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Ferguson Killing Illuminates How Sociopaths in Power Act

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Reprinted from Reader Supported News


George Stephanopoulos interviewing Darren Wilson.
(image by (photo: ABC News))
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People without conscience pay big to whitewash white cop who kills

The same night the manipulated Ferguson grand jury delivered the unjustifiable non-indictment sought by a prosecutor nursing his own childhood hurts, the lawyers for homicidal cop Darren Wilson issued a dishonest statement in Wilson's name, concluding with this falsehood: "Moving forward, any commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media."

At the same time the Wilson team was making up this statement, they were also running an auction with TV networks to get the most money for Wilson's first "exclusive" interview. NBC dropped out of the bidding when the price rose into the "high six figures." Less then 24 hours and close to a million dollars after his lawyers said he would not comment "through the media," this unindicted killer was at ABC News getting a toadying interview from George Stephanopoulos. The full edited version runs about 46 minutes of mostly fawning deceit and truthlessness.

This is the way our world works these days, when you have commercial television determined to get ratings for any popular fraudulence, when you have mercenary "journalists" ready to follow any unbelievable script their bosses buy, and especially when you have lawyers who are determined to get paid by any means available. The Ferguson story is a perfect storm of corrupt practices, none of them admitted, much less reported accurately. From the outside, it looks like ABC paid big bucks to affirm the corrupt practices of a Missouri prosecutor playing to race hatred, even if that meant the network was setting up its own employee as an after-the-fact accessory to state-sanctioned manslaughter.

Looked at honestly from the inside, these institutions would likely appear even more horrifying to a morally aware observer, but to their inmates they may well seem normal. Corruption like this tends to be situational, not pervasive. The participants spend most of their time acting like "solid citizens," creating a context that always leaves room for the required corrupt exception, the necessary evil, the false choice among self-limited "bad" options, the self-serving situation in which "we had no choice." That is always a lie. There is always another choice.

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Currently such behavior is called "sociopathic." In the past, the clinical level of this condition has gone under such descriptive terms as "guiltlessness," "psychopathic inferiority," and "moral imbecility." In recent decades, the United States appears to have been increasingly controlled by the moral imbeciles among us, including at least the three most recent presidents (but that's for another piece).

No one coerced Americans to choose to enslave other human beings

Ferguson was a corrupt paradigm of a corrupt nation long before a homicidal cop executed an unarmed black teenager. Polling appears to show that a majority of Americans are reasonably pleased with the turn of events there so far. Among white people, a much greater majority is pleased. In other words, when Americans get played by the mainstream media on stories like Ferguson, most of them seem to like it (if they actually notice). ABC News knows this about its American audience; ABC News (like all other network news) has always known this. ABC News pandered to power and popular delusion with similar corrupt reporting on the Viet-Nam War (which, when I suggested a different choice, got me fired).

Common to the performance of all these personal and institutional corruptions is a behavior that appears sociopathic, in the sense that the performers show little sign of having an active conscience. It is the absence of conscience that defines the sociopath, as discussed by Martha Stout in her book, "The Sociopath Next Door" (2005, Broadway Books).

As Stout observed people's reactions to September 11, 2001, including irrational enthusiasms for war, torture, suspension of civil liberties, a terrified search for homeland "security," she found herself asking: "Will the shameless minority really inherit the earth?" Without naming the president at the time, or members of his administration, she began her book this way:

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"Imagine -- if you can -- not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

"Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless. You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition."

Does this mean that either Wilson or Stephanopoulos is a sociopath? No, but there's no way of being certain, short of the clinical evaluation neither will probably ever have. The point is not to label them, but to observe how some of their behavior is both commonplace and consistent with sociopathology. Stout says one in 25 Americans is a sociopath, that they come with all degrees of intelligence, lucidity, ambition, and other human qualities, and that they hide well in plain sight.

Wilson expresses no remorse, no second thoughts, no empathy

Under his present circumstances, with other possible investigations pending, there is no reason to expect Darren Wilson to display the full range of human emotion on national television. But even just a little apparently real emotion would have helped persuade us of his fundamental mental health and basic humanity. For Darren Wilson to go on national television as he did and express no emotion about anything, is more than passing strange and reinforces the notion that this appearance was all about staging a performance designed to avoid accountability.

Asked again and again in different ways to express any pity or sorrow or understanding of how others might feel, Wilson came up empty. After 45 minutes of dead-voiced repetition, Wilson had achieved no further illumination of the Ferguson story or his own central role in it. Wilson ended up expressing the same, numb perspective/cover story that he's expressed for months:

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 

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