"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ahmadinejad's Demons

We will never truly understand what makes this man tick Here is a backgrounder.

Via: The Belmont Club.

Iran Extravaganza Postat The Adventures of Chester has an interesting glimpse of "powerful leaders" provided by David Ronfeldt at the RAND site: Bewae the Hubris-Nemis Complex: A Concept for Leadership Analysis.

In the years ahead, the United States will assuredly find itself in new international crises involving nations or groups that have powerful leaders. In some cases, these leaders may have a special, dangerous mindset that is the result of a "hubris-nemesis complex."

This complex involves a combination of hubris (a pretension toward an arrogant form of godliness) and nemesis (a vengeful desire to confront, defeat, humiliate, and punish an adversary, especially one that can be accused of hubris). The combination has strange dynamics that may lead to destructive, high-risk behavior. Attempts to deter, compel or negotiate with a leader who has a hubris-nemesis complex can be ineffectual or even disastrously counterproductive when those attempts are based on concepts better suited to dealing with more normal leaders.

What are some of the attributes of the complex?
- a destructive-constructive messianism;
-high, moralizing ideals that justify violence;

-a demand for absolute power, loyalty and attention;

-a fierce sense of struggle that may turn self-sacrificial;

Chester Adds:

The study goes on to list some leaders who exhibit this complex: Castro, Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Khadafi, Khomeini, and probably Slobodan Milosevic, Kim Il Sung, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Some who are unsavory but nonetheless have different personalities are: Lenin, Stalin, and Mao and a mention of fictional examples: Captain Ahab in Moby Dick and Satan in Paradise Lost.


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