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Hubris syndrome

  • You may discover that your past frenzy could have contributed to this regression, but the sanity that returns with the drop of temperature should prompt you into making the right decision this time. So, why should you give up?

Sin Chew Daily

Power can make a person corrupt, and ignorant as well, so ignorant that even corruption could be covered up because an ignorant politician will try to entice his or her followers to surrender their thinking ability, believing that everything is political persecution.

The so many things politicians have said day after day are tailored to brainwash the followers, instilling in them a false impression that it's others that are at fault and to be blamed. They will never allow their followers to be any smarter, for they don't want the supporters to see their flaws.

Ignorant followers are unable to see the real motives behind every move of the politicians, who constantly manipulate how the public should think, through their words and acts, influencing them to hate any specific individual at a specific time, or which policy to uphold at a given time.

The public's emotions are being dictated at all times, and their voting tendencies in the full grasp of politicians.

Some social media sites of political nature will manipulatively hard-sell the so-called heroic acts and "words of wisdom" of politicians that hardly have anything to do with their political principles or philosophies.

Their teams are well aware of the fact that members of the public are far more interested in such "stories" than their political views per se. Being too straightforward in expressing political views can render them easy targets of their rivals, while "stories" will touch the hearts of listeners and be often seen as a reflection of the politician's performance and competency.

The advent of Internet age has given rise to fragmentation of information, vastly suppressing the general comprehension of acquired information by people, making them incapable of constructing the real picture of an event as they swallow the information fed to them wholesale.

Chronic deification, be it self activated or passively accepted, will tend to make a politician arrogant and self-centered, culminating over time in the formation of Hubris Syndrome.

Hubris Syndrome will cast immeasurable disaster to our society. While politicians are the sufferers of this malady, it's the followers that will actually bear the consequences.

When this happens, people must pull themselves out of the provocative sites, and try to rebuild their own political cognizance from real-life environment and experiences and see the sickness of the politicians.

Former British foreign secretary David Owen listed the 14 symptoms of Hubris Syndrome in his book In Sickness and in Power: Illness in Heads of Government During the Last 100 Years that serve should serve as an excellent check list for us to tell whether a politician is "sick":

1. A propensity to see their world primarily as an arena in which to exercise power and seek glory.

2. A predisposition to take actions which seem likely to cast the individual in a good light in order to enhance image.

3. A disproportionate concern with image and presentation.

4. A messianic manner of talking about current activities and a tendency to exaltation.

5. An identification with the nation, or organization to the extent that the individual regards his or her outlook and interests as identical.

6. A tendency to speak in the third person or use the royal "we".

7. Excessive confidence in the individual's own judgement and contempt for the advice or criticism of others.

8. Exaggerated self-belief, bordering on a sense of omnipotence, in what they personally can achieve.

9. A belief that rather than being accountable to the mundane court of colleagues or public opinion, the court to which they answer is: history or God.

10. An unshakable belief that in that court they will be vindicated.

11. Restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness.

11. Loss of contact with reality; often associated with progressive isolation.

13. A tendency to allow their "broad vision", about the moral rectitude of a proposed course, to obviate the need to consider practicality, cost or outcomes.

14. Hubristic incompetence, where things go wrong because too much self-confidence has led the leader not to worry about the nuts and bolts of policy.

Democratic checks and balances should hamper politicians' infinite expansion of power and bloated hubris.

Hubris is an acquired trait that has come into existence over time through holding of power. Having realized the potential sickness of a politician, members of the public can at least check its growth with ballots.

At a time of democratic regression and possible reinstatement of autocracy, the ballots in our hands will make the most potent weapons to shape the future of this nation. And in no way shall we forsake such power.

You may discover that your past frenzy could have contributed to this regression, but the sanity that returns with the drop of temperature should prompt you into making the right decision this time.

So, why should you give up?


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