The ruling psychopaths among us – Newsday: Everyday News for Everyday People

The ruling psychopaths among us

From the page: “I always wondered why some people — particularly politicians — are cruel to the extent of committing genocide and wanting to inflict more pain on humanity until a friend introduced me to the term ponerologY — a term coined by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Lobaczewiski to describe the study of the causes of periods of social injustice.

Ponerology seeks to explain phenomena that include aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, genocide and police states (Wikipedia). Studies in this discipline have shown a tight link between social injustice and psychopathy — the ability to lie, steal, cause great harm or kill with virtually no remorse.

To understand what animal a psychopath is, Lobaczewiski in Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes says: “Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members.

“Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

“And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

“Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological make-up is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

“You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness.

“The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience that they seldom even guess at your condition.

“In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

“You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.” notes that psychopaths are part of the Dark Triad that includes narcissists and Machiavellians.

It says: “All three types share to varying degrees an unappealing, though sometimes well-concealed core: social malevolence and duplicity, self-centredness and aggression, and emotional coldness. Most people who fall into the Dark Triad do not qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis, though at their extremes they shade into mental illness or become outlaws – particularly psychopaths. But the far more common ‘subclinical’ variety lives among us, populating offices, schools, bars, and the routine byways of daily life.”

Martha Stout in The Sociopath Next Door says what distinguishes these people from the rest of us is “an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanising functions”.

This explains why these people behave in an alarmingly inhuman way, incarcerating and torturing innocent people, murdering people — including women and children en masse– and above all ruling by the gun….”

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