U.S. diplomats report that the Prime Minister gets almost all his information from Islamist-leaning newspapers, ignoring the input of his own ministers. The Turkish military and intelligence services no longer share with him some of their reports. He trusts no one completely, surrounding himself with “an iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors.” Despite Erdogan’s macho behavior, he is reportedly terrified of losing his grip on power.
Once armed with a widget like the term “malignant narcissist” to bundle all of the world’s dictators together, or, my favorite (because it’s mine) “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy (FBPS)”, we may reach a point where knowing how such personalities work and the harm they bring to themselves, their gulled peers and supporters, and the world beyond their glorious and tightly controlled bubble full of pleasing mirrors demands some response.
In Egypt, I doubt Morsi & The Brothers got the message, denial and resistance to criticism partially defining this syndrome in personality, but The People of Egypt finally got ahead of what was being done to them and that with a military perhaps equally prescient as regards both cultural and institutional “human factors” and corresponding administrative and management choices and wisdom as regards good leadership well anchored and strong.
Not all autocrats are alike — Putin’s my favorite; Mugabe’s the worst — nor or all military organizations alike in their affection, alignment, and integration with the greater spirit of the people they defend (to keep this parallel, Egypt’s infernal opposite might be Syria’s defense forces whipped on by Maher al-Assad — there hasn’t been much display of affection or regard for noncombatant Syrians on the part of that murderous outfit).
Where people come to know what they are seeing when confronted by a personality exhibiting a dangerous narcissism, then they become responsible for keeping themselves from too easily following the same.
In developing states afflicted with potential or already self-serving “presidents for life”, how to drive this perception of the peacock through the streets with either the language or technologies available becomes a challenge.
It’s not easily done or Zimbabweans would have it done it a long, long time ago.