Some Words For Our Time.

I am going to provide a series of quotes, written as psychological profiles for the same man. Your job in this exercise is guess the name of the man they are talking about. At the end I will tell provide you the source of the quotes and the person they are describing will be evident. No cheating.

Source #1:

“Whether this is strictly true or not, he has succeeded in convincing his people that he is a passionate and devoted patriot . . . [He] has repudiated the operation of conscience in arriving at political decisions, has eliminated once and for all the force which checks and complicates the forward-going thoughts and resolutions of most socially responsible statesmen. Thus, [his] course is immensely simplified . . . Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.”

Source #2:

“[He has] a keen appreciation of the value of slogans, catchwords, dramatic phrases and epigrams in penetrating the deeper levels of the psyche . . .

[This man’s] ability to repudiate his own conscience in arriving at political decisions has eliminated the force which usually checks and complicates the forward-going thoughts and resolutions of most socially responsible statesmen. He has, therefore, been able to take that course of action which appeals to him as most effective without pulling his punches. The result has been that he has frequently outwitted his adversaries and attained ends which would not have been as easily attained by a normal course. Nevertheless, it has helped to build up the myth of his infallibility and invincibility. Equally important has been his ability to persuade others to repudiate their individual consciences and assume that role himself. He can then decree for the individual what is right and wrong, permissible or impermissible and can use them freely in the attainment of his own ends. This has enabled [him] to mobilize the fears of the people which he evaluated with an almost uncanny precision . . .

He has a matchless instinct for taking advantage of every breeze to raise a political whirlwind. No official scandal was so petty that he could not magnify it into high treason; he could ferret out the most deviously corruption in high places and plaster the town with the bad news. His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong. He has the “never say die” spirit. After some of his severest set-backs he has been able to get his immediate associates together and begin making plans for a “come-back”. Events which would crush most individuals, at least temporarily, seem to act as stimulants to greater efforts in Hitler.”

The sources obviously relied on each other to a certain extent. The reason for that will become more apparent as I reveal them. Now for the reveal.

Source #1 is Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler: With Predictions of His Future Behaviour and Suggestions for Dealing with Him Now and After Germany’s Surrender, by Henry A. Murray, October 1943, pp. 216–219.

Source #2 is A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler. His Life and Legend, by Walter C. Langer. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Washington, D.C. With the collaboration of Prof. Henry A. Murr, Harvard Psychological Clinic, Dr. Ernst Kris, New School for Social Research, Dr. Bertram D. Lawin, New York Psychoanalytic Institute. This document was produced during the war, but was not declassified and released to the public until 1999.

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Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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