There has been so much happening on the Zambian political scene this last fortnight that it is easy to go over the edge and become insane. It is for this reason that in this piece I will stay clear of Zambian politics or even our continent, let alone our period of time.

I will instead go miles miles away to Germany and way way back in time to the 1930s and 1940s. Instead of politics I will make this piece about psychology.

A long long time ago in a world half way across the globe from ours, Adolf Hitler, the former leader of Nazi Germany, exhibited a very interesting personality.

Hitler showcased several signs of narcissism and psychological lying. Some of the traits of narcissism that he manifested were:

The first sign of narcissism Hitler exhibited was his feelings of grandiosity.

He had an exaggerated sense of self-importance and a belief in his own superior intelligence. Adolf Hitler frequently boasted about his superior intelligence, making claims such as:

“I am the greatest genius the world has ever known.”

“My intellect is beyond your comprehension.”

“My brain is a precision instrument, capable of grasping complex problems and solving them with ease.”

“My intellect is so superior that I can outthink and outmaneuver my enemies with ease.”

Hitler engaged in endless repetitive self praise at each and any occasion that he spoke.

The second sign of narcissism Hitler exhibited was his constant need for admiration.

He craved admiration and attention from others, often using propaganda and spectacle to feed his ego. He has been quoted as saying, amongst other boasts where he claimed things were happening “for the first time in Germany’s history” as follows;

i . “The first true German Reich”: He claimed that his Third Reich was the first truly unified and powerful German empire in history.

ii “The first genuine people’s state”: He claimed that his regime was the first to truly represent the interests of the German people.

iii . “The first successful nationalist revolution”: He claimed that his Nazi revolution was the first successful nationalist movement in history.

iv. “The first time Germany is united under one leader”: He claimed that he was the first leader to unite all German-speaking people under a single rule.

v. “The first time the German people have been united in a single party”: He claimed that the Nazi Party was the first to unite all Germans under a single political banner.

vi. “The first time the German military has been truly powerful”: He claimed that his rearmament and expansion of the military made Germany more powerful than ever before.

vii. “The first time the world has seen a truly socialist state”: He claimed that his regime was the first to truly implement socialist principles, despite being opposed to communism.

These claims were part of Hitler’s propaganda efforts to legitimize his rule, promote his ideology, and convince Germans that he was leading them to a glorious future.

The third sign of narcissism Hitler exhibited was his sense of entitlement.

He believed he was destined for greatness and that others owed him loyalty and obedience. This led him to make statements like,

“I am the only one who really understands what is going on in the world.”
“My intelligence is a gift from God, and I am destined to use it to shape the world.”

There are many examples of Hitler’s narcissistic and deceptive behavior such as his extravagant and theatrical public appearances, designed to awe and intimidate. When touring the country schools and colleges would be closed so that students would be brought and lined up to show all and sundry how “loved and popular” the Fuhrer was.

The fourth sign of of narcissism Hitler exhibited was his lack of empathy.

He showed little concern for the suffering of others, even his own people, and was willing to sacrifice them for his goals.

Hitler and the Nazi regime demonstrated a profound lack of empathy for Jews and others they deemed “undesirable” through:

Dehumanizing language: Referring to Jews as “vermin,” “rats,” and “bacilli” (germs or bacteria) to create a sense of disgust and justify their persecution.

Propaganda by using false and misleading information to portray Jews as a threat to Germany, fueling hatred and fear.

Discrimination by implementing targeted laws like the Nuremberg Laws (1935) and Kristallnacht (1938), which, by way of forfeiture, stripped Jews of property and dignity.

Disregard for human life: Ignoring the suffering and deaths of millions, showing no remorse or compassion.

Hitler’s ideology and actions exemplified a complete disregard for human life, dignity, and suffering, demonstrating an extreme lack of empathy.

His insistence on being addressed as “Führer” (leader) and his demand for absolute loyalty from his followers.

Apart from narcissism Hitler was afflicted by Psychological lying.

The signs of Hitler’s psychological lying were manifested through ‘gaslighting’, ‘projection’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘denial’.

‘Gaslighting’ manifested itself by how he manipulated facts and reality to suit his purposes, making others question their own perceptions and sanity.

‘Projection’ manifested itself by how he accused others of the very things he himself was guilty of, such as deceit and aggression. He blamed the Jews for bringing disunity and accused them of discriminating against other races.

Here are some examples of Hitler’s use of projection to accuse others of his own wrongdoings:

Blaming Jews for Germany’s economic problems, while his own policies led to hyperinflation and economic crisis.

Accusing communists of being violent, abductors and murderous, while his own regime was responsible for mass killings and atrocities.

Portraying himself as a victim of conspiracy and persecution, while he himself was orchestrating campaigns of terror and repression.

Accusing the Allies of committing atrocities, while his own forces were responsible for horrific war crimes and genocide.

Hitler’s use of projection was a classic tactic of psychological manipulation, aimed at diverting attention from his own wrongdoings and mobilizing support for his ideology and policies.

‘Manipulation’ manifested itself by how he used propaganda, emotional appeals, and coercion to influence others and achieve his goals. He repeated lies about his military conquests and the strength of the German army in order to influence others.

‘Denial’ manifested itself by how he refused to accept responsibility for his actions and blamed others for his own mistakes.

His denial is clearly illustrated through his tendency to blame minorities and scapegoats for Germany’s problems. In a 1935 speech, he referred to Jews as “criminals” responsible for Germany’s economic problems. He masked his failures by blaming others rather than fixing the problems.

This narcissism and psychological lying led Hitler to often belittle others, calling them “idiots,” “fools,” or “imbeciles,” and claimed that only he possessed the vision, wisdom, and intelligence to lead Germany to greatness.

He would make statements like, “I am the only one who can see the big picture and understand the true nature of history and politics.”

These statements, fueled by his psychological lying, were part of his narcissistic personality and propaganda efforts to convince others of his superiority and legitimize his rule.

Hitler and the Nazis went further than just calling others “idiots,” “fools,” or “imbeciles,”. They started employing the term “thug” as a pejorative to portray their opponents as violent, criminal, and dangerous, thereby justifying their own violent actions against them.

This rhetoric was part of their strategy to demonize and dehumanize their enemies, paving the way for lawfare through persecution, imprisonment, and eventually, the Holocaust.

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party frequently used the term “thug” (German: “Raufbold” or “Randalierer”) to describe their political opponents, particularly Jews, intellectuals, and other groups they deemed enemies of the state.

In Mein Kampf, for example, he described the Bolsheviks as “thugs” and “criminals”, just like he did in a 1934 speech where he called the leaders of the Social Democratic Party “thugs” and “traitors”.

By using the term “thug”, Hitler aimed to create a sense of fear and urgency among the German people, justifying his own brutal measures as necessary to maintain order and stability.

Based on historical records and accounts, Hitler’s behavior and actions do appear to exhibit many characteristics common in narcissistic and manipulative individuals who are also steeped in psychological lying. By these means, Hitler created a culture of fear, obedience, and total loyalty to himself and the Nazi regime.

Having stayed away from Zambian politics, I am already feeling better and satisfied that writing this piece has taken my mind away from what is happening in Zambia.

I stand to be corrected, but as far as I know, there have been no signs of reincarnation. Reincarnation is the concept that there is an eternal souls that persists after death and is reborn in a new body.

As I lay my head down to rest tonight, whilst being wary of the theory of reincarnation, I will be praying that we never get a Hitler in Zambia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *