The Health Of The Dictator

There is a body of research which deals with health of dictators and autocrats and their hold on power.  The Shah of Iran and what happened to him once it was realized he was sick is a good example of this.  In other words, the physical health of autocrats has a lot to do with their hold on power and thus autocrats tend to keep a tight lid on whatever health issues they may have. In fact, even in supposedly liberal regimes the health of the prime minister, president, etc. is often an issue of secrecy – think here of Mitterand (prostate cancer) or Reagan (dementia).  In the former it is now well known that Mitterand actively kept his condition from the press; while in the latter, though there is a great deal of debate as to Reagan’s condition starting in 1986, we do know now that private observations by members of the press and Reagan’s own family questioned his cognitive abilities – observations that should have been made available to the public at the time but weren’t for one reason or another.

Anyway, this is all apropos the following article.  Enjoy.

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