Psychopaths on Parade by Richard Reid
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.” —J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
Krishnamurti was right. We who are outraged by the erosion of democracy, the endless “war,” the continued violation of the environment and the hardship visited on so many by so few, must speak up. What’s most frightening about America’s economic and social crisis is that numerous psychopaths have obviously attained positions of power & accumulated wealth. Most research on psychopaths has been conducted in prisons and mental institutions. Little is known about how they function at large in society.
Psychopaths are often very intelligent and charming and their hypersensitivity to boredom often leads to risk taking and impulsivity. They have no conscience and are incapable of remorse.
Psychopaths have joined others to create bastions of power in societies throughout history. American democracy provides opportu-nities for people who value the common welfare to debate the future and choose leaders, but it also allows power and greed to control the outcome of elections. (Is it possible that our American society has created more psychopathology than other societies?) The psychopaths’ lust for power in government and business increasingly dominates our attention and obscures the fairly orderly transmission of values through our schools, churches and families.
Because they have no empathy psychopaths have victimized societies wherever they arise and are uniquely capable of causing great harm. We Americans should be alarmed as they concentrate greater power and wealth in fewer hands and impose ever harsher punishment for civil disobedience. But we cannot let the psychopaths among us prevent us from honoring our values and our vision of a just society.
As psychopaths unite they seize positions of power until totalitarianism dominates the host culture and society. A genuine society encourages freedom so that the greatest good may be sought by the greatest number. As always we who are outraged must either resist totalitarianism or sacrifice our civil rights and dis-honor those values that are the real “wealth” of our commonwealth.
We must speak up and act up, point out the “craziness” that befalls us and re-assert those values and freedoms that make a society great. History repeatedly teaches us that if we don’t do this, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable it may be, we will certainly lose our freedom. There are abundant opportunities to join others who are outraged and active. I invite you to do so. The alternative is to adjust to a sick society.
Richard Reid co-directs CityWatch which advocates for honest City government. He can be reached at 503.581.0056 or [email protected]