One of the prime appeals of fine arts is their invulnerability to sociopaths. Whether it be in the plastic arts, music, dance, drama or writing; whether as an interpreter, appreciator or creator; whether or not that person is a sociopath is irrelevant. Other skills are called for and ethical conduct doesn’t matter.
Sociopaths have infiltrated, corrupted, reversed by decree and eventually taken over almost (?) every other human institution: politics, religion, education, justice, philosophy, science, industry and mores. Unlike them, the fine arts are impervious to their contamination. The absolute nature of aesthetics trumps the give-or-take lies, routine hypocrisy and corruption taken for granted when it comes to ethics.
That is why the least creative among sociopaths (like those in Congress) are so hostile to the fine arts, which Learners must support with all their might.
My thanks to the late Lloyd Rigler.
Out of all humanity, about three percent of men and one percent of women are sociopaths; one percent are psychopaths. They number around three hundred million and thus equal the sixth largest nation on Earth. For comparison purposes and no other, there are 40 million blind people on Earth. Say you noticed someone blind on the fifteenth of the month and the one prior on the first. During that two-week interval, approximately two psychopaths and six sociopaths crossed your path.
Depending upon the taxonomy of therapists, those suffering from psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder and malignant narcissism that are pretty much interchangeable.
Don’t bother butting me your latest buts, you witch doctors.
Psychopaths tend to be lone wolves often lethal and delusional, whereas sociopaths are outwardly sane people who join a subculture that promotes their vicious egotism, such as organized crime, criminal justice, politics, corporate and government bureaucracies or the military. More recently, finance, science and technology.
More or less one quarter of big corporate bosses are psychopaths and who knows what percentage of politicians and the military? How many preachers are more intent on textual fundamentalism than the more natural – and from their point of view, satanic – dictates of personal conscience? Religious dogma is essential to them because they have no internal moral compass to steer their lives by.
Almost a quarter of those in prison are psychopaths; they are at fault for almost every violent crime penalized. Psycho/sociopathic cops, court officers, legislators and their cronies are responsible for locking up most other convicts for victimless or one-time crimes and even for officially concealing proof of their innocence. In extremis, they get them executed.
Is there a parallel between the finding that 96% of the universe is made up of “dark energy and matter” whereas only four percent is visible, and that 96% of mankind is conscience-driven, whereas four percent is not? Is there an ecological need for a four percent margin of predators and a 96% remainder of prey, to maintain the vigor of a species, since we don’t have predators other than microbes?
Various Ages, or Youga, may have differed in the percentage of psycho- and sociopaths present. Our era, the Iron Age or Kali Youga (Age of Evil), supports as many of them as possible short of the complete destruction of civilization ― merely now and then for a millennium or so until the next renaissance. The Bronze Age, two-thirds as many; the Silver, one-third; and the Golden, almost none.
Why these shifting proportions over time? Sociopaths tend to love ‘em and leave ‘em, producing a long succession of bastards and orphans who often become sociopaths in turn, since they were left to their sad fate and genetically predisposed. Psychopaths love to tyrannize, torture and murder as many of the conscience-driven as they can, preferably with patriotic, religious and civic-minded “help” from the conscience-driven themselves. Finally, psychopaths enjoy being led by other psychopaths, contrary to the conscientious who detest such bosses. So they proliferate in positions of responsibility and of preparation for those, like bacteria in a dish of eggs.
Modern civilization’s predicament is that of a classroom overburdened with troubled students; whereas those who lived during a Golden Age could have gone about their business in peace and harmony without suffering from others who must fulfill their evil Karma.
Some societies in Asia only retain one percent of sociopaths, perhaps because of their collectivism and their tendency, as far as the Japanese are concerned, to “hammer the nail that sticks out.” I would rather attribute it to the prevalence of seafood in their diet with its high protein and micronutrient content, plus rice with its lower digestive acidification, which would be especially important for growing children. Inattention to proper child nutrition increases the prospect of mass sociopathy.
Psychopaths can tell right from wrong behavior, but suffer no pangs of remorse when they commit the latter. They have no conscience, no shame and no love for anyone but themselves and perhaps immediate blood relatives. They do not recognize those feelings and look down on those duty-bound by them. The truth is a matter of convenience for them, to be twisted to their advantage. Especially the truth about themselves. For example, they never consider themselves mistaken or imperfect (like Trump). Ever.
They can act conscientiously but must be coached to do so under relentless supervision. In one of his “Culture” science fiction novels, Ian M. Banks foretold that they would be escorted full time by an artificial intelligence “slap missile” set to thwart their misdeeds.
Type One sociopaths cannot control their pathology, they are unmistakable. The Type Twos learn to postpone the most blatant of their misdeeds. They only proceed when they know that no effective resistance will be raised against them. Today, it is they who run this planet in the dumb name of weapon mentality —the reason lying and brutality have become our fate.
Many of their victims find their devil-may-care attitude attractive at first. Charming and debonair when so inclined, they turn vicious and manipulative when they can get away with it. They can “read” like a book the body language and facial expressions of the conscience-driven, fake emotions, seek pity and affection they never feel for others, and seduce their victims just prior to exploiting, insulting and injuring them. They use people and discard them, the way you would use a Kleenex.
They commit sins without guilt, sins we would find inconceivable to carry out and painful to recall. They get away with many evils because no-one around them can imagine such complex, aggressive and risky behavior for rewards as trivial as the relief of boredom, idle greed, one-upmanship and simple jealousy of those with superior talents.
Since the average psychopath does not bother with moral conscience, love and their many subconscious calculations, somewhat like those needed to remain upright on a bicycle but a lot more rapid, dense and complicated ‒ he or she is burdened by a permanent sense of boredom that can only be relieved by risky behavior and elaborate abuse (torture, humiliation and betrayal) of conscientious inferiors.
He usually grows old, sick, penniless and shunned by one and all including his family. Many are ruined or slain by a protector of one of their victims or by several avengers. Few die in bed surrounded by loved ones. They are pitiable if quite dangerous moral amputees.
The craft of government consists in keeping most psycho/sociopaths in check as long as possible (that is, moderately well off in exchange for wreaking as little havoc as possible). The tragedy of government is that they will take over the highest ranks of government sooner or later, as well as several rungs underneath, and ruin the life of everyone they control, for no good reason.
Recall that their primary motive is the relief of their crushing boredom by inducing chaos and reveling in it.
From a peace mentality point of view, good governance is calm, fair, generous and permissive. You may do pretty much as you please and not be disturbed by the government except under special circumstances and with elaborate restraints.
Under such minimal constraints, psychopaths thrive upward from below and gradually take over all the sources of wealth and political power. No-one makes a serious effort to identify and impede them. They recruit other sociopaths as subordinates into dysfunctional or openly criminal organizations. Once they have taken over most positions of responsibility, they eject the conscience-driven from the rest of them. Their self-serving abuse rots out the rest of society, unavoidably and unarguably, no matter how awful the outcome of their takeover.
After a while, the growing resentment of a conscience-driven majority explodes in militant revolt. There follows a bloodbath at the hands of elite psychopaths and their sociopathic mercenaries in charge of police suppression. At that point, their opponents and victims, conscientious revolutionaries, discover the military advantage of a chain of command of psychopaths, adopt it and fatally compromise the lofty ideals that drew them to revolt.
After a psychopath-directed seesaw of revolution and counter-revolution (this chaos, their idea of paradise since it allows them the greatest scope for evil), the slate will be wiped clean. The absolute minority of psychopathic leaders will have been exterminated and so many casualties will accrue among the conscience-driven that their survivors, exhausted and disgusted, will take up the temporary reigns of government. They will reward surviving psycho/sociopaths at minimal expense to do the least amount of damage, then re-institute more calm, justice and benevolence — and so on.
Expect nothing much more from recurring weapon revolutions; expect them to be a lot more insidious than the simple, tidy procedure described above, much more torturous, prolonged and malevolent.
I take the following quotation from MIT’s Internet Classics Archives version of Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War at http://classics.mit.edu/Thucydides/pelopwar.3.third.html, Book Three, Sections 82 and 83. This passage describes the takeover by psychopaths of the normal government on both sides during the course of that war. It applies to American politics these days, growing more and more extremist and intolerant, and to prior takeovers by psychopaths in world history.
3.82 “So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur. Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians. In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to make such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the command of either faction for the hurt of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage, opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting to the revolutionary parties. The sufferings which revolution entailed upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, as long as the nature of mankind remains the same; though in a severer or milder form, and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety of the particular cases. In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes. Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime. The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence. Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first. The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honour with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape.
3.83 “Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by reason of the troubles. The ancient simplicity into which honour so largely entered was laughed down and disappeared; and society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow. To put an end to this, there was neither promise to be depended upon, nor oath that could command respect; but all parties dwelling rather in their calculation upon the hopelessness of a permanent state of things, were more intent upon self-defense than capable of confidence. In this contest the blunter wits were most successful. Apprehensive of their own deficiencies and of the cleverness of their antagonists, they feared to be worsted in debate and to be surprised by the combinations of their more versatile opponents, and so at once boldly had recourse to action: while their adversaries, arrogantly thinking that they should know in time, and that it was unnecessary to secure by action what policy afforded, often fell victims to their want of precaution.”
If your conscience prompts you to pursue the good and lessen evil ‒ no matter what race, ethnicity, country, religion, ideology or organization you belong to or reject ‒ half of your rare enemies will belong to your side and half of your many friends, to the other. The only non-delusional segregation? That between those with a healthy conscience (your real friends) and those without (enemies).
It doesn’t matter which “side” you “belong” to, except to justify the bloody-mindedness of that side’s psychopaths who would otherwise be constrained. Thus, war, jihad and crusade fester at random intervals, each one a hunt for every Other turned monster (even though we are for the most part similar), justified by the clever propaganda of psychopaths.
Heed my warning. Pick your friends and sort out your enemies with care.
There are dependable psychological tests to identify them. During CAT scans, their mind reacts to emotional problems the way most people’s would to an algebra problem. The same brain volumes light up in both cases. When observing torture films of unspeakable horror, nothing much lights up in their brain, while those of conscientious people set off cerebral fireworks.
They rarely yawn when other people do so, since they have no fellow feeling.
Their record as schoolyard bullies and animal tormentors gives them away during their naïve youth, as does that of shameless pity seekers when caught as adults for proven serial misdeeds. Let me repeat: they are never wrong and cannot be wrong. It is always someone else’s fault, your fault or their victims’ who deserve their abuse. Their routine speech, absolving themselves and scapegoating others, echoes that of national weapon propaganda since forever.
There is no cure for their disease, nothing chemical or psychoanalytic (perhaps genetic surgery someday?). They do not want to be cured. They consider themselves superior and the conscience-driven, their social inferiors and legitimate targets. After advanced group therapy sessions targeting their affliction, they emerged with better techniques to simulate emotions they never felt, thus duping their future victims with greater ease.
Track them down, identify them and eject them from positions of authority high and low. A 1-800 telephone number should be dedicated to their victims, so they can inform on any sociopath who torments them. Investigators would bring the suspect in for testing, the results of which would confirm or deny the necessity of confining them from positions of responsibility, authority and control over their victims.
Above all, never allow sociopaths to take over this hunt. If given the slightest chance, they will surpass every evil of the Inquisition (another one of their historical Paradises), hunting down innocent victims and laughing in their face as they bring them to ruination and death.
They should be stroked and cozened once they are identified, and generously subsidized for their lifetime. Experiments have shown that their criminal recidivism can be reduced by methodical rewards much more effectively than by punishments they seem to be immunized against. In addition, this would neutralize a great chunk of the merely lazy and parasitical ones, otherwise inoffensive, at lesser cost than present day laissez-faire. Prison and penal punishments only serve to isolate them from the general population; they have little or no effect on their bad behavior.
The rest of them should be provided with constructive outlets for their immense boredom (demining, commando work, high risk surgery and outer space exploration, for example) and otherwise peacefully neutralized. They are better qualified for technical tasks that require emotional distancing from the people they interact with, like very delicate surgery and violent law enforcement. Under strict supervision, they should be encouraged along these lines.
The last thing to wish for: that they unite against the rest of the world because they fear for their life and liberty. No other army would be more lethal, no insurrection more destructive, no terrorist group more alarming than that of psycho/sociopaths united because the rest of us attack them. Under most circumstances, they are anarchistic individualists and their organizations stumble because they are so competitive internally, as shown by civilian Nazi leadership.
They are most useful in war when they find it easy to commit frightful atrocities, then move on to the next. Unimpeded by moral conscience, they are more technically competent at organized killing and more imaginative in carrying it out. They suffer no pangs of conscience from the grim chore of killing the enemy, not even from the pileup of casualties on their own side in order to get that job done.
Sociopaths commit the first atrocities in war and then drift off to the next, anonymous, invisible and unpunished (if not promoted for their acts). Meanwhile, conscientious people in uniform (or peaceful villagers left behind) hold the ground and get punished in retaliation. If those sociopaths are bossy enough, normal people will obey their insane orders and commit crimes unthinkable under other circumstances. Sociologists have confirmed these outcomes during experiments simulating interactions between fake convicts/prison guards and torture victims/administrators. People tend to fall into the role of tormentor and victim reflexively.
This is how dirty war spreads on both sides.
Dread them like Satan. They and the idiots under their charge are responsible for most of the large-scale evils on Earth. In their absence, utopia might draw just within our reach, without necessitating so many laws and so much paperwork and general constraint.
Of course, powerful psychopaths have worked hard to bad-mouth utopia in every media they could control. They’ve slandered idealists and pacifists so systematically, they’ve turned them into pariahs and made their passion taboo. They’ve produced a whole literary culture that exempts them from responsibility for most crime and attributes it to conscientious people who stray (“Anyone is capable on any crime”) even though they commit almost every crime, especially the serious ones; and the mythical strays, almost none — all of this with our amiable consent. For thousands of years, we have repeated their vicious lies to one another like brainwashed idiots.
Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door: the Ruthless versus the Rest of Us, Broadway Books, USA, 2005.
Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience: the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, The Guildford Press, New York, 1999.
It remains to be seen if another minority exists of super-conscientious, super-empathic people: the psychosane and the sociosane. For people like Buddha, Abraham, Gandhi and quite a few more (mostly female), the suffering of others is more painful to them than their own. They would rather suffer and die if necessary than see their fellows harmed. The leadership of PeaceWorld should be drawn from them alone, even thought they’ve been sidelined by mainstream culture up ‘til now.
Up to Learners to recruit them by means of a cooperative procedure completely distinct from competitive government selection dictated by psychopaths.