The Making of Tyrants:
Saddam Hussein and
Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Tyranny and Repressed Trauma

By John A. Speyrer

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

The seeds which produce a tyrant and dictator, like the seeds which generate other abnormal aberrations are planted in the early life of the individual. In the case of Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Russia, it is easy to assess his potential as a ruthless dictator if the chance would arise that he could one day exert complete political control. This is because he has expressed himself forthrightly in media interviews and in an autobiography. It has been said that a country and people get the type of government that they deserve, but the rise of Zhirinovsky to total power would be a complete disaster for Russian citizenry and conceivably for the rest of the world.

In this day when psychohistory and one's sensitiveness to the origins of violence and abberation are probed unto the third generation, it becomes easy to make such analyses of a person whose position and power enables him to express pressure and influence events. Their early abuse or love determines future wholesale national happiness or sadness, and war or peace for their country.

The recent national elections in Russia marked the continued rise to power of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He is the leader of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, who a couple of years ago unexpectedly won first place in national elections. He is a nationalist in the best fascist tradition. Like Adolf Hitler his goal is to remap Europe in order to eliminate centuries old injustices. And like Hitler he advocates the use of military power to those ends.

What were some of the primal forces which molded Vladimir Zhirinovsky in his youth? In his autobiography, The Final March South, he writes that ". . .life itself forced me to suffer from the very day, from the moment, from the instant of my birth." He complained that due to his father's early death, his mother had to work long hours and as a result, no time or energy was expended on him. "I was always in the way. . . I was somehow superfluous," he writes. Unable to make friends with either sex, he writes that he felt more and more isolated. It was this unhappiness, this bitterness, which drove him to enter politics.

Why politics? What better avenue can there be for an angry person who feels himself to always have been a victim from childhood and aspires to seek revenge for the deprivation he suffered. Easily assuming that his countrymen feel the way he does, it becomes easy to project his rancor against the bad parents and attempt to change them. Thus Russia becomes the mistreated child of his youth and with power he will attempt to right the wrongs inflicted upon him.

And who are the bad parents against whom the anger and wrath is to be directed? The United States and Europe are the guilty parties who are stopping Russia from realizing its just and deserving destiny. Zhirinovsky admits that he would not have entered politics ". . .if. . .my friends from childhood had been next to me, my beloved girl(friend), then maybe I wouldn't have done anything political."

But a tyrant can neither exist nor survive in isolation. A collective sense of injustice among co-conspiritors must necessarily exist. As had Hitler, Zhirinovsky also has his supporters and bullies who also suffered from deprived childhoods and are grateful to join with him in seeking revenge. As of yet Zhirinovsky has not achieved political control. One tyrant who has already done so, with lamentable results, is Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Saddam Hussein

The early childhood of Saddam Hussein is similar to that of Zhirinovsky. His upbringing was no less unhappy and unloving. Many believe that Saddam's father deserted him and his mother when he was a child. His stepfather was a crude person who disliked him. He was not allowed to attend school and was passed back and forth between relatives until age 10 when he ran away from home. His mother did not want him to be born and rejected him both before and after birth.

A Wall Street Journal article (Feb, 1991) quoted a recent Iraqi emigre to Israel who knew the mother of Saddam. After losing an older beloved teenage son to cancer, and in a state of much distress, she attempted suicide. Before Saddam's birth, she would pull out clumps of her hair and pummel her pregnant abdomen with her fists. In the Journal article she is quoted as having said that she did not want her baby and asking "after losing my husband and child, what good can this baby do me?" Even Saddam Hussein's official biography recounts his unhappy childhood.

Dr. Eliezer Witzlum, a Jerusalem psychiatrist and psychohistorian wrote a paper on Saddam, and feels that his maternal rejection is the root of what psychiatrists call Saddam's psychopathology. Because of maternal deprivation and inadequate bonding, Witzium believes that Saddam Hussein "may never have developed basic trust in other people. You see it in abused children in clinical situations," he said.