"A psychopath thinks that laws are to be broken and that they do not apply to him. He uses any circumstances to secure his position, money, and fortune, regardless of the consequences for others, without any consideration for ethical norms. Psychopaths do not know how to emotionally compare themselves with others, they cannot emotionally understand others, and they lack an emphatic attitude."
Kazimierz, Dabrowski, Trud istnienia
Dr. Bandy X. Lee edits The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists And Mental Health Experts Assess A President (2017) as a compilation of papers from the Yale "Duty to Warn" Conference. Dr. Elizabeth Mika's "Who Goes Trump? Tyranny as a Triumph of Narcissism" in the light of President Trump's trip to Asia is most appropriate.
Dr. Mika writes that tyrants come in different shapes and sizes, and depending on perspective, various writers stress similarities or differences among them. This paper will not delve into those classifications but, rather, attempt to simplify and maybe even illuminate their most salient common features.
Although the terms dictator and tyrant are used interchangeable, it makes sense perhaps to stress that not all dictators are tyrants. Tyrants are dictators gone bad. A leader may start as a seemingly benevolent dictator but turn into a tyrant as his reign progresses, becoming ruthlessly destructive with time, something we have seen repeatedly in history.
All tyrants share several essential features: they are predominantly men with a specific character defect, narcissistic psychopathy (a.k.a. malignant narcissism). This defect manifests in a severely impaired or absent conscience and an insatiable strive for power and adulation that masks the conscience deficits. It forms the core of attraction between him and his followers, the essence of what is seen as his "charisma."
Impulsive sensation-seeking, and incapable of experiencing empathy or guilt, a narcissistic psychopath treats other people as objects of need fulfillment and wish fulfillment. This makes it easy for him to use and abuse them, in his personal relationships and in large-scale actions, without compunction. His lack of conscience renders him blind to higher human values, which allows him to disregard them entirely or treat them instrumentally as means to his ends, the same way he treats people.
This dangerous character defect, however, serves him well in the pursuit of power,
money, and adulation. Not having the inhibitions and scruples imposed by empathy and conscience, he can easily lie, cheat, manipulate, destroy, and kill if he wants to--or, when powerful enough, order others to do it for him.
The characteristics indicative of narcissistic psychopathy are observable already in childhood. Biographies of tyrants [including Donald Trump] note the early manifestations of vanity, sensation-seeking, and impulsive often accompanied by
poor self-control, aggression and callousness, manipulative, and a strong competitive drive and desire to dominate coexistent with a lack of empathy and conscience.
Another common, but not universal, biographical finding is a history of childhood abuse. [Trump and his relationship with his stern father--Hitler with his.] The narcissistic psychopath's propensity to lie, whether on purpose to achieve a specific result or, seemingly effortlessly, to invent a universal of "alternative facts" that just happen to affirm his grandiose and guiltless image of himself, could be a result of that impaired object constancy capacity.
A narcissistic psychopath without sufficiently developed self-control or advantageous life opportunities may turn into a mass killer whose crimes will land him in prison before his grandiose dreams of power and domination come to fruition.
Narcissistic psychopaths turn tyrants possess the right combination of manipulativeness, self-control, and intelligence to convince others to support them long enough to put their grandiose ideas to work on a large scale. They also appear to possess skills that are seen as charisma, the most frequent of which is the ability to deliver public speeches that inspire other to follow them. More often than not, however, this "charisma" is simply their ability to tell others what they want to hear (i.e., to lie) to make them go along with whatever scheme they've concocted for the moment. Their glibness is something that easily fools normal people, who do not understand the kind of pathology that results from a missing conscience.
Once in position of power, tyrants can fully unleash their sadism under the cloak of perverted ideals, which they peddle as a cover for their primitive drives. Instead of turning into common criminals condemned by society, they become oppressors and/or murderers of thousands or millions, with their atrocities always justified in their own minds and those of their supporters.
Tyrants identify with other tyrants and find inspiration in their successes, while remaining oblivious to their failures. They recognize and respect power as much as they are envious of and despise its wielders. The greater and more ruthless the living or historical tyrant, the bigger an inspiration he is for aspiring ones. His disdain for morality and law and his unbridled aggression in pursuit of power appeal to the tyrant in the making and form a template for his behavior, showing him what is possible.
The upcoming tyrant dreams of becoming as great as and preferably greater than his favorite tyrannical role models; and if those role models are alive, the tyrant-in-the making can be expected to curry favor with the existing ones while plotting their demise and besting them in the tyrants' world rankings. To accomplish this, though, he must obtain a position of ultimate power within his own nation first.