A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

February 19, 2009

Musings on Psychopathy

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

A friend wrote me:

In a nation ruled by psychopath bankers, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society “adaptive” to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone. As a consequence, a very large number of people are effective sociopaths. (Here we use “sociopath” as a designation of those individuals who are not genetic psychopaths)

To which I replied:

Indeed, it’s a sad fact of life that the world glorifies the psychopath and that success in the world today all too frequently seems to require a psychopathic mindset. However, I think the problem with humanity at its root cause does not stop with the psychopath, I think it goes deeper. In fact, I think the prevalence of the psychopath is merely symptomatic of a much more basic problem lying at the core of humanity.

That problem, I’ll have you know, is that humans by-and-large simply have lost their humanity. If a tree were to represent humanity and if one should judge that tree also by its fruits, then, through the occurrence of rotten fruit (toxic humans or psychopaths) this tells you that something also is terribly awry with the tree itself.

Let’s first address the question, what is a psychopath? Basically the mind of a psychopath is the human mind absent its humane component. The mind of the psychopath is virtually completely ego, which is the natural or animalistic mind. With ‘humane’ I mean the abstract substance that keeps humans and societies of people from flying apart; it’s the psycho-spiritual ‘glue’ that holds us together and includes notions of care, love, kindness and respect for fellow human beings. Without those attributes humans seize to be human and stand to degenerate into wild animals if given half a chance. Psychopaths are schoolbook examples of wild animals, ferocious predators to be exact, although they may excel in disguising their nature by acting civilized in most situations. Just like wild animals however, psychopaths are likely to be not dissuaded from accomplishing their goals and satisfying their needs even if it goes at the expense of others. The psychopath, unlike normal people, has no conscience that gets in the way of their selfishly parasitic antics and wants.

Psychopaths assume they can afford to hurt fellow human beings because they have no empathy for (most of the other) people, which they are inclined to label as weak and simply worthy of being ‘dealt’ with as soon as they are perceived to have become a liability. Psychopaths assume they can afford to act selfishly and ruthlessly since they expect their psychopath peers to just follow suit and who they feel may even, heaven forbid, try to outcompete them, and loss is not an option in the “code of conduct” of the psychopath.

In addition, psychopaths rationalize their ruthless and inhumane behavior by feigning victim rather than perpetrator. By convincing themselves that their actions are merely of a defensive rather than offensive kind, they have a basis to rationalize their hostile behavior towards, what they regard as, people who are threatening them in any way, shape or form. If you’re into movies I recommend that you watch (or recall) Casino (1995) in which a character named Nicky, played by Joe Pesci, is blatantly clearly a psychopath. In a rare moment of psychopath ‘honesty’, you can actually hear Nicky complain somewhere in the middle of the movie that he is fighting a war with animals (I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t recall his exact wording) and that his hostile behavior is but a defensive answer to an offensive and cruel habitat. From his warped pathological point of view it’s perfectly acceptable to act as a predator if one is defending himself from fellow predators.

How does a psychopath come into being? Although I cannot refute a possible innate predisposition as a result of selective breeding if you will, I think environmental factors are also quite significant in the creation of degenerate human beings such as the psychopath. After all, if a human being is subjected to a cold and cruel upbringing, preferably from an early age onwards, then a cold and cruel human being is the likely adaptive outcome. When the cold and cruel human beings grows up, the same creative process is likely to be recycled with their own offspring, if the type of upbringing is of repetitive kind (traditional/generational).

Psychopaths emerge in a world where natural and materialistic darkness rather than delicate and vulnerable human light rules. And sadly this is how the world is run today. It seems that humans eagerly and proudly en masse have degenerated into wild and/or decadent animals. Just flip on MTV and be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of narcissistic, mind-numbing and superficial hedonism slung your way. They are signs of an egocentric and decadent world out there and it’s getting clearer that this is the general devolutionary direction humanity is headed, if left unhampered.

As such, the phenomenon of the prevalence of the psychopath in the world today is not only a severe indictment of humanity as a whole but it should also, in my opinion, be interpreted as an alarming barometer reading indicating that something very fundamental is wrong with humanity.

If we compare humanity to a disease-ridden and weakened human body then the psychopath can be viewed as the tumor that is allowed to thrive because the human immune system is too incapacitated and worn-down to prevent or reverse its manifestation. One may try and cure the body using traditional allopathic brute force medicine by proceeding to cut out the cancerous infestation and although this may offer temporarily relief, chances are that the cancer will come back, through metastasis, in an insurmountably lethal way.

Therefore, while psychopaths are indeed the most toxic and extreme psychopathological manifestations of the human ego, suppressing them and them alone is not enough I’m afraid. Rather it is the ego, the part in us that systemically holds us down in a degenerated state of spiritual ignorance and retardation, that deserves suppression, or at least deserves a good and thorough overhaul.


http://www.scribd.com/doc/3183248/CS-Hyatt-Psychopaths-Bible

Also see:

When Does Psychopathy Flourish? (Musings on Psychopathy II)

7 Comments »

  1. One way we used to keep psychopathy at bay was to be very clear about wrong/right. (cf. 10 commandments, sharia law etc)

    Now, everything is neither right nor wrong and is judged against an individual’s tastes, wants, needs; ‘moral relativism’ coupled with overweening ego = sociopathy…a great breeding ground for widespread psychopathy.

    Great piece. Thanks.

    Comment by enigma — February 20, 2009 @ 12:44 am | Reply

  2. I really liked this piece on psychopathy, Phil.

    It’s really quite obvious. “They” are gradually adjusting society to promote psychopathic behavior, or what some might call “reptilian” behavior. For example, the way we are inundated with sex by almost all channels/media/advertizing and the notion that free (and mechanical) sex is good, is part of this.

    I must tell a little story in this regard, I had a friend for about 15 years, who I for various reasons (including seeing and gradually understanding his pathological behavior) fell out of favor with. I’m only 26 years old as of now, so 15 years is a considerable time to me. Actually, he’s an immigrant to this country, and he told me at least a couple of times how he witnessed one or two of his uncles being murdered in cold blood, as a kid. Experiences such as these – or being exposed to other psychopathic incidents as a youngster, like beatings, rape or psychological terror, might in many cases shut down the persons “feeling” center and make them quite cold.

    In fact, I remember one time when this guy, probably exposed to some form of “New Age” like information, asked me “do you really believe that all is love thing?” Implying of course (and strongly so, in the way he said it) that it was ridiculous to believe such a thing. It was just not part of his world, or totally outside of all his understanding (because he had a more psychopathic way of looking at things). So these people are totally outside of any true feeling of love. They lack something.

    Comment by acsKing — March 25, 2009 @ 2:14 am | Reply

  3. I was wondering if I could have permission to post this blog on a website called DramaTube. I, of course, will make sure you are given the full and proper credit for writing this article. Thank you for your time.

    Comment by Sandi — May 28, 2009 @ 8:17 am | Reply

    • Sure, no problem, in fact I’d be flattered. I would be most grateful if you could add a little link back to my blog.

      Comment by Phil — May 28, 2009 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  4. Excellent description of the basic nature of the psychopath – short, sweet, to the point and covers the bases. You are SO right to say that “the mind of a psychopath is the human mind absent its humane component. The mind of the psychopath is virtually completely ego, which is the natural or animalistic mind. …Psychopaths are schoolbook examples of wild animals, ferocious predators to be exact, although they may excel in disguising their nature by acting civilized in most situations. Just like wild animals however, psychopaths are likely to be not dissuaded from accomplishing their goals and satisfying their needs even if it goes at the expense of others. The psychopath, unlike normal people, has no conscience that gets in the way of their selfishly parasitic antics and wants.” That captures the essence of the psychopath completely.

    I notice that you are struggling with the same issue that everyone who spends much time on this topic struggles with: nature vs nurture. We are SO inured in the Judao-Christian worldview that the idea that all men are NOT created equal with an equal chance to be “saved” or “special” if they will just obey the god or the commandments, or do the right ritual (which will basically give them power over the forces of nature), that we simply can’t really understand that there is not only a bell curve describing intelligence, there is a bell curve that describes “humanness.”

    Given the difficulty of studying the sub-criminal psychopath, the best work I have seen on really getting inside the head of the psychopath is that done by Sandra L. Brown. The second edition of her book “Women Who Love Psychopaths” is soon to be released and I have read an advance copy, so I highly recommend it. She asks: “Who has gained more knowledge than the intimate partners … of the psychopath?”

    The research by and large demonstrates that it is a combination of nature and nurture, the nurture part only affecting the expression.

    Indeed, humanity itself is sick. The problem with our society is that psychopaths rose to the elite positions rather early on – probably instigating the agricultural revolution so as to have a broader power base – and, little by little, society has been pathologized to the point that people really do believe that black is white, war is peace, torture is safety, and so on. (See Lobaczewski’s “Political Ponerology” for a stunning description of the processes by which this takes place.) If you read the Secret History of Procopius, you will get the uneasy feeling that you are reading about the political machinations and shenanigans in the palaces of power today. An ancient Hittite king pointed out the close relationship between religion and kingship – that they need each other in order to survive (control the masses from rising up against them.) Nothing is new under the sun, it’s been this way for thousands of years – a cancer growing within the body of humanity.

    But in terms of geological time, it is only an instant. Richard Firestone suggests that humanity is on the trailing edge of an extinction cycle – that is, we are soon to become extinct. I’m afraid that I don’t have much hope for the situation. With cancer, the cures are often more deadly than the disease – or quite painful and shocking to the system. It’s way too late for more gentle cures, such as dietary adjustments, detoxing, and so on – unless, of course, a serious detox could be undertaken by a large majority of humans. How to detox our minds, our society, of the poisons of psychopathology?

    An interesting question.

    Comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk — December 4, 2009 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  5. It’s remarkable to visit this web site and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this piece of writing, while I am also eager of getting familiarity.

    Comment by Going Here — October 12, 2012 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  6. Reblogged this on lucrezialourdes and commented:
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

    Comment by LucreziaLourdes — August 22, 2013 @ 11:58 pm | Reply


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