Three reasons why we need to talk about the mental health of political leaders

As the impeachment investigation and its fallout continues, Trump’s mental health is now receiving increased attention. Discussing the mental health of political leaders, however, remains deeply controversial. Still, as I’ve argued in Disordered Minds, there are compelling arguments for why we must talk about the mental health of political leaders. Read more in my most recent article for The Conversation here.

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photo credit: Spencer Means The Carlottesville Terrorist via photopin (license)

 

Disordered Minds: Politics and Psychopaths discussed on Legalise Freedom podcast

Legalise Freedom radio online is hosted by independent UK writer and journalist Greg Moffitt and features interviews with some of the World’s foremost alternative thinkers and researchers. I am delighted to have had the chance to discuss the ideas in my book Disordered Minds with Greg. You can listen to our discussion here

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photo credit: Mosa’aberising via photopin cc

 

The chaos of Trump and Brexit shows that democracy is not simply majority rule

Anger at neoliberalism’s broken promises has morphed on both sides of the Atlantic into vilification of immigrants and, in the hands of Donald Trump, into an almost daily display of hatred towards the poor. In both the US and UK, political leaders have emerged to scapegoat minorities as the cause of society’s ills and legitimise their truncated vision of democracy as majority rule as the solution.

This article on Euronews Vision warns that when, as Oscar Wilde warned, democracy comes to mean the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people, the worst is yet to come.

 

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 travelled 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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