Patterns of Power

I came across an in-depth psychological profile of a well-known world leader that has been in the news a great deal lately. I encourage you to read it.

Jenn Burleton

Detailed Analysis of X’s Personality

There is little disagreement among professional, or even among amateur, psychologists that X’s personality is an example of the counteractive type, a type that is marked by intense and stubborn efforts 1) to overcome early disabilities, weaknesses and humiliations (wounds to self-esteem), and sometimes also by efforts 2) to revenge injuries and insults to pride.

This is achieved by means of an IDEAL EGO REACTION FORMATION which involves 1) the repression and denial of the inferior portions of the self, and 2) strivings to become (or to imagine one has become) the exact opposite, represented by an ‘IDEAL EGO’, or image of a superior self successfully accomplishing the once-impossible feats and thereby curing the wounds of pride and winning general respect, prestige, fame.

This is a very common formula, normal (within limits) and widely admired in Western cultures, but is X’s case all the constituent forces of the patter are COMPULSIVELY EXTREME, and based on a WEAK NEUROTIC STRUCTURAL FOUNDATION.

The chief trends are these:

  1. Counteractive Need for Dominance, Superiority;
  2. Counteractive Aggression, Revenge;
  3. Repression of Conscience, Compliance, Love;
  4. Projection of Criticizable Elements of the Self

Counteractive Need for Dominance, Superiority:
The developmental formula for this is as follows: 1) intolerable feelings of inferiority (partly because of yielding to the will of a harsh and unjust person), leading to 2) contempt of own inferior traits (weakness, timidity, submissiveness) and the fixed determination to repress them in oneself and to condemn them in others, accompanied by 3) admiration and envy of power in others and a vision of self as ultimately superior (Ideal Ego) leading to 4) repeated efforts to become superior (counteraction out of wounded pride), encouraged by moments of extreme self-confidence in which one believes oneself the equal of one’s vision.

In X, the trend is so intense and the commonly balancing forces (affection, conscience, self-criticism, humor) are so weak that we are justified in speaking of MEGALOMANIA (delusions of omnipotence), despite the fact that the man has succeeded in getting a large proportion of the [Nation’s] people to believe that he is superior: i) that he has been divinely appointed to lead them to power and glory, and ii) that he is NEVER WRONG and hence must be followed with blind obedience, come what may.

Admiration of Brute Strength, Contempt of Weakness:

X has always worshipped physical force, military conquest, and ruthless domination. He has RESPECTED, ENVIED, AND EMULATED THE TECHNIQUES OF POWER, even when manifested by a hated enemy. From first to last, he has EXPRESSED CONTEMPT OF WEAKNESS, indecision, lack of energy, fear or conscience.

Paranoid Symptoms:
X’s dynamical pattern, as described, corresponds closely to that of paranoid insanity. Indeed, he has exhibited, at one time or another, ALL OF THE CLASSICAL SYMPTOMS OF PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA: hypersensitivity, panics of anxiety, irrational jealousy, delusions of persecution, delusions of omnipotence and Messiahship.

How has X escaped veritable insanity?
1) He has gained LARGE MEASURE OF CONTROL OVER HIS HYSTERICAL AND PARANOID TRENDS by using them consciously and successfully in the achievement of his aims; 2) He has IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WITH AND DEDICATED HIMSELF TO A SOCIOCENTRIC PURPOSE, the creation of an ideal [Nation], which has served to diminish the pains and perils of an isolated egocentrism, and 3) he has been SUPREMELY SUCCESSFUL IN IMPOSING HIS VISION AND DELUSION (conforming as they did with existent trends) upon the [Nation’s] people, and so convincing them of his unparalleled superiority.

Thus, his [unreal] world has become real, insanity is sanity.

To find out who X is and read more of this analysis, click on this link.


About jennburleton

Jenn Burleton is the founder and executive director of TransActive Gender Center. An internationally recognized educator and authority on diverse gender identity in children, youth and adults, she is a passionate advocate for the civil and human rights of gender diverse and transgender children, adolescents, teens and their families. She lives in the Pacific Northwest United States with her partner of more than 30 years.
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