Resource title

The Spirit of despotism: understanding the tyrant within

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The objective of this article is to better understand the developmental history of despotic regimes and the existence of leadership by terror. To gain greater insight into this phenomenon, the unusual relationship between leaders and followers in despotic regimes is explored, and the self-destructive cycle that characterizes such regimes is examined. The price paid in the form of human suffering and the breakdown of the moral fabric of a society is highlighted. In this article, particular attention is paid to highly intrusive totalitarian regimes. The levers used by such regimes to consolidate their power base are discussed in detail. The role of ideology, the enforcement of mind-control, the impact of the media, the inception of the illusion of solidarity, and the search for scapegoats are part of the review. Finally, suggestions are made on how to prevent despotic leaders from gaining a hold on power. Observations are made about the newly founded International Criminal Court, a permanent international judicial body that has been specially set up to try despotic rulers for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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en

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2004/2004-17.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved