There is a culture of anti-socialism that is permeating our society. It is not a phobia of Socialism per se but rather a pervasive and widespread pathology of manipulation and distortion akin to that of sociopathy and criminal behavior.
The impetus for this writing came as a reaction to the cheap chants of socialism bandied about at the hint of any sort of fairness or justice for the masses. These assaults, which have been levied from right to left, continue on as we continue to fight questionable wars, allow the constitution to be destroyed under the veil of "national security", and watch on the sidelines while the bankers absorb our hard earned money into their pitiful coffers.
To qualify for the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, a person needs to demonstrate a pattern of criminal and anti-social behaviors. At least three of the following qualifiers are needed to make the diagnosis: 1) failure to conform to social norms; 2) deceitfulness; 3) impulsivity, failure to plan ahead; 4) irritability, aggressiveness; 5) reckless disregard for the safety of others; 6) consistent irresponsibility; 7) lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person.1
Sociopathy, according to many researchers and clinicians, includes an additional set of characteristics. Most notably "a glib and superficial charm that allows the true sociopath to seduce other people, figuratively or literally- a kind of glow or charisma that, initially, can make a sociopath more charming or interesting than most of the normal people around him."2
Dr. Robert Hare, in his book Without Conscious, identifies two sets of key sociopath symptoms. They are as follows:
Glib and superficial
Egocentric and grandiose
Lack of remorse or guilt
Lack of empathy
Deceitful and manipulative
Poor behavior controls Need for excitement
Lack of responsibility
Early behavior problems
Adult antisocial behaviors3
By nature, sociopaths are masters of deception, blending into the fabric of society. They feign normalcy while espousing shallow, glib, rhetoric while covertly wreaking chaos. They exist in an alternate reality with its own set of rules which generate devastating consequences. They are quite simply inside-out.
The parallel between the actions of sociopaths and many of our leaders is strikingly similar. Under the veil of glib terms like "war on terror" and the stirring of conflicts between Americans and "Un-Americans", these individuals ignited the emotions of the public with shallow, fear based distortions while covertly twisting longstanding legal principles to suit their own objectives. Words like "Democracy" and "Freedom" have become vitamin deficient. They have been spun into rhetoric to promote mere illusion. They spark only a fleeting glow of a time now past. Meanwhile, atrocities against our people are in the works. To be a terrorist, one need only show an inkling of dissent. If you live in Missouri, for example, having a bumper sticker sporting anything having to do with Ron Paul, Libertarians, the Constitution, or "patriot" could get you pulled over by the state police.4 Being a returning war vet could get you targeted as a terrorist by the police and potentially the boy scouts.5 Operating under his own rules, an emboldened vice-president and his legal associates covertly side-stepped time-honored checks and balances to allow for more executive power. This was done based on the controversial constitutional interpretations of a 34 year old John C. Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Council, and vice-president Cheney's own vision of reality. Pulitzer Prize author Barton Gellman illustrated this in his biography Anger: The Cheney Vice Presidency (2008). "Yoo claimed without limitation that the president could disregard laws and treaties prohibiting torture, war crimes, warrantless eavesdropping, and confinement without hearing. "6 This point was endorsed and aggressively advocated by David Addington, Cheney's attorney.
The ensuing damage from these actions has tarnished America's image as a humane advocate for human rights and left us open to a litany of abuses already in progress. As of this writing, there is next to no privacy thanks to the approval by congress of military satellites to spy on United States citizens at home. These particular types of satellites are more versatile in that they have augmented resolution and can monitor people's activity with more scrutiny. This program has proceeded despite unresolved concerns regarding Posse Comitatus, privacy, and usage by state and local authorities.7 If you are an astute observer, you have probably noticed CCTV cameras popping up on traffic signal polls and even along interstates- another infringement on privacy and rights. FEMA has long had detention camps across the country in the event of a "natural or other manmade disaster" or civil unrest.8 (i.e. fallout from unemployment, banking and financial scandals, viral pandemic) Internet neutrality, perhaps the last bastion of free speech is being attacked jointly by the military and corporate America under the banner of "national security". These are a few among many issues too lengthy to discuss in this piece.
The actions of those responsible for this catastrophe easily fall within the 7 criteria needed to make the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. (1) Failure to conform to social norms: Blatant disrespect for established guidelines pertaining to the treatment of detainees and the suspension of Habeas Corpus. (2) Deceitfulness, manipulativeness : Cooked intelligence. (3) Impulsivity, failure to plan ahead: Insufficient equipment, armor. Lack of study of failures of previous occupiers. (4) Irritability, aggressiveness: Disrespect, hostility towards dissenters. (5) Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others: Disregard for civilian safety. (6) Consistent irresponsibiliity: Wasteful spending on no bid contracts, reckless mercenaries, lack of accountability or oversight. (7) Lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person: Largely unapologetic, glib overtures about wrongs done.
In the early 60's a researcher by the name of Stanley Milgram illustrated the tendency of people to believe or follow the 'experts' despite the intense signal of their conscience. In his classic experiment, Milgram instructed one person, the subject, to sit in a chair and receive fake electric shocks. A second person, the teacher and the real subject, read pairs of words which the subject had the task of learning. The experimenter directed the activity, instructing the teacher to administer an incrementally stronger electric shock for each incorrect word pair. The pseudo-subject in turn, would act as if he were receiving the shock. The experimenter instructed the teacher to continue even though the supposed voltage level produced excruciating pain for the pseudo-subject or at least appeared to. The teacher, in most cases would continue despite his conscience telling him to stop. Occasionally, there was a subject or teacher who
allowed his conscience to win out and refused to carry on with the experiment in spite of the "expert" or the teacher was simply more informed.
This experiment was also performed with a twist. Instead of the teacher wearing a lab coat, plain clothes were substituted. This dropped the rate of compliance from 62.5% to 20%. This illustrates a profound fact that people tend follow who they perceive to be an expert.9
The implications of Milgram's experiment are chilling when viewed in light of society at large. Arguably, events leading up to the Iraq war are a prime example of how conscience or rationale is "put to sleep". As it is now known, an entire legislative body was sold on false intelligence to make the case for war. It is likely safe to say that many had their doubts regarding the validity of the claims of WMD's and links to Al Queda, many well-connected and educated legislators. Even in spite of evidence presented by international monitors that concluded that there were no WMD's, congress voted to support an invasion. With the satellite technology the United States has, technology which can see subjects very close and at high resolution, it is perplexing to think that somehow there was not more scrutiny. And shouldn't there have been more study of the ethnic fallout that would ensue? These things make do not compute logically.
The experts have us believe that anything contrary to what is presented via mainstream media is mere conspiracy. The exclamation of conspiracy theory is absurd when put to the test. It was stated clearly by Dwight Eisenhower that there was a clear and present danger of the threat of a military complex. Hence we now have Hallurton/KBR building FEMA camps for mass internment, mercenary soldiers abroad and crowd control equipment, lest we revolt against thieving banks, and politicians. The media, contrary to folklore, is neither liberal or conservative. It is a disinformation tool speaking only of surface matter, if that. A former head of CBS News once said, "We give the people not what they want, but what we think they ought to have." Trilateral Commission member Zebignew Brzinski wrote in "Between Two Ages-America's Role in the Technotronic Era:
"people, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations. (The Constitution is) inadequate... The old framework of international politics, with their sphere of influence... The fiction of sovereignty... is clearly no longer compatible with reality..."