In the Op Ed News article, A World Damaged by Psychopaths and Narcissists--Ian
Hughes Interview Transcript Part I, Bob Kall interviews Ian Hughes. Ian Hughes says "Well I guess the big
picture, idea behind my book, Rob, is basically asking the question, are
we a peaceable species or are we a war-like species?"
We are a loving, peaceable species. The problem is usually a combination of our intellect and our gullibility.
Others as far back as Confucious have suggested that the evidence of the
goodness in people is exemplified by the 'coming together' of people in an
emergency. I do not believe we are a war-like species, but rather, those
psychopaths, using sociopaths, narcissists and paranoids as their tools can
create a condition combining comfort and fear to drive societies to instigate
death and suffering to satisfy greed and desire
Ian describes the psychopath aptly as not having a conscience. This seems fairly accepted but I question the accuracy. Perhaps the definition of conscience varies with perspective. A psychopath believes that what he or she is doing is desirable or necessary. While to the 'normal' person the psychopath may appear not to have a conscience, I believe the psychopath does have a conscience. The difference is the scope of who is included in humanity and perhaps in simpler terms, the notion that if you can't see someone, they don't exist.
What is the difference between the narcissist and the psychopath is? The psychopath is convincing, asserting absolutely convinced of their own correctness and truth. The narcissists' experiences an emotional sense of being the only one. The psychopath experiences both the emotional sense and the intellectual sense of being the only one. The narcissist ignores intellect, the psychopath uses intellect to an advantage.
The psychopathic believes the delusion of superiority. Just as we
don't worry about the bacteria when we take antibiotics, the psychopath sees
others as no more than a culture in a petri-dish either useful as an
experiment, as fodder or as threatening as a disease.
The sociopath, the narcissist and the paranoid are all easy pawns for the psychopath because of their social presence and their antisocial behaviors. The closest to the psychopath is the narcissist who shares the quality of placing such great importance on the self that others are excluded. To the sociopath the importance of others is relative. To the paranoid others often pose a threat.
Together, they form the power base that creates the war-like culture.
The psychopath and the narcissist are the result of a biological "organic' condition that is predominately genetic in nature; they share the lack of consideration for other points of views. This is different from considering and discounting another point of view for some logical reason.
The sociopath and the paranoid unlike the psychopath and the narcissist are essentially learned behaviors with few exceptions.
For example, if you kick a puppy growing up, and others do also, that puppy
will grow into a dog that fears people.
The dog may be violent or may be frightened but by all appearances, the
dog is paranoid of people. Perhaps the
dog could be conditioned, shown video's of dogs being kicked by people and have
the paranoia induced. Americans such as
myself, a baby boomer, grew up with a fear of the Russians who were
collectively our bogey man. My parents
watched from roof-tops in Michigan with other loyal Americans to help with the
early warning in the event of a strike on U.S. soil by the former Soviet
Union. Today we program people in
America that Arabs are the bogey man. We
induce paranoia into our society to control people.
In a microcosmic example I give you the imaginary town with a gas station located along a desolate stretch of highway.
The town and the owner of the gas station lacks sufficient business being in the middle of nowhere. The psychopathic/narcissist nature of the owner has no problems retaining someone to put nails in the tires of people's cars when they stop for gas and are not looking. People fill up their tanks and drive off, only to get a flat tire a few miles later and require the assistance of the only tow truck for 50 miles, that of the service station they had just previously stopped at. The gas station owner has now tripled or quadrupled his profits and is happy.
The person putting nails in the tires is a sociopath. He has a conscience, but approval from the service station owner is more meaningful than the approval of the stranger driving through town. His/her social conscience is linked to the local social hierarchy. He knows putting nails in people's tires is not a nice thing to do, but elevated acceptance, wealth and status within the local society far outweighs the guilt of the crime itself.
From a general perspective of the inner culture in this desolate rural town
on the highway, treating outsiders as "Marks' or "suckers to be used' is OK.
The people who get nails in their tires are the paranoids. They decide to do something about it.