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“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.”

Niccolo Machiavelli


Well, election time is upon us and like a plot akin to Game of Thrones fused with House of Cards we are being treated to America’s favorite reality show featuring personality types ranging from malignant narcissism to psychopathy. Yes, our shock-and-awe political gladiator event mixed with a hefty dose of glamour and glitz to bring you…the ultimate quest for power.  This modern blood-sport is one that favors the men and women able to deliver the decisive blow to opponents, yet maintain a cool and collected look even after they decimate their foes on the field; and afterwards we don’t even see a drop of blood splatter running down their pretty cheeks.  So many dimensions of American “democracy” we could explore but why not get into politicians collective minds and ask: How do such psychopaths see the world?

A psychopath is an interesting individual.  They of course have defining traits including:

  • Glib and superficial charm.
  • The ability to lie, or important in American politics, reconstruct the truth with creativity.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • Lack of guilt.
  • A grandiose sense of self.
  • Easily bored and a need for higher-than-average stimulation.

It is easy to judge the psychopath as some sort of dangerous individual, or even a monster. Yet this “monster” can elicit admiration from entire societies. That is why politics is the perfect world for them.

Okay, as promised though, how do they see the world?  As children they realize there is something different about them.  And no, they are not necessarily bullies – often they are the bullied. Why? Well, childhood can be very cruel, especially to those who do not react the same as others to emotional stimuli, or who question a bit too much, or are judged as arrogant because they can analyze the complexities of life even at a young age.  This leaves them open to being picked on, to being left out.  This aspect of psychopathy I deal with in my book “Freedom from Conscience – Melanie’s Journey.” She is an outsider, with a history of being bullied, but as she matures she uses her insights and skills to her advantage, with deadly consequences. http://moaklang.tumblr.com/post/47194554291/book-review-title-melanies-journey-author

And what skills does a psychopath learn to use? At least the intelligent ones learn that even if they do not feel the same emotions, or at least at the same level as regular people around them, they need to master their environment – that means to learn how to show regular human reactions to tragedy as well as cheerful events. They also learn the art of communication, be it charm or more weaponized verbal skills.  As the saying goes the art of diplomacy is to have the skill to tell someone to go to hell, and them look forward to the trip.

Naturally the psychopath sees the world in an arrogant way. They cannot understand why they are able to make connections while “common people” are unable to. This causes them to see people as generally being stupid, and to most psychopaths the ability to manipulate them becomes a game.  If they go into marketing they see their job as selling a product – using any means to appeal to the masses. If they are politicians they will see themselves as the product to sell. And if anything causes fear in a psychopath’s heart it is losing. They absolutely will bend rules, tell the “truth” in creative ways (most people call that lying, but is it technically?) and while they form alliances to win it is akin to the alliances formed in “The Hunger Games” in which in the end the alphas will have to turn against each other. People are seen as sources of power and favor. This is how politics really works, and how politicians must behave to win.  So psychopaths are quite suited for this environment.

Of course psychopaths will believe all people think as they do, just as most regular people think that politicians actually have empathy for them and a desire to serve. Now before I go further I will note that psychopaths can internalize ethics. If they do they can become champions of worthy causes if they believe there is a wrong to be righted. So yes, there are anti-heroes akin to those Clint Eastwood movies where he rides into town and winds up saving it from some evil villains, but like the Eastwood character depicted in those movies he (or she) does not really feel compassion for those being oppressed the way regular people might.  Also important to note, the psychopath does not “feel” for the weak.  In fact, a psychopath would likely believe the way to make society stronger is for weak people not to breed.  In a Machiavellian sense, an aspect of psychopathy, the ends justify the means if in the end you can create a Utopia.

As noted, psychopaths project their own personalities so they see other people as possessing their own imaginations and motivations. Therefore psychopaths are more likely to support harsh treatment of criminals…they realize how easy it is to manipulate a social worker or psychologist and thus would never believe a violent criminal can be rehabilitated. So, ironically, as psychopaths hate to be told what to do or conform in any way, they may, once they gain power, seek to make sure the masses don’t cause problems. So the ultimate lone wolf of the psychological world may, if in charge, seek ways to monitor, manipulate, and punish the masses to keep them from realizing what the powers-that-be are doing to them.  And the people who will likely oppose them? Expect them to be psychopaths as well. Maybe this is why revolutions often eat their young first – the victors suspect their colleagues and fear their toppling them.

So in a way the psychopath lives in a world divided into sheep and wolves. Some will seek to feast on the sheep and fight other wolves for that privilege. Others will fancy themselves as sheepdogs, there to lead and control the sheep. Yet one must remember, the sheepdog and the wolf have the same origin, instincts, and diet, but the former at least sees the benefit of creating a certain level of order; protection so the sheep can go about their business, but at a price, an acceptable price, one even the sheep agree upon. So in a sense in elections you are often not voting between persons governed by empathy and warm and fuzzy feelings but between sheepdogs and wolves…psychopaths with ethics, or those without.

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