Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

“Serial killers ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies and societies.”

Robert D. Hare

Pathocracy’s message to its victims

I should almost write two separate reviews: one for the excellent article, which starts a long-overdue conversation on poverty and whose fault it really is, and one for the screwy comment moderation, which makes no sense to me at all.

Because f--- you, that's why

“Because f--- you, that’s why“
[ Image Source ]

In the body of this page, author John Cheese (no apparent relation to John Cleese) tells of his own experiences of the perils of poverty, and details five of the ways in which laissez-faire corporate capitalism systematically penalizes penury, adding to the costs of modern living the special costs imposed upon the economically vulnerable by vulture capitalists and their accommodating friends in government. I could easily supplement this list with a hundred more examples, and no doubt so could you, if you are now or ever have been a member of America’s working class.

The response from readers is minimally instructive, for it predictably splits along lines of ideology. But the various disparaging remarks directed at the author, and at working-class Americans in general, from some commenters all reveal common threads of moral debauchery, for they attempt to blame the victims for their own suffering, to glorify the unscrupulous powerful, and to rationalize the unconscionable. In this we can trace the influence of pathocracy.

About those comments, however....

Something is decidedly fishy at Cracked.com. I registered on the site and left a comment offering six supporting links to evidentiate my argument. The comment appeared briefly, then disappeared. So did another, which contained no links. I tried asking about this through the “Contact” page but never got a response. I then tried asking about the policy on the page, but the comment containing that question never appeared: It was represented by a blank to the left of the words, “Posted on 12/31/1969 at 04:00 PM.”

Out of curiosity, I then clicked “Show profanity,” and my comments reappeared; this was a bit odd, because, unlike plenty of other commenters, I didn’t use any profanity. (Perhaps I should have?) All the comments except the first subsequently reappeared on the regular (“Hide profanity”) version of the page, so I tried leaving another comment; this, too, simply disappeared, although I have no idea why.

In any case, had my first and most substantive comment not been deleted, it would have pointed readers to six useful pages which:

  1. lay out the essence of the conflict between the value systems of empathy and psychopathy, and how it is that while psychopaths cannot learn empathy, they can teach us to think like them — and do it every day;
  2. introduce the theory of pathocracy, which describes how psychopaths and those whom they spellbind can infiltrate and dominate the vital institutions of a society;
  3. tell us explicitly how a diagnosed psychopath sees the world and the people on it;
  4. help us to understand the organic “gray matter” deficits that identify the genetic psychopath, making him incapable of empathy (which also implies that it would be unjust to punish psychopaths, but in no way absolves us of the duty to relieve them of control over our lives);
  5. show us how some of the most powerful members of the world’s ruling elite might qualify as psychopathic according to a 20-point scale widely used in the mental-health field; and
  6. explain in terms of essentially psychopathic ethics the methodical campaign of ridicule, caricature and contempt that has never ceased to be waged against the working class by self-anointed aristocrats who hope to wring from them every possible gratification of their relentless narcissism.
Originally published as a review of a cracked.com article on the hidden costs and penalties of poverty.

UPDATE: Since the above was written, Cracked.com's comment procedure has apparently been streamlined, and I have had no further difficulties in posting comments.


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