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Monday, 28 April 2014

Blundering Toward Mass Psychopathy

Blundering Toward Mass Psychopathy

Blundering Toward Mass Psychopathy

Image courtesy of fightback.org.nz
Image courtesy of fightback.org.nz
As a society we prey upon the weak and the vulnerable, writes Michael Topic. How has it come to this?

I don’t like authoritarians. I think they’re
unwell. I also think that the outcomes, for most people, of a
predominantly authoritarian society are extremely poor. So, it was with
despair and alarm that I read the analysis contained in this article; ‘Neoliberalism’s War on Democracy‘.

The article, which I believe is, in fact, the introduction abstracted
from a whole book on the matter, makes its points with such accuracy,
lucidity, truth and honesty, that I found it excessively difficult to
read on.



The article’s thesis is that we are being deluged by lawmakers and
corporations that are leading us toward an undemocratic, authoritarian
life. We increasingly, as a society, prey upon the weak and the
vulnerable. We blame the victims. We consign whole sectors of society to
disposability, based on their ethnicity, immigration status, skin
colour, age or economic misfortune. There are some elites calling the
shots, who have bought and paid for the entire project to hoover up the
world’s wealth and call it their own, while saying screw the rest of us.
We are increasingly dancing to the tune of the
corporate-military-industrial-national security complex. We’ve succumbed
to a brutal, cruel, uncaring, selfish, merciless regime of governance.



Now, this is not a new phenomenon. Adolf Hitler’s project had the
same hallmarks. So did Napoleon’s and Alexander the Great, not to
mention the Mongol hordes, the Plantagenet dynasty, the Crusades and any
number of empire building projects of previous centuries. In each case,
the weak and the vulnerable, the innocent and peaceful, were crushed
under the wheels of a conquering machine, in the name of selfish
enrichment and the accumulation of power and wealth.



What nobody has ever done, to my knowledge, is analysed whether or
not all of this was sane and hence, whether the present course of events
is sane either.



Last night, on one of the channels on my television, it was ‘Psychopath Night‘.


The show presented a series of investigations into and portraits of
psychopathic people and their telltale characteristics. Some argued that
we need psychopaths, because they “bravely” rescue people under certain
circumstances, but this apology for their generally highly antisocial
behaviour neglected the fact that a psychopath doesn’t do anything for
other people’s benefit. They only appear to be the brave hero, if it
means they gain something, usually material, for having done so.



What you begin to see when you juxtapose the article on
Neoliberalism’s war on democracy with the telltale characteristics of
the psychopath is that the leaders of Neoliberal policy and thought are,
in fact, acting psychopathically. Let’s call it out for what it is.
These people are not sane. They’re dangerous and have diseased minds.
They want everything for themselves and don’t care who they crush to get
it. The weaker the victims, the easier it is to take what’s theirs.



Worse than that, though is the fact that the Neoliberal project is
actually a means of turning us all into psychopaths. At every
confrontation with this authoritarian skein of thought, each of us must
react. We can either save our own skin or stand up to it. Our choice is
that we can either comply with or resist this sweeping, epidemic
contagion of psychopathy coming from the authoritarian top. We either
help the psychopaths get what they want, which is, in the final
analysis, total domination and ownership of everything and everyone, or
we hinder their progress.



Unfortunately, as in all previous centuries, there are legions of
willing accomplices, who imagine themselves as James bloody Bonds or
Gordon frickin’ Gekkos that are only too willing to chime in and support
the psychopathic project. They want a piece of the action and they’re
prepared to act psychopathically too, because they have been authorised
to do so. They’re only following authoritarian orders, after all.
They’re complying with the authorities. They don’t need to heed their
personal consciences, ethics, morals or empathy for other human beings.
That can all be suspended, because they have license to act like
unconstrained psychopaths, just like their heroes.



In other words, the authoritarian, neoliberal, political project,
which appears to be in the ascendency in the United States, Great
Britain, Australia and to a large extent in the European Union, is
actually a means of unleashing and spreading universal psychopathic
behaviour. Every last man, woman and child gets to stab (metaphorically
or physically) any opponent or obstructer, for personal profit. Is that
really what we want? Is it even what a majority of people really want?
Would we want it if we had the ability to think through the
consequences, even personal consequences, of following such a path?
Sadly, people have become not so much stupid as authentically lacking
the ability to think clearly and critically. This has been by design, of
course. Authoritarians like it this way. It preserves their project.



However, think of the gut wrenching remorse and heart breaking regret
suffered by the German people after the Second World War, when they
seemingly snapped out of their collective psychopathic states. Or
perhaps there was no genuine remorse. Who can say?



Only the artists and academics can save us. Only the people still
capable of critical analysis and thought, of imagining better
alternatives, of articulating different, innovative choices and the
problematic nature of widespread psychopathic behaviour, who can see
things for what they are and see things differently to the authoritarian
thought leaders, can guide the rest to an awakening and an awareness of
the horrendous project many are blindly, blunderingly signing up to
propagate.



The authoritarians, for their part, will do everything they can to shut them up.


Under authoritarianism, ‘everything they can’ becomes ‘anything they want’.


What choice will you make?


This article was first posted on Michael’s blog ‘tropicaltheartist.wordpress.com‘ and reproduced with permission.

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