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Early Childhood Socialization and Its Influence on Political Decision-Making in Adulthood: The Cases of Moshe Dayan and Other Israeli Leaders, Moving from the Military to the Political Arena

Arie Geronik

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Charismatic leaders – political and military – use the historical arena to achieve congruence between their internal needs and conflicts, their need to maintain a sense of self, and the external world. Though they appear to be incessantly concerned with achieving success, power, beauty and the unlimited sense of entitlement they demand for themselves, a more in-depth examination, in most cases, reveals that beneath their glamorous lifestyles, they experience strong feelings of envy, inferiority and emotional hunger. An examination of Israeli leaders who stood at the forefront of leadership since the establishment of the State shows a strong tendency among many of them to seemingly change their position from a right-wing outlook to more dovish positions. Many of these leaders underwent a transition from defense activism to the status of “peace-makers”. The claim of this article is that by examining the socialization of these leaders, particularly in early childhood – we may discover that their attitude changes in adulthood do not necessarily represent an undermining of the individual’s basic outlook or its rejection, but often rather serve their childish emotional needs. We may see it not as a change of personality, but rather as a continuation.

Keywords: Psychoanalysis – Psychobiography – Socialization – Leadership – Narcissistic personality – Moshe Dayan – Charisma