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From a psychological point of view, if Saddam Hussein or Hitler were to return, and...

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lt1017 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM via web

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From a psychological point of view, if Saddam Hussein or Hitler were to return, and they were not given instructions on specifically what to do differently, would they still choose the same paths that they have chosen previously?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 4, 2013 at 1:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The question is really tough to answer.  Their psychological profiles are so in-depth, like so many political leaders' backgrounds, that the motivating reasons behind why they did what they did cannot be reduced to simplicities.  For example, there is much that indicates a young Saddam Hussein was more interested in pleasing his maternal uncle, who had become a father figure.  Hitler was also not a blind and obedient servant.  He discovered a war scrapbook of sorts that his father owned and became animated by war sequences and battles.  Hitler simply acted what was part of his childhood:  "It was not long before the great historic struggle had become my greatest spiritual experience. From then on, I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any was connected with war or, for that matter, with soldering."  

The psychological profiles of both leaders are dense with information that can only begin to scratch the consciuos surface of why they pursued what they pursued.  Their paths were chosen for many different reasons.  The reasons behind why they did what they did are divergent and complex.  In seeking to construct psychological profiles of both leaders, it is important to ensure that reductive approaches are avoided.  Many reasons compelled them to embrace the path they did and in ensuring that this divergent approach is evident in assembling their profile, a more rich vision of history emerges. 

Thus it is impossible to decide that in today's milieu that or whether Hussein or Hitler would act as they acted in the milieu that surrounded and embraced their youth and rise to power.  It is not even possible to assume that their psychological manifestations would be now what they were then, unless the scenario assumes they are resurrected within their own previous milieu with all things being in the second time around as they were in the first time around.  Manifestations of psychological characteristics change in response to environmental factors of the cultural, familial, societal, and historical sort even when the psychological characteristics remain consistent.  The characteristics may not change but the manifestations will surely change as the embraced environment changes.


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