Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Thought 504: Shallow Conformist Values and the Psychopathic Virus

"Get involved", "Smile!", "Have fun!", "Let's go to the pub", "You think too much!", "You need to come out of your shell"...

While many youth may be at home in drinking games, parties, clubbing, pub-going and pop music many others will not be as comfortable with these social activities yet feel pressured to conform with them so as not to be the odd one out only to discover that acting against their natural instinct creates negative consequences for their well-being not to say sanity. 

In addition, intellectualism, introversion, seriousness, philosophising, reading even morality will be viewed with a poor eye by many teenagers who have bought into what the mainstream media sells them as being befitting for people their age to do such as recreational sex, having fun and being popular.

As one grows older one learns these values to be a façade for what is in fact a fear-based polarity of consciousness, a fear of being different, 'weird', a misfit, a 'loser' and so on. Indeed, people who have a strong desire to conform may indeed often be prey to this fear and not without a hint of subconscious self-loathing. 

The adult world, unfortunately, is also prey to shallow conformist values particularly with regards to earning a living and being an economic contributor of some kind, when economics and money, as I've written before, are essentially methodologies to regulate, nay, control human activity and judge its worthiness.

Thus the economics-obsessed Ayn Rand - a most toxic American philosopher who valued greed and selfishness as being conducive to general welfare when the reverse is obviously the case - viewed artists as parasitical and a drain on society when I view competent artists and creators - however inept they are at making money - as belonging to the few who make life worth living.

Learning to be oneself thus involves the courage to follow one's instincts even and especially when this goes against the general grain and other people's comfort zones and lifestyle preferences, not to mention the cruel and superficial requirements of prevalent workplace psychology - usually involving the need to be a so-called 'people person' and a 'smiler' - such as I have experienced both as an employee and a job applicant. 

In other words, the values of superficial sociability and extroverted employability can be seen as constituting their own form of mind control, requiring one to sacrifice one's individuality for fear of being shunned by one's culture and even punished when this leads to being monetarily impecunious. 

Psychopathic individuals, for their part, will have no issue conforming to these shallow values, being themselves devoid of depth, and indeed such individuals tend to excel in business, corporate, political and financial hierarchies.

A strong case could be made that the mainstream values that are being pushed on young people and the masses, particularly in their glorification of superficiality, sexual objectivisation, thoughtlessness, money-making, service to self and competition are in fact psychopathic or, at the least, highly narcissistic. 

The legacy of theorists such as Rand and Friedrich Hayek as put into effect by politicians and social engineers (Thatcher, Reagan, Greenspan) was essentially to give free rein to socialised and successful psychopaths to prey on the masses who have lost awareness of morality and the existence of predators who don respectable suits.

The Eastern-European author of Political Ponerology, the first non-fiction book published on the topic of psychopathy in culture, made the interesting point that societies in peaceful times lose sight of the dangers of psychopathic traits and thereby allow these to come to prominence to their own detriment. 

Societies, for this author, can be judged in terms of their ability to immunise themselves from and resist the psychopathic virus that exists within the human population. 

Peaceful and prosperous times, such as those which largely pertained during the baby boom generation in the Western hemisphere, saw a decrease in wariness towards the psychopathic virus with the consequences we know today of disjunctive political realities in countries like England and the United States.