Sociopaths In Our World
FICTIONAL & REAL LIFE SOCIOPATHS
Is It Sociopathy or Pure Evil-You Decide!
Most people know ethical from unethical behavior. They have a conscious and feel guilt and remorse when they do something that is wrong. However, there is a minority of people(4%) or 1 out of 25 people who do not know the difference between right and wrong behavior. To put it more bluntly, they do not care about right and wrong.
These people are called sociopaths. Psychologists and psychiatrists have a name for the sociopathic personality. It is called antisocial personality disorder. People with APD exhibit the following personality characteristics which include exercising deceitful behavior and cunning for personal profit and/or pleasure. They also have extreme aggressiveness and have a disregard others' safety. They furthermore are consistently irresponsible.
In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, sociopaths also lack remorse when they do wrong. They often have an extremely grandiose self image. They do not have empathy and do not accept responsibility for their actions. If under 18 years of age, sociopaths are often drawn to deleterious acts including juvenile delinquency.
The sociopath does not care about what is right and wrong, only what is convenient and expeditious at the time. He/she believes in doing as they please regardless of the consequences to others. What matters to them is the achievement of their specific goals. Any type of person can be classified as a sociopath from the so called "sweet" old lady and minister to the opportunistic executive.
The sociopath usually stops at nothing to achieve his/her goal. He/she takes the motto by any means necessary to the next level. He/she often uses devious means to obtain whatever goals are at hand. There are no avenues no matter how egregious that a sociopath would not undertake to achieve his/her goals whether it is personal or career related. To the sociopath, being ethical and good are for weaklings and wimps. He/she believes that might makes right and it is the survival of the most cunning and ruthless.
Being ruthless is in the purview of the sociopath. He/she believes that ruthlessness is the way to success. The philosophy of the sociopath is winner takes all and success at all costs. Oftentimes, society supports such behavior and often decry ethical behavior.
Society applauds the winner takes all personality. People who exhibit such behavior are considered to be strong and leaders. This is true especially in corporate culture where cutthroat competition is rife and only the strongest person survives. Corporate culture often look askance at people who exhibit sociopathic behavior whether it is using less than ethical psychological means to outwit the competition or to sabotage the same competition for a coveted promotional opportunity.
Postindustrial culture with its advanced educational requirements and dwindling employment opportunities demands such a personality. People, especially children and teenagers, are exhorted to adopt the principles of the winner take all philosophy. They are indoctrinated in the premise of the in the me versus them philosophy. Children are further inculcated by their parents to succeed at all costs and to use any means necessary to succeed. In our postindustrial society, cunning is aptly rewarded.
In the book, THE CHEATING CULTURE, author David Callahan states that postindustrial and postmodern American culture reward cheating both illegal and legal. Mr. Callahan reports that cheating is rife in this culture. He further asserts that in society, cheating is pervasive. He states that as a result of the cheating culture, there is a winning class which is exempt from societal rules and the anxious class who is compelled to cheat to break even. Mr. Callahan stated that in this winner takes all culture, high school and college students believe that it is okay to cheat in order to obtain their educational goals.
Sociopathic behavior does not only pertains to educational goals for young people but also in their personal and interfacing relationships. Bullying is becoming more prevalent and vicious at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. Bullies are even more virulent than ever before. They are using harsher methods of verbal and physical bullying which causes deleterious effects for the victim. Sometimes, victims are so affected that they commit suicide.
For instance, just recently, Jamey Rodemeyer, a Buffalo high school, was subjected to virulent and relentless bullying which resulted in his suicide. When he died, his bullies cheered and were happy that he died. In Ohio, four teenagers: Sladjane Vidovic, Eric Mohat, Jennifer Eyring, and Meredith Penzak committed suicide for the same reason.
School bullies are known to have sociopathic personalities. One of the characteristics of school bullies are a lack of empathy toward others. School bullies also exhibit a lack of responsibility for their actions and a disregard of others. Many school bullies blame the victim and believe that the victim is at fault, not them.
Many people strongly contend that the sociopathic personality is a politically correct way and/or convenient excuse to state that someone is evil. Yes, many people are afraid to use and acknowledge the word evil because of its quasireligious connotations. Of course, there is such a thing as pure evil. There are people who knowingly do wrong and have no remorse for their actions whatsoever. They relish doing wrong for one reason or another. These people believe that they are doing no wrong but are right and proper in their actions.
In conclusion, there are a minority of people classified as sociopaths. The concept of right and wrong is an anathema to them. They do not believe in adhering to basic societal rules of civilized behavior. Psychologists and psychiatrists also call the sociopathic behavior-antisocial personality disorder. Characteristics of this type of personality include lack of empathy, no remorse, deceitfulness and cunning, and a lack of accountability.
Sociopathic behavior is often supported in corporations and in other institutions where cunning and the winner takes all philosophy is aptly rewarded. People are inundated to be successful and to use any means to achieve that end. The prevailing philosophy is naked aggressiveness and that nice people finish last.
This behavior is even prevalent among our young. Because of the intense competition for college and jobs, young people are often resorting to unethical means to enter college and to obtain careers. Sociopathic behavior is not only in educational areas but in personal interactions. For example, bullying is becoming more virulent among our young people which is resulting in suicides. There are bullies who feel no remorse and responsibility for their victims' suicide.
Our culture often interpret sociopathic characteristics as being "strong and aggressive". It secretly admire people who consistently demonstrate cunning and related behavior in order to succeed in this fast paced culture. However, there is another word for being sociopathic-evil. There is such a concept of pure evil in society. Evil people have no conscious and often feel no remorse when they are doing harmful and other deleterious things. To them, these acts are a fact of life. However, such people cause great harm to themselves, others, and to society in general.
Fictional sociopaths :(1) Gordon Gekko, WALL STREET, a corporate raider whose motto is GREED IS GOOD, (2) Catherine Tramell, BASIC INSTINCT, an author of murder mysteries who has quite an unusual hobby- let us say that life mirrors her books,(3) Hannibal Lector, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, a killer who cannibalizes his victims, (4) General Tanz, NIGHT OF THE GENERALS, a totally consciousless Nazi general who murders prostitutes for pure pleasure, (5) Max Cady, CAPE FEAR, an amoral character who stalks the family of the prosecuting attorney who imprisoned him, and (6) Patrick Bateman, AMERICAN PSYCHO, an extremely sociopathic investment banker by day and demoniac serial killer by night. Real life sociopaths include Nero, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Saddam Hussein.
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© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams