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The Evil in the Hearts of Men

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"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."

The murder of John Lennon in December 1980 was nearly as devastating to the United States and for that matter the world, as the murder of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and the murders of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Had he lived, Lennon would have been a rallying point against Ronald Reagan and the "Me" generation in the 1980s, a spokesman for the common man against the worst excesses of the rise of the selfish plutocracy and Reagan-Thatcher-style economics. I have a strong suspicion that Lennon was murdered by the plutocrats: no evidence, just a feeling deep down in my gut that screams "conspiracy," because of the convenient timing of his death at the hands of a "lone assassin," just like the Kennedys and Dr. King.

A Theory of "Social" Relativity

In a 12 May 2014 OpEdNews article, "What is the Opposite of Psychopathy?", Rob Kall asked one of the most relevant questions in any discussion of the sociopathic/psychopathic mind: What is its opposite? Rob made a list of the specific elements of the sociopathic/psychopathic mind, a laundry list of the symptoms of the disorder and their converse.

It was up to Thomas Farrell, in his OpEdNews article the same day, to give what I believe is a more generalized and at the same instant, more specific reply to Rob's question. In "The Healthy Opposite of the Psychopathic Spectrum Is the Relatedness Spectrum," I wonder if Professor Farrell wrote that article off the top of his head when he saw Rob's article, or if it was an article that he had in his files that he was waiting for the right moment to submit. (A note to the public: every writer has essays and/or stories in his files that are complete--or nearly complete--awaiting just the right moment or piece of inspiration to complete and submit.) It doesn't matter: Professor Farrell's article met his always high standards of scholarship, invoking Plato, Aristotle, Homer, the Old Testament, Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, Walt Disney, St. Francis of Assisi, John Donne, and Walter Ong, S.J.. It also got me busy with Colorado's Prospector Interlibrary Loan system, finding some of the books he mentioned that I haven't read yet.

I know from personal experience that the mentally ill have a difficult time relating to other human beings. The more severe your mental illness--whether it is a neurosis, a character disorder, or some combination of mental diseases--the harder time you have establishing and maintaining relationships with the rest of humanity. Sociopath/Psychopaths in some cases seem to do better than most, because those with high intelligence have learned to hide their aberrations from the rest of the world, putting up a superficially convincing facade of normalcy. But for the severely mentally ill--including the sociopath/psychopath--it is impossible for them to have any real relationship with other human beings, because a real relationship involves sharing yourself with the person you are having the relationship with. Or to quote Erich Fromm (Man for Himself, Chapter 4; 1947):

"Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either."

It is that inability to relate to other people that differentiate the mentally ill from the rest of humanity, and it is the degree to which they are unwilling to relate to other human beings that marks the seriousness of their illness. Because of this, the mentally ill try to relate to others on their own terms, without actually giving of themselves. In the case of the sociopath or the psychopath, they can only relate to others as the superior or dominating party in a superior/inferior relationship; they can never relate with others as equals. This is the inherent flaw in most libertarian systems, especially Ayn Rand's Objectivism: the "I come first, and my freedom is more important than yours" frame of mind. Real equality is not even a consideration for these morally challenged individuals.

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Richard Girard is a polymath and autodidact whose greatest desire in life is to be his generations' Thomas Paine. He is an FDR Democrat, which probably puts him with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the current political spectrum. His answer to (more...)
 

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