Flickr photo by Steve Hodgson

Do psychopaths rule the world?

By Brien Pittman

Roman Emperor Caligula
Roman Emperor Caligula

PATHOCRACY, cool word and it makes a great intro for part two of my exploration of human nature. I’m happy to say that despite my resistance I’ve ended up thankfully, looking at the subject thru a new frame of mind.

If you glanced at the first post, you might remember how it ended with the groovy statement, “Given this (human) history, it is plausible to claim that if voting could change the system it would be illegal.”

I’m assuming the statement put some folks off, a little bleak or conspiratory; good I hoped it would be. I believe challenging and contemplating old habitual modes of thinking and solutions is one of the main roads to better understanding.

For me, my whole kick on human nature began with challenging and contemplating a quote most activist are very familiar with.

“It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti


If our society is profoundly sick and we should refuse to adapt to it, then what is it that we’re supposed to adapt to?

With so many obvious primary symptoms, diagnosing our leaders and our society as “profoundly sick” is easy. The hard part begins when we start looking for cures. I completely believe it begins and ends with a clearer understanding of human nature.

This post will cover societies symptoms. (Sorry no rainbows or unicorns) Why? Simply because in my opinion, we need a most accurate diagnosis before we can even begin to look for a cure.

Fortunately, I have none of the answers but, by you and I asking the right questions, I hope we can together find our way into a brighter light.

Please look for these follow-up posts in the weeks to come.

“Astronaut George Taylor said it best, “It’s a mad house!”

“If Society is Sick, What Should We Do About It?”

Throughout history, psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists, and assorted antisocial-personality-disordered individuals have ruled societies. And I find it Interesting, that for some odd reason to this day; we’ve mistaken the resulting carnage as human nature and not what it really is: mental illness.

Who’s a Psychopath?

Psychopaths and sociopaths often exhibit glibness and superficial charm, have a grandiose sense of self-worth, are pathological liars, display extreme narcissism, are deceitful, cunning and manipulative, exhibit a lack of remorse or guilt, show a callous disregard for the feelings of others, have no conscience, lack empathy, and fail to accept responsibility for their actions.

In a competitive world, the people who act corruptly, who have no regard for truth, are going to have an advantage over those who play by the rules. The result is that those who achieve positions of power will be the most ruthless, the most sociopathic, the ones without conscience.

In societies run by psychopaths, ambitious individuals and sycophants, who are not clinically psychopathic, are induced to emulate, model themselves, after powerful psychopaths in order to achieve power and money (or survive). The result: psychopaths breed more psychopath wannabes.

When our ruling class – corporate leaders, bankers, academics, generals, media executives, senators and congressmen and even presidents – are liars and deceivers, and are ruthless, callous manipulators who have no regard for truth or other people, the entire fabric of society is twisted in their image, and psychopathic behavior becomes the norm. Yippee!

Our world is characterized by: permanent war, full-spectrum dominance, targeted assassinations, rendition, torture, water-boarding, mercenaries, Blackwater, paramilitaries, Contras, cruise missiles, drones, landmines, cluster bombs, napalm, Agent Orange, depleted uranium, biological and chemical weapons, enemy combatants, Mujahideen, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State, state terrorism, 9/11, color revolutions, regime change, coup d’etats, sanctions, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, money laundering, plausible deniability, impunity, fascism and neo-fascism, Auschwitz, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, genocide, apartheid, dictatorship, plutocracy, oligarchy, kleptocracy, political sociopaths and narcissists, corruption, predatory capitalism, profiteering, tax havens, bank bail-outs and bail-ins, too-big-to-fail, monopoly capitalism, financialization, corporatism, corporate personhood, golden parachutes, fracking, mountain-top removal, tar sands, Fukashima, laboratory-created diseases, genetically-engineered food, glyphosate, three-strikes, maximum-security, corporate media, public relations, propaganda, surveillance, RFID chips, globalization, austerity, structural adjustment, exploitation, poverty, the New World Order.

And, despite the violence, suffering and chaos they have caused, we allow them to remain at the top, and in control. Why?


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Riff Mattre

Hey Brien, How’s it goin? Thought I’d drop a few words as heads up I’m reading 🙂 and I’ll watch for your next two posts. I am curious where you’re going here? For part one, I’ll note that since nature’s creations evolve and humans are creations of nature, human nature most certainly DOES change. For part two, when it comes to approaching any level-headed diagnosis of any societal ‘mental illness,’ it is always necessary to first admit upfront that we are each a part of it and it a part of each of us. If we can agree that ‘illness’ at its basis is a form of ‘imbalance’ and sustainable balance within a democracy depends upon balance within its citizenry, this predicts that if individuals can balance personal choices, societies can eventually balance collective choices as collectives, themselves. This is why I’m drawn to the idea of FāVS. WE have the opportunity in America to investigate together how faith and values sustain balance by measured trial and error.

I can imagine many possible sound reasons for why the ‘West’ has ‘evolved’ as it has (necessitating capitalistic imbalance within a greater balance), but I’ll hold off for your answer to your own ‘Why?’



Hey back at ya Riff! Nice to hear from you. All I’m gonna say is, I think you already have a pretty good idea where these posts are going. The question ‘why’ the West is the way it is would be an entire series all on its own. To be covered, maybe, at a later date. The ‘why’ at the end of this post was an attempt to get us to contemplate the myriad of reasons we are as individuals a huge part of the solution as well as part of the problem. Needed social changes more than likely won’t occur until more people recognize and accept their own varying degrees of culpability and subsequent responsibility to advance society as a whole not just our group or class.

Reading my posts is kinda like reading a comic book panel layout that hopefully builds a cohesive story by the time you reach the end ?
Enjoy the weekend Riff

Micheline Leehy

Thanks for sharing sweetie.

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