Monday, 20 August 2012

A modern Psychopath.

The word "psychopathy" is a joining of the Greek words psyche (mind, mental) and pathos (suffering, feeling). The first documented use is from 1847 in Germany as psychopatisch, and the noun psychopath has been traced to 1885. Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, nonplanfulness, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.
The term is also used by the general public, in popular press, and in fictional portrayals. This popular usage does not necessarily conform to the clinical concept. According to the Scientific American, although psychopathy is associated with and in some cases is defined by conduct problems, criminality or violence, many psychopaths are not violent, and psychopaths are, despite the similar names, rarely psychotic.

Although there are behavioral similarities, psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) according to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are not synonymous. A diagnosis of ASPD is based on behavioral patterns, whereas psychopathy measurements also include more indirect personality characteristics. The diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder covers two to three times as many prisoners as are rated as psychopaths. Most offenders scoring high on the Psychopathy Checklist, also pass the ASPD criteria, but most of those with ASPD do not score high on the PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist, Revised)

The theory of variable levels of psychopathic behavior in people could explain the reasons of certain human interactions. The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. It builds upon the principal theory of George C. Williams's first book Adaptation and Natural Selection. Dawkins coined the term "selfish gene" as a way of expressing the gene-centred view of evolution as opposed to the views focused on the organism and the group, popularizing ideas developed during the 1960s by W. D. Hamilton and others. From the gene-centred view follows that the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other. Therefore the concept is especially good at explaining many forms of altruism, regardless of a common misuse of the term along the lines of a selfishness gene.

Dawkins proposes the idea of the "replicator," the initial molecule which first managed to reproduce itself and thus gained an advantage over other molecules within the primordial soup. Today, Dawkins postulates, the replicators are the genes within organisms, with each organism's body serving the purpose of a 'survival machine' for its genes. Dawkins writes that gene combinations which help an organism to survive and reproduce tend to also improve the gene's own chances of being passed on and, as a result, frequently "successful" genes will also be beneficial to the organism. An example of this might be a gene that protects the organism against a disease, which helps the gene spread and also helps the organism.

History is littered with elected leaders who, once they are in positions of power, end up being uncaring ego-maniacs who manipulate and do dirty deals for their own benefit. Famous psychopaths and evil leaders like Hitler, among many others, who were elected leaders, and were in their positions with the support of their people. On the face of it, psychopaths are often charming, outgoing people, who are eager to make a positive impression. But these behaviors are imitations of what they know to be socially acceptable: the so-called mask of sanity. The clinical checklist for psychopathy refers to "glib and superficial charm, grandiosity, need for stimulation, pathological lying, conning and manipulating, lack of remorse, callousness, poor behavior controls, impulsivity irresponsibility, failure to accept responsibility for one's own actions", et cetera.
High-functioning psychopaths can be very successful. They appear to be confident and calm and seem to have their act together. The defining characteristic is that they are insatiable liars and skilled manipulators. It's appropriate that we should be thinking about this right now because we are in a year where much of the leadership of the world will be changing gears. We can sense it in the air. Significantly, it's happening in the two most powerful countries in the world. China has already selected its next president. America will be doing so in November. Elections, uprisings and threats of removals are also happening from Syria to France and from Russia to Mali.
Evolution from one point of view states that competition, ensures the healthiest will survive and that it is evolved to modern day thinking for business survival. There are traders who would bet on the negative out come of the stock market to gain profit. But what if a complete collapse has rendered the whole world in a state of chaos?. There needs to be a balance of system checks and safeguards for organizations not to cause too much damage. My own theory suggests that if there is an abundance of psychopaths in business, then the whole finance structure will collapse flushing out the majority of weaker companies. As in evolution where by only the strongest will survive. Only that this constant cycle of growth and decay seems to have a fall out on the majority on the population. Recognizing a psychopaths personality helps make sense why people in business succeed. But when there seems to be an overflow of these people, in a given section of business or politics or general crime its seems to be best to brace for bad times ahead...

No comments:

Post a Comment