Saturday, June 9, 2012

When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 2

by David Ho

In the first post in this series, Dredd Blog complained about the lack of psychological analysis of various widespread, systemic events.

We have noted that these events have consistently been analyzed through the lenses of economic, political, or other realms, which exclude any psychological analysis.

Regular readers will also remember that long ago the Dredd Blog System noted some "criminally insane" aspects of systemic socio-pathological and/or pathological behavior in state power structures (e.g. The Criminally Insane Epoch Arises; State Crimes Against Democracy).

Some Background

Perhaps a more focused discussion of that issue was brought up in another Dredd Blog post:
The Dredd Blog System has consistently maintained that MOMCOM's behavior evinces a mental sickness, and has advocated that it be analyzed in that context.

Those series mentioned above were initiated, then extended, because the great bulk of analysis of MOMCOM is done through either a political, a criminal, or an educational lens, which only touches upon the surface, i.e., the prima facie aspects of the MOMCOM problem.

These somewhat shallow analyses have reached conclusions that have perplexed not only those who write them, but have also perplexed those who read those analyses.

That result happens, not because those analyses are false, but because they don't really, fully explain why anyone "in their right mind" would initiate such a scenario:
It’s no secret where this denialism comes from: the fossil fuel industry pays for it. (Of the 16 authors of the Journal article, for instance, five had had ties to Exxon.) Writers from Ross Gelbspan to Naomi Oreskes have made this case with such overwhelming power that no one even really tries denying it any more. The open question is why the industry persists in denial in the face of an endless body of fact showing climate change is the greatest danger we’ve ever faced.
(Why the Energy-Industrial Elite Has It In for the Planet, emphasis added). The perplexing result does, however, get to my point, which is that the officials of MOMCOM are not "in their right mind."

Thus, the need for deeper analysis, beyond legal, political, or educational, if any sort of viable solution is to be fashioned:
But should the bosses of polluting companies and the leaders of environmentally-unfriendly states join those responsible for mass murder in the dock. They could if a fifth crime against peace - ecocide - joined that list of human evils? The United Nations is now considering the proposal and the first test of how a prosecution for ecocide would work takes place on Friday, with fossil fuel bosses in the dock at the UK supreme court in London. It is a mock trial of course, but with real top-flight lawyers and judges and a jury made up of members of the public. The corporate CEOs will be played by actors briefed by their legal teams.
(Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide?, emphasis added). I am not criticizing those analysts as far as their analysis goes, nor arguing that criminal prosecution is in error, I am merely asking them to deepen the scope of their work, so as to include a proper amount of the realm of psychology.
(MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact). Analyzing a mental / behavioral problem with various economic or environmental theories is unproductive.

The Diagnosis of Mania

I recently found a paper that does what needs to be done, it uses psychoanalysis rather that economic or environmental theory to diagnose a certain group's problem.

That is, it analyzes a meme complex (a group which thinks alike), and does it in relevant, applicable part in the same manner that an individual is psychoanalyzed.

That paper should now be seriously considered because it seeks to analyze some of the behavior in the terms that Dredd Blog has advocated for a few years now.

We have been arguing that such analysis would be more likely to lead to revelations of systemic dysfunction, then hopefully lead to remedies:
In this theoretically informed study I explore the broader cultural changes that created the conditions for the credit crisis of 2008. Drawing on psychoanalysis and its application to organizational and social dynamics, I develop a theoretical framework around the notion of a manic culture, comprised of four aspects: denial; omnipotence; triumphalism; and over-activity. I then apply this to the credit crisis and argue that the events of 2008 were preceded by an incubation period lasting for over two decades during which a culture of mania developed. Then, focusing especially on the Japanese and South East Asia/LTCM crises, I argue that a series of major ruptures in capitalism during this incubation period served not as warnings, but as opportunities for a manic response, thereby dramatically increasing the risks involved. I also argue that this mania was triggered and strengthened by triumphant feelings in the West over the collapse of communism. I suggest therefore that this manic culture played a significant role in creating the conditions for the problems that led to the credit crisis.
(A Culture of Mania, by Dr. Mark Stein, 2011, emphasis added). A free PDF of the entire paper is available for download.

Dr. Stein goes through the structural components of mania sequentially applying those components to the cognition and behavior of professionals in a group, an organization, which qualifies as a meme complex.

One of the pillars of the mania which Dr. Stein elucidates during his analysis is systemic denial, leading to systemic ignorance, which Dredd Blog touched upon in the post: Agnotology: The Surge.

The Available Treatments

Since arguing about whether Keynesian economic theory, a bailout, economic stimulation, or austerity would be a better way to solve any financial crisis is useless (because the real problem is mania), instead of that fruitless exercise let's see what treating the mania that caused the problem would look like.

Many of the subject professionals are licensed by boards or associations which have rules and regulations for the professionals to comply with.

If group and individual therapy was required for membership, perhaps like the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for lawyers is, then diagnosis and treatment would be likely to identify and offset the problems before those professionals wreck the economy because they have become manic.

The difference explained by psychiatrists as to sociopathy vs psychopathy, indicates that the powers that be in the U.S. are psychopaths:
Therefore, both psychopaths and sociopaths are capable of committing heinous crimes; however, the psychopath would commit crimes against family members or “friends” (as well as strangers) and feel little to no remorse.
The last main difference between psychopathy and sociopathy is in the presentation. The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.
(Sociopathy vs. Psychopathy). They are taking millions in a destructive, dangerous direction, even as they lie and deceive the public about it.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.


  1. The GroupThink disease is an old disease. It thrives in groups.

    Some of those in Watergate were brought into the Bush II White House sphere (Buchanan, Cheney, Rumsfeld) to repeat the wrongs, because the meme complex lived on.

    That group is definitely psycho, but the psycho germs have spread into the current administration, and much of government.


  2. Here is another one for you, that just happened: link

  3. One of the manic sociopaths was sentenced to 110 years in prison.

    Although he was not part of the Wall Street crowd analyzed in the paper featured in this post, Allen Stanford was not apologetic at his sentencing.

    That is one of the traits of a sociopath.