Homo politicus: a handy formula

I hadn’t come across this before, but it’s a nice illustration of an eternal verity, with a suitable veneer of pseudoscience, perhaps comparable to economics as described by Thomas Carlyle when he referred to it as the ‘dismal  science’, albeit for slightly different reasons.

It’s from a fine piece in the American Spectator, by Marilia Duffles, on Obama and Obamacare, with the compelling title “Is he out of his narcissistic mind?”:

There’s nothing like an equation to solve for what is perhaps still the unknown out there. Harold Lasswell (1902-1978) — considered the father of political psychology — made an, um, textbook case:


Which means: Political man (p) projects his personal needs onto a public object (d), and then rationalizes it (r) as being in the public interest. And, voilá, you’ve got P. The power seeker. Homo politicus.

And Obama, like most of our UK politicians with a few honourable exceptions like Frank Field, is,  as the article says Homo politicus on steroids. Come to think of it, I’m sure there’s a similar equation feasible for ambitious NHS staff. I’m working on it.

...not a new problem
…not a new problem



2 thoughts on “Homo politicus: a handy formula

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