1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 PREFACE:
This essay was put together by bits and pieces and is not a coherent argument. It is NOT my intention to focus on this issue, although I will always keep it on the side. There may be an intrinsic “evil” but I prefer to believe circumstances can result in phenomena that are perceived as “evil” by some. I see no evidence that we live in a neutral world; where we don’t have to be cautious about others intentionally, creatively, and intelligently resisting our efforts, even eliminating us if we confront them too openly and with real threat to their power. Psycho/sociopaths are only one of many such negative forces. Personally I want to shift most of my energy to positive emergent ventures, such as UPLIFT; but since the participation I need has not yet manifested, and can do little more myself, I am drawn towards better comprehending the societal world we live in and trends. I believe it is premature to take explicit action against powerful psycho/sociopaths but we can be on  alert for those that may interfere with our activity. At the end I list some urls on this issue I have received online in the past few months.  They are a mixed bag.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 —————————

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Why are a significant percent (2-4%) of the human population, across all ethnic grouping of males, psychopaths? What was their evolutionary role?

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Speculation: At the early time when the cohesion of the tribe was essential for species survival, there were moments when threats to tribe required quick decisions that would have severe collateral damage to the tribe. The statistical choice (in evolution) was collateral damage or tribal death. For most persons with strong emotional interpersonal bonds, making such survival decisions may be delayed until it is too late. Tribal survival may have depended on a special individual to take charge and make decisions that will be temporarily very destructive to the internal nature of the tribe – but not destroy it.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The bonds of love and compassion were essential among the majority, providing the division of labor and other features for a viable tribal community. These bonds might be too strong to permit actions taken for tribal survival that required sacrifice of some members.  This is where those with weak empathy could make the difficult choice.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 We can further speculate on how different tribes managed the dance between the psychopath and whole tribe. The psychopaths (probably one to a tribe, on average) would be given certain privileges for his special decision-making skills on need.  The whole tribe, however they made collective decisions, could have turned authority over to the psychpath when the need was evident. Or, seeing the need the psychopath could do things to assert (military) leadership.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 How did the tribal psychopath relate to the tribal shaman?  Might they have been the same persons? Might civilization have resulted in a removal of shaman propensities from those with psychopathic tendencies? Or, might tribal processes have selected only those with joint psychopathic and shaman propensities?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 ———-
In societies and large communities psychopaths can collaborate.  Hierarchical & competitive societal structures in civilizations became attractors for psychopaths and are one major contributor to the evils of civilizations.  In the era of civilization the percent of psychopaths may have significantly increased.  Do psychopaths tend to breed more with other psychopaths and contribute to child rearing regimes to augment psychopathic competencies? Some analysts of this phenomenon attribute much of the evil in civilizations to the controlling action of coordinating psychopaths. I resist single cause hypotheses, and we have only evidence from sems whether known historical figures were psychopaths. Yet, I deeply believe that this issue must be of top priority for any program for positive change in human systems.  We may discover that some of the dysfunction in positive movements are due to interference from psychopaths – who have excellent people skills and can simulate empathy on command.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 A concrete example. I was on the national steering committee for the National New Politics Convention held in Chicago over the Thanksgiving day holiday in1967.  [This followed a 6 week mind blowing seminar in The Philosophy of Science at Stanford, where all “students” had PhDs and the faculty were all Nobel winners or equivalent.] This was the first national gathering of ALL social change movements with a special focus on the 1968 presidential elections. Much was learned, personally. Relevant here was that early the Black movements broke away and for days held their Black Only convention. However, they sent their psychpaths as their representatives to our steering committee meetings.  This not only disrupted our processes, but freed them from having to deal with obstructionist psychopaths. The two conventions eventually merged but could not agree on a consistent electoral strategy.  Our representative teams from Minnesota were calling for a 1968 ticket (not full party) with MLK and Benjamin Spock as pres and vice-pres. Back in Minnesota we organized well and gained majorities in all city DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) party conventions behind radical platforms. Yet, at the state DFL convention we encountered prior gerrymandering by Hubert Humphrey and gang. Thus I missed the bedlam at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  This was my first deep emersion experiment in American politics.  Contrary to the belief of many, my experiences have not been exclusively academic or cerebral.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 What roles in a future humanity might psychopaths play?  What constraints are needed on their behavior?  Can we detect them early in life?  Can they be modified so as to gain empathy? Might humanity someday need persons with psychopathic competencies?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 ———-
There is increasing literature on this issue. In that the main media are controlled by corporations, whose leadership are often psychopaths, it is very unlikely that this issue will ever be presented to most people.  Indeed, this issue may be more taboo than even the 911TRUTH insights; with explicit measure to follow such discourse and to take action to ridicule efforts of exposure – as the biggest conspiracy is to discredit all conspiratorial thinking.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 ———–
I am exploring an alternative view, that I call the “empathy theme” in human behavior. “Themes” is in resistance to traditional box-like categories in psychological analysis; it becomes confusing when an entity can be placed in more than a few boxes – Miller’s 7+/-2 Law become effective. Rather, we might use dimensions or themes, thousands which weave our “personalities” with different amplitudes in different times and situations.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 NOTE on psychopath vs sociopath.  There are experts who propose different uses of these terms and behave as if their definitions are established and accepted. Other experts explicitly acknowledge the inconsistent use of these terms and some do as I often try, making it psycho/socialpathology or as I propose below  P/Spaths or Empathy Theme.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Empathy Themes ranges from the extreme of psycho/sociopaths (2-4% of the population) to the other extreme of persons who are always trapped in their attachment to others. There are researchers of this domain who characterize the P/Spaths as “non-human” because they claim one defining characteristic of being “human” is empathy. I don’t go with this, and I have hypothesized an evolutionary need for P/Spaths for human TRIBAL survival – and they may be guided in childhood development to assume rewarding and productive roles in a future humanity. But, given their condition is due to genetic brain deformation, which can now be tested for, any viable social system must take into account that they are potential toxins. This is a vital issue that calls for attention, but not for action until we know much more.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 URLS  ON  PSYCHO/SOCIOPATHY (urls deleted as some had malware – I wonder why?)

Psychopathy, Politics and the New World Order.
Psychopathic Personality
Corporate Criminality
Social Costs: psychopaths the market and life  video
Major Conference on Psychopathy  PDF of conference program in detail
Patterns of Psychopaths  Rob Kal
Should Known Psychopaths Be Banned?  Rob Kall
One Terrorist, Millions of Psychopaths  Rob Kall
Attacking Psychopath  Rob Kall
Saving Ourselves
Confessions of a Sociopath  Psychology Today
Psychopaths Rule the World   long video

5 Responses

  • There have been three comments, and probably no more coming. I will respond to each comment here and wish to leave this issue. Reply if you believe it valuable. I believe this issue remains important, but now is not the time to explore it. Thanks for commenting.

    Glisten: your feedback appreciated
    Themes vs Boxes are meta frames – both have their pros and cons.
    While there is a diversity of humans, with many types at the extremes, I feel the P/Spaths may be a special case. It is not only that we must develop ways to be immune to toxins in our new humanity, but there are good arguments that our world is actually ruled by them and that actions taken in belief that they might appeal to human empathy will fail.
    One of my new tasks will be to create as many lists and outlines as possible maps to new conceptual schemes.

    John: thanks for your intelligent comments
    Thanks for suggesting “altruists” as the counterpart to P/Spaths. It is interesting to speculate how the dance of extremes on this trait may have significant impact on the whole population.
    Good point that selection doesn’t wipe the slate clean. Don’t know about selection related to S/Paths – what % would have resulted in a different humankind? They may not be a remnant but an essential component today in the preservation of the mode of civilization. They may be the primary contributor to what I consider the defining trait of civilization: the suppression of the development of most newborns – unique to humans among species as far as I know.
    Yes, the impact of these extremes on smaller social settings may be as important as their roles in Societal dominance.
    For a long time there will always be P/Spathy in the gene pool. Societies could test for them and possibly raise them in ways to dampen their destructiveness, and maybe even find a positive role for them. We might someday be able to genetic engineer that trait. However, since traits are so interlocked I hope we don’t attempt any major GE of humans until we are in a more stable humanity.
    Memetic immune systems are of interest. Of equal concern for me his how to facilitate communication between different paradigm systems.
    P/Spaths aren’t intrinsically “evil” – but in certain situations their behavior may be perceived as “evil” by those affected.
    I am changing my views on the relationship between terms, concepts, and categories (and metaphors and analogies) from my ongoing reading of Doug Hofstadter’s new book. He proposes that rapid, unconscious analogies are the foundation of thought and that when we use a term (with a specific “meaning”) we are accessing memories of specific concepts in analogy. We function in a turbulent field of concepts and terms based on a substrate of analogical activity. He makes a very convincing case for this with many, many examples.

    David: one of these days we will find time to directly engage
    From what I gather, P/Spaths are skilled at sensing needs of others – so as to manipulate them – the have acute social skills. But, there is no motivation or drive to fulfill the needs of others. They may view the needs of others as weaknesses for their exploitation.
    Narcissism can overlay with P/Spathy, from what I remember reading.

  • In three dimensional analysis, “evil” is mostly just people defending the status quo in ways that defeat someone else’s purpose. In that understanding, P/Spaths would seem to be an extreme form of narcissism where only the first dimensional needs are viewed as important and there is no recognition of the group and system functions on which our lives depend.

    We build our teams recognizing that everyone has first dimensional needs that must be met by the system in order for the individual to survive, that groups have needs that must be met by the system in order for the group to survive, and that the system itself is enhanced or diminished based on the choices of individuals.

    Your P/Spaths may have a diminished capacity to incorporate the needs of others into their decision making.

  • johnringland

    I think it is a very important issue, but I also agree that it is not yet able to be fully understood, let alone effectively dealt with.

    Regarding the issue of the utility of psycho/sociopaths (P/Spaths) within a tribal context. As you mentioned there is a wide diversity of ways of relating – along one dimension this diversity ranges from total self-absorption (P/Spaths) to total other-absorption (altruists). I surmise that the growth of social networks, institutions, etc is based on a degree of “focus on others” from all parts of the spectrum, i.e. both caring (by altruists) for others and caring (by P/Spaths) about how others affect oneself. Thus social norms and regulations have evolved with the aim to control others both for the benefit of others (altruists) or for one’s own benefit (P/Spaths). Thus both extremes (and all stages between) play an active yet different role in defining how society is structured.

    Furthermore, the algorithm that could be called “evolutionary selection” doesn’t wipe out problems entirely, it simply minimises them until they are no longer catastrophic and therefore no longer selected against. Hence even if P/Spaths have no social utility (I’m not saying that they do or don’t, I’m just saying that even if they don’t) they can still persist albeit in relatively small numbers (2-4% sounds about right). This is analogous to the fact that nearly every known disease is present but latent within our bodies at all times, yet it is only when they multiply out of control that we consider ourselves to be ill and it is only if we die or are significantly “taken out of the game” that any selection process occurs against them.

    Another factor is that self-serving approaches (that effortlessly stoop to deception, manipulation and other dirty tactics) can be very effective strategies in localised contexts such as short time frames or insular social networks, especially when trusting, well-meaning altruists are prevalent. Hence there are some situations where altruists risk themselves and are selected against whilst P/Spaths risk others and thereby survive and propagate, both through breeding and via the example of their own triumph.

    Because of these factors I suspect that there will always be P/Spaths amongst us, however in the long term they will tend to be a small percentage, although there will be outbreaks from time to time. To use the analogy of latent diseases within the body, the best defence is a strong immune system that is constantly vigilant and protective of the long term well being of the whole.

    I too like to focus on positive solutions rather than intricate pathologies. Thus my current focus is on strengthening what could be called our memetic immune system, by developing protocols and methods that enable structured discussions that can withstand the negative impacts of deceptions, manipulations, propagandist agendas and antagonistic polemic. Beyond that I don’t know what else to do to challenge the problem of P/Spaths. I’m interested to hear what other analyses and solutions people are coming up with…

    BTW I don’t claim that P/Spaths are inherently ‘evil’ or even ‘damaged’; they are just another creature in the jungle that has ways that are not compatible with ours. Hence to protect ourselves and each other we must stand up to the threat that they pose to society.

    Re “box-like categories”

    I’ve never interpreted the categories in psychological analysis as being box-like, but I know that many people do…

    IMHO some people think in a box-like manner and will continue to do so regardless of what terms and concepts are used. However others understand that all categories are just labels that are used to refer to points of interest within some context, thus something can fall within many different categories depending of the context and the focus of interest. For these people, regardless of what terms and concepts are used these will be used flexibly and appropriately in the context rather than as fixed boxes.

    However some approaches are more explicit than others and less likely to be interpreted in a simplistic manner. Furthermore, simplistic interpretations can adhere to terms and concepts through repeated misuse, thus necessitating the creation of new terms and concepts to prevent people’s minds from being drawn again and again to the same simplistic interpretations. Your idea of ‘themes’ sounds interesting; it might help to blow apart some of the box-like interpretations.

  • Glisten

    Larry, I think the meta-realisation that there are themes in psychological, and hence by extension, philosophical and sociological, focus is the relevant topic exposed through this exploration. I understand and appreciate that we have a multidimensional problem space, and that those with extreme capabilities exist and we need exercise caution lest we become a target for their functionality. However, if we maintain awareness of these facts, we can continue to render a meta-analysis which helps justify the development of methods to engender potential alternative outcomes.

    I would like to see the 50 or so themes that you mentioned (somewhere recently) contained in NUET’s schema mapped out and related using something like compendium. This would definitely help me to see the meta-perspective held, and the likely directions necessary to take in order to implement steps toward fully unpacking the value located therein. As far as I can tell, this is the most useful thing to do in order to engage more interested parties to the work.

  1. IS EMPATHY POSSIBLE ? – Nuets Nodes  August 20, 2016

    […] Elsewhere  I have discussed how the lack of emotional empathy in a small percent of the population had positive survival value for tribes. Given the strong empathy within tribes, a “psychopath” may occasionally be needed when some members of the tribe must be sacrificed to save the tribe. Tribes lacked the special hierarchical structures that “psychopaths” use today to “climb to the top”. […]

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