Friday, December 23, 2011

Occupy Psychopaths video

From Mr. PinkWhiteBlack on YouTube:

An Occupy Wall Street activist explains why he thinks it is very important to spread knowledge about psychopaths and psychopathy. Find out about the important connection between psychopaths and the ruling 1%. This is not taught in schools (but should be).

For those who have trouble listening to the split sound (one channel voice, the other music): You can see a differently audio-mixed version of the same video in HD here.
This video echoes a theme from Blast from the past: Pathology on the Right, a commentary on Krugman's "Two speeches and an editorial".
Dave from Wisconsin is onto something. If the editorial position of The National Review, which has a strong claim to be the leading magazine of conservative opinion, is that empathy is merely a code word for liberal activism, then a proper response would be to point out that lack of empathy is a criterion for diagnosis of both anti-social personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. Other diagnostic criteria of these conditions that you and your readers might find of interest include the following, which readers should check against the behavior of their favorite political figures.

For Dissocial Personality Disorder, the World Health Organization's equivalent to Anti-Social Personality Disorder--
  1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others and lack of the capacity for empathy.
  2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
  3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.
  4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
  5. Incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment.
  6. Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict.
  7. Persistent irritability.
Only three criteria need to be satisfied for a diagnosis.

For Narcissistic Personality Disorder--
  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. Requires excessive admiration
  5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
At least five criteria must be present for a diagnosis.

A friend of mine (editorial note--actually Kossack G2Geek, not really a friend, but someone I'm a fan of nonetheless) once suggested that people who wish to protest the appearance of a political figure who denigrates empathy as a trait should repeatedly show up with pickets bearing only the diagnostic code for one or both of these disorders (301.7 for ASPD, 301.81 for NPD) and say nothing until someone asks about the numbers. The response might be interesting, to say the least.
The time to pull that stunt may be at hand.

By the way, there is a follow-up to the video above, but I'm not embedding it. The narrator of that one takes too conspiratorial a tone (Knights Templar? Oh, please), which does his otherwise worthwhile message no good. Too bad, as he's mostly right.

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