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John Dean – Public Servant

In addressing the trend in Republican politics since Nixon, Dean writes:

"Much of what I have to report is bad news. But there is some good news, because while authoritarians have little self-awareness, a few of them, when they learn the nature of their behavior, seek to change their ways. Thus by reporting the bad and the ugly, it may do some good. At least that is my hope."

John Dean – Public Servant

Updated 09 Sept 2013

  • In his “Conservatives Without Conscience,” Dean is talking about the Neoconservatives or Neocons.
  • They are Authoritarian to the core.
  • Without conscience defines the Sociopath.
Updated: 01 Jan 2009

John Dean of the Nixon Administration and Watergate fame
Book Review with commentary

We quote from Publisher's Weekly

"Few critics have as effectively put the disparate pieces together, linking them to what Dean says is a broader pattern of secrecy from an administration that does its best to control the flow of information on every subject ... and uses executive privilege to circumvent congressional scrutiny."

See also: John Dean's own remarks on this.

Updated 17 June '07

With all due respect for the office of the President of the United States, this incumbent has accomplished some negative achievements of historic import. The world will never be the same.
Posted 23 June 2006; Updated 17 Mar 2007

The play acting was supposed to be benign, as play acting usually is. As if by the stroke of a magic wand, Philip Zimbardo proved otherwise in 1971 in his now-famous Stanford Prison Experiment. His two-week study of the psychology of incarceration had to be called off on the sixth day because the conditions of Abu Ghraib had developed of their own accord. For some of his later commentary see: Stanford News Service.
Republican Party Hijacked Without Rank-And-File Consent.

Resources: Conservatives Without Conscience, by John Dean, and The Authoritarian Specter, by Bob Altemeyer and information each references.

Updated 15 Nov 2018

This site is a work in progress. Because the mosaic of information from so many different disciplines fits together so neatly, one can only conclude that the mosaic is basically correct in form--consilience in other words. For example, Natural History (physics, chemistry, biology), evolution, anthropology, human history, sociology, psychology, political science, and our common sense, all converge upon a theme that indicts our aggressive instincts and obedience to Authority, legitimate or not--as when wielded by the psychopath--as a root cause of violence. Our altruism, parenting, and herding instincts provide possible solutions, but they get covered up by societies inured to violence, if not overtly taught that violence as the only solution to violence. Ironic? To say the least. Non sequitur? That too.

Questions now on the table:
"Where will that narcissist in the White House take us?
How can we as a people realign ourselves for an uncertain future?"

The hall of fame for peace research might include:

Richard Dawkins
Theodor Adorno
Stanley Milgram
Jerry M Burger
Gene Sharp
Phillip Zimbardo
Bob Altemeyer
John Dean
Jessica Stern
Martha Stout
Robert Hare
Justin Frank
Andrew Bacevich
Malcom Gladwell
Edward O Wilson
Lee Alan Dugatkin

Undoubtedly there are others who have contributed in like manner and amount. See: Links to scores of issues that could benefit from further study and / or verification.

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Martha Stout’s Frank Assessment
Updated 6 Sept 12; 09 Sept 2013
21 Oct 2014

"Short of a sociopathic leader who diverts the course of an entire nation, leading it into genocide or unnecessary war, the psychopathic killer is surely the most terrifying example of a psyche without a conscience..."
Just after the 2006 election, we had a rush of hope if not confidence. But all that is gone now. Our great leader (great because he leads a great nation) not only ignored the will of the American public, but that of his best advisors, themselves with great track records. Evidently their recomendations do not mesh with his view of the world.
Updated: 07 May '07

Never in US history has our military spoken out loudly against our civilian leadership -- until now. This may surprise many Americans. Just as surely, the military remains loyal to the concept of civilian control. But it is equally clear that many in the military are in uncommon dissent, especially over Iraq and Iran. Iran looks like a replay of Iraq. Neither American nor any European intelligence agency has turned up the slightest evidence of clandestine nuclear activity.
Updated 31 May 2007

Brigadier General Billy Mitchell
Prophet Without Honor

General Billy Mitchell was the first prominent American to publicly support a vision that strategic air power could dominate future warfare.

Your message is loud and clear. THANK YOU
The United Nations and Rwanda
Book review with commentary
Michael Barnett - Professor of Political Science, Univ of Wisconsin - Madison.

All who care about the future of humanity should read this book. We give this book four stars on content, three on style -- it could be presented in a more dramatic fashion to attract more readers, and more readers is what this book deserves. It also misses the boat in terms of what can be done about it. Admiring the man who stands his ground and his principles is simply not enough. Dallaire could not do it alone, and neither can anyone else. A movement may well be required.
19 April 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney recently addressed the "American Israel Public Affairs Committee," also known as AIPAC. His remarks may be found on White House news release. Mr Cheney proclaimed four myths:

    "The most common myth is that Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror.
Causes of Terrorism

As ghastly as terrorists have been and still are, we will err in our strategy against them if we do not account for their humanity and how they develop their inhumanity. Books detailed enough to understand something of the psychology of practicing terrorists are all too few.
14 Sept 2007

Too often key events that affect the future of humankind go unnoticed or even forgotten. The works of Mendel, who discovered the genetic code is one example coming to mind. Charles Darwin himself was not fully appreciated in his own time in spite of a high and controversial profile. Some of his deepest insights are just now coming into general acceptance. Giants who followed him would include not only Gregor Mendel, but James Watson and Francis Crick with vital help from Rosalind Franklin. Because of them, humanity now has a much better view of itself. They enabled a new beginning on the question of nature/nurture. Neither was very clear before Darwin. Darwin, Mendel, Watson, Crick, and Franklin comprise humanity's heroes in biology, the nature side of the coin.
Updated 5 mar 2010

Since much of our information on this site came via books by many authors we thought it appropriate to list the books here by title.

1776 - David McCollough

Abraham - Bruce Feiler

A Nation of Sheep - William J Lederer
Conceived on 12 Sept 2001, RoadtoPeace is a web site individuals can use and study in trying to make a difference in our violent times. We also provide extensive internal and external links to sites and pages pertinent to the subject at hand. As a friendly site linking to us put it:

[RoadtoPeace:] "Seeks reasons for terrorism in various aspects of religion, economics, history and psychology, stressing the complexity of the issue. The way out appears to be seen in equalizing opportunities, remedying historical injustices, and advancing independent thinking."
Research, begun on 12 Sept 2001, has been a work in progress ever since. Outlook for peace all over the world looks dim any time soon. But there is reason for hope in the longer term:

How to handle this built-in genetic conflict is the challenge of our times. Societies that accent the nurture side of of the equation while inhibiting our aggressive-animal nature become more peaceful thereby. What follows summarizes the basic violent side while outlining some avenues that appear to be useful.
The longer we see Barak Obama in action the better he looks. We have a lot of company. Frank ScHaefFer, ex Republican, ex Christian Right, ex all the ramifications, Frank Schaeffer, jumped ship. Like John Dean, Schaeffer repudiates all that the modern Republicanism shouts about. And both jumped ship for similar reasons. Schaeffer is our kind of Republican. We bring you his open letter in its entirety from the Huffington Post.

Dear Republican Leaders: The Republican Party has become the party dedicated to sabotaging the American future. Check out the sermon I just delivered about the Republican Party on CNN when being interviewed by D.L. Hughley – and read on.
Humor; but not so humorous in our times!

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time
and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain
Updated 11 Feb 2007

This project is beginning to illuminate the basic human ills that we and our children face. If it looks like it will take generations to banish terror from earth, that is all the more reason why we need to get on with it.

"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures." John F. Kennedy

Fifty years on we could not agree more.
Updated 21 Mar 2007

Since terror is all about psychology; so also its countering must be. We are up to it. And it will take a long time, a generation--or three or four--all the more reason to get started.
We cannot find words to describe what the American people achieved yesterday. Never again can it be said bigotry, racism and sexism dominate our culture. America never gives up in believing justice will prevail. If the future brings divisions, never again will Americans lose faith that they can force change or be healed.

Some 68 times, Barack Obama used the word "we" last night. We believe he will be inclusive. Our faith in America's future got a big boost from this election's result.

Unique Experiments that Illuminated Our True Human Natures.
Stanley Milgram
Book Review With Commentary

Reviewed by Harry Rosenberg.

If there is a kernel to the story of violence in American culture, this book is that kernel. Milgram adds magnificently to the pioneering work of Adorno et al on the Authoritarian Personality. Milgram details his many rigorous experiments, and interprets them relentlessly.

Central theme of this editorial:

It is time to move away from violence
in the war on terror.

From the Stone Age forward, the history of humanity has been one of violence, escalating with population, exponentially since the development of metallurgy and the invention of gunpowder.
Extended Book Review [Reviewer’s Commentary]

Authors have various perceptions from different angles as to the origins of violence. Arendt addresses the macro aspects of violence as they play out among nations. Her perspectives are mainly national or international in nature. Yet she uses terms that will be familiar as manifestations of Authoritarian Personality as discussed on this web site.
Bin Laden, Al Qa'ida, and Recent Iraqi History

25 April 2007

We know not what we do. Or so it seems. But what is certain now is that we are fighting the wrong war. And we are losing the real one; the one for the hearts and minds of those who would welcome and embrace freedom and self-determination under any flag, economic system, religion or government--democracy in other words.
Updated 23 Jan 2010, Sept 2013, 12 Oct 2015

Perceived Rates of Violence are Apparently Associated with Religion when driven by psycho-sociopathic personalities. The religious involvement is not new to us. It is a fact of history most of us would deny from our conscience. See for example: Religious Tolerance for a list of atrocities from 1450 CE to 1903. Violence arises from other causes as well and some are discussed on this reference.

If Humanity does not change, it will destroy itself.
H G Wells
Updated 23 July 2009

Roots of Terror Briefly and Some Avenues Now Apparent

Reading recorded history is a heavy trip. Through all of it, terrorism, wars, and genocide surface again \ again. These repeat themselves in an endless ebb and flow of charades. Like complex rows of dominoes, each event triggers further events, becoming ever more intense with time. What is it about humanity that it never learns from history?

For a quick peek at what might be done see: Peace Via Nature's Way
Updated 7 April 2010

Identifying the Psychological Traits
Published 1996 Bob Altemeyer
Book Review with commentary: Updated 15 Jan 2008

Bob Altemeyer, is both daring and credible. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Manitoba. His professional focus is the social psychology of authoritarian personalities; it is his specialty. Unlike the Freudians and political pundits, his calling is to understand and define the personality itself in scientific terms. Toward that end he finds that three basic traits explain the behaviors authoritarians exhibit: Submission, Aggression, and Conventionalism. Readers should carefully note his definitions of each before drawing conclusions of their own.
Mar 2003

This page collects selected questions from the media, our visitors, and from our own sources. We hope they are thought provoking.
Economic gaps between people and between nations go with the very concept of free enterprise. Problems arise when gaps become too small to motivate individual achievement or so large that they provide motivation for extremist responses to terrorism on the parts of small groups and individuals. It is true that money is not the only motivator. Unless, that is, there is not enough of it. When gaps among nations become too extreme, trouble in the form of TERROR looms, as it has in our times.
Research Through Mar 2008

Roots of Terror Briefly and Some Avenues toward Peace Now Apparent

Reading recorded history is a heavy trip. Through all of it, terrorism, wars, and genocide recur again and again. Like rows of dominoes, each event seems to trigger further events.

Have you ever seen two organizations locked in a titanic battle? One is driven by the taskmaster who demands compliance. The other is led by a coach who mentors all on the common goal and who asks for feedback continuously. Which style is winning and why? These are my subjects for this chapter. By governance, I mean the style by which we manage our enterprise. Let me start with some groundwork.
Compassion is all about deep sympathy, feeling for others. Mr. Bush is long on show, short on feeling. Until you look closely, as Bob Herbert did in the 13 February 2003 New York Times, you might not see the real Mr. Bush. The real Mr. Bush dawdled at his ranch during hurricane Katrina, for two days.
Governance by and for the rich

See also Economic Extremism and Gap.

Message for the Democrats:
He who stands his ground and coordinates can win battles;
he who runs scared in confusion never has a chance.


What follows is as factual as we can make it. We regret to report certain associations between past and present practices of governance. If the shoe fits, we must wear it, at least for the time it will take to replace winner-take-all politics with statesmanship.
Since much of our factual information was generated by others publishing important books we list them all here for your convenience.
Adolf Hitler

Volume One - "A Reckoning"

Annotated but unabridged.

Mein Kampf is in two volumes, the first was written when Hitler was in prison in Bavaria in 1923-1924.
Updated 27 Feb 2010

Most of the basic literature we have relied upon to find a road map for peace can be found in the references below. To briefly summarize: Our genetic endowment contains genes for violence, aggression, and conventionalism. Countering those expressions are genes for parenting and altruism. The latter are vital for only they can save humanity from perpetual violence and war.

Updated Feb 2006; 4 June 2007

Our position on Neoconservatism is that it has defined and created a crossroad in American history, a crossroad where brazen partisanship and imperialism have divided our nation as rarely before, and much of the world along with it.

The historic election we just endured has many facets, as one might expect in hindsight.

No person is an island, nor could one ever be, in spite of what a hardened narcissist might think.

There were also too many elements in play for the voters, or even pundits for the most part, to even grasp as they played their roles in the 2016 election event. Individual and group psychologies were the immediate drivers responding to Globalization that relocated jobs world-wide. Globalism is the most immediate and prominent mediator of trends in economics and political discourse we now observe. Societies evolve, just as species do, by the survival of the fittest and luckiest in terms of the latitude and natural resources that provide extraordinary means for families, tribes, communities, and ultimately nations to compete and evolve. Like their species counterpart, societal evolution is continuous over time with nations instead of individuals acting. And like natural evolution, mutations occur. We now live in such a “mutant period” comprising populism where only time will determine our survival polity. And populism itself shows many faces, both Left and Right.

This thorny issue has its roots in our genes for psychopathology. Criminal psychopaths torture their victim. Criminal commanders order their troops to torture captives and even civilians. Torture is justified on the grounds that it gets results. On occasion that may be true. But it is a rare event. Torture is basically identical to the Witch Hunting of earlier centuries, where the act of torture was an end in itself. Torture was discarded in WWII because it did not work. People soften up through friendship, kind treatment and regard, not by painful torture. People softened up will talk more freely and honestly than they will when wracked with pain in fear of their lives. Two quotes from WWI veterans assigned to interrogate German prisoners of war.

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong
than they do today, with their torture,"
Henry Kolm, 90, MIT physicist assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.