Learning From The Psychopathic Leader: A Study in Despotism

Posted: September 2, 2012 in Ethics, Evil, Film, Politics, Psychology, Society
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Professor Robert Hare, once said of psychopaths: “They use superficial charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and satisfy their own selfish needs… They lack conscience and feelings for others, take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest guilt or regret.”

Such a description fits the one-time Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin Dada like a glove.  A classical example of a psychopath in power, Amin wreaked havoc across Uganda, brutally killing opponents and wrecking the Ugandan economy.  Moreover, Amin’s megalomania knew no bounds; as an example, his full (self-bestowed) title ultimately became: “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”  Quite a moniker, but not unusual one for a dictator.

The film below offers a unique insight into the world of Amin the dictator.  His superficial charm is obvious, as is his inability to focus on the subject matter in hand.  Perhaps most revealing though is how his cabinet ministers related to him – largely with deference and fear, even although his pronouncements were obviously deluded and increasingly bizarre.

Tragically, Amin is not the sole inhabitant in the club of psychopathic dictators. The list is a long and decidedly non-illustrious one and includes such despots as Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Gaddafi among many others. Frighteningly, there are more out there……………..and that is why it is essential that we are always on our guard against the next Amin or Gaddafi, wherever they may come from.

Here is the film, which is well worth watching:

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