Paranoia in Psychology Paranoia Is Defined As Term Paper

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In Psychology, paranoia is defined as 'a mental illness in which somebody wrongly believes that they are hated or badly treated by others'. In this context, Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden do not have commonality of thought. Although leaders of their respective groups or nations, both the men, were poles apart. Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden belonged to two stark opposite backgrounds, performed differently, were brought up in absolutely opposite environments and functioned in this transitory world thereby spending their lives with a cause. However, the motives behind their actions were as different in the two cases as their actions were. In short, Hitler and Osama bin Laden have little comparison; our thesis statement that will be backed with sufficient evidence in the following passages of our research paper.

Adolf Hitler was the head of the state and he brought much anguish as well as created extreme chaos in the lives of all Jews of his times. Evidence suggests that Hitler's personality problems also resulted partly due to religious influence; however, he received much of his inspiration for the heinous crime that he committed from his political environment as well as from his economic deprivation as a child and a teenager. On the other hand, Osama bin Laden is the leader of a religious group by the name Al-Qaida. The motives behind Laden's operation and the inspiration that motivated him to establish a religious group comes from the religious teachings. Osama bin Laden was never into politics and to date exhibits no such interests.

Hitler was a product of poverty, destitution and ignorance. His childhood miseries and adulthood destitution prompted him to propel him into a position of power. He was half-educated, had no professional skills and had no parents. Hitler was expelled from the primary school and ample evidence from his schools records suggests that he had brains but lacked the discipline to perform at school with determination to excel in academics. A school drop-out, Hitler was found trapped in the cycle of vicious activities and soon turned into a rogue (The psychology and development of Hitler). Making to Vienna with passion and several dreams, for he was an ambitious man but lacking the essential ingredients to prove his abilities in the competitive world, Hitler experienced extreme forms of poverty until he joined the German armed forces only as an unpaid helper in 1914 (The psychology and development of Hitler).

Adolf Hitler was fundamentally an opportunist who could go to any length to attain as well as maintain his powerful status (The psychology and development of Hitler). He was a man not only in quest of power but also in search of glory and fame. Born poor and lived half of his life in rags with no particular aim in mind, Hitler wanted to make the most out of his political power as the head of the state. Hitler's aim in life was the attainment of wealth, power and glory and world dominion. His political philosophy lacking in logic was also based on the concept of expansion of empire (The psychology and development of Hitler). On the same account, Hitler promised his people "world domination ruled by the select master Arian race, free of Jews" (Bernhardt, 2001) only to satiate his thirst for splendor and authority. He wanted to be remembered as the conqueror. Being the victim of subjugation in his childhood days when personality is shaping and mental filters are being acquired by impressionable minds, Hitler saw economic soundness as the key to success in life. Burning in the invisible flames of jealousy, Hitler sought revenge from Jews, who have been the "scapegoats of Catholic Church" since times immemorial. Hitler's "thirst for revenge obscured (his) vision" (Bernhardt, 2001). The impact of religious teachings (that promoted discrimination against the Jews) on the mind of Hitler can be best understood in the light of the following excerpt taken from the source under consideration:

Hitler and his prime revolutionary conspirators had their attitudes formed by catholic teaching. Authoritarianism is at the very core of the Church of Rome, so it is hardly surprising that such an attitude permeated the perspective of catholic politicians. The mixture of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism generated an explosive mix in Hitler's Germany. The Church has long been intolerant of any deviation from the party line and millions have paid for dissent with their lives. That intolerance and 'certainty' is inculcated from childhood and the child is encouraged to utter obedience. The demand for unquestioning obedience leaves the young adult adrift without useful independence of mind. There is little ability to 'think for oneself', leaving a yearning for authority and a fear of freedom or responsibility. It becomes a small step to find willing hands to follow any pogrom or crusade.

In addition to the above, belonging to the poverty-ridden family with no parents to guide through, Hitler exhibited uncanny behavioral characteristics since childhood until late in the teens. As appears in the magnum opus, The Man who invented the Third Reich (1999), Hitler was termed as a "sexual pervert by police in 1908" (Lauryssens). Furthermore, he was also found "not attracted to the female sex" (Lauryssens, 1999).

Thus, the aggregate effect of the extreme poverty that gave birth to fear, apprehension, insecurity and the nagging feeling of being economically unsound and unstable as well as highly dependant as well as the deteriorating effect of religious teachings ignited a spark so bright and long lasting in Hitler that he became uncontrollable in his urge to obliterate the entire race of Jews. Thus, poverty taught him a lesson: Hitler was a staunch believer of the fact that life is all about struggle. But his use of the expression, "brutal struggle" in his speech in 1928, reveals the element of paranoia and cynicism. This idea can be best understood in the light of the following excerpt taken from one of Hitler's speech: "The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish through struggle. In this struggle, the stronger, the more able, win, while the less able, the weak, lose. Struggle is the father of all things. It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle" (Speech at Kulmbach on 5 February 1928, quoted in Hitler, A Study in Tyranny). This idea of struggle might have been responsible for compelling Hitler to inflict pain and to force Jews to struggle for their survival on this face of Earth when this German head of the state made relentless efforts to erase even the vestiges of Jews from Earth because of the abnormal hatred that he carried in his heart which is evident in his words, "If twelve or fifteen thousand of these Jews who were corrupting the nation had been forced to submit to poison-gas, just as hundreds of thousands of our best German workers from every social stratum and from every trade and calling had to face it in the field, then the millions of sacrifices made at the front would not have been in vain" (Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp.373-374).

Unlike Hitler, Osama bin Ladin belonged to a highly influential family headed by a "Saudi construction magnate of Yemeni origin." Since day one, bin Ladin enjoyed the comforts as well as the luxuries that money offered, his family even had connections with the royal families existing in Saudia. Moreover, unlike Hitler, Bin Ladin was adequately educated with a degree from "King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia" (Operation, enduring, freedom, 2003). He had no personal ambitions to rise to a position of power. He had no nation and no country of his origin. He had…

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