Tyrants, despots, dictators, and criminals are charismatic, but often egomaniacal, unscrupulous, brutally abusive, and exploitive. Using any means necessary, they grasp for power, and the control of all events, conditions, and circumstances. They use oppression, fear, superstition, violence, or sexism to maintain power. Francis Bacon opined, ‘It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self.’
Those who ruthlessly seek power and control have perhaps not progressed beyond Maslow’s hierarchal level of the need for safety and security. Their need to dominate is compensation for fears of rejection, abandonment, helplessness, or vulnerability. They may also fear loss of status or influence. A genetic anomaly or absence of conscience may be involved.
The unique value of democracies and republics is that the only legitimate source of power for government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ is the consent of the governed—the people themselves. Thomas Hobbes stated, ‘The right of nature is the liberty each man hath to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life.’
Choose to let go of control of others. Self-transcend to an ‘other’ orientation, with which you may support and defend human and civil rights, and empower those who are abused, neglected, or exploited.
'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.' –Lao-tzu