We Live In A System Built For And By Sociopaths
It occurred to me today that if you are to feel comfortable in the world we have created you kind of have to be a sociopath. It is a system designed by and for sociopaths. And anybody trying to change it is going to experience all the friction and tension a brake feels on a runaway train.
Some people use religion to mask their sociopathology. That sense of feeling comfortable in their relationship with the world as it is is evidence to many Christians that they are right with God. Even though they may feel as if the world is a sinful place deserving of God’s judgment and wrath, they feel as if God has sanctioned them to be rewarded by it without the obligation of trying to change it.
You might not be a sociopath, but the system will try to make you one. It will reward all your sociopathic behavior and punish you when you try to do good. Often when you are engaging in sociopathic behavior, they will praise you by calling you patriotic or successful.
The system applauds the sociopath. When someone lays off a workforce or moves a plant overseas, the person who does this is applauded as someone who’s willing to make the hard decisions. But they aren’t hard decisions, not for a sociopath. Only someone with a healthy sense of right and wrong would have problems making such decisions. They want our sympathy for making decisions that no psychologically sound person would ever make.
Same with those who plunge our country into war. Yes, it would be a hard decision to send our young people to kill and die in an unnecessary conflict. It would be a hard decision to allow many innocent people in foreign nations to die. But who do you know among our political class that shows the burden of such decisions, especially those decisions that have proven to have been made on false pretenses? There is not a politician or media figure who has shown an ounce of compunction over their behavior, not one willing to atone for their failures or seek forgiveness. They have moved on.
We’ve been desperately clinging to an outmoded paradigm for a while now. Because even though it is irrational and inhuman, it has at least provided us with an illusion of security. If we send troops over there, we believe we can continue to live our lives as normal over here. If we just keep our heads down and not notice anything is wrong, we can get home and watch the new season of our favorite series on Netflix. If I show up and get my sticker to prove I’ve voted, I can pretend that I’ve played my part in our democracy. As for Boomers, they’ve been hoping that the impending crises can be pushed into the future far enough that they won’t have to experience it. Missed it by that much (Boomers will understand this reference).
But even the illusion of security has been stripped away. The mask has been torn off and all your sub-conscious fears are staring you straight in the eye. Every single worry that you’ve tried to shove down into your subconscious is rearing its ugly head, one after the other.
That’s a good thing.
In one sense, it’s like waking up from a fever dream. Because a lot of those subliminal fears were creations of a fevered mind. A lot of them don’t really make sense in the light of a new day. We’ve got ourselves to the point where we see every other country as a existential danger to us. We have been conditioned to feel that anyone who does not belong to our tribe is a threat to our tribe. It’s painful to go through life that way, impossible to do so for long before breaking down. Unless, of course, you are a sociopath.
True, a lot of the fears we have are very valid. A lot of those problems we’ve never permitted ourselves to contemplate have only grown worse during our years of avoidance. There’s a reason we’ve all been avoiding them, because they will be difficult to deal with and will require real change. But admitting we have a problem is the first step.
We’re at that first step now. We’ve reached rock bottom. We have an economic system that has no answer to a global pandemic. It will destroy the economy as we know it. In fact it already has, though we have not allowed that fact to sink in yet.
But an economy is not a real thing. The machinery is all still in place, our capacity to provide every man woman and child in our nation all they require and more is rock solid. We simply have to start building a new system that can function in the new reality we now face.
Such a shift to a new environment, a new reality, is a sane approach. A sociopath, however, would choose denial and perseverance in the same patterns that led us to this point, because sociopaths are not much for self-reflection. They blame others (Russians, Chinese, immigrants, Muslims, conservatives, liberals, etc.) instead.
The situation we now face, the crises demanding our attention, exists because we have allowed our society to be fashioned by sociopaths for their own aims. We can choose to hit the snooze button on this fact for a few more minutes, but we will no longer be able to rest as tranquilly as we once did, and the awakening will only be more painful. It’s time to wake up and face the new day as functioning adults. The sociopaths will continue to create our reality for as long as we’ll let them, but they’re only going to make things worse. If they are permitted to take their vision to its logical conclusion…well, imagine Berlin in 1945 or Jonestown in 1978.