Psychopaths in Power
There’s so much that is false, wrong, erroneous, chaotic (and its twin brother, demonic) in the world at present that it’s difficult to see your way as it all swirls around us. But every now and then, someone hits on an illuminating insight that pierces through, like a lighthouse in a raging storm. The great psychologist and social commentator Jordan Peterson recently found exactly the right few words for our predicament: Psychopaths are in power. Others have said as much. He added, however, that the psychopaths have been utterly brilliant in using terms like freedom, tolerance, inclusion, openness, and diversity to disguise the destruction they’re causing, making it look sane, progressive, constructive, compassionate, even “Christian.”
A bit of realism based on experience treating mentally disturbed people.
It’s useful to trace out exactly what this means just now, because we’re living through something different than in the past. We’ve seen psychopaths in power, via obvious lies, in historic dictatorships: left was right, down was up, murder was justice, repression brought liberation. The twentieth century was full of them: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Fidel. More recently we’ve had Hugo Chavez, the Ortegas, Xi, Kim Jong Un, and countless others.
As is usual in such cases, it’s impossible to tell where the murderous ideology ends and the personal psychopathology begins because, in such great evils, they pretty much depend on and feed off one another.