ROLES OF PSYCHO/SOCIOPATHY IN HUMAN EVOLUTION/EMERGENCE

PREFACE:
This essay was put together by bits and pieces and is not a coherent argument. It is NOT my intention to focus on this issue, although I will always keep it on the side. There may be an intrinsic “evil” but I prefer to believe circumstances can result in phenomena that are perceived as “evil” by some. I see no evidence that we live in a neutral world; where we don’t have to be cautious about others intentionally, creatively, and intelligently resisting our efforts, even eliminating us if we confront them too openly and with real threat to their power. Psycho/sociopaths are only one of many such negative forces. Personally I want to shift most of my energy to positive emergent ventures, such as UPLIFT; but since the participation I need has not yet manifested, and can do little more myself, I am drawn towards better comprehending the societal world we live in and trends. I believe it is premature to take explicit action against powerful psycho/sociopaths but we can be on  alert for those that may interfere with our activity. At the end I list some urls on this issue I have received online in the past few months.  They are a mixed bag.

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Why are a significant percent (2-4%) of the human population, across all ethnic grouping of males, psychopaths? What was their evolutionary role?

Speculation: At the early time when the cohesion of the tribe was essential for species survival, there were moments when threats to tribe required quick decisions that would have severe collateral damage to the tribe. The statistical choice (in evolution) was collateral damage or tribal death. For most persons with strong emotional interpersonal bonds, making such survival decisions may be delayed until it is too late. Tribal survival may have depended on a special individual to take charge and make decisions that will be temporarily very destructive to the internal nature of the tribe – but not destroy it.

The bonds of love and compassion were essential among the majority, providing the division of labor and other features for a viable tribal community. These bonds might be too strong to permit actions taken for tribal survival that required sacrifice of some members.  This is where those with weak empathy could make the difficult choice.

We can further speculate on how different tribes managed the dance between the psychopath and whole tribe. The psychopaths (probably one to a tribe, on average) would be given certain privileges for his special decision-making skills on need.  The whole tribe, however they made collective decisions, could have turned authority over to the psychpath when the need was evident. Or, seeing the need the psychopath could do things to assert (military) leadership.

How did the tribal psychopath relate to the tribal shaman?  Might they have been the same persons? Might civilization have resulted in a removal of shaman propensities from those with psychopathic tendencies? Or, might tribal processes have selected only those with joint psychopathic and shaman propensities?

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In societies and large communities psychopaths can collaborate.  Hierarchical & competitive societal structures in civilizations became attractors for psychopaths and are one major contributor to the evils of civilizations.  In the era of civilization the percent of psychopaths may have significantly increased.  Do psychopaths tend to breed more with other psychopaths and contribute to child rearing regimes to augment psychopathic competencies? Some analysts of this phenomenon attribute much of the evil in civilizations to the controlling action of coordinating psychopaths. I resist single cause hypotheses, and we have only evidence from sems whether known historical figures were psychopaths. Yet, I deeply believe that this issue must be of top priority for any program for positive change in human systems.  We may discover that some of the dysfunction in positive movements are due to interference from psychopaths – who have excellent people skills and can simulate empathy on command.

A concrete example. I was on the national steering committee for the National New Politics Convention held in Chicago over the Thanksgiving day holiday in1967.  [This followed a 6 week mind blowing seminar in The Philosophy of Science at Stanford, where all “students” had PhDs and the faculty were all Nobel winners or equivalent.] This was the first national gathering of ALL social change movements with a special focus on the 1968 presidential elections. Much was learned, personally. Relevant here was that early the Black movements broke away and for days held their Black Only convention. However, they sent their psychpaths as their representatives to our steering committee meetings.  This not only disrupted our processes, but freed them from having to deal with obstructionist psychopaths. The two conventions eventually merged but could not agree on a consistent electoral strategy.  Our representative teams from Minnesota were calling for a 1968 ticket (not full party) with MLK and Benjamin Spock as pres and vice-pres. Back in Minnesota we organized well and gained majorities in all city DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) party conventions behind radical platforms. Yet, at the state DFL convention we encountered prior gerrymandering by Hubert Humphrey and gang. Thus I missed the bedlam at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  This was my first deep emersion experiment in American politics.  Contrary to the belief of many, my experiences have not been exclusively academic or cerebral.

What roles in a future humanity might psychopaths play?  What constraints are needed on their behavior?  Can we detect them early in life?  Can they be modified so as to gain empathy? Might humanity someday need persons with psychopathic competencies?

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There is increasing literature on this issue. In that the main media are controlled by corporations, whose leadership are often psychopaths, it is very unlikely that this issue will ever be presented to most people.  Indeed, this issue may be more taboo than even the 911TRUTH insights; with explicit measure to follow such discourse and to take action to ridicule efforts of exposure – as the biggest conspiracy is to discredit all conspiratorial thinking.

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I am exploring an alternative view, that I call the “empathy theme” in human behavior. “Themes” is in resistance to traditional box-like categories in psychological analysis; it becomes confusing when an entity can be placed in more than a few boxes – Miller’s 7+/-2 Law become effective. Rather, we might use dimensions or themes, thousands which weave our “personalities” with different amplitudes in different times and situations.

NOTE on psychopath vs sociopath.  There are experts who propose different uses of these terms and behave as if their definitions are established and accepted. Other experts explicitly acknowledge the inconsistent use of these terms and some do as I often try, making it psycho/socialpathology or as I propose below  P/Spaths or Empathy Theme.

Empathy Themes ranges from the extreme of psycho/sociopaths (2-4% of the population) to the other extreme of persons who are always trapped in their attachment to others. There are researchers of this domain who characterize the P/Spaths as “non-human” because they claim one defining characteristic of being “human” is empathy. I don’t go with this, and I have hypothesized an evolutionary need for P/Spaths for human TRIBAL survival – and they may be guided in childhood development to assume rewarding and productive roles in a future humanity. But, given their condition is due to genetic brain deformation, which can now be tested for, any viable social system must take into account that they are potential toxins. This is a vital issue that calls for attention, but not for action until we know much more.

URLS  ON  PSYCHO/SOCIOPATHY (urls deleted as some had malware – I wonder why?)

Psychopathy, Politics and the New World Order.
Psychopathic Personality
Corporate Criminality
Social Costs: psychopaths the market and life  video
Major Conference on Psychopathy  PDF of conference program in detail
Patterns of Psychopaths  Rob Kal
Should Known Psychopaths Be Banned?  Rob Kall
One Terrorist, Millions of Psychopaths  Rob Kall
Attacking Psychopath  Rob Kall
Saving Ourselves
Video
Confessions of a Sociopath  Psychology Today
Psychopaths Rule the World   long video

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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  1. […] Elsewhere  I have discussed how the lack of emotional empathy in a small percent of the population had positive survival value for tribes. Given the strong empathy within tribes, a “psychopath” may occasionally be needed when some members of the tribe must be sacrificed to save the tribe. Tribes lacked the special hierarchical structures that “psychopaths” use today to “climb to the top”. […]