…more ruthless, cold, exploitative, and antisocially individualistic?
This is one of the key concerns of the book
Psychopathic Cultures and Toxic Empires
by Will Black.
There are many people whose behavior and perceptions of others places them squarely in the category of antisocial personality disorder but they go their entire life without being assessed in psychiatric units or put in prison. We may live close to them, work with them or see them in the media. Many of us will have a strong sense that their character is flawed, their actions are damaging or their attitude to other people makes them dangerous. However, for a variety of reasons, we may suppress our intuitions. One reason for doing so is, if we were to dwell on these perceptions, it could shatter our sense of security and comfort.
When we live in societies where ruthlessness in business and politics is rewarded and prized, the problem of identifying and curtailing genuine psychopaths becomes more challenging. As our search for the psychopath strays from prisons and psychiatric units to banks, trading floors, media companies and political parties, we become aware that society’s ability to challenge and control them has been limited.
In fact, we may tolerate psychopathic qualities in politicians, television and film stars, sportsmen, and captains of industry more readily than we do in our neighbors. Read more…