Most 20th century dictatorships notably involved a ‘cult of personality’ around a leader. Who are some of the more eccentric or unusual from History?

This has been brought about by reading into Saparmurat Niyazov and how bizarre of a human he was (replaced the native Turkmen word for bread, changing it to his mothers name, as just one example).

I have also been thinking about the kinds of characters who are attracted to or who end up in positions of absolute power. In your opinion, does absolute power attract unusual people? Or is it that absolute power is too intoxicating for anyone to remain ‘normal’ whilst occupying?

I’m thinking in particular of Stephen Kotkin and his take that though Stalin had always been ambitious, and possessed of a certain ruthlessness and a scheming nature, that it was partially having lived as a revolutionary and primarily possessing absolute power, in the context in which he had it, that sculpted the genocidal tyrant he became, and not something that happened in his childhood or some inherent psychological perversion.

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What do you think?

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