Right Man

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Originally coined in A.E. Van Vogt's 1954 novel The Violent Man, and subsequently promoted by Colin Wilson.


Right Man (plural Right Men)

  1. A man driven by a manic need for self-esteem, often driven to violence: "the violent man".
    • 1984, Colin Wilson, A Criminal History of Mankind, 2006, Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology, Afterword, p. 219-220:
      '[T]he violent man' or the 'Right Man' … is a man driven by a manic need for self-esteem — to feel he is a 'somebody'. He is obsessed by the question of 'losing face', so will never, under any circumstances, admit that he might be in the wrong…
      Equally interesting is the wild, insane jealousy. Most of us are subject to jealousy, since the notion that someone we care about prefers someone else is an assault on our amour propre. But the Right Man, whose self-esteem is like a constantly festering sore spot, flies into a frenzy at the thought, and becomes capable of murder…
      The Right Man problem is a problem of highly dominant people. Dominance is a subject of enormous interest to biologists and zoologists because the percentage of dominant animals — or human beings — seems to be amazingly constant. [B]iological studies have confirmed [that] for some odd reason, precisely five per cent — one in twenty — of any animal group are dominant — have leadership qualities…
    • 1987, Robert Anton Wilson, The new inquisition: irrational rationalism and the citadel of science, page 225:
      Concretely, the Violent Male -- the extreme form of the Right Man -- edits out the suffering and pain he causes to others.
    • 2005, George B. Palermo & ‎Richard N. Kocsis, Offender Profiling: An Introduction to the Sociopsychological Analysis of Violent Crime, →ISBN, page 55:
      An interesting sociological theory, already mentioned, regarding crime is that of the Right Man—the man who is always right (Wilson, 1990), a person, basically with a sense of inferiority and a facade of idealism, who, because of misperception, justifies unbridled desire to obtain what he wants, even with violent acts. As state in Chapter 1, many murders, intelligent and with a paranoid personality, belong to this Right Man category.