Oh, that other requirement to be a politician? A psychopathic, narcissistic, or Machiavellian personality

Democracy

In an interesting coincidence, George Monbiot starts from a different place, two psychology classes he took, and reaches a similar conclusion to my own, yesterday, eschewing representative democracy (a republic) in favor of a system that promotes kindness and caring.[1]

I’ve only had one psychology class, deeply rooted in Sigmund Freud’s pathologies, when I attended American River College, in Sacramento, in the 1970s. But with his two, Monbiot gets to a point often, but not often enough, suspected, that the style of politics and electioneering we have today rewards people with “psychopathic, narcissistic or Machiavellian personalities.” Which, to summarize Monbiot, is a hell of a way to run a country.[2] Another point not made often enough: Though a delusional raging narcissist, Donald Trump is a symptom of the disease, not the disease, who is simply too obvious to ignore, while his predecessors were more circumspect.

Indeed, to read the the Federalist Papers, at least as far as I’ve read them, is to read insufferable snobbery. Some of the arguments for a more powerful central government are, for all intents and purposes, monarchist. Indeed, despite the United States having so recently fought a revolution to free itself from monarchy, John Jay, later the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, unapologetically begins “Federalist no. 5” by citing a letter from Queen Anne arguing for the union of England and Scotland. Bigger is better, she argues, in terms that evoke the elite contest to control people, territories, and resources, yet promise peace (at least between Scots and the English) and trade.[3] Would I dare to suggest that the authors of the Federalist Papers, three of the vaulted “founding fathers” of the United States shared the characteristics Monbiot points to? Let the record show: I’m awfully tempted.

George Monbiot, “Outer Turmoil,” June 17, 2019, https://www.monbiot.com/2019/06/17/outer-turmoil/


  1. [1]George Monbiot, “Outer Turmoil,” June 17, 2019, https://www.monbiot.com/2019/06/17/outer-turmoil/
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “Outer Turmoil,” June 17, 2019, https://www.monbiot.com/2019/06/17/outer-turmoil/
  3. [3]Kelly Kyuzawa with Robert Brammer, eds., “The Federalist Papers,” Congress, May 3, 2016, https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers

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