Rational, Ruthless, Resilient – The 3 Rs of Dictatorship


The authritarian psychology, with Ken Dekleva, our (fascinating) Foreign Service psychiatrist. Dictators respect only strength, negotiating with maximalist demands, getting as much as they can by giving as little as they can. As they grow older, they may become more rigid, threatening their grip on publics and opponents. Contrast Putin, who undid 30 years of progress in the former Soviet Union in the first week of war in Ukraine, with Zelensky’s courage and heroism. The difference? One approach grows more isolationist, while the other is often an ordinary person, doing what they are trained to do, to help someone in need. Wow.

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