A God complex is a term used to characterize arrogant, individuals prone to stupid actions, despite their being highly educated, worldly, or powerful. A person with a God complex is said to suffer from the delusion he or she is, at the very least, the Almighty's gift to the world. Terms such as group think, expert worship, and 'God complex' have been coined to explain various incarnations of this phenomenon.
God complexes and man-made disasters
In direct proportion to disparity of wealth and power, the opportunities escalate for individuals to assume inhuman, and sometimes inhumane, dominion over others. God complexes are often blamed for monumental man made disasters, including global warming and the autism epidemic. As wealth and power is consolidated into the hands of individuals at the helm of ever larger organizations and nations, it has become increasingly evident that powerful, and generally very intelligent, people sometimes do incredibly stupid things that contribute to man-made disasters and compound the tradedy of natural disasters.
There are few academic works specifically addressing God complexes, although a great deal can be found about narcissism.
Psychiatry has offered alternative terminology, such as 'compensatory narcissistic personality disorder' corresponds to Ernest Jones's 'narcissistic God Complex', Heinz Kohut's narcissistic personality disorder', and Theodore Millon's 'Compensatory Narcissist'.
In the book All Mighty: A Study of the God Complex in Western Man, by Horst Richter (ISBN 0897930282), authoritarian compulsions are related to the rebellious stage of childhood development. Richter examines how the arrested development of such compulsions leads to denial of suffering, self-doubt, and death, and an expectation of servility for women and minorities.
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