According to Gary Lachman, the ‘Right Man’ was an idea developed by science fiction writer AE Van Vogt.
“It describes the type of person who under no circumstances can accept that he is wrong. His need for self-esteem is so great and his grasp of it is so tenuous that the slightest contradiction sends him into a rage. His belief in the absolute correctness of all his actions is so unshakeable that he treats any question of it as a personal betrayal.”
In modern parlance we might see this as an extreme form of narcissism.
Lachman reports that from Colin Wilson’s Criminal History of Mankind that it is clear that “most of history has been written by right men” quoting examples such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Nero, Caligula, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane – the great tyrants of history. Obvious modern examples will come to mind.
Of course, Right Men, exist in many levels of society. Two particular well populated areas are the criminal fraternity and the upper echelons of the business world. I came across a few when I worked in business, usually among the higher-ups. With major corporate crashes we will often find that a Right Man has been at the centre, unwilling to listen to anyone who tells the truth of a situation. The Right Man is the Emperor who has no clothes.
When the Right Man gets into a position of control, the sycophants around become mere expressors of the latest thoughts of chairman Right Man, rather than their own man addressing the issues of the real world. The Right Man will even deny reality, such as man-made global warming and its causes.
The Right Man is precisely the Wrong Man to run anything.
Gary Lachman quoted from his book ‘Beyong the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson’
Picture of Hitler and Mussolini, Munich 1938 from Bundesarchiv, via Wikimedia Commons