One can learn a lot about how people view government and tyrants by studying the life and psychology of drug baron Pablo Escobar.
Escobar was a duplicitous character brimming with contradictions. On one hand he saw himself as the noble, benevolent savior of Columbia and protector of the downtrodden. He wanted to become a leader within the political class in Columbia. For a time, he followed leftist ideology and stood up for the “working people” and the poor.
On the other hand, he saw himself as the powerful cartel leader Don Pablo or El Patron—and he nonchalantly ordered bombings and murders without any regard for life. He lived a lavish lifestyle, bought luxurious items, and had many people commit brutal acts of violence for him.
Falling in Love with Pablo
Because of how he viewed himself and the way he tended to his image, it caused the working people of Columbia to fall in love with him.
Many of them, especially in the city of Medellín in Columbia, saw him in the same light as he saw himself: as a protector and saint. They saw him as an embodiment of good.
However, in a shocking act of cognitive dissonance, the people maintained their perspective even after realizing he murdered thousands of people. And although many of his targets were either Colombian police officers or politicians (he claimed self-defense), he also killed innocent people in his campaign against the State.
Pablo was the “civilian” reflection of a politician
The important thing to note about Escobar is that he is “civilian” reflection of a politician. He cultivated a desire to be loved, and leveraged his charisma to make it a reality. As a result, his immoral acts were overlooked by many.
Ironically, many of those who acknowledged his immoral acts could never see the traits he shared with politicians. Those that work as bureaucrats often order murder and bombings on a regular basis, and yet people cheer for them because they provide handouts and sate the psychological needs of the slobbering masses.
Escobar was not much different. He simply gave handouts to people to inspire their love. These freebies caused people to ignore his murderous machinations. It is a tragedy people are so weak they are willing to disregard morality so long as they get to feast on the scraps at the alter of power.
A Character Study on Evil
In my opinion, Pablo Escobar and other cartel leaders represent perfect character studies on how people fall in love with evil. It demonstrates why people easily dismiss evil acts for the allure of powerful men. And I think this is part of the truth about why anarchists are oftentimes fascinated by mafia dons and cartel bosses. They provide insight into how power corrupts the heart of unprincipled, desperate people.