The Sociopathic Society: 1

The idea I am about to propose is not fundamentally a new one and many people including myself have previously written about the issues involved, but mostly in a peripheral manner. However few writers, if any, have dared to point the central issue- largely because it is so unpleasant to admit.

Have you ever considered the possibility that post-WW2 “civilized” western societies are actually sociopathic systems masquerading as just and benevolent entities?

Note that I said ‘sociopathic’ not ‘cruel’, ‘barbaric’, ‘unjust’ or ‘unequal’. The reasons behind my choice of that particular word will be clearer as you read this post.

Human history shows us that societies, civilizations and “nations” which are deeply fucked up, sadistic, barbaric, repressive and otherwise overtly repulsive are rather common. They however differed from contemporary post-WW2 western societies in one fundamental way.

They did not pretend to be just, fair, nice, decent or caring!

One could argue that west-European societies, especially anglo-saxon ones, did exhibit the beginnings of sociopathy as early as the mid-1800s. However even at the height of their pre-WW2 hypocrisy it was common knowledge to even the most illiterate villager in any given colony that west-Europeans were greedy human scum.

But WW1 and then WW2 changed things.. A combination of technological developments and the aftereffects of these wars made it clear to everyone with more than half a brain that the old ways were unworkable. It is no coincidence that the modern model of a supposedly caring and benevolent state which provided for its “own people” came into being after WW2 and under the threat of communism. But old ways of perceiving the world die hard. The supposedly caring, just and benevolent society was a mask for the ugly human mind underneath it. A lot of the hostility, savagery and repressiveness got sublimated into general society giving us the dystopia we live in today.

Though modern western societies frequently proclaim that they are good, just, fair and decent institutions- it is now becoming obvious to many that they are not what they fervently claim to be. And that is my point- They have become systems that try to rule via polished deception, scams, fraud and propaganda. This hallmark of sociopathy is especially obvious When you look at how they treat individuals who trust them and work for them.

Consider the following..

1. “Law and Order” is supposed to protect the rule-abiding citizen from criminals. How does that work in practice? Most of the people currently in jail or probation are small time crooks or unfortunate people. How often do you see supremely corrupt people caught, let alone prosecuted or jailed?

But isn’t it supposed to protect you from thugs who want to steal your stuff or harm you? Isn’t that all of main-stream media keeps on telling you? Isn’t that what society keeps on telling you even when it is clearly not the case. Contrast this to old monarchies or dictatorships which seldom tried to hide the real reason behind ‘law and order’ which has always been repression and assisting the rent seekers.

2. Consider banks and other financial institutions. Modern western societies portray them to as fair, “legal” and objective handlers of money. But is that true? Aren’t they just officially sanctioned oligopolies who lend money they don’t have to collect money obtained through real work? And what is with nickel and dimming their customers and trying to screw them over with ‘gotcha’ clauses. Then there is the issue of differential conditions for lending whereby a well-connected conman can get and default on millions or billions while they chase some guys who took a student loan for a four year degree from some state university.

But western societies portrays their banks as well-meaning, decent and law abiding- even when the converse is true. Society will cover all loses incurred by banks who conned everybody else while treating the average citizens as indentured laborers who were trying to con the banks.

3. Have a look at the medical systems, private or public, in western countries. Why are they so inefficient and expensive? Why doesn’t increasing expenditure improve outcomes and patient sanctification? Some of you might think of doctors as poor souls doing a thankless job for moderate wages. But is that true? Isn’t the medical profession really about making ever-increasing amounts of money from sick and dying people regardless of the outcomes? You might have noticed that western doctors don’t like less expensive competition. Is it about protecting the patient or their income stream? Are they really so good and the others really so bad?

But everywhere you look physicians are glorified by society as selfless heroes who will move heaven and earth to help their patients. How can societies act as if plainly observable reality is false?

4. Society portrays corporations as job creators, but who really creates jobs? Doesn’t demand for a product or service by consumers who happen to have money create jobs? But contemporary western society seems to forget that and portrays people who spend as stupid and impulsive while glorifying those who “save” money thereby removing it from public circulation. Who will buy stuff or services if everybody saves lots of money? and where are the jobs to redistribute that money come from, especially in our era of outsourcing and automation?

While some of the more socialistic countries are more restrained in their praise and adulation of corporations, there is no mistaking the general attitude of western societies towards them, which can be summed up as- corporations are almost always right unlike the median citizen.

5. The educational system in western countries is another class of protected holy cows who can do no wrong. But does the current educational setup facilitate any learning- other than teaching students how to kiss ass and follow the herd? Now that may be the real reason behind their existence, but why are those in the system and society so unwilling to call them out on the con? How can the majority of people go on blathering about improving our schools and universities when their very existence is the real problem?

You can look at the few examples I have given above in isolation and see them as individual problems. But is that really the case? Aren’t they the small-scale outcomes of a larger phenomena- namely that modern western societies have become slick, unscrupulous and dishonest systems who constantly and loudly preach something while setting up things to generally do the opposite of what is advertised?

Isn’t the relationship of contemporary western societies with citizens functionally identical to the one between a sociopath and his/her victim.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. webe
    February 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Largely. I think you’re missing one angle, and that is that the relatively benign and prosperous post WW2 phase of Western society has been largely predicated on an intensified exploitation of the rest of the world for cheap resources and labour, enabled by the current state of technology. My first experience visiting the third world impressed me most of all with the degree that the third world was actually pretty integrated into the global world order, just that they were experiencing the shitty side, the dirty industries, what used to be “the other side of the tracks”.

    I do recall my little brother confiding in me during elementary school that he had an immediate sense of recognition when he first read about the concentration camps. Same as school (bells, being marshalled outside in lines before marching indoors, regimentation, etc etc — the latent background curriculum is about 9-5 sitting in your chair and doing as you’re told).

    I also remember the strange impulse to piss against the counter when visiting banks as a teen-ager. You try to figure out why something like that should suddenly cross your mind, and you have to think it has to do with the atmosphere of conservative respectability and decency that they try to exude. Why? Because fundamentally banking is a vicious con game.

    Crimes are comitted against the state, not the victim. The real concern is the prerogatives of the state, not what happens to other people. Corporations are completely hierachical and anti-democratic, and the corporate persona is a school book example of a psychopathic personality.

    Yes, I agree. Most social institutions are fundamentally based on putting on a face that is the opposite of the reality they incorporate. Notwithstanding, there are still many individuals who act on basic human social impulses and are not completely compromised by the institutional framework in which they act, otherwise it would really be hell.

  2. cynical youth
    February 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t quite agree with the idea that old societies were outright honest about their greed, cruelty, and inequality. Societies such as Ancient Greece, the Roman Republic/Empire, the Aztecs, Ancient China and India, Feudal Japan and Catholic Europe still had to cloak themselves in morality and “divine right”. Most provided weren’t NICE, but the always tried to give moral justification to their cruelty.

    The only society I can possibly think of that didn’t seriously try to justify themselves morally was the Soviet Union and considering how bad the Nicholas the III was, they didn’t even NEED to.

    No society can be truly honest about its cruelty because the truth is that the average person is narcassistic and egotistical and really can’t stand a truly cynical world. Even most self-proclaimed “realists” such as many alt-righters are just as hopelessly idealistic as the average liberals, just more assholish and bitter due to their world view not being considered mainstream.

  3. February 29, 2012 at 7:18 am

    “The educational system in western countries is another class of protected holy cows who can do no wrong.”

    It’s seems that we’re going have some hard time trying to slaughter these holy cows.

  4. John
    February 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    May I suggest the following books on this subject?

    1. “Political Ponerology – The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes”, by Dr. Andrew Loboweski

    2. “Snakes in Suits”, by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak

    3. “The Sociopath Next Door” – Dr. Martha Stout

    An article worth examining from Orion Magazine – “The Gospel of Consumption and the Better Future We Left Behind”

    The current state of affairs is a circumstance we evolved/devolved into, mostly by psycho/social manipulation. Though I do not for a moment believe in any sense that “all people are born good”, the fact is that the current construct has literally been made to be what it is by those with the power to influence in both the immediate sense as well as the long-term. Those whose psychology which reflects the absolute worst of human attributes have risen to the top in every conceivable position of influence, be it political, economic and social. As Orwell argued, “evil is now good” and “war is peace”.

    It isn’t as if society is rudderless, it is that evil men and women are at the rudder. The result is that society at large, being wholly influenced and led by the absolute worst, the most immoral, begin at a point to reflect the psychology of those who are in leadership positions. We have not arrived here by accident, but by design.

    • February 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

      John sounds like an academic: he suggests readings.

    • P Ray
      February 29, 2012 at 10:46 am

      “Snakes in Suits” is one of the more realistic books about corporate intrigue you’ll see, because:
      The bad guy wins in the end.

  5. ThousandMileMargin
    February 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I think you overstate the sociopathic element. It’s more of a mutually agreed insanity. Human beings are eager to deceive themselves whenever truth is unpleasant. The average individual is buying into a hundred different shared delusions, so can you really say they are an innocent victim? If it was just ignorance, it would be fair to categorize the relationship as sociopath & victim. But if the “victim” doesn’t WANT to know the truth, and the sociopath also believes the lie, what then?
    Stockholm syndrome?

    • August 11, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Cognitive dissonance.

    • P Ray
      August 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      The sociopath doesn’t “believe the lie”, they just think “consequences only apply to the little people, and since I’m a big person, the wrong I do does not count”.

  6. March 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I love being spoonfed by Minipax and Minitrue. Don’t you?

  7. P Ray
    December 12, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Western societies portray themselves as just, fair, nice, decent or caring
    so that the best of other societies knock themselves out providing free labour, intellect and servility to continue staying on in a society that will treat them as second class for as long as it can get away with it.
    These people also perpetuate the stupidity, with the idea that “being in a menial job in the West” is much better than “being in a professional job anywhere else”.

    There’s just one problem though.
    For this generation of “know everything” youngsters,
    they believe the myths like none before
    and will usually NEVER be able to afford their own homes.

    Oh well, here’s to sex via couchsurfing or in exchange for rent 🙂

    • hoipolloi
      December 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      True that. Much respect for saying like it is.

  8. P Ray
    June 21, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    The “sociopathic society” relies on automation when the human part fails.
    Predictably things go pear shaped with the human part first:
    ‘No human could do anything’: The man who was sacked by a machine ‘out for blood’
    IBRAHIM Diallo was sacked by a machine “out for blood” — and his bosses could only stand by helplessly as he was marched out.

    Frank Chung@franks_chung 22, 20183:00PM

    NOT content with taking our jobs, the machines have already started firing people.
    A California software developer has revealed how he was sacked from his job by a “machine out for blood”, and even his managers were powerless to stop it.
    In a cautionary tale about the dangers of automation — and possibly of the future that awaits us all — Ibrahim Diallo recounted the bizarre sequence of events that started with an early-morning voicemail and ended in him being escorted from the building by two security guards.

    That’s what the headline says…
    eventually the truth comes out:
    A previous manager was laid off, but was required to finish his duties until the end of his last month.
    Since he wasn’t going to be penalised for bad behaviour, he slacked off and didn’t renew Mr. Diallo’s contract.
    The computer took over when the laid-off manager didn’t deliver the renewal for Mr. Diallo on time,
    and proceeded to remove his access as he was no longer a legitimate employee.
    Et voila: “Computers taking over”. Sometimes you can think that Skynet happens just because a human didn’t do their job properly.

  9. P Ray
    April 17, 2020 at 3:35 am

    You can either defend beliefs like a sucker, or change it to create optimal outcomes for yourself – because the judgement of people who don’t care about what happens to you, or cannot help you, is irrelevant.

  1. March 4, 2012 at 2:01 am
  2. December 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm

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