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The psychology of the dictator

Published on 29 December 2017, by M. Tomazy.
The dictator is tyrant, bloody, corrupt etc.. and the dictator is linked to totalitarian regime lacks freedom of speech and political participation, except for some of the ruling elites surrounding him. However, this is, in fact, an over-reduction of the psychological and behavioral aspects of the dictator. Nevertheless, why does the dictator not leave the power in times of protesting and popular uprising?

Detached from reality:
He is detached from reality and the tyrant usually under-estimates the popular upset, because the surrounding ruling minority misinforms him. Therefore, the dictator is actually convinced about false popular base among his people, so he classifies the protesters and his opponents as a bunch of outlawed group where there is no independent judicial system.

Cartoon by Mohamed Sabra

Power is addictive:
Throughout the ruling years, the dictator has never settled a retirement plan. He has never thought about his post-term life. 
Furthermore, year after year, he becomes more addictive to power and the presidential lifestyle that lacks any accountability. So, he starts to prepare himself for a lifelong term and even inheriting the governance to his son, such Egypt's Mubarak, Libya's Qaddafi and  Syria's Assad.

Reduction of patriotism:
As soon as the popular demonstrations erupt, the dictator believes that his national duty is to stick to the power to avoid disintegration of the country. He is detached from reality and believes he is popular amid actual threat of uprooting from the power. The dictator is also surrounded by a loyal ruling elites who are ready for unmerciful fight for their positions and privileges. This will increase political tensions and will lead to civil war between the oppressed majority and the privileged minority.

The long-term settlement in power and lacking of any legal accountability will create grandiosity in which the tyrant believes that he is the fittest person to occupy the presidential chair. He is experienced more than any other citizen.

The case of Yemen: Ali Abdullah Saleh (in power: 1978-2011):
Ali Abdullah Saleh was assassinated by his Houthi allies after six years of removing from power as president of Yemen.
He formed a coalition with Iran-backed Houthis, his previous bitter enemies when he was president, against Saudi-backed successor president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Houthis captured the power in Yemen at the expense of Saleh's ruling class, then they complained about marginalization which pushed the former dictator to re-ally with Saudis against Houthis. The latter militia controls the army and internal security.
Saleh was detached from the reality and grandiosed enough to believe that he has popular base ready to defend him and defeat Houthis.
In a leaked phone call with Saudi-backed general prior to his assassination, Saleh said: "you can't cross me!". "I brought Houthis and I will defeat them". Houthis regarded him as a traitor and killed him where there were just a dozen of his loyals beside him.

The case of Libya: Muammar Gaddafi (in power: 1969-2011):
Gaddafi used to intoduce himself as "the leader of the revolution" (self-endorsed) who lacks any official position in the country, where he in fact, interfered in almost every single aspect such as: The buildings' colors (he ordered to paint the doors and windows with the green color) and obligate secondary schools to "educate" his book (The Green Book). His son controlled sports (T-shirts' colors, selection of players etc..).
After the popular uprising erupted in 2011, Gaddafi called the demonstrators as "al-Qaeda elements" and "rats". He completely denied their demands. 
Later on, NATO intervened directly and the country fell into unmerciful in-fight between the winning militias.

The case of Romania: Nicolae Ceaușescu (in power: 1965-1988):
From beginning of 1980s, the economic situation deteriorated dramatically in Romania. Ceaușescu kept repeating the same self-endorsed socialist narrative, while his people was starving.
"Ceaușescu created a pervasive personality cult, giving himself such titles as "Conducător" ("Leader") and "Geniul din Carpați" ("The Genius of the Carpathians"), with inspiration from Proletarian Culture (Proletkult). After his election as President of Romania, he even had a king-like sceptre made for himself."

He also reduced patriotism by calling the protesters in Timisoara (Romanian city) as "fascists" who pretend to undermine the socialist republic.