Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities are Destroying Democracy

Honored to appear on Rob Kall’s Bottom Up Radio show. “Ian Hughes has written an extraordinary book that spells out how three personality disorders are dangerous to humanity and the world.”

Listen to Disordered Minds on Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio

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Entrepreneurs of hate

Is it possible to transform politics around values such as empathy, solidarity and love? Many progressive commentators think so, and have laid out different plans to put these ideas into practice. But empathy and love seem in short supply in the actuality of politics today, crowded out by hate and intolerance.  In one society after another fear-mongering proceeds apace against poor people, immigrants, minorities and anyone else who is not part of the dominant group.

This article first appeared on Open Democracy Transformation.

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Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities Are Destroying Democracy is published!

Irish author and scientist Ian Hughes talks about his new book Disordered MindsHow Dangerous Personalities Are Destroying Democracy which focuses on how a small proportion of people with dangerous personality disorders are responsible for much of the violence and greed that scars our world, with clinical psychologist Paul D’Alton .

Reviews:

Ian Hughes’ book Disordered Minds is essential reading in the era of Donald Trump. ~ Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University

Ian Hughes adds new scientific insight to one of the deepest conundrums of politics: that positions of power appeal to the narcissistic, paranoid psychopaths among us, with catastrophic results for humanity. ~ Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now.

Read this exceptionally fine and accessible work of scholarship and make it your business to keep these disordered minds from disordering our universe. – Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland

Does Donald Trump’s foreign policy actually make sense?

After leaving allies rattled at the NATO Summit in Brussels and dodging mass protests in the UK, Donald Trump is now traveling on to meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki—a meeting he has said “may be the easiest of all.” Trump’s boorish behaviour in Brussels fits a now well-established pattern of attacks on democratic allies and praise for authoritarian leaders that has left the rest of the world struggling to make sense of his seemingly incomprehensible conduct. Viewed from the perspective of Trump’s possible mental state, however, his foreign policy makes perfect sense.

This article first appeared on Open Democracy Transformation.

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Democracy in Crisis and Why Democracy Matters

Educate the next generation so as to cope intellectually, morally, and politically with the messiness and complexity of the world.

            Yehuda Elkana

In developing democracy in the United States and Europe over the last few centuries, the people of both continents have forged five fundamental safeguards against the tyranny of those with dangerous personality disorders. These safeguards are: representative democracy, in which leaders are freely elected and freely removed by the people; the separation of church and state, which limits the ability of tyrants to wield the power of the state on behalf of sectarian causes; social democracy, in which the state has the responsibility to redistribute wealth in order to minimise poverty and ensure social cohesion; pooled sovereignty, which reduces nationalist sentiment and deprives tyrants of a rallying cry to arms; and the protection of individual human rights in law, including the rights of minorities, which deprives tyrants of their most vulnerable scapegoats. Although the mix of safeguards varies between the United States and Europe, and between countries in Europe, they together characterise the Western democratic model.   Continue reading

Fire and fury: the psychodrama of a very stable genius

This article first appeared on Open Democracy Transformation

The release of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury has heightened concerns about Donald Trump’s mental fitness for office. In her review of the book for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin says that it shows Trump to be “an unhinged man-child utterly lacking in the skill needed to be president”—despite Trump’s assertion that in fact he’s a “very stable genius.”

In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland writes that Wolff’s revelations “prove—yet again—what a vile, narcissistic and dangerous man we have in the Oval Office.” And in the New Yorker, Masha Gessen, warns that Trump’s White House is “waging a daily assault on the public’s sense of sanity, decency, and cohesion. It makes us feel crazy.”

Is there any way to get beneath the daily assault on our sanity and try to understand what might be driving the chaos of the Trump Presidency? A good place to start is with the word that many say best sums up the man, which is narcissismContinue reading