According to this latest article, the dictator of North Korea who is starving his people to death, telling them he is a God, and threatening the rest of the world with nuclear war, is “behaving rationally.” At this point I think we are fine to disregard any of the radical garbage coming out of this organization. But for the sake of fun, let’s take a look at their logic:
The writer, Ian Robertson, compares the dictator to George Bush, immediately revealing that this writer is not beholden to facts, but rather ideology. While arguing that these types of leaders believe that they are gods, he regurgitates a disproven lie about George Bush saying that Bush believed that God sent him to invade Iraq. Nothing of the sort happened. And if this writer had done any research at all, he would have found this Washington Post article analyzing the legitimacy of this blatant lie and found this excerpt:
"We checked contemporaneous notes from the meeting with President Abbas and did not find a single reference to God," a senior administration official told us. "The closest thing we could find that the president said is: 'My government and I personally are committed to the vision of a Palestinian state.' "
Beholden to an ideology much Psychology Today?
Ian then goes on to excuse Kim Jong Un’s behavior by saying that the dictator “certainly feels god-like because of the drug-like effects — the chemical messenger dopamine is a key player — that power has on his brain. Power is an aphrodisiac which casts a spell of charisma around the holder and bewitches those he has power over, and if that be millions of people, so be it.”
So because you are already in power, and because dopamine is introduced into the brain of someone in power that means it’s ok to act however you want?
Kim Jong Un is not new to power. While it’s true that people who are introduced into new and exciting situations experience a rush of dopamine, there is also something called habituation which soon normalizes that experience.
If I went to ride the Titan at Six Flags right now I would get excited. It’s a novel experience for people to be slung about like that. But if I stayed on the rollercoaster all day, by the 2nd hour I’m virtually certain that I’d be bored and want to get off the ride. Habituation knows no enemies and if you want to talk about something with ultimate power, habituation is a major field leveler. There is no escaping it. It’s how we are built. You could ultimately get used to and habituated to being King of the Galaxy. It’s how we’re built.
Second point: Yes, power is an aphrodisiac, and that is the specific reason that we build term limits into the constitution of the United States. Human beings are not built to wield power for an indeterminate amount of time. We just aren’t. We are at our best when we are serving others, not domineering over them. So this whole idea that the North Korean dictator’s rule is even ok on principle is so riddled in backwards thinking that I don’t even feel that this line of argument should be justified with a response. It’s 2013. The fact that dictators still exist anywhere in the world saddens me. But apparently Psychology Today is cool with it. For the rest of us, the sane people who still exist in the world, we aren’t.
Ultimately the Psychology Today contributor comes to the conclusion that, “The North Korean leadership’s aggression and threats are a rational strategy within the twisted confines of gang-logic…”
That’s like saying beating your wife is a rational strategy within the twisted confines of domestic abuse situations. Sorry, but neither is a “rational strategy” within the realm of reality that we actually live in. To excuse abusive and insane and corrupt behavior because you exist in some twisted framework is rationalization at best, and pure stupidity at worst. Psychology Today should know better, but unfortunately they have turned into an ideologically driven gossip rag.
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