Authoritarian style governments come in different forms and apply varying amounts of violence when enforcing their rule. People who live in democratic style governments often do not understand why people accept living in an authoritarian state, forgetting that in fact the authoritarian form of government is the oldest form of government on earth. A dictatorship government is one type of authoritarian government that gains world attention most notably by the extreme violence used to control their citizens. This paper will review authoritarianism; why humans put up with it; traits of paranoid, narcissistic, and charismatic personalities; and highlight Idi Amin Dada as a case in point.
Tendency to Favor Authoritarianism
In…show more content…
111). The paranoid sees enemies everywhere and because the world is such a dangerous place they feel “it is best to trust no one” (Post, 2004, p. 111).
Paranoia is “the general term for delusions of persecution, of grandiosity, or both; found in several pathological conditions, delusional disorders, paranoid schizophrenia, and paranoid personality disorder” (Davison, Neale, & Kring, 2004, p. G 11). Paranoid people are very sensitive and easily insulted; they reject evidence that does not agree with their conclusions and “seize on evidence that confirms their suspicions” (Post, 2004, p. 111). Coupled with, and perhaps contributing to this paranoia, is that some autocratic leaders have narcissistic, charismatic personalities.
The book Abnormal Psychology (Davison, Neale, & Kring, 2004) identifies a narcissistic personality as someone with a “grandiose view of their own uniqueness and abilities [who is] preoccupied with fantasies of great success” (p. 417). These people believe only others who are special or of high-status can relate to or understand them. Narcissists need the praise and attention of others and can become very charismatic to get it. To feed their needs the narcissistic-charismatic leader develops a relationship with followers that allows them to be “perceived…as somehow superhuman, [which allows] followers to blindly believe the leader’s statements [and] unconditionally comply with