Psychopaths in power: what it's useful and harmful with to the society

Psychopaths in power: what it's useful and harmful with to the society
Psychopaths in power: what it's useful and harmful with to the society
28 September 2020, 10:11
In the history of mankind there are many cases of successful rule of people with psychopathic personality disorder.

An interesting topic directly related to the events in Belarus, where a person with obvious psychopathic symptoms has been in power for many years, was raised by the economist Yakov Mirkin:

“People in power, company owners, security officials, influential journalists, lawyers on whom the fate of big businesses depends, cold-blooded and very successful surgeons - all of them can be successful psychopaths or at least people with bright psychopathic features. This is what the American scientific school has been saying for decades.

Psychopaths are approximately 1% of the population. It doesn't matter where - in the USA, Russia, Zimbabwe. Maybe 2%. There are several times more of them among men. Among those who are in prisons and colonies, there are already 15 - 25% of them. And, as psychologists say, those who command us in business and government also have an increased percentage of psychopaths. Only they are successful, in contrast to the "losers", criminals.

Who is a psychopath? Not a psycho, but a psychopath in all its glory? “Scientifically”, he is arrogant, selfish, attractive, talkative, easily manipulates people. And also - immoral. Narcissistic, but definitely not a delicate flower. Insidious (how is it - "Machiavellianism"?), Callous, has remarkable energy, sexy, aggressive. Charming, light and very confident in handling. He will speak, he will like it - a great guy. Meanwhile, it is impersonal - human beings constitute for him the source, the building material. He is joyful in compulsion, in bringing these creatures down, forcing, placing them in an iron box, and in this compulsion and someone else's painfulness there is a lot of pleasure.

Oops! Whom does this remind us of? A magnificent squad of dictators - Latin America, Africa, Asia. In 1976 the dictator Bokassa declared himself emperor, Central Africa - an empire, copied the coronation from Napoleon, but the Pope refused to come. Gold-plated, 2-ton bronze throne in the form of a seated eagle, crown with eight thousand diamonds, scepter, replica of Napoleonic carriage with eight snow-white horses, newly built Notre Dame in the center of Bangui, the capital of Central Africa, gold and purple robes, 60 new Mercedes - all this happened exactly on the 173rd anniversary of the coronation of Napoleon. A couple of years later, Bokassa was overthrown, accused of cannibalism, and comfortably ended his days in a castle in France.

And Pinochet? Gaddafi? Duvalier with Tonton Macoutes? And the countless "ists" of Europe who made the entire XX century a sacrifice? Go Amin with his crocodiles? Pol Pot? Dictators with a socialist flavor? There would be a place for a psychiatrist to roam.

The psychopath does not feel guilty, is not emotional, and does not regret anything. Naturally, promiscuity. Calmly heartless, ruthless and unfazed. Lies, not attached to anyone, egocentric. Yes, moreover, gentlemen - irresponsible. Likes to dominate, to be "above". We will excite, subject to outbursts of anger and aggression, being confident in our God-given superiority. Fearless to take any risks, especially those of others. Cold-blooded in crises. Calmly "goes over the heads." Influential, convincing. One might say natural magnetism. And absolutely normal - outwardly. What science calls a great "mask of normality". No remorse.

A beautiful creation! Certainly not Jesus. Sinful. Social predator. And it can be very useful, which brings us back to the question - what is a "successful psychopath"? A useful psychopath? Or the psychopath "light"? Yes, there are. A person in whom psychopathic traits are indicated only by a hint, or a little thicker, or even very clearly, but he is absolutely successful in society. And there are scales, there are ratings, to what extent specific gentlemen X, Y, Z have psychopathic "shades" in their normal existence.

The "successful psychopath" can rise to an unusually high level, for he has everything that people often expect from the authorities. Have measurements been taken? Well, yes, in the United States, 42 presidents each, over 200 years. Among modern presidents, the most pronounced "psychopathic traits" (as the academic article says) were possessed by John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And further in descending order - Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon. The furthest away from the "psychopaths" were Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bush Sr. But it was them who were not re-elected for a second term.

And what about the creators of the economic miracle in their countries? General Park Chung Hee (Korea), General Suharto (Indonesia), General Pinochet (Chile). How about Lee Kuan Yew, the technocratism of Singapore and Disneyland with the death penalty (a Singapore metaphor given in the early 1990s)?

There is a psychologist where to delve into the brains. Although, of course, Ludwig Erhard with his liberalism, "Welfare for All" and love for his people are hardly in this series.

So where do psychopaths graze in the vastness of Russia? Yes, everywhere. In the traditions of the state - impersonal management of people as resources spent for the sake of a goal. Passion for domination, replacement of real souls with concepts - "people", "destiny", "specialness". This is just one of the traits of psychopaths. Tons, barrels, megawatts, capacities, development - all of this traditionally permeates domestic politics.

And it seems that the state is a nice guy, and may even shout: “welfare!”, But what a cold world of weaning was created for more than a hundred years. Each generation of Russians in the last century lost their assets, and the next started almost from scratch. Wars, revolutions, collectivization, monetary reforms, denominations, inflation. The Russian people have never had their own property. For more than 60 years (1861-1917), he simply did not have time to create it. That's why thrift stores are so empty.

And what a love for confiscatory reforms! The main idea of 1991 was to remove the "money overhang" (the population has too much money). Just think - remove! And then there are crises, every 7 to 10 years. With the right policy, they could be much softer. Endless pension reforms, optimization, i.e. pruning, medicine, education, culture.

Trying to squeeze everything and everyone into the cage. Few incentives - “they will steal anyway” - and many punishments. Growth in the volume of rules exponentially, accusatory bias. The idea of collective controllability, special propaganda, verticals and dominants, in which life is packed, is successfully implemented.

All this is from the field of "successful psychopathy". “There is no other way with them” - from the same place. Excitement from conflict, the habit of being on the brink of war - don't they have the same roots?

The elite, the nomenclature may have a model of collective behavior with pronounced psychopathic properties. Be a collective “successful psychopath”. And when you have been unable to reach the offices for years or ask yourself: “Why don't they understand this?”, Then, perhaps, the question itself does not make sense. You are simply dealing with a collective being of a different nature. And everyone who got into this car must accept its rules or it will throw it out of itself. Cold, "upper", manipulative mind, familiar to Russia.

Any more questions?

Who will bring some love to him? And the heat? How to make sure that every decision of the authorities is subordinated to the benefit of Russian families? To forget what “unpopular reform” is, because the point of reforms is to give more incentives to everyone, and not to tailor them according to the living.

And in general, is such a collective “successful psychopath” amenable to change? Not scrapped, but evolution? After all, even the example of Germany with its "social market economy" and Ludwig Erhard cannot be cited - it was just scrapped there.

Could it be differently? Will the cold collective mind, with the clear traits of a "successful psychopath", with an unwavering hand — for the benefit of all of us — turn towards "welfare for all"? Choosing the right goal setting, a new course? And also in the order of evolution? How was it in Singapore, China?

Unknown. There is no answer yet. But there are risks of fragility, the life of society in a breakdown, dislike, uncontrollability at the first crisis, decay. When the cold shell of power cannot hold back the whole storm of passions below..."


There was complete unanimity in the comments to this post:

- Finally we started talking about it. Psychopaths are dangerous because they lack empathy, and the areas of the brain that are responsible for empathy are damaged. But they have mental abilities above average, they easily manipulate people, knowing what kind of reaction is expected from them, including psychiatrists. Sociopathy is incurable and very dangerous.

- In my opinion, the concept that describes these people more accurately is passionaries. That is, people endowed with passion and energy for life. It was introduced and systematized by the types of passionaries by the historian Lev Gumilev.

- Somehow, more and more about the male part is written. Inequality. What about Margaret Thatcher? Or Catherine II? Or Theresa May? And Angela Merkel? Are they successful psychopaths? Or are they not psychopaths?

- My God, how exactly everything is said. Moreover, this matrix feeds on the energy of people, just the sharper the negative and the damage caused, the more fun they are


However, to clarify the position of the author, one should also draw a line between psychopathy and sociopathy. It turns out that a sociopath in power can do more trouble than a psychopath.

As you know, two terms are used in popular psychology to describe people with antisocial personality disorder: psychopath and sociopath. They have a lot in common, including such an important trait¸ as ignoring the safety of others, their feelings and rights, a tendency to deceive and manipulate. Therefore, they are classified as people with antisocial personality disorder, who must necessarily have at least three of these symptoms:

  1. He regularly breaks laws and disregards social norms.
  2. Constantly lies and deceives other people.
  3. Impulsive, unable to plan ahead.
  4. Irritable and aggressive, prone to frequent fights.
  5. Cares little for the safety of others.
  6. Irresponsible, unable to fulfill financial obligations.
  7. Has no remorse or remorse for harming other people.

But there are differences, and even very significant ones. Clinical psychologist John Grohol defines the main characteristics of each of these two groups.

Features of a psychopath

Psychopathy is a congenital disorder, there is a genetic predisposition to its appearance in a person (in contrast to sociopathy, which is most likely a product of the social environment). It may be associated with abnormalities in the development of the brain, in which the departments that are responsible for regulating emotions and controlling impulses are underdeveloped. That is why, instead of creating a reliable emotional attachment in a relationship, they build artificial, superficial relationships in order to manipulate loved ones with the greatest benefit for themselves. People for them are mere pawns, existing for the realization of their personal goals. Therefore, psychopaths rarely feel remorse for their own actions.

However, in the eyes of other people, they often look charming, reliable, decent people, with a normal, stable job. Some of them even create families with strong relationships. Often they have a good education and are capable of independent learning, and once in a criminal history, they are able to minimize the risk of punishment by carefully planning everything and providing for all possible scenarios.

Features of a sociopath

Sociopathy, in contrast to psychopathy, appears as a result of social factors, for example, physical or emotional abuse in the family where the child is growing up, or other childhood trauma. Therefore, their behavior becomes more and more eccentric and unpredictable with age. However, even with such problems, they can maintain personal connections or feel like they are among like-minded people. But they are unable to do the same job for a long time or even demonstrate the appearance of a normal family life.

They break the law recklessly and impulsively, and to anger and get angry is fraught with an outbreak of violence. But their dangerous behavior is relatively easy to foresee.

Hazard degree

Both groups are dangerous to society, but psychopaths are more dangerous precisely because they are unable to feel guilty about their actions, to distance themselves from the actions they take - the suffering of others does not bother them at all. Therefore, very often serial killers turned out to be psychopaths.

Both types of antisocial disorder are found in 1-3% of the population, and more often in men and in people suffering from alcoholism, drug and substance abuse. At the same time, it is easier for psychopaths to manipulate others, creating the appearance of a normal life and minimizing the consequences of their actions. Sociopaths are much more eccentric, quickly go berserk, unable to lead a normal life, and they do evil, completely oblivious to the consequences.

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