We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Call it Psychopathy or Sociopathy or just "bad people," people with an excess of predatorial instincts are all around us. Overwhelmingly most are non-violent, but what Dr X points out is that psychopathy is a matter of degree.
Most people who worry about being bad or evil, are not especially so. Sociopathic people rarely recognize their inner bad, and often think highly of themselves. Significant degrees of sociopathy can be found in people in all walks of life, not just in penitentiaries (in which few penitents are to be found). I knew a brilliant, charismatic Psychologist with abundant psychopathic traits who probably helped more people than I ever will with his charm, warmth, and wisdom. He had enough self-awareness to keep himself out of serious trouble but he had some close calls.
Dr X pointed out this piece at Smithsonian: The Pros to Being a Psychopath - In a new book, Oxford research psychologist Kevin Dutton argues that psychopaths are poised to perform well under pressure. Not sure I agree, but an interesting topic.
Totally unconvincing, sorry. Being a psychopath doesn't make you smart, decisive, experienced, or empathetic towards others - the real qualities that help a person succeed in a crisis. Unless the crisis is running out of a burning building and leaving everyone else behind, being a psychopath isn't going to help you react to it.
Psychopaths tend to do quite well for themselves (as long as they can stay out of prison) - but that's not the same as acting well in a crisis, which usually involves coming up with a solution that helps you and other people.
Miss Kitty Fantastico
Look, I know ALL about being a Psychopath. I come from a long line of Psychopaths. I even changed my name. It used to be Ed Psychopath.
At some point would you consider discussing the sexualization of our schools, and the increasing numbers (?) of kids deciding that they are a female trapped in a male body or vice-versa and confusion about sexual roles? Seems to me that something is going terribly haywire in a dangerous way.
The Elephant's Child
psychologists don't help people, they just listen and then take your money.
I just finished the book "The Psycopath Test" and it was really fascinating. The author delves into how we (Americans and British) treat psychopaths and the history of how we treat them. It also goes over the fifteen items of the "Psychopath Test" and applies them to CEO's, etc. Good quick read if not a little creepy.
All things considered, this culture prizes its psychopaths, and regularly elects them to high office. This goes some distance toward explaining the dissonance between the District of Columbia and the rest of the nation.