Welcome To the Age of Psychopathy
There are many clinical definitions for 'psychopath,' but one of the clearest definitions of a 'psychopath,' is anyone with a deficient conscience. It doesn't matter how the deficiency is arrived at. If a person's conscience is deficient, chances are psychopathic behavior is in the picture.
To a psychopath, 'guilt' has no meaning other than as a tool to manipulate others.
The impact of that psychopathy is directly related to the amount of influence the psychopathic person has over others. 'Guilt' has no personal meaning to the psychopath. It is an idea or a concept and nothing more- certainly nothing to be reckoned with or to invest any emotion in.
The great power brokers and heads of government have the lives of millions in their hands. That is literally true in the case of tyrants and despots. To them, a few thousand or hundreds of thousands deaths for the cause is trivial compared with the power at stake. The principal effort and focus of any tyrant is to remain at the top of the food chain, and retaining or expanding his power is a tyrant's primary objective, without regard for the destruction those efforts leave in their wake.
Even the destruction of those who support the tyrant mean nothing.
A clear examination of current reality confirms that as we leave the 20th century's Era of Narcissism, we are faced with the dawning of an Age of Psychopathy.
Left unchecked, pathology always escalates to a higher level of dysfunction, and narcissism of the malignant variety almost always progresses to frank psychopathy.
In free societies, political discourse has become extreme. In not-so-free societies, it has evolved into denial of reality and calls for violence and even genocide. In the latter societies, people really do believe the most bizarre, horrific and genocidal ideas foisted on them by the dysfunctional regimes that rule them. They willingly construct fantasies and complicated conspiracies to support and buttress those beliefs.
But free societies are not immune or blameless. For example, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and 9/11 conspiracies flourish in the Arab world. But the only reason those dysfunctional beliefs continue to be regarded as 'acceptable and 'mainstream' is because there are dysfunctional individuals and groups, even in free societies who give those paranoid ideas credibility and support.
If that sort of cognitive malignancy which can take hold even in a free society were to be denounced and exposed for the cancer it is, the people who hold those beliefs would be marginalized.
The reason such dysfunctional and irrational thinking is not denounced has nothing to do with good and evil, or even right and wrong. The vast majority of people are able to distinguish between right and wrong. But that said, the evils that arise out of the mental dysfunction, and which have underwritten the deaths of millions upon millions, are frequently not denounced because of political agendas and the ideologies that drive them.
We simply don't want to admit that politics in free nations, expressed by supposedly caring souls, can be as deadly as the 'politics' in nations governed by tyrants.
Far too many people, in their support--tacit or overt--of racist and oppressive societies and tyrannical regimes exhibit nothing less than a deficient conscience. They are psychopaths. There is no other word to describe the consequences of their enabling of tyranny; and there can be no whitewashing of reality.
For example, Western media gives female genital mutilation (according to the United Nations, FGM has claimed 100 million plus victims), 'honor killings' and various other atrocities, including events in Darfur, relatively little media coverage.
Why? Everyone understands that FGM, 'honor killings' and the atrocities in Darfur are 'absolutes' in the evil department. But the underlying assumption is that, since morality is 'relative,' these 'cultural expressions' are not subject to objective analysis and thus cannot be judged outside the culture.
Anti-Semitism, calls for genocide directed at Jews and vitriol directed at free societies and those who support free societies are ideas that to many, seem to have merit, especially those in the media. The disconnect is stunning in magnitude.
Each of us can be separated from reality at times. Sometimes we daydream and sometimes we can picture the seventh level of hell welcoming the telemarketer who calls at dinnertime. Those feelings are normal. They coexist alongside our ability to make logical decisions and analyze our realities and deal with them. They can even influence and magnify our beliefs.
Psychopathic behaviors enter the picture when individuals, confronted by the painful truth about themselves, refuse to acknowledge and deal with that truth and are unable to see others except as extensions of their own wishes, feelings, or needs. A political agenda that embraces hate and racism and then projects that evil onto others, demonizing and dehumanizing them, is a psycho-pathological political agenda.
We are living in an Age of Psychopathy when entire populations imagine that because they have certain beliefs and feelings, those beliefs and feelings are entirely appropriate and their consequences in the real world are perfectly acceptable, no matter how much death and destruction they might generate. The desire to 'win' in the political arena trumps everything else. Millions are to be subjected to tyranny and death because evil is given a free pass out of political expediency.
Free nations will endure, despite the new dangers birthed by the Age of Psychopathy. The cost, however, will be high.
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred is the pseudonym adopted by a blogger in North Carolina. He is so busy, he needed three identities. He is a political behavioral analyst, specializing in predicting the behavior of 'really crazy people.'