Some psychopaths ruthlessly embrace the capitalist system while others violently reject it

Psychopaths and CapitalismPsychopaths come in several different shapes and sizes. Certainly, there are those who blend into society seamlessly. They often climb the social ranks to positions imbued with great power (political, military, religious, corporate, etc.). This is due, at least in part, to the psychological and behavioral natures of their common mental state.

Here, I do not wish to provide a certain, medical diagnosis for capitalist societies. Instead, I attempt to use the phenomenon of psychopathy to represent a particular frame of mind present in individuals who will, likely, go a lifetime without any psychiatric diagnosis whatsoever. There are two generalized categories of psychopathy. The first is mentioned above. These psychopaths are lawyers, doctors, politicians, business executives, mega-church pastors, and pop-culture figures. They occupy the first category due to their preference for “socially-acceptable” behavior coupled with their ability to shamelessly and ruthlessly exploit the emotional weaknesses of their adversaries as well as those of others around them.

They also are nearly always the possessors of a distinct cleverness. This cleverness is what makes the distinction between a psychopath and a strict narcissist. Where the psychopath may be and often is a narcissist, not all narcissists are clever. This is plainly obvious in several of the less-intelligent pop culture figures of today.

The unique trait that these psychopaths retain is that of the capability for extremely efficient emotional manipulation. Because of this they make extremely good diplomats and nearly always rise to the top of the modern capitalist system. The system feeds on consumption. To that end it, necessarily, seeks to “empower” the individual (very literally the breeding  and creation of fattened, narcissistic suckling piglets which do little more than consume so as to grow themselves, literally and figuratively).

Every man, woman, and child in the western world is driven to consume. In the process they are told and, therefore, believe that their consumption affirms their existence. They are told that supporting the system and, more importantly, finding a distinct place of “social acceptance” within it are the most desirable life-ends.

As an obvious result, some individuals develop the second type of psychopathy (which is to be distinguished from the common neurosis as being very near to the condition of the schizophrenic). This type consists in a systematic failure on the part of a specific individual to meld with society.There is a lack of creation of the recognized “I” (recognition by peers being a crucial element in internal self-affirmation). For whatever reason this variable becomes a “fixation” in those with the tendency for narcissistic thinking (it does not necessarily have to become so).

This psychopathy is activity on the part of the individual, oriented toward self affirmation, in spite of the requirements of society. This phenomenon is also quite evident in radicalized, Islamic suicide bombers. They affirm their belief (and their identities) struggling against the great other. In the west this ‘other’ most often takes the form of the system.

Now, what is to be done about these psychopaths? Inevitably it is up to the psychopath as to whether or not they will be found out. High-functioning psychopaths work within the system and as such are less likely to irrationally victimize those around them than the second type which one could accurately term as the neurotic psychopath. This type will often become the “lone wolf” type shooter who forcibly justifies its existence at the expense of its peers. This lashing out generally becomes a reality because of perceived oppression

The creation of these individuals is to be avoided. To that end, in the future interests of eliminating this type of violent-compulsive neurosis, the progressive emphasis should be two-pronged. The first must be that of social inclusion, wherein the social isolation which drives much of this harmful psychopathy is eliminated entirely. Constant socialization also eliminates (or to a great extent reduces) the capacity for so-called “lone wolf” behaviors (building bombs, obtaining illicit materials, planning killing sprees, etc.)

The second prong should be focused on the childhood end of the education process. There is absolutely no doubt that many violent behaviors exist as relics of childhood trauma. The argument will also be inevitably made, however that there are psychopathic behaviors which have been triggered environmentally. In other words there are sane people who are driven to psychopathy through some influence in their life. This is inevitably true and merits consideration.

Any violent act indicates some type of imbalance in the system. In the cases of many of the most recent shootings in the United States and Canada (as well as beheadings and stabbings in the US and UK) something has gone wrong somewhere down the line in the lives of the perpetrators that has caused this behavior. In the interests of a more peaceful and non-violent society it will be necessary to instigate a dialogue on these issues so that they may be solved in due course.


  1. So capitalism and consumption are not actually the core problem. It’s social isolation and/or childhood trauma.

    • If there is a plethora of psychopaths like the guy in Wolf of Wall Street, there is no way for the market to correct itself so it’s not really capitalism. I think that is the author’s point.

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