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After spending his early life suffering under the Nazis and then Stalin, the Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski devoted his career to studying the relationship between psychological disorders and politics. He wanted to understand why psychopaths and narcissists are so strongly attracted to power as well as the processes by which they take over governments and countries.
He eventually came up with the term "pathocracy" to describe governments made up of people with these disorders—and the concept is by no means confined to regimes of the past.
US - Example - Convention - Psychologists - Figures
In the US, for example, despite a convention that psychologists shouldn't unofficially diagnose public figures they haven't examined (known as the "Goldwater Rule" after psychiatrists questioned the mental fitness of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964), many have publicly stated that Donald Trump displays all the signs of narcissistic personality disorder.
Similar cases have been made by psychologists for other "strongman" politicians around the world, such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.
People - Personality - Disorders - Power—narcissists - Attention
It's not really surprising that people with personality disorders are drawn to political power—narcissists crave attention and affirmation, and feel that they are superior to others and have the right to dominate them. They also lack empathy, which means that they are able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse people for the sake of power. Psychopaths feel a similar sense of superiority and lack of empathy, but without the same impulse for attention and adoration.
But pathocracy isn't just about individuals. As Lobaczewski pointed out, pathological leaders tend to attract other people with psychological disorders. At the same time, empathetic and fair-minded people gradually fall away. They are either ostracised or step aside voluntarily, appalled by the growing pathology around them.
Result - Time - Pathocracies - Process - Nazi
As a result, over time pathocracies become more entrenched and extreme. You can see this process in the Nazi takeover of the German...
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