family and troubled childhood that extends into adulthood. This includes troubled spousal relationships and other relationships as adults.
This, I feel, is the root and predominant cause and lead-in to the subsequent reaction/effect cycle that you have examined with your other points of similarity. I really haven't focused on the events of their adulthood, as you have--and your conclusions help to extend my own understandings.
I think there are two things every child needs and which every adult manifests the lack of, if it occurred, in certain traits manifested various ways--from mild to severe, related to the severity of the deprivation.
From the mother it is 'nurturing' and from the father it is 'approval.'
These two things are so fundamental and start at birth--any witholding of either will result in some sort of dysfunction later on. These are things which are subtle, often unseen by others, and become ingrained in one's nature to the extent that they cannot be dealt with 'on the surface.' (as opposed to blatant and active abuse--these are subtle and negligent abuses--but potentially more harmful, perhaps.) But it is the dysfunctional dealing with these things which characterizes the megalomania, insatiable cruelty, and even the facade which hides these things--and which allows them to gain the power they desire as a way to perform unconscious self-therapy. Of course, the therapy is poison, and it leads to more need of more intense forms of therapy--a true vicious cycle incarnated.
The lack of nurturing roots itself in the inability to understand what the nature of love is, and love is not recognized when it is offered by others. Expression of love is more to the tune of needing to control or manipulate others. Truly, I think it actually makes the idea of 'love' something totally foreign and what is called love is actually the manifestations of deep-seated fear and hate; and I totally agree there is much to do with rejection, too, as you point out. Not being nurtured is essentially rejection, and it breeds distrust and insecurity.
As far as paternal approval--when this is not experienced as a child, the adult becomes both insatiable in their efforts for external validation--and it is their need to find approval that might very well lead to the deceiving charisma that many of these men possess (Hitler is one who is noted for his charismatic ways toward the public). The lifelong seeking of other's approval makes them not so much a 'yes' man but an 'every' man--their forceful personality is not compromised by their ability to seem to fill every requirement of the situation at hand--gaining both the trust and admiration of those they seek to reign over. This is something that can't be maintained--and it is not that the facade dims, but rather the fact that in the beginning, the atrocities are hidden; and so this other side is not seen until they are firmly planted in their seat of power.
Your point of perceiving injustice from childhood, I think, is also related to the approval issue, too.
Why didn't they deserve to succeed in their father's eyes? Why didn't he stick around/love them/express pride etc.?
They feel 'they weren't good enough' and so they seek to show that, really, they were--political success and territorial conquest is the ultimate fulfillment available, perhaps. It's not the politics which attract their ambition, but rather the potentially large scale of compensation--the control of many to remedy the helplessness of one.
An important component in this cultural mindset is the condition of the family unit, whereby children grow up in happy, balanced conditions, so that they can grow into being happy adults without some axe to grind, and they are happy to work and bear the fruits of their own labors. Also a belief in God rather than a belief in government is important in keeping a culture away from dictators, at least that has been true for the first 200 years of this country. If too many people in our culture begin to have more axes to grind, then the seeds of some ruthless dictator or government gaining traction becomes a very real danger.
Very good points--your analysis is very well thought out.
My own ideas are given only for your consideration--and they have been added to with your own insights--your approach covers many things I had not even considered.
One final observation. I would assert here that when people vote for a candidate, a look at their "personal" lives, their family relationships, their moral beliefs, is not only good and proper, but it is paramount to making good choices in our leaders.
I agree with this--but (and correct me if need be) weren't most of these men elevated to their offices through circumstances not usually related to any kind of voting process or choice involving the people later affected? I know Hitler snuck in another way--but I don't know too much about the others' rise to power. A dictator only need one vote, though...
It's rather scary to think about--such power over so many ever being solely in the hands of one man.
My interest has always been from the point of view of early family life and the essential, non-negotiable needs that all children must absolutely be freely given in order to grow into a soul that values life and nurtures new life themselves--basically the only real requirement for the establishment and maintainence of a healthy world without war and unnecessary suffering. Some may laugh or scorn at my seemingly idealist fairy-tale dream, there--but I am a realist, not an idealist.
The world is not as it should be, as far as man's relationship with man--and there really isn't any real justification for man's evil--it is not the devil but ourselves that create these things--and we must repair and rectify if we want to keep our world. The world can only be destroyed by hate--and therefore love is all that is necessary to repair. But it must be a higher form of intelligent and non-emotional love--mature spiritual insight and compassion for others.
And only by prevention can we avoid the later burden of judgment that is currently being addressed in the trial of Hussein. While I do not excuse or condone anything so cruel as such a one's behavior--I also must admit that I would not want to be placed in the position of having to judge and sentence. It has become a situation with no possibility of what I would consider a 'positive' or 'just' outcome--and one I truly feel is not within mankind's 'jurisdiction.' It is a crime too big but there is more than just his crime on trial--it is the world's crime, as well.