When you meet powerful men or just read about them in the newspapers, you see that they don’t have a sense of boundaries. And that goes from, ‘Well, let’s go kick some butt in Syria,’ to, ‘Oh, look at that beautiful woman. I want her. She’s mine’. But when you see a family malfunction, all the patterns and the dynamics that you see eroding the structure of that family, you can find those same dynamics all the way up the chain of society, all the way to the ruling class and the top of government.
Author Bob Shacochis in an interview on NPR.
I don’t know if Shacochis has ever read any Bowen theory, but his observation nicely sums up the scalability of systems theory, as well as Friedman’s view on the lack of self-regulation in tyrants, symptom-bearing church members, and dysfunctional leaders of families.