Sunday, 20 March 2016

Adolf Hitler (EIE): Personality Type Analysis

Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-German politician who became at first chancellor (i.e. prime minister) of Germany through legal means, then became dictator of Germany as its 'Führer' (leader). He can be considered the individual chiefly responsible for the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Hitler's political career took off when he started participating in political debates in the Munich beer halls in the early days of the post-WWI period. At first he did so as a spy for the German army, but he soon developed a taste, and displayed talent, for intense political debates and speeches. That remained his essential strength as a politician, which led him to quickly become the leader of the tiny DAP party, precursor to the Nazi party.

The success of Hitler's speeches was based on focusing on a few simple points that many people believed in but few were saying openly (as Carl Jung observed at the time), with very little actual content but delivered in an atmosphere of highly energetic emotionality, enhanced by both his oral delivery and his gestures. That remained to the end his chief strength: that, and his use of symbols of powerful emotional impact on the public of the time: the swastika, Wagner, and planned, huge theatrical rallies, etc.

The power of his rhetorical skills, even improvised, was crucial during his trial in 1923 after his failed putsch attempt: he basically got the judge enough on his side to avoid deportation to Austria and even a harsh prison sentence.

Hitler also easily shifted between personalities according to his audience: in private, he could speak reasonably in a calm tone of voice (as demonstrated by a Finnish secret recording of 1942) and behave as a considerate boss to his secretaries and chosen favorites (like Albert Speer), as well as come across to other politicians as a reasonable man who wasn't as extreme as he sounded in public (hence his success in becoming Chancellor still in the Weimar Republic).

All of the above suggests a man natural in E, with huge confidence in it, certainly as a quadra value and probably as E1 or E2.

In the intense political atmosphere of the Weimar Republic, Hitler quickly adopted gangster tactics, surrounding himself by thugs such as Ernst Röhm and the SA. Although, at this time, as a former soldier, able to threaten others with a gun, he clearly did not see personal intimidation by willpower as his chief strength. Further, his 1923 attempt at a coup in Munich failed by poor organization and a huge miscalculation of his forces against those of the State of Bavaria. It was after that failed coup that he abandoned politics by violent revolution and focused on making speeches.

Even when already in power, but before WWII, Hitler repeatedly failed to intimidate or even impress major politicians in one-to-one meetings, like former US president Herbert Hoover, Francisco Franco, and even Benito Mussolini (SLE) (who was impressed by German power, not by Hitler). Hitler himself admitted to having been fully unable to bully Franco and dreaded ever having to negotiate with him again.

All of that suggests a man who values F, would like to be better at it, but ultimately fails and prefers to use it indirectly, through others. Also, the men Hitler liked to have around him were either supposedly tough, like Röhm and later Göring, or with some claim of being cerebral, like Speer and Goebbels. This again suggests F as quadra value.

It is difficult to pin down Hitler's true ideology precisely, not only because he lied shamelessly about everything, but possibly because he himself wasn't fully sure. The constant feature is a clear belief in the value of strength and contempt for weakness. This again points to F as quadra value, and along with the previous paragraph, to L, although L as a weak function.

Hitler thought frequently about grandiose visions for the future victorious Germany, especially his rebuilding of Berlin with huge monuments. In order to test whether Berlin's ground was suitable for that, German engineers built a gigantic concrete cylinder to simulate the pressure on the ground (the cylinder still exists, the 'Schwerbelastungskörper'). Although the technical conclusion was that building gigantic structures there wasn't a good idea, Hitler decided to go ahead anyway. The same applies to his interventions in government and war, a man more in touch with his visions than with hard reality.

It is useful to compare Hitler with the other powerful dictator of the time, Joseph Stalin (LSI). Stalin rose to power as a shadowy bureaucrat, and as dictator remained a super-bureaucrat with full personal control of the government at all levels. Hitler rose through his rhetorical skills and even as dictator never really exercised full personal control of the government, preferring to express his wishes and let others carry it out somehow.

Finally, in the 'Table Talks', written down from dinner conversations, Hitler easily digresses on his views on history, religion, human nature, etc., but surprisingly not in a one-track way, which is consistent with I8.

All of the above points strongly to a person of the Beta quadra, with E far stronger than F, yet also inclined to use F himself but not so well; also with L varying from uncertain to fanatically certain, and with a focus on T visions and symbolism, as well as, for a Beta, considerable focus on I.

That is all consistent with E1, T2, P3, L5, F6 and I8. That is, an EIE.

To learn more about EIE, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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