For me it’s not only easy to appreciate the intelligence in Carl Jung’s accurate description of Adolf Hitler, but also it sends strong shivers down my spine every time I read it.
“Hitler seemed like the ‘double’ of a real person, as if Hitler the man might be hiding inside like an appendix, and deliberately so concealed in order not to disturb the mechanism … You know you could never talk to this man; because there is nobody there … It is not an individual; it is an entire nation.”
I’m not trying to downplay, deny or ignore the role and responsibility of the people who commit atrocities. But I can agree with Jung’s description of the tyrant, being a medium and a distilled essence of collective ignorance, hate and greed of its followers. An ordinary criminal does wrong things to satisfy his own desires, a tyrant satisfies himself by becoming a medium of all wrong desires of a cult who chose him as their symbol and guide. So what he does is more destructive than a lone criminal, because not only he has political power to do so, but also, can tap into the infinite source of destructive creativity produced by his cult. It’s a vicious circle that intensifies its own effect. They make an unwritten deal with their followers and supporters to be possessed by their desires to stay in power.
I’ve seen this horrible emptiness in the face of many living tyrants. There is some truth in their boasting of being invincible and eternal; If they got killed, until the cause (ignorance, poverty, prejudice, feeling of cultural inferiority and etc.) are in place, soon there will be another person who will take their place. They are the symptom of social disease, not the cause of it. However, once manifested, they contribute to and intensify the cause. (i.e. They enhance the hate, poverty, ignorance and the feeling of the cultural inferiority)
To me, they look like a horrible form of a Jaquet-Droz automata, restlessly and involuntarily writing the pages of history, with blood.