Hitler Wasn’t a Psychopath But Our Best Presidents Were. In-teresting.
Many of our best U.S presidents qualify as psychopaths, while Hitler doesn’t.
Apparently, when it comes to U.S. presidents, we like ‘em psychopathic. (Uh-oh.) Biographers of U.S. presidents (up through George W. Bush) rated their subjects according to a checklist of psychopathic traits, and many of the presidents rated most highly by historians topped the list.
Here’s the Top 10, or bottom depending on how you look at it:
1. Teddy Roosevelt
2. John F. Kennedy
3. Franklin Roosevelt
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Rutherford B. Hayes
6. Zachary Taylor
7. Bill Clinton
8. Martin Van Buren
9. Andrew Jackson
10. George W. Bush
Among the least psychopathic are some of our less-effective leaders: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush.
Okay, so, what the hell? Here’s neuroscientist James Fallon.
Why do we prefer leaders who are, as Fallon puts it, “world-champ liars, pathological liars, even for the hell of it?” Well, it turns out that they lie for us. We’re totally cool with someone being a psychopath as long as they’re our psychopath.
So not all psychopaths are bad people, and not all bad people are psychopaths. According to Fallon, there’s agreement among psychologists that Hitler wasn’t one, nor were his fellow Nazis. Same with Mafia middle-management. And very few killers qualify.
So what on earth is a psychopath anyway? The Psychopathic Personality Inventory, AKA the PPI -R, breaks the required traits into two categories:
PPI-1: Fearless Dominance
PPI-2: Self-Centered Impulsivity
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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