The Sociopathic Epidemic

April 7, 2010 09:02

The progressives have destroyed the structures uniting this country since its founding. Now, the rules of morality that kept people’s base impulses in check have gone AWOL. Cruelty is the new normal, while the sacred is mocked.

By Robin of Berkeley at American Thinker

I’m amazed by the soothsayers: Ayn Rand, for instance, who warned us fifty years ago of the risk of dictatorship or civil war if collectivism persisted. Or economist Friedrich Hayek, who wrote in the 1940s that we’ll become serfs if we move toward big government.

However, what feels most prophetic lately is an obscure movie from the l970s called Little Murders. The writer, Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, predicted that the ’60s would unleash a feral, primitive society.

The movie has a checkered history. It started out as a play on Broadway in the mid-’60s that was such a bomb, it closed after seven performances.

Audiences were shocked and horrified by the apocalyptic world presented. At the time, New York’s elite were celebrating the sexual revolution and the loosening of social mores. In contrast, Feiffer envisioned an eventual train wreck — a nihilistic world of little and big murders of the soul.

The failed play was relocated to England, where it became a big hit. It was produced for the big screen in 1971, starring some fledgling actors such as Elliot Gould, Donald Sutherland, and Alan Arkin.

A dark comedy, Little Murders depicts a society gone mad, replete with frequent homicides and crushing insults to the spirit.

The film’s moral compass is Patsy, a young woman who still bubbles over with optimism and love amidst the madness.

(Warning: I’m going to spoil the ending.)

By the end of the film, when Patsy is killed, her family finally cracks. They, like so many others, degenerate into a violent, ape-like state.

I’ve been thinking about the movie this week and the nightmare-world Feiffer forecast after learning of a horrendous crime near me in Richmond, CA.

There’s so much crime out here that most of the time, the residents are numb. We have waves of takeover restaurant robberies and you barely hear a peep.

And when a teacher was beaten and stoned a few months ago during her class at Portola Middle School in El Cerrito (minutes from Berkeley) a small article was buried in the local paper. Many in the leftist community defended the youths as victims of white privilege, and some even blamed the teacher.

But then, last weekend, there was a crime so evil that no one could brush it off.

At a homecoming dance at Richmond High School (in the same district as the middle school stoning), a fifteen-year-old girl was beaten and gang-raped for over two hours while a crowd from the dance watched, laughed, and photographed the scene. No one called the cops.

The girl was left unconscious, dumped under a bench. She had to be airlifted to a specialty hospital.

The so-called experts fault the usual suspects: absentee parents, indigence, drug-infested schools, and herd behavior. One teacher indicts the media’s sexual exploitation of women. A parent of one of the arrested youths blames racism.

But there was hardship, alcoholism, bad parents, sexism, and teenagers fifty years ago without such mayhem.

And many other countries have worse poverty, but lower crime rates. Crime is scant in India because for one, most Indians are Hindus or Sikhs and believe in reincarnation. Also, as an Indian friend told me, once you’re jailed in India, you make sure you never go back.

It’s easier to blame society than face the deep, dark truth: we’ve created a nation filled to the brim with sociopaths (also known as antisocial personalities).

I recently read a book called The Narcissism Epidemic. It reports the high number of narcissists among the young and contends that their condition is aided and abetted by self-esteem training.

True, but the theory feels a bit dated. The biggest danger now is a sociopathic epidemic.

While narcissists are selfish, annoying people, their humanity is still in place. They possess a conscience and can feel guilt and shame. Most people in power have some degree of narcissism.

Sociopaths are a different breed entirely. Here are some common features: callous disregard for others, superficial charm, pathological self-centeredness, lying and manipulation, irritability and aggression, lack of remorse or guilt, cruelty, ingratitude, and antisocial behavior.

O.J. Simpson and Bernie Madoff are obvious sociopaths. But the callous and the cruel may also have antisocial tendencies, such as Mike Malloy, a liberal Talk Radio host who said on air that he hopes Glenn Beck will commit suicide like Beck’s mom; or actress Sandra Bernhardt, who wished a gang rape on Sarah Palin.

What’s the difference between a sociopath and a narcissist? It goes to intent. John Edwards wanted to indulge his sensual pleasures, and he made his own needs front and center. That’s selfishness, narcissism. If he were purposely trying to destroy his wife, that’s sociopathy.

How far up the ladder in DC does sociopathy go? It’s anyone’s guess since the Teleprompter controls how much we know about Obama.

But have you noticed the surge in antisocial behavior since Obama came on the scene, like the wilding of Hillary and Sarah and the emboldening of thugs, from SEIU to the New Black Panthers?

We do know that Obama had a closer relationship with two sociopaths — Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn — than he let on. The demented duo never recanted their actions in the ’60s: bombing and maiming, telling white kids to go home and kill their parents, admiring Charles Manson. Ayers dedicated a book to Sirhan Sirhan, killer of Bobby Kennedy.

Then there’s Obama mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who proudly detailed his sexual conquest of a young girl in a fictionalized memoir called Sex Rebel: Black. While pedophiles have protected status under the new hate crimes legislation, they’re still sociopaths in my book.

I’m not saying that Obama has an antisocial personality. At this point, no one really knows.

However, there’s reason for concern. I don’t know about you, but none of my friends revered Charles Manson or bombed buildings. Given Obama’s choice of compatriots, let’s hope that birds of a feather don’t flock together.

How did this happen, the metastasizing of an antisocial tumor?

Feiffer’s Little Murders offered some clues over forty years ago, such as self-worshiping, moral relativism, and rejecting God and religion.

The movie also sounded an alarm about the resurgence of the Left. The film’s most prescient moment is when Patsy’s husband, played by Elliot Gould, recalls being a college radical who has a change of heart.

In a darkened room, he gravely says to Patsy, “You shouldn’t destroy institutions until you know what will take their place. You might find that you will miss them when they’re gone.” Seconds later, Patsy is shot.

The progressives have destroyed the structures uniting this country since its founding. Now, the rules of morality that kept people’s base impulses in check have gone AWOL. Cruelty is the new normal, while the sacred is mocked.

What has the Left unleashed? A quasi-autocracy where dissidents are silenced and the Constitution is trashed. A government that loves animals, the earth, and endangered birds, but not humans.

Everywhere we look, from the ghettos to the corporations to the pristine halls of the government, we can see people whose hearts and souls are empty.

Their antisocial behavior is enabled by a codependent society that gives aggrieved groups the green light to pillage and plunder.

The H1N1 virus will hopefully fade away soon. But sociopathy will not wane unless we create a nation of grown-ups. A country where people are expected to take responsibility for their actions. No exceptions.

As long as sociopaths have carte blanche, the U.S. will no longer be a beacon of hope to the world. We won’t regain our standing until our lawmakers start following the law and our teachers can teach without being pummeled…

…and a fifteen-year-old girl can attend her big homecoming dance and not have her life destroyed in the process.

A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a psychotherapist and a recovering liberal in Berkeley.

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