Monday, 27 February 2012

The Psychopath Test

(February 2012)

’It’s a frightening and huge thought,’ I said, ‘that the ninety-nine per cent of us wandering around down here are having our lives pushed and pulled around by that psychopathic fraction up there.’

‘It’s a large thought,’ she said. ‘It is a thought people don’t have very often. Because we’re raised to believe that deep down everyone has conscience.’

So basically the whole Occupy movement is doomed to failure because the people they’re up against are incapable of feeling normal emotions. I may be oversimplifying a touch, but not by much.

Who’s to say what’s normal? It’s actually relatively easy to point at what’s not (‘relatively’ being key), but the middle ground is very, very broad.

The Anglophone West can’t get it right, with its frankly terrifying obsession with the medicalisation of difficult behaviour, and a belief that pills can solve complex social problems that is either painfully naive or poisonously cynical (my money’s on the latter). But just saying, ‘suck it up and sort yourself’ out doesn’t cut it either, because then you’re in Japan and realizing that the mirror on the other side of the train-tracks really means nothing to you, and nor does anything else.

One of the things that marks out psychopaths is their lack of doubt, and absolute certainly that they’re in the right. The extremes are easy. Black and white are simple. It’s just the 99% which is grey that's more complicated, and that's where the rest of us live.


  1. Humanity only has a future if we decide what to do about the psychopaths, members of the '1%' or otherwise. In the past we have had revolutions, where we kill some of the '1%', and new psychopaths take their place: Robespierre, Stalin... We have to do better than that, or die. There are effective tests for psychopathy now, and they should be applied to everyone. If you are an irredeemable psychopath we won't need to punish you, but to quarantine you completely, and make it impossible for you to pass on your genes.

    We won't: we'll perish.

  2. You're right, there is indeed a test for that now...