Who wants to be a dictator
We have all seen real life dictators in our very own lifetime – Pol Pot, Muammar Qaddafi, Robert Mugabe, Mao Tse Tung, Marcos, etc., and we all know what they did to their countries. Many put themselves on the throne by usurpation in which case there is little the individual can do. But consider this, for those that arrived via the ballot boxes, such as Marcos, what might have been had people known the ones they were supporting would turn out to be monsters. If you, as a voter, seeing and understanding the character flaws, all those red flags, would you have at least hesitated and re-considered carefully?
I am no psychotherapist, but let me pretend to be a neuro-scientist for just a while and show why character traits of dictators have factual basis. Everyone of us has dark and aggressive thoughts now and then. President Jimmy Carter once said ‘We all commit mental rapes”. But we have something called “conscience” which is our inner voice telling us what is right and what is wrong. Our brain circuitry is such that there is a place that generates all these aggressive impulses or animal instincts in us, which interact, or are processed, in another part of the brain, where moral and ethical impulses reside. It’s here that the saints and the devil in us battle it out. Most of us are are wired properly, so we turn out all right.
Let’s scan the brain
The extended amygdala is the culprit. That is the critical node in our brain with all our animal instincts. Thankfully, only a very small percentage of people have this node producing very strong aggressive impulses. These are the psychopaths of the world, and in this pool swims the would-be murderers. The most talented go on to become dictators.
The orbital cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex are where moral and ethical considerations are processed. If the brain activity here is high, the aggressive impulses of the amygdala are inhibited. If brain activity here is low, due to impairment, birth defect, injury etc., the amygdala takes over the behavior of the person.
Science tells us a person with high activity in amygdala and low activity in the three frontal cortex regions are predisposed to certain aggressive traits. All psychopaths are wired like this, but not all people wired like this are psychopaths. What is it that turns people with psychopathic traits into cold-blooded killers? Could it be genetics, social circumstances, power-hungry lusts, etc? It’s a big unknown. Many of these people are in business boardrooms or other institutions, organizations or offices. These are the “little dictators” that most of us have experienced one time or another.
Personality traits of Dictators
James Fallow (of “Philippines – a damaged culture” fame) made a lengthy study of dictators past and present and he summarized their character traits as follows :
|Psychopath personality disorder:
Glib and charming
|Anti-social personality disorder:
Unusual need for stimulation
Now do a little mental exercise.
- Think of a “little dictator” you are familiar with and score him.
- Think of some dictators you know of and do the same scoring.
Science don’t lie.
Question is, would you place any 2016 presidentiables here?
I’ll elaborate on some of the traits.
Lack of remorse or guilt / Emotionally shallow / Lack of empathy, callousness
These are more or less related. The person has very low empathy for others. He does not easily connect on a person-to-person level. But somehow, he views people on a wider collective, such as his townfolks, his province mates or his nationals. All murderers have these traits. Their lack of emotion also shows on their palm lines – the heart line is weak. Jihadi John and others like him displayed absolute calm and no emotion when they cut off the heads of the unlucky infidels. Pol Pot had no qualms ordering the execution of millions of Cambodian intellectuals in the ‘Killing Fields’. Anyone with guts and emotion would find it difficult to perform these evil tasks.
Duterte : “If you’re afraid of dying or killing, then just don’t run for president”. We need to distinguish the lack of guts and the lack of emotion. We especially need to be careful of those with lots of guts but lacking emotion.
Poor early behavioral control
This is an early tell-all sign. Those who turn dark almost always have some childhood trauma, like loss of biological parents, suffered sexual abuse, etc. Whilst I truly empathize and do not wish to trivialize the matter, one of the presidentiables actually had this sort of experience. Are there other tales of childhood days of 2016 presidentiables out there? Here’s one:
One should appreciate the usual brashness of youth and acts of bravado. But it’s something else when someone displays abandonment of responsibilities, given the level of seriousness about ‘Duterte Harry’s situation.
Hypersexuality / Sexually deviant / Sadistic / Insatiable appetites
Genghis Khan tops everyone on this. An international group of geneticists studying Y-chromosomes in 2003 found that about 8% of people living in the regions covered by the old Mongolian Empire have DNA genes that can be traced to him. That’s about 16 million offspring today.
Mao was the Red God in public, but a terrible sexual pervert in private. Care to read about this as told by his personal doctor of many years :
Boring Mar has only one wife (like most of us) whom he still loves after all these years. Binay has a mistress, Duterte boasts of his fairer companions.
Malignant narcissism – believes in own lies
This is the trait most lay observers relate to evil. These people have a sense that they are larger-than-life types of characters and are self-centered on their own power and capabilities. Their egos need constant admiration. Their behavior is often arrogant and haughty. The danger of this character trait in a leader is that he will not have anyone around him who does not sucker up to him.
Davao City has the lowest crime rate in the country. Real police statistics showed this to be a fallacy. Yet, a lie peddled as a truth is now believed to be true.
Glib and charming / Charisma
They are all charming in their own way to their receptive crowds. Their speeches need not be beautiful prose, in fact, they may be lacking of substance, but speakers just have a way of endearing themselves to the crowds. Some will even resort to vulgarities. But they have magnetic qualities about them. There was nothing intellectual in Hitler’s speeches, or Hugo Chavez’s. Marcos is the exception. He was actually a good orator.
This is the real give-away. Many dictators move in this direction. They end up selling a grand new society vision. Pol Pot slaughtered millions of educated Cambodians to return to an ancient agrarian society; Mao caused tens of millions to perish either in the hands of Red Guards or from famine in the Cultural Revolution; Hitler wanted to create a great Aryan Race so he took eugenics to real evil levels, killing off those who would contaminate the strong Germanic gene; our very own Marcos, too, talked of a New Society.
There is talk of Federalism in Election 2016. Granted that this is a political structure but, in a way, it does relate to the idea of a new social order of things. Proposed by some professorial, intellectual or specially assembled committees, it’s obviously a harmless expression of people searching for alternative means of government. Coming from power hungry individuals, it takes on a very different tone.
This article is not an attempt at analyzing personality traits. That is a complex area best dealt with by the experts. There are other issues that are hardly touched on, such as genetics and the social context. It’s simply a listing of personality trait commonalities found in dictators that you can use to score your candidates.
Not all disorders are negative
In the words of James Fallow : “We often think about dictators in terms of good vs. evil. However, the highly trained soldiers that are sent out to eliminate dictators may have many of the same qualities as their targets. I have worked with defense agencies in the fields of cognition and extreme small group warfare to discuss how to determine the right types of people that have the icy, aggressive qualities combined with the warmth and morality that together make a good soldier who acts optimally depending on the context of the situation, for example being in a surprise firefight vs. dealing with the local civilian population. Previous gang leaders from L.A. have done particularly well on one such desirable trait: they seem to have an intuitive sense of danger and are rarely caught by surprise, and as such are gifted survivors. In the end, what makes the difference between these soldiers and dictators, psychopaths, and killers is the balance between their emotions, drives, instincts, and moral compass in a contextually appropriate manner.”
Hare Psychopathy Checklist
This is a popular tool used by psychotherapists to gauge the personality disorder of patients. The professionals use this to score the following:
- Psychopathy / Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
Lets have some fun. Click on the link below and do the following:
- Test score yourself and see if you are a psychopath.
- Test score each of the 2016 candidates based on your best knowledge of the subjects.
The Way of the Devil
Dictator is a devilish topic so it may be appropriate that I throw in this final tickler.
In my previous article Part 1 of Marcos Revisionism, I alluded to the Dark One behind all insidious work going on all around us in conditioning minds to accept white-washed versions of history. The Devil gets into our minds through his representatives and works on us till the day he collects our souls. His success rate is fantastic because he is absolutely one smart *******.
What is it that drives people to clamor for a savior, a punisher, someone who looks like a strong man, to the extent that the weaknesses, moral scars, and potential dangers of such a man in high office, become insignificant and overlooked or accepted as lesser sin? It is FEAR and IGNORANCE. Filipinos feel the hopelessness of their situation – criminality, poor employment prospects, corrupt and inept administration and leadership, poor living conditions etc? It is still a damning living environment in the eyes of the massa despite economic improvements. The fear is deep that nothing’s gonna change for them. The Devil understands mortal thinking exceptionally well. The best cards up his sleeve are FEAR and IGNORANCE and so he drills that deep into our minds and corrals us into the hands of potential danger. He understands very well the general populace is impatient with slow progress, that they can’t see good work by well-intentioned men who chip away slowly at layers of bad governance, that they want to trade slow and study progress for a strong man who, at the snap of his fingers, will make the country change for the better.
I will share with you the methods of the Devil and how you can have salvation. I’m doing this for two reasons:
- This knowledge is absolutely worthy of acquiring. How I wish that I had mentors in my younger years who had guided me to this. You will understand the meaning of living the life of a ‘drifter’ and ‘definiteness’. You will also understand how and why you must think for yourself (as in critical thinking). Understanding and practice what you learn here will lead you to the path of success and happiness in your life. Learn why the Devil cannot get control of the minds of 2% of the human race and who these people are.
- In the context of this article, it will help you to sieve through all sorts of black propaganda, lies, half-truths, lesser important issues and priority issues. You will understand yourself better and be able to analyse candidates in a better light, no matter who you are supporting at this moment, or have not made up your mind, or couldn’t care less because you think your vote is an exercise in futility. With great knowledge gained, you may happily confirm your support, or you made decide to switch candidate, or you may realize that you do have a responsibility to cast your vote after all. In short, it will make you a better person.
Watch OUTWITTING THE DEVIL by Napoleon Hill. You probably know Hill was a great writer of motivational books.
Hill cornered the Devil to an exclusive interview where he must answer the writer’s questions truthfully. You will be spellbound by the Devil’s revelation of his secret methods and marvel at the simplicity and the intelligence. As you learn his ways, and so you learn to get out of his claws. It is lengthy, but trust me, it is worthwhile INVESTING your time.
This is one of the most powerful motivational materials out there and it’s free. Do refer this to your loved ones.
Do not switch off your lights. The Devil sounds real scary.
I would like to wish our gracious host Joe and his family, and everybody at this Society
MERRY X’MAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
And when you toast and ‘Auld Lang Syne’ away do you happen to know this was penned by Robert Burns. So it’s very apt that from our great bard my present to all of you is this :
“Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as others see us”