Learning from History

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Consequences of Governmental Controls, Power, Corruption, the Dictator & the Sheep


A healthy government is one  that consists of one that is a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”  Such a land's inhabitants  have the good fortune to live there.  The leaders are bright people who are chosen by the population.  Their leadership ability, their democratic ideals, and their ability is essential to keep the economy strong for its inhabitants and to listen and respect their voices and their needs.  

A government controlled by a dictator is one that is led with power and egotism, regardless of the needs of the helpless masses who have the misfortune to exist in such places.  Suppression of truth, of expression of freedom, are a few of the earmarks of such places.  Fear rules, rational thinking is extinguished, and a handful of “chosen ones” assist the enforcer in carrying out his dictates. Intimidation and threat of death keep its people in line.  Males  are trained from infancy to carry out the brutal deeds of the dictator; women have to hide their faces behind cloths and must follow, like small children, how to comport themselves and to accept punishment without complaining.

There are of course countries that fall in between the two styles described. A once democratic country can be destroyed by a self seeking head of state who, through manipulation and uncaring narcissism can turn the land and its people into  the path of impoverishment, helplessness, and immaturity.  Their voices are stilled because they have no longer the strength to fight; they are intimidated by what is occurring, by contradictions by the president, by his cleverness of future promises, by beautiful speeches, and psychopathic self aggrandizement.  The turning of a democracy into a pseudo dictatorship is  sometimes an invisible process which is recognized when much destruction has taken place.  Examples are government spending on important groups of people; giving to the masses from the middle class taxpayers, impoverishing them; giving to important and influential people who can enhance the dictator's opportunity to continue with his hidden self rewarding ideologies and deeds.

If we look back in recent history we have a prime example of such a “leader,” the dictator Adolf Hitler, who came into power because of his own dysfunctional life.  A man with a brutal father, a possibly intimidated mother, poverty, frustration, and a need to control were his trademarks.  His “friends” became his imaginary enemies in split seconds and murder and control were the order of the day.  He used the scapegoats, the Jewish people, as his major targets.  He conjured up the most imaginary flaws of this minority, made them into alleged greedy vicious inhuman monsters who were responsible for the poor economic conditions, for all the misfortunes on earth, and turned the majority against these unsuspecting trusting moral folk.  His favorite cliché was:  The cause for the misery, the cause for the pain, the reason for the rain, for the snow, the fault for all the unhappiness is the Jew. (“Sagt er Schuld am Elend, sagt er Schuld am Leid, sagt er Schuld wenn’s regent, sagt er Schuld wenn’s schneit, sagt er schuld an allem, sagt er voller Wut, sagt er Schuld alleine, sagt er ist der Jud.” ) He was convinced that if he annihilated all Jews (called them vermin of the “fatherland”) as well as gypsies, sick people, and "non aryans," he would be respected.  Anyone who disagreed with him in the slightest was annihilated by his sycophants.  He directed Jews miraculously to disappear without money or countries to enter.  He insisted they go to places like Madagascar or anywhere at all.  Next he took every cent, their homes, their earthly possessions, their food.  He stuffed them into concentration camps and had them beaten and ultimately they ended in gas ovens –  six million Jewish people were annihilated at Hitler’s orders.  He had convinced the entire population and they were able to carry out their hateful deeds with glee.

Let us as a nation and as the “Chosen” learn from history.  Let us not be led by those who need scapegoats.  Let us stop being innocent bystanders, targets, determined to be the victims of our own destruction.  Let us recognize hidden and not so hidden motives to draw us into false beliefs.  We are frequently like innocent babes or ignorant humans by believing leaders who are clever.  We are determined to protect other minorities regardless of their feelings toward us, which are often hostile and not grateful for the extra mile that we have given them.  Hatred is turned against us, the projections are frequently caused by jealousy/ envy for our achievements.  Let us beware of forgetfulness.  Let us learn from history and approach what we do with reality, not with persuasion and wishful thinking.  Let us take pride in our faith, our beliefs, our morals, and let us hold “hands” with the just, the rational, our brethren, and our friends. “Hine ma tov umanayim, shevet achim gam yachad.”


Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

Home ] Up ]