Dr Arnold Hutschnecker on the Psychology of the Tyrant

Alex de Jonge begins the last chapter of his biography of Stalin by discussing Dr Arnold Hutschnecker’s ideas about the psychology of the drive to power. Hutschnecker was at one time Nixon’s psychiatrist, and so presumably some of these insights came from his observation of Tricky Dicky’s own warped psyche.

According to de Jonge, Hutschnecker believed that the drive to power came from

‘a painful sense of one’s own insignificance, a fear of death and the wish to have others die. It is associated with a low sexual drive and an inability to love. ‘It moves on the wings of aggression to overcome inferiority … Those whose power to love and consequently create has been broken will choose war in order to experience an intoxicating sense of power or excitement.”

Now some of this is obviously true of Stalin. De Jonge points out in the book that Stalin had very strong feelings of inferiority due to his short stature, and his physical deformities. Two of the toes on one of his feet were fused, he had a withered arm and his face was pockmarked due to smallpox. He also had a bitter hatred of intellectuals, possibly dating from the time the Georgian Marxist Zhordania refused to allow him into his revolutionary group because he didn’t have the depth of understanding of Marxist theory he required. De Jonge also states that his attitude to the West was a mixture of the traditional Russian sense of inferiority at the West’s achievements mixed with a sense of spiritual superiority. This inferiority complex resulted in the Stalinist regime’s extreme xenophobia and nationalism, which saw millions of returning Soviet emigres, prisoners of war and troops from Europe after the Second World War imprisoned in the gulags or shot as potential traitors or otherwise culturally contaminated by anti-Soviet elements. It also resulted in the Soviet Union, not content with the brilliant achievements of its own citizens throughout their history, also appropriating those of the West, so that everything from the steam engine to the radio was held up as the invention of a Russian. Not that Stalin’s Russia was the only totalitarian state to do this. Mussolini’s Italy, one of whose leading scientists, Marconi, really had pioneered radio, also made the same extravagant claims. One of these was that Shakespeare was really Italian.

Stalin also recognised that he lacked the ability to love, especially after the death of his first wife. While he may not have feared death in his youth or middle age, when he was young kinto on the streets of Tiflis and gangster-cum-revolutionary holding up banks and repeatedly being exiled and escaping from Siberia, he certainly was terrified of it at the end of his life. He had the cypresses cut down on his summer estate of Kuntsevo because he found them too gloomy. Possibly some memory of his earlier Christian faith, and what he had learned at the seminary in Georgia came back to haunt him, and he began to fear that his victims would find justice against him in the hereafter. And he certainly did not lack the desire to have others die in their millions.

The description also reminds me of that of another public figure, much closer to home: Ian Duncan Smith, the head of the DWP.

Ian Duncan Smith pic

The man clearly suffers from a massive sense of his own inferiority. How otherwise can you explain his bizarre fantasies and lies, in which he has claimed, amongst other things, to have a degree from an Italian university that doesn’t grant them. He has furthermore declared that the introduction of Universal Credit and his other reforms are an advance as great as the abolition of slavery, as well as his highly dubious claim to have been an officer in the British army. And he does seem to have turned to a military career to give him the power and excitement that he lacked as a civilian.

As for the hardship and suffering his reforms in the DWP have caused, these certainly point to a large cruel and sadistic streak in his character. And while I’ve no doubt that he has a desire to cause anyone’s death, as shown in his refusal to release the figures for the number of people who’ve died after being thrown off their benefits by Atos, this is exactly what his reforms have done. You can find a list of names over at Stilloak’s blog. Some bloggers, such as Jaynelinney, have suggested that the figure may be as high as 38,000 per year.

The final chapter of de Jonge’s book also begins with a quote from Marx to Engels about the Paris Commune in 1871. This was the uprising by the citizen’s of Paris in which they tried to establish the city as an independent, revolutionary municipality after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. It was brutally suppressed by the French monarchy. Marx said

‘We think of terror as the reign of those who inspire terror; on the contrary it is the reign of people who are themselves terrified. Terror consists of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves.’

This statement not only describes the paranoid psychology of Stalin himself, but also that of the millions of Soviet citizens, who collaborated with his regime in spying on and denouncing their friends, family and neighbours as saboteurs, agents of Trotsky and the Western, imperial and capitalist powers, or for having an ‘anti-party’ conception of Marxism.

It also describes the psychology of IDS and his servants within the DWP. These are, after all, also demoralised, with those on the lowest ranks of the hierarchy forced to take out advances in their salaries just to ends meet till the end of the month. It also describes the atmosphere of backstabbing and suspicion that also pervades the DWP, and the way its employees take out their own fears, resentment and frustration on those unfortunates, who come to them for unemployment benefit.

Stalin was a monster, who terrorised and murdered millions. Ian Duncan Smith is a petty bureaucrat, but one whose reforms are killing people in their tens of thousands. They are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but the psychology, the feelings of inferiority and the need to persecute, are exactly the same.

The angry Yorkshireman over at Another Angry Voice has posted a recent article showing the Stalinist assumptions behind IDS workfare schemes, and used Conservative arguments to demonstrate how anyone, who sincerely stands for the principles of the Right, should reject it. He also has this picture showing Smith as Stalin. This seems particularly appropriate considering the similarities between their psychologies.

IDS Stalin

And the Angry Yorkshireman’s question is all too valid. To see his article, ‘Why do Right-Wing People support Workfare’, go to http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/why-right-wing-support-workfare.html

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11 Responses to “Dr Arnold Hutschnecker on the Psychology of the Tyrant”

  1. Paul Smyth Says:

    Reblogged this on The Greater Fool.

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Our old sparring partner Iain Duncan Smith comes under the spotlight – compared once again to Stalin.

  3. jaypot2012 Says:

    IDS is a narcissist and he enjoys the power he has over people’s lives. I truly believe that he enjoys hearing about the deaths of people as he can only feel enjoyment, and, perhaps a sexual release in his persecution of the poor.
    Another emotion that IDS does feel is fear – he is absolutely terrified of everyone who is poor or beneath him, which has been seen on a number of occasions. One was hiding in a laundry basket in Edinburgh (PMSL) and one of the most famous ones is where he has the armed guards surrounding him when waiting to go into the committee about his “use of statistics and his waste of money on UC). Those armed police should NOT have had their guns pointed at anyone, least of all the small amount of people who had every right to also go into the committee hearing! I still think that should be dealt with by the police commissioner!
    IDS is coming to the end of his failed “career”, just like his whole life has been one failure after another. Here’s hoping karma gets him and let’s hope it’s very soon.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I read the account of him turning up in parliament surrounded by bodyguards and armed policemen, with their guns trained on the public and especially the disabled.

      I hadn’t heard that he was so terrified of Mr and Mrs Public that he hid in a laundry basket. Dear heaven, he gets weirder and weirder! It seems that there really isn’t anything magnificent, or even normal about him at all. It’s said that bullies are cowards at heart. I don’t think they all are, unfortunately, but in IDS’ case it’s absolutely true.

      And it’s absolutely like Stalin. There’s a bit in de Jonge’s book on the Soviet dictator, which describes the absolute terror he had of the Soviet general public. Apparently during the purges he was so frightened of an assassination attempt that during the annual May Day period he cleared Red Square of the public. The only people there were a crowd of children located a quarter of a mile away from Stalin and the other members of the Politburo. All the cheering was recorded and played over loudspeakers.

      Actually, this sounds just like Dave Cameron’s speech on the London Olympic stadium urging the Scots to stay within the UK. If you look at the seating around the stadium, it was all empty. And, of course, Cameron spoke there because he really, really didn’t want to get into a debate with Alex Salmond and lose.

      We really are government by an elite that fears and hates the public. The sooner they go, the better.

  4. untynewear Says:

    Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR.

  5. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  6. philipburdekin Says:

    This idiot has to be the most hated thing in the British isles

  7. Dr Arnold Hutschnecker on the Psychology of the... Says:

    […] Alex de Jonge begins the last chapter of his biography of Stalin by discussing Dr Arnold Hutschnecker's ideas about the psychology of the drive to power. Hutschnecker was at one time Nixon's psychi…  […]

  8. Jasmine Says:

    Jaypot is right, ids is a narcissist. A malignant narcissist. This serious personality disorder really does need more attention.

    Beastrabben, stalin was a narcissist. They feed of the misery of others. They are stealth abusers and cause people so much harm. After one finds this out, it is generally too late. The damage has been done.

  9. Helen Maddock Says:

    Another cracking piece, thanks. I said from the start he need a Psyche consultation and thats a professional as well as a not so private opinion.

  10. Osborne, Couling and McVey | Gabriel Vents Says:

    […] cannot claim to be delusional like IDS whose problems of sexual adequacy have been discussed: https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/dr-arnold-hutschnecker-on-the-psychology-of-the-tyrant/ Couling meanwhile is pure and simple – he’s a fucking bully, he really does not give a […]

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