I ran across this essay, "Truth to Power: Psychopaths Rule Our World", this morning and it kinda stopped me.
Now, this "type" was in full bloom in the previous US administration, of that I have little doubt. But, and whis is probably where I part company with many, I see absolutely no difference in the current one. Merely a change in tactics.
Then, to merely grab the title and link would not make a very inspiring post, so I did grab some snips. Foir full effect though, I would urge a full reading at the link.
One thing which I am unsure of, not having much education in the formal field, but almost everywhere they use the term "psychopath", I have always seen the word "sociopath" used up to now. A matter of terms, perhaps.
One thing that came to mind repeatedly while reading it was a quote by Gore Vidal to describe such people:
"It is not enough that I succeed. All others must fail."
It is evident, for those with eyes to see, that political discord between rival criminal cartels is purely for public consumption. Bread and circuses. Policy is not shaped by party politics. Decisions are made by a few: everyone else adjusts or starves. Weapons of financial mass destruction deployed by Central Bankers and
, under the guise of protecting the markets and improving the efficiency of the system, vacuum the wealth of the nations - the work people produce - into ever fewer hands.
While we share a symbiotic reality, mutually bound by rules and conventions, theirs is very different. It shadows ours, feeding off the real economy below by manipulating the supply of money, which private banks control. 'Market crashes' are built into the system. Rules designed to regulate economies and prevent volatility are periodically altered. Hysteria is induced in people through repeated media suggestion forecasting impending doom. In the ensuing panic brought on by shock, windows of opportunity open for the few to recast the rules in their favour, extending and entrenching their vice on the real economy.
The how has a why
Power is an addiction its abusers can neither comprehend nor arrest. They are programmed towards ruthless, hegemonic domination of the 'other'. A useful guide when treading the spider's web they weave: if you can name the institution or put a face to the name, then you're looking at a prop on the stage. The original instigators remain elusive. But unravelling the lies, the paper trail yields simple gems: the 'free market' really means freedom for the few to steal everything from the many. The game is rigged so that the people lose either way.
"We decide something, put it out there, then wait for some time to see if something happens. If there is no big shouting and no rebellions, because most do not understand at all what was decided, then we continue - step by step - until there is no more resistance." - Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council President in 2005, quoted in Der Spiegel 52/1999Breathtaking, is it not? And Machiavellian. And immoral. And impetuously childish.
The world has only one problem - Psychopaths
Ponerology(*) is a branch of science drawing on psychology, biology and the social sciences. Born in the very setting which it studies, Political Ponerology, A Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes was penned by a brilliant psychologist called Andrej Lobaczewski. Stealthily networking with colleagues in Poland and other Nazi and Soviet occupied countries during and after the Second World War, their research bore tremendously valuable fruit that both re-conceptualises and reinforces our understanding of the 'causal factors and processes of the genesis of moral and psycho-biological evil.'
These pioneers discovered a blind spot in our perception of the world, which only lent itself to study when historical circumstances transformed their countries from democracies to totalitarian systems, and the underlying pathological factors that produced Rule by Terror were unmasked.
"It seems that conscience and feelings are related to the abstract concepts of 'future' and 'others.' It is 'spatio-temporal.' We can feel fear, sympathy, empathy, sadness, and so on because we can IMAGINE, in an abstract way, the future based on our own experiences in the past. We can 'predict' how others will react because we are able to 'see ourselves' in them, even though they are 'out there'. In other words, we can not only identify with others spatially, so to speak - but also temporally - in time. The psychopath does not seem to have this capacity."
It follows that they do not understand what is meant by a 'fact'. Where we rely on facts to interpret reality, adjusting its parameters accordingly with each new fact, reality for psychopaths is whatever they declare it to be. This was wonderfully demonstrated by a member of the Bush administration in an interview with journalist Ron Suskind: In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend - but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Dr Robert Hare, renowned authority on psychopathology, isn't mincing his words when he labels this different type of human an "intra-species predator." His book Without Conscience cites case studies where psychopaths absorbed all attempts to 'cure' them by engaging in psychotherapy to learn new and better ways of manipulating. He once submitted a paper to a scientific journal that included EEGs from several groups of adult men performing a language task. The editor of the journal returned the paper saying, "Those EEGs couldn't have come from real people." In a sense, they didn't. They were the EEGs of psychopaths.
We unconsciously presume the universality of conscience, exposing ourselves to a predator that can exploit us in myriad ways by appealing to our conscience. Through their trademark pity ploy, psychopaths induct people to subvert the one distinguishing factor - conscience - against themselves! We are imprisoned in a web of guilt, shame and fear that is ultimately of our own making. Psychopaths need rarely resort to violence to get what they want in one-on-one interactions; the most successful ones keep their murderous impulses in check until they reach the halls of power where opportunities arise for committing mass murder by proxy.
Naturally this can be difficult for some to acknowledge. We so desperately cling to a belief in the inherent goodness of everyone, leaving us blind to what is. But there exists a fundamental schism between our world and theirs that cannot be abridged. Martha Stout, in her seminal book The Sociopath Next Door, concludes that the "Presence or absence of conscience is a deep human division, arguably more significant than intelligence, race, or even gender."
For a long time I would not believe it: they cannot be cured. They do not see themselves as diseased. Rather, we are the disease, the cure for which is full-spectrum warfare levelled not against
, but against us.