The Child-Winston and Child-Adolph – the Difference between Democracy and Totalitarianism

The boy Hitler is already challenging authorities – his nose is proudly up, his crossed arms demonstrate independence. His soul is a rebel, and he is damn serious about his rebellion. The boy Churchill, on the other hand, is too individualistic and self-centered to challenge the authorities in too risky way. For him more refined ways of pursuing his independence will be available: it is called the democratic political process.

Let’s compare Adolph’s facial expression with the other boys’ on the same photo. Their gazes are horizontally directed – they look in front of them or to the side. But Adolph already looks as if he is on a tribune and sees at the distance the heeding crowd. While the boy-Churchill demonstrates himself and his self-implied extraordinariness to the world, Adolph demonstrates to the world his rebelliousness, his pose is braggingly screaming that he is not broken (we have to remember how severely he was physically abused as a child).

How similar the postures, emotions and the facial expressions of the boy Adolph and the Chancellor of Nazi Germany are, and, on the other hand, of the boy Winston and one of the leaders of a Democratic world! The same rebellious challenge to the world he had as a boy we see in adult Hitler and the same cool demonstration of his self-assurance and self-possession he had as a boy we see in the adult Lord Churchill. One is always a boy, who tries to be more adult than adults (Hitler), and stronger than any adult. The other is always adult who knows his value and is confident in himself, even when he was a child (Churchill). They both communicate their greatness, but while Hitler is trying to persuade the world in his greatness, Churchill is not trying to persuade anybody in anything, even when he, like the right photo shows, is running for office. He keeps his charming coolness – he, as if, just allows people to see how great he is as a candidate for the office. The both, as we see, are not equal to themselves, both feel bigger than they are and are opened to greatness from childhood. But Winston’s self-aggrandizing feelings are psychologically rooted, they are in present perfect, while Adolph’s megalomania is future oriented even when he is already an adult– it has to be proven, it needs to be justified by fighting and winning. And the whole Nazi enterprise is a rush to prove greatness not only in relation to Fuhrer’s personality but in relation to the common German folk’s historical destiny.

What a difference in the perception of your own greatness we can see in these photographs! The child Winston is self-centered and self-confident; he already feels that he is on the top of the world. But the child Adolf is centered not on himself but on his megalomania, and this is the basic structural dis-balance of his psyche. Churchill as an adult is not without cynicism (we read it in the picture of him campaigning – in his shrewd smile), but he is mentally healthy, while Hitler (in the photo where he is making inflammatory speech) is ready for anything, whatever the moment will dictate. He doesn’t have a self that can balance his various impulses (for this reason he is dangerous to the world). He is mentally not reliable. For Hitler megalomaniacal position (in the form of delusion of grandeur – Germans’ racial superiority and the Third Reich‘glorious future of taking over the world) became much more important than his factual personality. His delusion as his secondary personality became his sublimated, his first personality.

In child Winston self-aggrandizement is immanent – it is him who is great already. For this reason his thinking is relatively free from megalomaniacal distortions – it is relatively rational and sober. In child Adolf megalomania is transcendent but it is impregnated with his desperate unconscious effort to coincide with what much later will become his delusion (later he will identify not only with its content but with it as a precious object, fetish of his admiration and dedication, his precious personal idol). At this point we are already amid fascist perception of reality. Hitler’s unconditional dedication to his “ideals” makes him self-sacrificial (his self-sacrificial posture, as we see, was there much before he found the ideals to sacrifice himself for). He was ready to die for his delusion of grandeur before this delusion took a semantically discernible form – that’s how a psychological constellation of needs and features structures development and defines our imagination and future behavior.

We see in Churchill’s childhood photo that self-aggrandizement is there but it is psychologically balanced by the presence of his self-love. That’s how democratic self-aggrandizement is not delusional in comparison with totalitarian megalomania. Democracy can also exploit other countries but its ideology serves its needs, while totalitarian countries serve their ideologies – these parasitic psycho-cultural “organisms” which consume and exhaust population until these countries fall apart and collapse.

To learn from these four photographs (two of Hitler and two of Churchill) today, in 2010, we must concentrate on the difference between self-aggrandizing self-centeredness and megalomaniacal delusion of grandeur, between even egoistic and predatory interests and, on the other hand, being transformed into a slave of your own delusion of grandeur (a despotic dogmatic construction) demanding unconditional obedience and self-sacrificial loyalty. Democracy is not the abode of Saints, it has its own sins and injustices but still it deserves to be called a Democracy because it is in critical control of its ideologies, while totalitarianism serves a delirious idea of total dominance over the world. Today’s American dogma is a “global economy” by any price including sacrificing its own working and elderly population. Is the face of American culture today (in times of globalist wars, financial collapses and tea-baggers’ delirious ideas like the unconstitutionality of unemployment benefit and social security) the face of the boy and man Churchill – self-centered but not delusional? Or is it the face of the boy and man Hitler distorted by the unconditional service to the delusional idea of “our” superiority over the other countries and of total economic and political control over them?

In November we, Americans, have to decide, do we still belong to Democracy as imperfect and corrupt as it is, and support a democratic Congress and a democratic President, both try to find a compromise between the interests of the two percent of population and the rest of us, or to come from Churchill’ type of empire to Hitler’s type which is organized around a delirious idea that demands our sacrifice for the sake of its glory. In other words, will we be able to keep the balance (as unjust as this balance is) between the rule of the two percent of the population over us, Americans, but with some modest proportion between ours and their interests, or will we enter the fascist phase of violent despair when we give ourselves to the delirious idea of nihilistic domination over human lives and wills and other countries and the world?

Don’t forget, in Churchill kind of colonial empire all the citizens of empire share (unequally and unjustly, of course) the shameful benefits of robbing other countries while under the delirious ideologies of today’s American global decision-makers only the top will grab the benefits while all of us must be ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of their enrichment.