Living in California, I am surrounded by progressives. These people love to equate psychopathy with right-wing views. Of course, libertarianism, the politics of individual freedom of choice, seems to be very compatible with psychopathy and what is called libertarianism is often synonymous with right-wing values of the “free market,” in other words, untrammeled capitalism.
The reality is that psychopathy is not married to any political viewpoint. A forum for “sociopaths” I once belonged to polled us for our politics and it turned out that we represented all positions on the political spectrum. A valued friend who is a psychopath is even a socialist. So I object to progressives equating progressive politics with empathy and demonizing the most reactionary politicos as psychopaths. Sure many or most progressives have empathy for the poor and downtrodden. But that isn’t the only factor that goes into progressive positions. Membership in the 99% is reason enough to be progressive in our own self-interest.
To my surprise and amazement, I have just come across a website called Disordered World which looked, at first glance, to be just another place for dissing psychopaths and narcissists. But, surprise of surprises, this one has a sort of right-wing slant. It is the brain child of one Ian Hughes, who has a book called Disordered Minds. The blog lists world leaders and prominent politicos as examples of psychopathy and narcissism. They are “Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, Islamic State, narcissistic bosses, Noam Chomsky, religion and evil, and more…” Interesting how Hitler hasn’t made the list but Noam Chomsky has. While rich people are usually right-wing, Noam Chomsky is an anomaly in that he is wealthy but supports progressive causes. The right hates him for that.
Mr. Hughes devotes an entire page to Mr. Chomsky, whose “disorder” is evident by the way he thinks. His view of “how the world works” reveals his disordered mind. What are the three tenets of Chomsky’s political philosophy that so damns him?
- The U.S. government is subordinate to private power
- The US government uses war as a tool of economic policy
- Inequality is written into the system by the rich
The truth of these positions seems self-evident to me. If these beliefs indicate a personality disorder, Chomsky has a lot of company. Why thinking these statements are true indicates the presence of a personality disorder isn’t explained. Hughes has made similar statements, himself. How his ideas differ from Chomsky’s ideas isn’t clear.
If ruthlessness and lack of empathy are psychopathic traits, the ruthlessness with which the United States has enforced it’s imperialist rule and the lack of empathy evident in the application of it’s policies should make the leaders in the White House and State Department candidates for the title of psychopath but none of these people are listed. Only Chomsky, who criticizes them, is listed. Apparently criticizing the wealthiest 1% is reason enough.
Elsewhere, Hughes praises a book called Living Well at Others’ Expense by Stephen Lessenich which claims that the all-too-obvious economic inequality isn’t really the fault of the rich. Everyone is “complicit.” There is some truth to this. When capitalism became increasingly toxic, it developed into imperialism which divided the rest of us, aside from the super-rich, into waring factions. By conferring privilege on some parts of the population, the 1% gained the complicity of the privileged. But it just will not do to blame everyone as a way to give the rich, who have us doing their bidding, a free pass. Lessenich knows the system needs to be dismantled and replaced with something else. But he doesn’t know with what. With Hughes demonizing all socialists, I think we can count socialism out as the alternative to capitalist-imperialism.
Let’s look at some of the other “disordered” people on the list.
- Pol Pot, Cambodia
Pol Pot, another “leftist” technically but not really progressive. The campaign was cruel in the extreme. It had all the earmarks of fanaticism. Are we to label all cruelty “psychopathic?”
- Stalin. Another “leftist” if you can call him that
- Mao. You get the drift
Hughes may go on and on about people like Pol Pot, Stalin and Mao. To his credit, he does add Trump later in his blog once Trump is elected. But why pick on Noam Chomsky? And what about Chomsky’s ideas that made him one of the monsters? Oh well. Too much for my head. Time for a holiday in Cambodia.