Was Japanese Emperor Hirohito a Psychopath? Part 2

This blog, the second of two, seeks to answer the question ‘Was Hirohito a psychopath?’ This second post examines Hirohito’s actions from his decision to escalate Japan’s war against China in 1937 to Japan’s surrender in the wake of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.        Continue reading

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Was Japanese Emperor Hirohito a Psychopath? Part 1

With the twenty fifth anniversary of the death of Emperor Hirohito approaching, the Japanese government is preparing to unveil a 61-volume official biography of the Emperor, which a team of scholars has been labouring on since shortly after his death.

It is unlikely that this biography will answer the question, ‘Was Hirohito, who presided over the expansion of the Japanese empire and led his nation into an East Asian war that cost over 120 million lives, a psychopath?’

This blog, the first of two, seeks to address that question. This first post examines Hirohito’s actions in the period up until the outbreak of war with China in 1937, and seeks to determine whether or not he should rank alongside Mao, Hitler and Stalin as one the twentieth century’s greatest mass murderers.    Continue reading

The Psychology of Power – Why Revolutions Fail

During Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972, the Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai, was asked about the impact of the French Revolution. He famously replied that he thought it was too early to say. Although it appears that Zhou may have misunderstood the question, it was as one diplomat remarked, a misunderstanding that was ‘too delicious to invite correction’.

As is well known, the French revolution, like the Chinese revolution in which Zhou played a leading role, resulted in a prolonged period of death and destruction. Here are 8 reasons why revolutions often fail.      Continue reading

Psychology of Evil – The Role of Religion

After watching the evening news, it’s hard to make the argument that religion makes us kinder to one another.

ISIS in Iraq is murdering Christians and Shia Muslims alike under the guise of a Holy War. Israel’s merciless bombardment of Gaza has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of women and children- the youngest to be killed was ten days old, the oldest was 100. In Uganda, evangelical Christians are vowing to campaign to reinstate the death penalty for gay men. And in Burma, Buddhist monks preach hate against that country’s persecuted Muslim minority.

Amidst this whirlwind of sectarian hatred, it is time to finally recognise that not only is morality possible without god, morality is infinitely better without god.    Continue reading

The Psychology of Evil – Mao’s Famine

The famine which occurred in China during the Great Leap Forward was perhaps the greatest crime in history. Between 1958 and 1962 at least 45 million people died[1]. This figure is much higher than the number killed in World War One. The real death toll could be higher, and may even exceed the number killed during World War Two.

Calling it a famine muddies the picture of what actually happened. Unlike during a natural famine, disease was remarkably absent as a cause of death. The reason is both easy to comprehend and terrifying to grasp.     Continue reading

Psychopaths as Predators of the Poor

This blog first appeared on Facts and Arts and is based on the important book The Locust Effect.

History is the story of the struggle of the psychologically normal majority of humanity to free ourselves from the tyranny of a psychologically disordered minority who are marked by their innate propensity for violence and greed. This minority is comprised of psychopaths whose psychology excludes the possibility of empathy, and narcissists and paranoids, whose minds are frozen into states of perpetual superiority and fear.

In this long historical struggle, previous generations have crafted a number of essential safeguards to protect us against this tyrannical minority. The most fundamental of these is the rule of law. In the absence of effective law enforcement, citizens are left at the mercy of those of a psychopathic disposition. Today, those who suffer most are the world’s poor.     Continue reading

Stalin – A Psychopath in Power

Biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore [1] describes Stalin as a man who ruined every relationship and friendship in his life. A convinced Marxist fanatic whose messianic egoism was boundless; he was incapable of giving anyone happiness. While Stalin seldom attended executions or torture in person, he liked to hear in detail about the suffering of his victims and would shriek with laughter on hearing of their last desperate pleas for mercy. His greatest delight, he said was ‘to mark one’s enemy, prepare everything, avenge oneself thoroughly and then go to sleep.[2]’   Continue reading