One of the foremost values of the fine arts resides in their immunity to the influence of sociopaths. Whether it be the plastic arts, music, dance, drama or writing; whether it be as an interpreter, appreciator or creator; whether or not that person is a sociopath is irrelevant. Other skills are necessary and moral turpitude is irrelevant. Unlike politics, religion, social justice or other human organizations that sociopaths have specialized in infiltrating, corrupting and eventually taking over, the fine arts are immune to their toxic influence. The absolute truth of esthetics trumps the give-or-take lies and routine cheating of ethics. This 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, approximately three percent of men and one percent of women are sociopaths. One percent of humanity consists of psychopaths.
Depending on the definition of therapists, those suffering from psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder and malignant narcissism are interchangeable. Psychopaths tend to be anarchistic lone wolves, often lethal and delusional; whereas sociopaths are otherwise sane people who tend to join a subculture that promotes vicious selfishness (like organized crime, criminal justice, politics, corporations and/or the military).
Four or more percent of corporate chiefs are psychopaths, and who knows what percentage of politicians and the military? What would the proportion be of preachers more intent on meticulous textual fundamentalism than the more natural – and from their point of view, satanic – dictates of conscience? Religious dogma is more important to them because they lack an internal moral compass.
Almost a quarter of those in prison are psychopathic to a varying degree; they are guilty of almost all the violent crimes being punished. Most other convicts are locked up for victimless or one-time crimes, by a clique of psycho/sociopathic cops, court officers, legislators and their cronies.
Is there a parallel between the phenomenon that 96% of the universe is made up of “dark matter and energy” whereas only four percent is visible matter; and 96% of mankind is conscience-driven, whereas four percent is not? Is there an ecological need for a 4% margin of predators and a 96% remainder of prey, in order to maintain species vigor?
Also noteworthy, the idea that the various Ages or Youga might have differed in the number of psycho- and sociopaths tolerated. Our age, the Iron Age of Kali Youga (Age of Evil), tolerated as many of them as possible without destroying civilization for good (merely temporarily, from time to time, for a millennium or so). The Bronze Age, two-thirds as many; the Silver Age, one-third; and the Golden Age, none.
So we would be like a classroom burdened with too may troubled students; whereas those living in the Golden Age could have gone about their lives in peace and harmony, but without allowing those who required the infliction of evil to fulfill their Karma.
I am also told that some societies in Asia include only one percent of sociopaths, supposedly because of their collectivism and tendency, according to the Japanese, to “hammer down the nails that stick out.” I would rather attribute it to the preponderance of seafood in their diet, its protein and micronutrients, also rice of lower digestive acidification, especially among growing children.
Such people can tell right from wrong in their behavior, but suffer no pangs of conscience when they commit the latter. They have no conscience, no shame and no love for anyone. They do not know what those feelings are, and look down on those bound by conscience. The truth is a matter of convenience for them, to be biased to their advantage. Especially the truth about themselves.
Recent research has shown that they can be conscientious but must be prompted to react that way. Their mandatory supervision for this purpose would resemble that of criminals in the Culture novels written by the late Ian M. Banks: accompanied at all times and thwarted if necessary by a “knife missile” android.
Many of them are charming and debonair when so inclined, with a devil-may-care attitude that many of their victims find attractive, at least at first; but they are manipulative and vicious when they can get away with it. They can “read” like a book the body language and facial expressions of the conscience-driven. They can fake emotions, seek pity and affection they never feel for others, and seduce their victims before they exploit, insult or injure them. They use people and discard them, the way you would use a Kleenex and throw it away.
They can commit sins without guilt, which we would find inconceivable during the commission and very painful to live with, afterwards. They get away with many evils because those around them cannot imagine such complex, belligerent and risky deeds for such trivial reasons (like boredom, idle greed, one-upmanship or simple jealousy of those with superior talents).
Since their brains are not preoccupied by the infinite subconscious calculations of moral conscience and love (somewhat like those needed to stay upright on a bicycle, but a lot more complicated), they are burdened with a semi-permanent sense of boredom they can only relieve by serial risky behavior and the elaborate manipulation (torture, humiliation and betrayal) of their conscientious inferiors.
They usually wind up in old age alone, broke and shunned by everyone, their family included. Many are slain or socially crushed 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 (that is, moderately well off for doing as little damage as possible) for as long as possible. The tragedy of government is that, sooner or later, they will take over the highest levels of government as well as several ranks beneath, and ruin everything, more or less for no good reason.
Recall that their principle motive is the relief of their boredom by spreading chaos.
From a peace mentality point of view, good government is calm, fair, generous and permissive. You may do pretty much what you please, and not be interfered with by the government, except under special circumstances and with elaborate restraints.
Sociopaths thrive under such minimal constraints and gradually assume all the earthly powers of wealth and political promotion. They will recruit their sociopath peers as employees in organizations either dysfunctional or openly criminal. Eventually, they will take over everything and eject the conscience-driven from positions of responsibility. Their self-serving abuse will rot out the rest of society.
The cumulative resentment of the vast majority of the conscience-driven will provoke a militant revolt. Following a bloodbath at the hands of elite psychopaths and their mercenaries in charge of suppressive powers, the conscientious will discover the military advantage of a chain of command directed by sociopaths, will adopt it and thus fatally compromise the ideals that drew them to revolt.
After a series of psycho/sociopath-directed oscillations of revolution and counter-revolution (this chaos, their idea of paradise, allowing them the greatest scope for evil), the slate will be wiped clean, most of the small minority of sociopath leaders will be exterminated, and so many additional casualties will have befallen that the exhausted and disgusted, conscience-driven survivors will take up once again the temporary craft of government. They will reward surviving psycho/sociopaths at minimal expense to do the least amount of damage – and so on.
Given this sociopathocracy noted in Learners, if your conscience motivates you to pursue the good and reduce evil; no matter what race, ethnicity, country, religion, ideology or organization you adhere to or reject: half your few, worst enemies will belong to your side and half of your many friends, to the other. The only non-delusional segregation is between those driven by conscience and those without. What “side” as listed above, that each person “belongs” to is irrelevant.
Be warned and pick your associates with care.
There are dependable psychological tests to identify them. Mostly, their brains react to emotional problems the way most people’s would (who have no problem with such situations) to an algebra problem. The same brain volumes light up during CAT scans.
The easiest way to identify them is as schoolyard bullies and torturers of animals during their naïf youth, and as shameless pity seekers when caught for serial adult misdeeds.
By their lights, they are never wrong. It is always someone else’s fault, including their victims’ who deserve their abuse.
Their routine speech is that of weapon government, regardless of its provenance.
There is no cure for their disease, chemical or psychoanalytic (except, perhaps eventually, for genetic surgery). They do not wish to be cured. They consider themselves superior, and the conscience-driven, inferior.
After advanced group therapy sessions deliberately targeting their affliction, they emerged with better techniques to simulate emotions they did not feel, thus duping their future victims with greater ease.
Track them down, identify them and exclude them from positions of authority, high and low. A 1-800 telephone number should be dedicated to their victims. They should be able to drop a dime on any sociopath who torments them. Investigators would then bring the suspected sociopath in for testing, the results of which would confirm or deny their need to be restricted from positions of responsibility and authority.
Above all, never allow them to assume control of the hunt for sociopaths. If given the slightest chance, they will surpass all the evils of the Inquisition (another historical sociopath Paradise), hunting down innocent victims and laughing in their face.
On the other hand, they should be stroked and cozened once identified during childhood, and subsidized generously throughout their lifetime (thus neutralizing a great chunk of the merely lazy ones, shameless parasites but otherwise harmless); provided constructive, risk-taking outlets for their overwhelming boredom (demining, commando work and outer space exploration, for example) and otherwise peacefully neutralized in every way possible.
The last thing we would wish for: that they become antagonized against the rest of humanity, or scared for their life or liberty. No other army would be more lethal, no insurrection more destructive, no terrorist group more alarming than that of psycho/sociopaths reunited (often, they are anarchistic individualists, and their organizations dysfunctional―see civilian Nazi leadership) because rejected by rest of us.
Their primary social utility is in war, when they find the most frightful atrocity simple, then move on to the next one. Unimpeded by moral conscience, they are more technically competent at killing and more imaginative carrying it out. Organized massacre is their county fair. They suffer no pangs of conscience from the grim chore of killing the enemy, not even from an increase in casualties on their own side in order to get that job done.
Sociopaths commit the first atrocities in war and then take off for the next one, anonymous, invisible and unpunished. Meanwhile, the remainder of conscientious people in uniform (or peaceful villagers left behind) will hold the ground and be punished in revenge. If those sociopaths are officious enough, normals will obey their insane orders and commit crimes unthinkable under other circumstances. This is how dirty war spreads on both sides.
Fear them like the devil. They and those idiots under their control are responsible for most of the evil on Earth. In their absence, utopia might just be within our reach.
Of course, rich and powerful sociopaths have made a special effort throughout recorded history to bad-mouth utopia in every media they could seize control of. They’ve insulted idealists and pacifists so methodically as to turn them into pariahs and their passion in a taboo, in popular as well as academic culture.
With our amiable consent. We have repeated their vicious lies 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 people, of the psychosane and sociosane, for whom the Other’s pain is more painful to them than their own. From them and them alone, we should draw the upper leadership of PeaceWorld.
Up to Learners to discover.
LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld