SINKING

Original Graphic by Richard William Posner

Original Graphic by Richard William Posner

Preface: It should always be understood that whatever I put forth is merely my opinion. I am presenting neither mandate nor revelation carved in stone to be obeyed or believed. We all have free will, don’t we?

PSYCHOPATHY: THE CAUSE OF EVIL

Inherited and acquired psychological disorders and ignorance of their existence and nature are the primal causes of evil. The magic number of 6% seems to represent the number of humans who either carry the genes responsible for biological evil or who acquire such disorders in the course of their lifetime. This small percent is responsible for the vast majority of human misery and crime, and for infecting others with their flawed view of the world. (source)

Just Lucky I Guess.

Whilst doing research online I sometimes chance upon some really fascinating information not directly related to what I’m working on. One small joy in a world becoming grimmer each day.

Scrolling down any given web page, checking for information pertinent to the current project, I may notice a heading or a phrase, linked to another page, that I find intriguing even though it’s not specifically relevant. Often it’s just a waste of time, sometimes it’s so enticing that I abandon what I’m doing and become engrossed in the new find.

In some of my own writing and in comments I have made, I have alluded to my opinion that the psychopathic condition of the people who desire dominance over all others, especially those who literally seek to rule the world, might be the result of a genetic aberration. Thanks to a chance discovery like the one described above, which led to further supporting documentation, I find that this conjecture may not be without merit.

I once put forth in a comment, March 23, 2009, the opinion that inimical traits, deceitful, predatory, tyrannical, ruthless, pitiless, manipulative, which describe virtually all those who crave supremacy over others, are not significantly manifested among humans in general but are predominant, rather, only in a small portion of the population.

I also expressed my view that it is our intrinsically cooperative nature and our innate desire to be helpful that makes such a large segment of the human race susceptible to victimization by a small minority of individuals who are afflicted with what could be a genetic flaw.

What I said:

“For my part, I will say this; I do not accept that human morality, for the vast majority, is based upon hate, envy, greed or self-interest. In fact, quite to the contrary, the basic benevolence and cooperative nature of most people is what has allowed a very small, depraved and abhorrent group to prey upon the majority of the species for millennia.

I like to think that this negative trait will eventually be eliminated by the process of evolution, provided our species can survive long enough. That small group of deviant individuals is like a parasite within the body of humanity. They have managed to pass along whatever genetic flaw they possess through the ages. They can only survive if there is a significantly larger population of healthy, sane and basically good people to sustain them.”

It turns out this may not be quite as incredible as it sounds.

Genetics And Anthropocentricity; Mutually Exclusive?

“Human behaviour is widely believed to be essentially rational and therefore fundamentally distinct from the behaviour of all other animals. This leads automatically to a belief system that is best described as ‘anthropocentric’.”

Anthropocentrism:

(1) Viewing the world in terms of human experience and values. (2) The belief that our species is the star that crowns an evolutionary Christmas tree of life. (3) The belief that humans are the pivot upon which our divinely ordained universe turns.

“Yet we share the planet with some 20 to 100 million other species, all of them genetically driven. One would think that only a deranged gambler would be fool enough to bet on the presence of a solitary exception in such a vast biota. In other words, anthropocentrism hinges on an extraordinary proposition, one that demands extraordinary proof. Unfortunately, none exists.

Not the slightest scrap of hard evidence, either morphological or genetic, suggests that Homo sapiens is not, like all animals, a natural by-product of genetic and Darwinian evolution. We should therefore assume that we, like they, are uncontaminated by any supra-natural influences. We may well be excellent communicators and tool-makers, and also the most self-aware, mystical and malicious animals on Earth, but overwhelming evidence shows that all these distinctions are of degree, not of kind. And yet the myth lives on.” (source)

Totalitarianism And The Parasitic Psychopath.

“…it should be possible to discover the hidden mechanics by which all traditional elements of our political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and has become unrecognizable for human comprehension, unusable for human purpose.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, preface to the first edition, pg. VIII, First Meridian printing September 1958, Seventh printing September 1962

The Psychopathic Survival Strategy

“You see, evolutionarily speaking, psychopaths should not exist. Throughout history it can be seen that human beings have needed to co-operate and care about one another in order to survive and produce a new generation that will carry on the processes of society. Most human dynamics are based on people trying to work out their problems and come to resolutions agreeable to the greatest number or, at the very least, in the interactions between two people. The issue of trust is paramount. Someone who betrays your trust is someone you cannot live or work with. Therefore, psychopaths, who are untrustworthy, should have long ago become extinct. But that isn’t the way things are. It appears, in fact, as if psychopathy has increased!” (source)

So how is it that a few parasitic, psychopathic individuals, being basically nonproductive and incapable of providing for their own needs, can yet manage to carry along a recessive gene for so many generations? As I posited in my comment above, this small minority requires a large, normal population to sustain them.

“Evolutionary psychologists regard psychopathy as an inherited personality style that has evolved because glib, deceitful individuals—as a minority within a larger population of trusting folk—often reproduce with much success.”

“Other investigators, such as neuroscientist R.J.R. Blair of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md., regard psychopathy as the result of a still-unspecified genetic disorder. The inherited defect interferes with the workings of the brain’s emotion system, which is centered in the amygdala, a structure especially concerned with perceiving dangerous situations.” (source)

Here we see two pieces of the puzzle locking neatly together. They seem, to me at least, mutually inclusive. The first explains how those bearing a genetic flaw, which should be counter-survival, have managed to pass it on through the centuries while the second gives us the source of the defect.

Perpetual Parasitism.

There are other examples in nature of parasites with evolved dependency upon a specific host species. If the host species becomes extinct, so does the parasite. It is unable to survive with any other host.

“Some species of parasites are termed species specific. This means that they can complete their life cycle in only one species of host. Should they enter the wrong species they are unable to complete their life cycle and die, all generally without the host requiring treatment.” (source)

It seems clear to me that the psychopath/society relationship is that of highly specialized parasite to its specific host. That the psychopath operates externally to the host in no way disqualifies it as parasite. The common mosquito is without question parasitic, as are the tick, the leech and many other bloodsuckers. I think this human/human arrangement is unique in at least one regard however. I know of no other situation wherein the host and parasite are, ostensibly, of the same species.

The psychopath/parasite cannot survive without normal humans to prey upon. It needs the support of other humans, as do we all, but is incapable of functioning as a cooperative, productive member of the population. Nor can it survive on its own or within a group comprised only of psychopaths. Although often highly intelligent, they frequently have no productive skills or loathe using them if they do. They rely instead upon deceit, manipulation, cunning and ruthless self-interest enhanced by a complete absence of conscience or remorse.

“What’s nice about this explanation is that it not only explains why psychopaths exist, but also why we’re not all psychopaths. If there are few enough psychopaths in the population, then being a psychopath makes sense because you’ll mostly have winning confrontations with nice people. But if there are too many psychopaths, then the gains from taking advantage of nice people will be swamped by the losses from confronting other psychopaths. In equilibrium, you’ll get both psychos and nice folks, with each strategy generating approximately equal returns, and with the precise balance determined by the relative payoffs of different interactions.” (source)

The Matter Of Degree.

At the extreme, the psychopath simply resorts to outright violence to satisfy its needs. These cases are by far in the minority however. They may be a separate variety, a sub-group, which is not completely parasitic in some instances. In any case, however horrible their acts may be, they are not nearly as deadly as those who function within the system of government and business disguised as aggressive, ambitious and savvy type-A go-getters.

“There’s currently a bull market in corporate psychopaths, according to psychologist Paul Babiak of HRBackOffice, an industrial-consulting firm in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Organizations undergoing major changes, such as downsizing or mergers, provide a chaotic atmosphere that savvy psychopaths exploit”, Babiak holds. ‘They cozy up to a firm’s power brokers, manipulate coworkers, and intimidate underlings on their way up the corporate ladder, stealing everything possible along the way’.”

“Not all psychopaths resort to violence, however. Highly intelligent people with psychopathic personalities find fertile, nonviolent opportunities in conning and manipulating others”, in Porter’s view. (source)

The ratio of parasites to host must be kept quite small or the entire host population might be wiped out leaving the parasites unable to survive. In the past, when the drain on society became too great, the host population has attempted to exterminate the parasite, hence the repeated cycle of bloody revolutions throughout history. Evidently, the effort at eliminating the parasitic infestation has never been fully successful.

Threatened with extinction, the psychopath displays great skill at hiding in plain sight. A psycho-camouflage of sorts is employed, allowing the parasite to mimic a sense of sorrow, dismay or other feelings not actually present in the psychopathic character. Some always manage to survive by temporarily blending with the host population.

The Disease Blames The Afflicted.

A particularly ironic aspect of this condition is that these life draining parasites, riding on the body of humanity like great bloated ticks, are the first to scream bloody murder should anyone among the host population require aid in a time of distress. They express indignation and outrage at any action, program or institution that can be seen as beneficial to the general welfare. Such people, they insist, are freeloaders and moochers and such programs a drain on society. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Part of the skill set I suppose.

Prognosis?

I fear we are now approaching that point where the parasite is perilously close to overwhelming the host. I only say approaching since I think it will take a little time yet to cross that Rubicon. I have little doubt we will do so if things continue on their present course. That could mean destruction for all, including the parasites.

Governments of the world, monolithic multinational corporations and the international banking cartel are overrun with psychopaths in the highest positions of power. Their parasitic insatiability threatens to consume our species.

It has always been my admittedly irrational but abiding conviction that humanity would evolve beyond the juvenile, even primitive stage in which we have been for so long mired. For all the knowledge we have gained, an equal or greater portion of wisdom has been lost.

It seems, at the very least, that we are about to enter into a period of profound transition. It promises to be a time of unthinkable hardship, possibly leading to our extinction.

On the other hand, a second possible scenario might produce a small number of human survivors who arise from the rubble, cleansed at last of that tyrant gene, to build a new world and the first human civilization.

The third and sadly most probable outcome is that within that tribe of human survivors there will lurk a small number psycho-parasites, hiding in plain sight, waiting for just the right moment to begin the cycle all over again.

Epilogue; A Cynical Summation.

Rid at last of the aberration that caused so much damage, in so little time, Gaia will heal.

R.I.P.

Original Graphic by Richard William Posner

Original Graphic by Richard William Posner

Death exists only to serve Life.

Though Life will still be taken that Life may continue, never again will it be done with malice or hate.

Nor will death be born of greed, lust or envy.

No ideology, no arrogant certainty of righteousness will ever again bring needless pain, suffering and death to those who choose a different path.

Pain, suffering and death will always remain, but only in the service of the cycle of Life, without animosity, prejudice or enmity.

No longer will death be a commodity to be sold for profit. Once again, it will be the price for the continuation of Life, an even trade.

Life and death will once again be in balance.

With the passing of the only creature ever to serve death before Life, that balance will be restored.

Let the circle that was broken be closed.

Peace at last.