Geezer is seventy one years old. Not an ideologue of any kind.. The following are a collection of quotes and thoughts that he feels are relvalent to the current world. A quick bio of geezer is here.

Here there be monsters. I'm not kidding.


- Mar 21 2004 20:12:54 -

There are monsters in our world. I had long wondered how some people could be so mean to others. Humans are the only species which predates on its own kind. They exploited, raped, stole, and in general made life miserable. I had thought that perhaps it was greed gone wrong or the lust for power or control. What I felt was that these ideas were not able to really account for the terrible excesses we see around us. I began to write down what I thought was wrong such people and then look for a resonance amongst literature. I found that I was way behind the curve. Folks had already described these folks in better ways than I could imagine. I had noted that they could not feel what they did to others, that they had an inordinate opinion of themselves, and they would use any means to gain what they wished.

Since I orginially assembled the report below I have found that medical science has progressed rapidly in identifying parts of the brain that relate to these conditions. I feel they have demolished the "nuture" arguments. Nuture can modify or lessen the effects but not orginate it.

What I found that I had begun to describe is what is known as a psychopath.” The [psychopath] is unfamiliar with the primary facts or data of what might be called personal values and is altogether incapable of understanding such matters. It is impossible for him to take even a slight interest in the tragedy or joy or the striving of humanity as presented in serious literature or art. He is also indifferent to all these matters in life itself. Beauty and ugliness, except in a very superficial sense, goodness, evil, love, horror, and humour have no actual meaning, no power to move him. He is, furthermore, lacking in the ability to see that others are moved. It is as though he were colour-blind, despite his sharp intelligence, to this aspect of human existence. It cannot be explained to him because there is nothing in his orbit of awareness that can bridge the gap with comparison. He can repeat the words and say glibly that he understands, and there is no way for him to realize that he does not understand (Cleckley, 1941, p. 90 quoted in Hare, 1993, pp. 27-28)." Dr. Robert Hare is a leading analyst of psychopaths. His test for determining the level psychopathology is considered the best there is.

"Psychopaths cannot be understood in terms of antisocial rearing or development. They are simply morally depraved individuals who represent the "monsters" in our society. They are unstoppable and untreatable predators whose violence is planned, purposeful and emotionless. The violence continues until it reaches a plateau at age 50 or so, then tapers off. Their emotionless ness reflects a detached, fearless, and possibly dissociated state, revealing a low-state autonomic nervous system and lack of anxiety. It's difficult to say what motivates them - control and dominance possibly - since their life history will usually show no long-standing bonds with others nor much rhyme to their reason (other than the planning of violence). They tend to operate with a grandiose demeanor, an attitude of entitlement, an insatiable appetite, and a tendency toward sadism. Fearlessness is probably the prototypical (core) characteristic (the low-fear hypothesis). It's helpful to think of them as high-speed vehicles with ineffective brakes. Certain organic (brain) disorders and hormonal imbalances mimic the state of mind of a psychopath."

It is tragic, in a way, since the psychopath can not live life in the way that the vast majority of folks do. Empathy is totally beyond him except as an intellectual exercise. Psychopaths live a sort of death or they are never really fully alive. This may be one reason they often express their needs in an extreme manner to fill the inner emptiness. Consumerism is directed in a similar way. It has been said that a psychopath can fool anyone. Only dumb psychopaths wind up in jail. Because of their limited empathic judgment many fail to be able to control impulses which gets them in trouble. Smart psychopaths can be found anywhere. They can be charming, have charisma, be intelligent, and not give a damn about anyone. Originally one definition was "insanity without delirium to describe behavior that was marked by complete remorselessness". In prisons it was found that psychopaths used the sessions to expand their repertoire to manipulate folks. Psychological consulting does not help psychopaths.” because they see no need to change their admirable personalities ". As measured in "psychopaths who underwent social-skills and anger-management training before release had an 82 percent reconviction rate. Psychopaths who didn't take the program had a 59 percent reconviction rate.". They have a cold way in that "In animals such as dogs, who bare their throats when attacked by a stronger opponent, a display of such submission cues results in a termination of the attack. by non-verbal communications of distress. This mechanism is said to be a prerequisite for the development of three aspects of morality: the moral emotions (such as sympathy, guilt, remorse and empathy), the inhibition of violent action and the moral/conventional distinction. Blair has suggested that psychopaths lack a functional VIM and could not be negatively reinforced by distress cues and further predicted ‘(1) that psychopaths will not make a distinction between moral and conventional rules; (2) that psychopaths will treat moral rules as if they were conventional; that is, under permission conditions, the psychopaths will say that moral as well as conventional transgressions are OK to do; (3) that psychopaths will be less likely to make references to the pain or discomfort of victims than the non-psychopath controls’ "

There are some physical aspects that been noted in the brain but this is very unclear.

To me they are the very definition of evil. As in "Evil is best understood as privation, as the absence of an appreciation for the goodness of the world and for the full humanity of all the creatures in the world." ---Andrew Delbanco"

Dr. Robert Hare has done insightful work that simply shows their distinct responses. In a study "Hare had his subjects watch a countdown timer. When it reached zero, they got a "harmless but painful" electric shock while an electrode taped to their fingers measured perspiration. Normal people would start sweating as the countdown proceeded, nervously anticipating the shock. Psychopaths didn't sweat. They didn't fear punishment -- which, presumably, also holds true outside the laboratory." and in "In another Hare study, groups of letters were flashed to volunteers. Some of them were nonsense, some formed real words. The subject's job was to press a button whenever he recognized a real word, while Hare recorded response time and brain activity. Non-psychopaths respond faster and display more brain activity when processing emotionally loaded words such as "rape" or "cancer" than when they see neutral words such as "tree." With psychopaths, Hare found no difference. To them, "rape" and "tree" have the same emotional impact -- none. "

That can do great harm. "They exhibit a cluster of distinctive personality traits, the most significant of which is an utter lack of conscience. They also have huge egos, short tempers, and an appetite for excitement -- a dangerous mix" especially when they have the resources "There are wealthy psychopaths who've done horrendous things, and they were brought up in wonderful families." and "The Psychopath is much more successful than you and I because he is not hemmed in by all sorts of impediments or worries."

Dr Hare did much of his work in prisons however "Hare has said that if he couldn't study psychopaths in prisons, the Vancouver Stock Exchange would have been his second choice.". It is important to note they live everywhere. "less intelligent psychopaths end up in prisons (highly intelligent psychopaths can run companies)"

Because they don't have the normal limits to behavior they can be leaders who accomplish things but always for their own ends ""They have traits similar to ideal leaders. You would expect an ideal leader to be narcissistic, self-centred, dominant, very assertive, maybe to the point of being aggressive. Those things can easily be mistaken for the aggression and bullying that a psychopath would demonstrate. The ability to get people to follow you is a leadership trait, but being charismatic to the point of manipulating people is a psychopathic trait. They can sometimes be confused." Of course you don't to be high on the food chain ""A lot of white-collar criminals are psychopaths," says Bob Hare. "But they flourish because the characteristics that define the disorder are actually valued. When they get caught, what happens? A slap on the wrist, a six-month ban from trading, and don't give us the $100 million back. I've always looked at white-collar crime as being as bad or worse than some of the physically violent crimes that are committed."

My own opinion is that saints are as diseased as psychopaths. " True saints, completely selfless individuals, are rare and unnatural too, he points out, but we don't talk about their being diseased. " Only because their disease benefits us.

The psychopath is sexy since "any women fall for male psychopaths and many men fall for psychopathic women and why is that so? That's the same problem. The psychopath has no inhibitions therefore he can play up to achieve his sexual aims without any inhibitions. He will talk to a woman who is interested in poetry about poetry. He doesn't care about poetry but he will quote poets!… and even sexually he will be better because his sexual life is absolutely healthy. Normal sexual life is so complicated, so full of strange ideas and obsessions and desires….it's one of the most complicated things in life and in many ways shows some of the most perverse things. The only sexually normal man or woman is a psychopath, sexuality just functions, and a man psychopath and a woman psychopath -they can make love to anybody, anytime, anyplace, doesn't matter, because it's just going, there is no inhibition of any kind. That's why they are so good at making money -they can make love to an 80 yr old woman, doesn't matter, they can do it, no inhibitions."



They can be leaders "The psychopath's need for followers and power is dangerous, because, combined with their hypnotizing charm and social skills (antisocials are not really reclusive, as some people mistakely believe), they often become cult leaders and gurus, dictators and tyrants (petty tyrants for that matter), whether within a small circle of friends,"

They are not aware of how they are different. "Although he deliberately cheats others and is quite conscious of his lies, he appears unable to distinguish adequately between his own pseudointentions, pseudoremorse, pseudolove, and the genuine responses of a normal person. His monumental lack of insight indicates how little he appreciates the nature of his disorder. "

Some fell that a psychopaths behavior is motivated by a "unrecognized blundering toward the negations of nonexistence." or "The activity of the psychopath may seem in some respects to accomplish a kind of protracted and elaborate social and spiritual suicide. Perhaps the complex, sustained, and spectacular undoing of the self may be cherished by him. He seldom allows physical suicide to interrupt it."

I have come to partially agree with "Increasingly I have come to believe that some subtle and profound defect in the human organism, probably inborn but not hereditary, plays the chief role in the psychopath's puzzling and spectacular failure to experience life normally and to carry on a career acceptable to society. This, too, is still a speculative concept and is not supported by demonstrable evidence". I am more ready to accept a pure genetic, probably recessive, reason..

Psychopathology in world politics, and capitalism. ...it abounds everywhere.

The only way around this is to apply a test requiring empathy from our fellows. I feel that psychopaths are so different from normal folks as to constitute a separate species. Research could be done to see what can be done but in the interim probably isolation is the only answer.

....