The Carlo Complex

On page 586 of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, there is a paragraph that pretty much sums up the character of the main antagonist of the novel, Carlo Ventresca, after whom this Complex is named after. It is as follows:

It was Mortarti who broke the spell. “The preferiti”, he said in a horrified whisper. “Baggia and the others. Please tell me you did not…”

The camerlengo turned to him, surprised by the pain in his voice. Certainly Mortarti could understand. Headlines carried science’s miracles every day. How long had it been for religion? Centuries? Religion needed a miracle! Something to awaken a sleeping world. Bring them back to the path of righteousness. Restore faith. The preferiti were not leaders anyway, they were transformers – liberals prepared to embrace the new world and abandon the old ways! This was the only way. A new leader. Young. Powerful. Vibrant. Miraculous. The preferiti served the church far more effectively in death than they could alive. Horror and Hope. Offer four souls to save millions. The world would remember them forever as martyrs. The church would raise glorious tribute to their names. How many thousands have died for the glory of God? They are only four.

OK, I haven’t taken a crash-course in Psychology nor am I the young and future Einstein or Jung. I’m just a 19 year-old kid who experiences a lot of epiphany and likes to read psychology based articles and books and entries. I also like reading different Complex’s and Thought Experiments but somehow they don’t seem to baffle me. It’s like I already know the stuff. It’s like as if I helped them write that article or thought or whatever. This interest, or fascination, started only a week ago and I’m already able to come up with my own theories and answers but of course, I have no idea how many rules I’m breaking, or making, along the way. Thinking and reading about the human mind is much better than daydreaming about being a rock-star or a celebrity. That’s for losers!

Now, let’s get on with the topic: The Carlo Complex!

I’ve observed in a-many books, cartoons, movies and in real-life that a person who considers himself perfect for the job will go as far as killing his opponents and/or people who have a better chance in succeeding for that job, usually a higher rank as President, or in the case of Carlo, The Holy Pope, a ranking he wants but cannot get, so he sets about killing the 4 who are likely to succeed and plays with the minds of the people.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is an important distinction between The Carlo Complex and Megalomania.

A megalomaniac considers himself higher than the law and Important, whereas a Carlo might think of themselves as Perfect. I think there is a difference between the two. A good example of a megalomaniac is Officer Frank Tenpenny from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He is the law, but considers himself even higher. He does as he pleases, kills mercilessly and manipulates others to help move shit from one side to the other. A megalomaniac might want to rule the world, or a majority, with an iron fist whereas a Carlo wants to rule just as it is. He insists on him being the one doing it.

If you look at this way, both use violent actions or measures to achieve that status or rank but in the case of a megalomaniac, it’s an everyday thing, whereas for a Carlo, it’s for a very brief period. He might or might not continue it in the future.

The reason why I came up with this Complex is because I’ve seen many fictional characters and real-life persons show signs (I’m forgetting names at the moment, apologies) so I thought it would be a good idea to give it a name, or anything, just to get the ball rolling!

I’m sorry I couldn’t explain it in an impressive or wide manner but my thinking goes this much. True, many things come to mind, like The Trolley Situation and other psychological theories and thoughts but I don’t wanna go that deep either. Remember, this is written by a person who has just recently taken an interest, so be nice!

I would love your feedback on this! Thanks!


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