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Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters by Barbara Kellerman

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CHAPTER TEN

Evil

Radovan Karadzic

Evil Leadership—The leader and at least some followers commit atrocities. They use pain as an instrument of power. The harm done to men, women, and children is severe rather than slight. The harm can be physical, psychological, or both.

WE ARE FAMILIAR with the idea that evil is a political force to be reckoned with. Only a few decades ago, Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” And even more recently George W. Bush labeled Osama bin Laden an “evildoer,” and later went on to identify an “axis of evil”—Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. As far as Bush was concerned, America’s mission was clear: to root out evil at the individual level (bin Laden, Saddam Hussein), and at the collective one (the ...

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