From Beverly Hills Stories
- How was your day?
- Pretty grim. Been reading this book* by a psychiatrist out of communist Poland about psychopaths. It describes them as a political epidemic.
- They pressure everyone else to become like them, in business and politics. Start wars, destroy economies, enslave...
- What is the definition of a psychopath?
- Someone who doesn't share or care about the feelings of others.
- It can't be. I don't believe it.
- You don't believe anything I say.
- If you are right I am a psychopath all day. I don't care about anyone.
- I know. Nice to hear you say it.
- I'll look it up.
- Go ahead. The psychopath makes others into psychopaths by destroying the conditions for sympathy between people. They pressure you to lie, betray trust, at the extreme use violence. They've done it to you. Well: is the definition right?
- The psychiatrist from the former communist world wants psychopaths to be understood scientifically, not emotionally, not condemned with moral judgement. Scientific judgement does an analysis of psychopathic characteristics and then works out plans of prevention and treatment, ways to end epidemics and prevent new ones from arising.
- If he is right we are all insane.
- Some more than others. Scientific thinking has been known for thousands of years to be connected with the psychopathic personality. Science studies the relation of things to things, so do psychopaths, the thing they are in relation to the things other people are. Psychopaths want to bring all the things into a relationship that gives the thing that they are the best opportunity to do whatever that thing does. Now here's the funny part. Classifying someone as a psychopath is an act of psychopathology itself.
- Can you share the feelings of a psychopath who is defined as having no feelings?
- Defined as having no feelings, or not sharing your feelings?
- Very good. A psychopath is not at all times a psychopath. The psychological metaphor, of the behavior like a physical disease, has things backward: the diseased individual does not spread his disease by means of social institutions. Rather the social institutions create the disease. If so, there is no disease, no lasting thing of human character: take psychopaths out of the social conditions that destroy possibilities of sympathy, and once again they can sympathize.
- Society made me into a psycho and I'm a normal guy. Alright, no problem. I'll be normal with my friends, psycho with the psychos. They better watch out.
(read more: The People We Like To Call Evil and
* 'Political Ponerology'