99% Quebec

The largest student protest in the history of Canada is taking place. The premier of the Canadian province says that the police violence used against the uprising is keeping the public safe. The images you are about to see say otherwise.


Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Page 1 of 1

Subversive Joy
(Blog written in honor of LaughRiot)

In my post about Occupy and psychological health, I forgot to mention one of the most intense emotions that I feel almost everyday.

Sorrow. Is it just the state of the world? Is it just the way things go here? People hurt other people. People use other people. People steal from other people. People kill other people. Are those doing the hurting, using, stealing, and killing somehow less evolved than their non-violating counterparts? Or are we all so base?

No, we're not. What's happening, maybe what has always happened throughout history, is that power-hungry, control-hungry sociopaths seek out power positions. After they elbow (to put it mildly) their way to the top, they continue violating people to their heart's content. (If sociopaths and psychopaths can be said to have a heart, which they don't).

That's right. What I'm saying is that the people running things into the ground are sociopaths.

Dr. Martha Stout writes in "The Sociopath Next Door", "People without conscience experience emotions very differently from you and me; and they do not experience love at all, or any other kind of positive attachment to their fellow human beings. This deficit, which is hard even to ponder, reduces life to an endless game of attempted domination over other people. Sometimes, sociopaths are physically violent, as Hannah's father was. Often they are not, preferring to 'win' over others by raiding the business world, or the professions, or government-or simply by exploiting one person at a time in parasitic relationships, as Sydney's nonhusband, Luke, did.

At present, sociopathy is 'incurable'; furthermore, sociopaths almost never wish to be 'cured.' In fact, it is likely that; building on the neurobiological configuration of sociopathy, certain cultures, notably our Western one, actively encourage antisocial behaviors, including violence, murder, and warmongering."

At another point in the book, Dr. Stout writes, "Unless under the spell of a psychotic delusion, extreme rage, inescapable deprivation, drugs, or a destructive authority figure, a person who is conscience-bound does not-in some sense he cannot-kill or rape in cold blood, torture another person, steal someone's life savings, trick someone into a loveless relationship as sport, or willfully abandon his own child.

Could you?

When we see people doing such things, either in the news or in our own lives, who are they? On the rare occasion, they are formally insane, or under the pressure of some radical emotion. Sometimes, they are members of a group that is desperately deprived, or they are substance abusers, or the followers of a malevolent leader. But most often they are none of these. Rather, most often, they are people who have no conscience. They are sociopaths."

I have a friend who is on the same page with me politically. She said that living well is the most subversive thing that we can do. Sociopaths want a willing victim. I'll obviously never be that. Sociopaths also tend to drain people. I'm afraid that, in my case, they're succeeding at that, and it's up to me to stop it. Eckhart Tolle advises, "Become a vigilant guardian of your inner space."

Dr. Stout gives several pieces of advice about protecting ourselves from sociopaths. One such piece of advice is to "defend your psyche" by refusing to "allow such people to convince you that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess conscience. Most human beings are able to love." Another on her list simply states "Living well is the best revenge."

Today is the day of the Adbusters Global LaughRiot. Sociopathy is no laughing matter, but just because it exists is no reason to go around feeling sorrowful all the time either. In a spirit of subversive joy, I think I'll go have myself a fine weekend, surrounded by good friends, good music and good food.

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.