One of the prime values of the 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 needed and personal turpitude doesn’t matter.
Sociopaths have infiltrated, corrupted, inverted by decree and eventually taken over almost (?) every human institution: politics, religion, education, justice, science, industry, 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 by human ethics.
That is why the least creative among sociopaths (like those in Congress) are so hostile to the fine arts, and why Learners must support the fine arts 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, thus equal to 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 sidewalk on the fifteenth of the month and the one prior on the first. During the same period, approximately two psychopaths and six sociopaths would have crossed your path.
Depending upon the taxonomy of therapists, those suffering from psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder and malignant narcissism are pretty much interchangeable.
Don’t bother butting me your 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 selfishness, such as organized crime, criminal justice, politics, corporate and government bureaucracies or the military.
More or less one fourth of big corporate bosses are psychopaths, and who knows what percentage of politicians and the military? How many preachers are more intent on their textual fundamentalism than the more natural – and from their point of view, satanic – dictates of personal conscience? Religious dogma is very important to them because they have no internal moral compass to steer their lives by.
Almost a quarter of those in prison are psychopathic and guilty of almost every violent crime penalized. Psycho/sociopathic cops, court officers, legislators and their cronies are responsible for having locked up most other convicts for victimless or one-time crimes. Or, in extremis, murdering them.
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 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?
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, leaving many bastards and orphans behind who often become sociopaths in turn, since left to their sad fate and genetically predisposed. Plus psychopaths tyrannize, torture and murder as many of the conscience-driven as they can, preferably with patriotic and civic-minded “help” from the conscience-driven themselves.
So our predicament would be 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 needing to let those who crave evil fulfill their 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 protein and micronutrients, plus rice with its lower digestive acidification, especially important for growing children. Bad child nutrition makes mass sociopathy more likely.
Psychopaths can tell right from wrong, 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 biased to their advantage. Especially the truth about themselves. For example, they never consider themselves wrong (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 shadowed full time by artificial intelligence “slap missiles” 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 entire planet in the dumb name of weapon mentality—that’s the reason lying and brutality have become our common lot.
Many of their victims find their devil-may-care attitude attractive at first. Charming and debonair when so inclined, they turn vicious and manipulative whenever 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 those around them cannot imagine such complex, aggressive and risky behavior for rewards as trivial as relief of boredom, idle greed, one-upmanship and simple jealousy of those with superior talents.
Since they do not bother with moral conscience and love and their many subconscious calculations, somewhat like those needed to remain upright on a bicycle but a lot more rapid, dense and complicated ‒ they are burdened with a permanent sense of boredom they can only relieve by risky behaviors and elaborate abuse (torture, humiliation and betrayal) of their conscientious inferiors.
They usually grow old, sick, broke and shunned by everyone including their family. Many are ruined or slain by a protector of one of their victims or by numerous avengers. Very 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 everyone’s life for no good reason.
Recall that their primary motive is the relief of crushing boredom by reveling in the chaos they produce.
From a peace mentality point of view, good government 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. 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 sociopath 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 be 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, difficult, prolonged and malignant than the simple, tidy procedure described above.
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 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 on at random intervals, each of them a hunt for the Other turned into a monster (even though we are for the most part similar), justified by the clever propaganda of psychopaths.
Heed my warning. Pick your friends and distinguish 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 fireworks.
They rarely yawn when other people do so, since they have no fellow feeling.
A 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 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 weapon propaganda through the ages.
There is no cure for their disease, nothing chemical or psychoanalytic (perhaps someday genetic surgery?). 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 drop a dime on any sociopath who torments them. Investigators would then 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 of their historical Paradises), hunting down innocent victims and laughing in their face as they torture and ruin them.
Moreover, they should be stroked and cozened once identified, and generously subsidized throughout their lifetime. This would neutralize a great chunk of the merely lazy and parasitical ones, otherwise inoffensive, at lesser cost than present day laissez-faire.
The rest should be provided with constructive outlets for their titanic 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 delicate surgery and violent law enforcement. Under strict supervision, they should be encouraged along these lines.
The last thing to wish for: that 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 tend to break down 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 officious 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.
This is how dirty war spreads on both sides.
Dread them like Satan. They and the idiots under their charge are answerable for most of the large-scale evils on Earth. In their absence, utopia might be just within our reach, without the need for so many laws, so much paperwork and general constraint.
Of course, rich and powerful psychopaths have gone out of their way to bad-mouth utopia in every media they could control. They’ve insulted idealists and pacifists so thoroughly, 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 (“Everyone is guilty”); even though they commit almost every crime, especially the serious and large-scale ones, and the strays almost none—all this with our amiable consent. For thousands of years, we have repeated their vicious lies over and over to each other 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 men and women people like Buddha, Abraham, Gandhi and quite a few more, 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. From them alone, disowned by mainstream culture up ‘til now, we should draw the leadership of PeaceWorld.
Up to Learners to recruit them by means of a cooperative procedure totally divergent from current competitive testing dictated by sociopaths.