Sunday, April 1, 2018

Jim Craven - Capitalism: A System Run By and For Psychopaths

This article is not a critique of capitalism, in fact, it doesn't talk about capitalism at all. But what it does suggests from the title is that neoliberalism is perfect for psychopaths to rise to the top who can then shape it. 

According to psychologists who study this condition, psychopathology this is not a personality trait, it is a mental illness. Considering the amount of damage these people can do, including blowing the planet up, society needs a screening process to ensure that they never get anywhere near the top.

It is often said that 1 in 25 people display psychopathic traits, but most of these people have antisocial personalities and often later in life, or after rehabilitation, they will display empathy, but psychopaths never show any empathy. 1 in a 100 people are psychopaths but the psychopathic serial killer is very rare.

I'm pretty certain Milton Friedman was a psychopath, and when I watch this clip below I just want to punch him in the gob.

Jim Craven

Regardless of whether they are characterized as compensated psychopaths, partial psychopaths, subclinical psychopaths or subcriminal psychopaths, these psychopaths cause others to suffer immeasurably from their own psychopathy, and conveniently for them they do it without a trace of their always nonexistent conscience. Dr. Robert D. Hare, the world's foremost expert on the psychopath, has described psychopathy as “a socially devastating disorder defined by a constellation of affective, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics." 
Particularly characteristic of the psychopath are shallow emotions, the utter absence of empathy, guilt, or remorse, glibness/superficial charm, manipulativeness, inconsistency, deceitfulness/lying and a grandiose sense of self-worth.
Lacking any genuine remorse, psychopaths also lack the motivation to change. It's generally thought that not only do psychopaths not get better with treatment, they actually get worse because they learn how to better manipulate the system, as well as the clinicians who try to treat them. According to Robert Hare, "Administrators actually took it to mean that not only are they not treatable, but if they're going to be worse, let's do everybody the service of not treating them." Dr. Hare believes in developing a good treatment plan; there just isn't one yet.


Kaivey said...

A typo in there I will sort out tomorrow. I'm on my phone now.

It should have said

psychopathology is not a personality trait.

jrbarch said...

It’s probably worth looking at mind a little more: - for all the damage that psychopathology does in the world, we should also remember that psychopaths are a cohort that represent from one angle, an evolutionary success (difficult as that may be to accept). What we are looking at from a broader perspective, is the spectrum of ‘I’ in a human being (I define the ‘I’ as simply a wave in the mind-stuff (chitta) - and contrast this with the self).

Some quick examples: - the ‘I’ may be like a peacock displaying its tail feathers, always desiring to capture attention and admiration. These ‘I’s usually identify strongly with the body as an image of itself and are forever decorating and making more attractive the body; some lift this power of attraction and radiation into the emotional realm and develop artistic or performance ability, business acumen and position to gain attention and seek emotional fulfilment and influence: - to rise above their fellow-man and ‘star’ (in some way). They attract material assets to themselves as adornment, reinforcing the illusory ‘I’.

Some ‘I’s are like sheep seeking safety in numbers and community. These are the ballast of the human race and hold steady the course. Some ‘I’s like power and work on learning how to exercise it in the home, organisation or state. Other ‘I’s like the intellectual faculty and the processes of thought and discovery in the humanities or sciences, depending upon their polarity. The ‘I’ is the synthesis, integration and developmental expression of the unfolding personality - comprising physical, emotional and mental force.

The ‘I’ as a well balanced, well rounded out personality, is the evolutionary goal; while the qualities of the energies that evolve these forces come from the inner worlds.

These are quick broad brush strokes – but we know ‘I’s fight each other for position and influence as they become more developed. Simple ‘I’s are much more in harmony with each other and cooperative. The key to human progress has always been cooperation and inclusiveness. Broad categories of ‘I’ follow key aspects of man: power, love-wisdom, intelligence. All of this takes place in the small space between the ears (mind) and largely unconsciously. The human unit is basically an energy unit, working with forces and energies - and building them into a coherent expression.

The psychopath is a developed personality, an ‘I’ manifest as a strongly self-centered force. This ‘I’ is as described in the article; but the point here is that (s)he has risen out of the ranks of men through their ability to integrate and command their own personality and use it to influence their environment and others. The energy that is missing from the psychopath is kindness: - love radiates from within a human being. With love, the same evolutionary command can be deployed altruistically: - like night and day, selfishness | selflessness is the knife edge humanity walks.

It is interesting to note that this selfish expression is a passing phase of the ‘I’ and out of the more advanced personalities in the world, emerge the mystic, followed by the student. Our earth is a world with ‘I’s in conflict, because of the conflict that goes on inside of each. ‘War begins in the minds of men’ (or ‘I’). For me, the lesson in this is that before we attack another ‘I’, why not hold up the mirror: - which energies or forces am I about to use, and is my motivation self-centred or selfless? Am I just using a bunch of concepts to gratify the ‘I’ or offering them freely? Have I experienced for myself that of which I speak, or am I just parroting - following formulas to some personal end? Love too bears a sword, but it is used to chop bonds. Remember, the ‘I’ is just a wave in the mind-stuff, caught in concepts, and it all happens between two ears. Do we know what we need ....?

‘See with the eyes, hear with the ears, but feel with the heart’. [PremR].

jrbarch said...

'Let he without sin cast the first stone' ... kind of business! Today it's a multibillion dollar industry.

Noah Way said...

The 'I' is a delusion, everything is connected. Once that is understood, 'I' becomes everything.

Matt Franko said...

I'm sure the neanderthals all thought the homo sapiens were all psychopaths....

Schofield said...

The determinants of sociopathy isn't a straight forward argument between Nature and Nurture as the following article reveals:-

The long maturation period for human brain development is called the developmental plasticity period which can be viewed as the need for moving the brain away from the more basic opportunistic and agonistic predation instinct to the advantage of understanding the benefits of an anti-predation outlook of cooperation, division of labour and caring reciprocation. Ultimately the ideal goal for individual and group survival purposes is differentiation whereby an individual can understand the need for balancing self-caregiving with other-caregiving. For further detailed information read Darcia Narvaez's excellent book "Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality." For an understanding of the role of such balancing for political systems see Davod C. Bell et al's paper:-

Matt Franko said...

What about the brain development necessary to establish a new species?

The new species doesn’t cooperate with the old species.... it’s “survival of the fittest!”....

Tom Hickey said...

Not only did the two interbreed; the resulting hybrid offspring were functional enough to be integrated into human society. Some of these hybrids survived to have kids of their own, who, in turn, had kids, and so on to the present day. Even now, at least thirty thousand years after the fact, the signal is discernible: all non-Africans, from the New Guineans to the French to the Han Chinese, carry somewhere between one and four per cent Neanderthal DNA.

So if you are not pure-bred African you are not purely homo sapiens. Now that is some reversal of the prevailing mindset.

The Atlantic
It Wasn't Just Neanderthals: Ancient Humans Had Sex with Other Hominids—New research shows the extent to which our ancestors interbred
Adam Clark Estes

jrbarch said...

Somewhere I read speculation of early sapiens having sex with the animal from which they were derived; hence the apes are descendants. In line with Blavatsky there.

jrbarch said...

Contemplating the ‘I’ is always interesting.

It’s a stretch of imagination for most, but consider an ‘I = The General’ holding the lives of thousands of soldiers in his hands, willing to expend them on his ‘Cause’. First of all the Cause. As a friend pointed out, no one would take their newly born baby and place it under the rear wheel of their car as a chock, to stop it rolling down hill. A parent knows the preciousness of this newly created human life. Well, that same life is in the soldier. But he has been dehumanised and is therefore expendable, and the Cause has been wrapped in veils of ‘glory’. Reminds me of The Thin Red Line. The truth is there has never been a Cause on the face of this earth that is even remotely worthy of one single human life. But people do not understand their own value. The ‘I’ does not see itself as the vessel of something far greater than any Cause. The true value of the gift of this human body.

I am not saying one person will not lay down their life for another in an act of selflessness and bravery. But war usually is something different. Once upon a time the Generals had to lead their soldiers into battle instead of sit in bunkers deep underground: - negotiating skills in those times were of a premium. Now the weapons are premium. They seem to understand the value of staying alive.

So, how does one ‘I’ become a destroyer of human life; and other ‘I’s allow themselves to become a part of the stupidity?

We vote for principles, policies, ideology; and our hopeful assessment of personality. Then we are shocked when the president does exactly the opposite, breaking every promise. At the centre of every spider’s web is the spider, hoping to catch his lunch. At the centre of the politician’s web of lies is the ‘I’ who will express his true nature. I don’t vote for politicians because I have no idea who they really are. If the presidential candidate (‘I’) had published the assessment of a hundred truly independent psychiatrists from a hundred different countries and cultures, I might take a punt. We believe in corporations, institutions, parties etc. – but at their heart is an ‘I’.

It’s a human thing.

The ‘I’ of the Brits believe in the ‘I’ they accept as their Queen. This to me, is mass hypnosis. You are human beings ..... the same treasure of the self is in each one.

If a hundred people love you (100 x ‘I’) and a hundred people hate you (100 x ‘I’); then add in the ‘I’s that you believe yourself to be (so at least 201 x ‘I’) – well, will the real Mary-Joe please step forward.

All of this is smoke and mirrors and Tulsidas and Kabir and many others said so. Whether consciousness arises from the grey and white matter or it is the other way around is still an open question. ‘Matter’ disappears over an energy horizon taking all of the ‘laws of nature and nurture’ with it. Just because the world is modern doesn’t change a thing.

OK. I’ll give the ‘I’ a rest ...

Kaivey said...

Thank you, jbarch, very interesting. In the past I got right into Jungian psychology because I was interested in the spiritual life. Carl Jung had the same criticism of Christianity and Buddhism as I had, but now I quite like Buddhism.

Matt Franko said...

"carry somewhere between one and four per cent Neanderthal"


who will stand with me for equal representation for Neanderthals?!?!?