I left a message on my facebook page this morning saying that the main reason I was pro-choice was because I knew plenty of people who it would have been better for the world had they been aborted at birth. As usual like everything I write on facebook or twitter it went totally ignored — I don’t even know why I bother — but this nasty little quip had its basis in the very real anger I felt as a result of contemplating the actions of the happily now-departed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and from thinking about sociopaths in general. If you’ve ever dealt with a sociopath in real life you know just how psychically draining they can be and how personally debilitating it can be to deal with them day after day.
Throughout human history however there have been certain roles or professions or whole societies in which only those of a geniunely sociopathic disposition were able to prosper — or at least those who, if not quite “innately” sociopathic, were at least able to expunge all traces of humanity or compassion from their souls; something it’s much easier to do if you hadn’t any in the first place. Maybe in Macchiavelli’s time, say, you might have been able to make a good case that being somewhat of a sociopath gave you a strong edge and enabled you to be a more effective leader: that it gave you a firm psychic foundation from which to navigate the chaotic and unpredictable nature of those times.
What gets me is that nowadays, in today’s modern and “enlightened” society, the sociopaths have started once again to become almost like role models: indeed, rather than being shunned and stigmatised, more and more of these bona fide sociopaths are achieving notable successes and at the highest levels. I’ve noticed that as people are starting to get just that little bit more desperate with the inevitable unravelling of this global financial crisis, and consequently begin to face greater levels of uncertainty about the future, they’ve also started gravitate towards or cultivate the acquaintance of the sociopaths and the pathologically selfish, whether it’s in the work place or in personal relationships. Somehow those who are purely guided by self-interest and have complete disregard for all others are seen as far better placed to survive the coming catastrophe. Maybe they are.