Monday, August 1, 2011

Depression in Command

By "crisis", he means war. It takes a mentally disturbed man to effectively and remorselessly drop bombs on innocent people, to destroy water treatment plants and powdered milk factories, contaminate countries forever with radioactive weapons...to commit genocide. The author doesn't mention this, but by "mentally ill" he doesn't mean, like, really mentally ill, like Hitler or Mao. Hitler threw Jews and gypsies and homosexuals into ovens and gas chambers; Churchill killed three quarters of a million Germans indirectly, and is hailed as a hero for it, or, at least, justified and apologized for it.

Sarcasm aside, it is difficult to know for sure if people like Nassir Ghaemi are willing shills for the State, or just too intoxicated by decades of grotesque propaganda, pseudo history, exceptionalism and lies to know better. For while there are those who willingly lie for the government, there are those in and out of the establishment who believe the State is deity. I think if precedent has established anything, it's that what we've had is an unbroken (except possibly for Kennedy) string of mentally ill leaders who've led us to complete and utter ruin. But what's really mentally disturbed is that people somehow think there's any sanity to the way the world is governed today, or for the past hundred years for that matter.

    Wall Street Journal -

    When times are good and the ship of state only needs to sail straight, mentally healthy people function well as political leaders. But in times of crisis and tumult, those who are mentally abnormal, even ill, become the greatest leaders. We might call this the Inverse Law of Sanity.

    Consider Neville Chamberlain. Before the Second World War, he was a highly respected businessman from Birmingham, a popular mayor and an esteemed chancellor of the exchequer. He was charming, sober, smart—sane.

    Winston Churchill, by contrast, rose to prominence during the Boer War and the first World War. Temperamental, cranky, talkative, bombastic—he bothered many people. During the "wilderness" years of the 1930s, while the suave Chamberlain got all the plaudits, Churchill's own party rejected him.

    When not irritably manic in his temperament, Churchill experienced recurrent severe depressive episodes, during many of which he was suicidal. Even into his later years, he would complain about his "black dog" and avoided ledges and railway platforms, for fear of an impulsive jump. "All it takes is an instant," he said.

Read all of it.