A psychologist has made headlines by diagnosing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad as a narcissistic personality. This self-evident gem would be far more newsworthy if the psychologist had managed to name a world leader who isn't or wasn't narcissistic.
Al Arabiya interviewed Saudi Arabian psychologist Jamal Tuwairqi who revealed the blindingly obvious when he determined "Bashar al-Assad is a man suffering from psychological disorder or what we call narcissistic personality. He is condescending to people and sees himself as the most important."
It hardly takes a psychologist to state the obvious. It seems impossible that Assad would have been perceived as humble and self effacing without the diagnostic revelations of the Saudi expert.
According to a study in Science Daily "people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups. Narcissism is a trait in which people are self-centered, exaggerate their talents and abilities, and lack empathy for others." Amy Brunell, lead author of the study, said "It’s not surprising that narcissists become leaders. They like power, they are egotistical, and they are usually charming and extroverted."
The description fits the leaders of many countries, both past and present. A touch of egotism led murdered Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi to indulge in a face lift and hair transplant as he didn't "want to look like an old man in front of Libyans."
The Examiner, commenting on Barack Obama's ego and arrogance, wrote "it’s a safe bet that wherever Mr. Obama’s presidential papers wind up they will include more 'I’s' and 'Me’s' than any of his predecessors." Would former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi risk his career cavorting with overtly young women if his brain didn't follow his ego?
From Mao to Stalin, Hitler to Putin, Thatcher to Blair, Bush to British royalty, the list of narcissistic personalities who assume leadership is endless. What distinguishes Assad from the crowd is his obvious weakness in having assumed the mantle of power in a hereditary fashion, rather than grasping it in from the hands of a foe.
The new trend of hereditary leaders, as exemplified by the Kim Communist dynasty, points to hereditary despots appearing weaker than their forefathers, though equally self delusional regarding their own grandeur.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com