Posted by Charles II on February 11, 2015
The world press delights in psychoanalyzing Vladimir Putin. Adam Taylor, Washington Post:
Just last week, we learned of a 2008 Pentagon study that concluded the Russian president’s “neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy” and that Putin probably had Aspergers. He’s also been called a narcissist, diagnosed with “pleonexia” (the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others), and simply been accused of being a “thug.”
Personally, I think anyone who wants the kind of power that most national leaders have is a bit cracked. Ronald Reagan liberated concentration camps he was never near. LBJ liked talking to aides, allies and reporters while he was taking a dump. And, of course, Nixon (“when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal”)
If those represent megalomania, what to make of this?
Israel’s most prestigious award, the Israel prize, has been plunged into controversy after the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, intervened to remove three prominent judges of whose politics he disapproves.
Netanyahu has been accused of declaring war on the country’s intellectual life, and a series of judges – including the entire literature panel – and candidates for the award’s different fields have resigned or withdrawn their candidacy amid fears that this year’s literature prize may not take place.
Set up to award excellence in the arts, science and broader cultural and social contributions, the Israel prize is one of the country’s most venerable intellectual institutions. Inaugurated in 1953, it is handed out on Israel’s Independence Day with a $20,000 award in each category.
Maybe presidents and prime ministers should form a Megalomaniacs Anonymous chapter.
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