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Worship of Power As Shared Mental Illness

A study reported in the Telegraph, written by Martin Evans, claims "The children of rich parents are put under so much pressure to succeed they are at an increased risk of suffering" ...   from anxiety and depression at twice the normal rate of children from less well off families. Eating disorders, drug abuse, neuroses and self harming were found to be much more common among wealthy teenagers.

I suspect that wealth signifies skill, intelligence or talent, and wealth "proves"  success. This manifests within the psyche of offspring a duty to prove their academic or athletic superiority, otherwise they are letting their family down. Relentless pressure can be applied while parents are unaware of how it impacts their child's health.

"The American psychologist who carried out the study said many children were finding it impossible to live up to the expectations being placed on them by their rich and successful parents."

Sheri Johnson, a Berkeley psychologist and senior author of a study published in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice found the motivation to pursue power needs to be considered.

What are the emotional issues around the pro-social and aggressive strategies for attaining personal power? "Studies have long established that feelings of powerlessness and helplessness weaken the immune system, making one more vulnerable to physical and mental ailments". On the other end of the spectrum, an inflated sense of power signals a narcissistic personality disorder which is harmful to those who must live and work with them. Socially and personally corrosive, power can be toxic. Dominance Behaviour, December 9, 2014. Berkely News.

In Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky argues that the socio-economic elite who control the United States have pursued a strategy to maintain global hegemony since the end of the second World War, at the expense of democracy and human rights. Hence, the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction which now threatens the existence of the human species. 

Do all great civilizations feel compelled to prove their superiority through their weapons of power? Are Russia, the EU, China, and Syria, all competing for that global status of the number one ruler? 

Are we all suffering somewhere on the spectrum between powerlessness and narcissism? Are we affected by the expectations of our national identity? If  'Make America Great' or 'Rule Britannia' is the call within our deep sub-conscious, how can we defend ourselves from propaganda and paranoia?

The internalization of power as a primary measure of worth will ultimately turn us into victims or murderers. Unless we examine the costings of our planetary health and the part we can play in defending that, we doom our grand-children to an everlasting war within and among ourselves.


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