This nails it pretty well, I think:
Why Does the World Feel Wrong?
Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it. Largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, they have casual and callous interpersonal and romantic relationships. Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead. They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses.
This seems like a nearly perfect description of those who seek political power. That same article goes on to say that fields over-represented by psychopaths may include “politics, business and entertainment. Yet the scientific evidence for this intriguing conjecture is preliminary.” It turns out that much stronger evidence for this exists than the article lets on.
In the book Political Ponerology, Andrew Lobaczewski claims that about 6% of the people within a population have psychopathic characters. The implications of this, which he recognized soon after World War II, stagger the mind. Moreover, he suggests that another 12% of the population has high susceptibility to psychopathic thought. In a world dominated by hierarchical structures, these people sieze control of the key positions and create a so-called “pathocracy.” Lobaczewski continues, writing in ways that clearly anticipate the current reality:
Within this [pathocratic] system, the common man is blamed for not having been born a psychopath, and is considered good for nothing except hard work, fighting and dying to protect a system of government he can neither sufficiently comprehend nor ever consider to be his own. An ever-strengthening network of psychopathic and related individuals gradually starts to dominate, overshadowing the others.
Normal people have not considered the possibility that some people who seem ordinary could have no moral inhibitions. They default to believing that their leaders have good intentions. Employees of psychopaths thus carry out plans of their bosses blinded to the reality. No matter the scope of the “failure,” the leadership can always point back to their stated good intentions and shield themselves from the gallows. In fact, the more harm they create, the stronger the call becomes to vest more power in their failed agency so they can “prevent” anything of the sort from ever happening again.
Their MO focuses on figuring out how much they can get away with, and we see no signs they have begun to approach the limits the public will accept. Irrespective of the ordeals they create, the vast majority of people give them the benefit of the doubt time and time again and continue in their support of the system. This belief among good people led to the democide of the 20th Century that continues unabated today.
After considering the possibility that psychopaths have taken control of society, we find volumes of evidence to support the hypothesis. Did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot sympathize with their victims or have any sense of guilt? More recently, among Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, or Clinton , can we point to one who even exhibits a façade resembling normality? Obviously not—these lists name one person after another who has zero accountability to a rational morality. If people like this could make their way to the highest levels of power, what does that say about lower offices?
It suggests people like this have control over the levers of power everywhere. We live at a time when the population at large cannot achieve its wants, yet few seem to know why. As one example, polls consistently indicate that educational matters concern the public, yet decade after decade, schooling gets quantitatively worse. What a mystery! Evidently, if we believe our well-meaning masters, 2,000 years of Western civilization has not yet determined effective ways to transmit key knowledge to younger generations. However, what happens if we suspend our belief in their benevolence for a moment and consider other possibilities? If schools fail to achieve their stated goals over several decades, might some groups see this as a success?
Inhibiting critical thinking in the masses obviously benefits the state and psychopaths. When overtly self-serving, irresponsible, illegal, immoral, irrational behavior gets treated as normal, we can conclude that the educational system works quite well for our masters. I have given but one example, yet the multitude of state functions exists to provide every variety of psychopathic interest with a job. Moreover, we should consider that the state not only acts like a recruitment center for psychopaths, but that psychopaths probably invented the state to take advantage of the rest of us. I can give you no better explanation for the existence of an organization that fails in every ethical dimension and invokes psychopathic thinking at every turn than this.
Our battle for liberty appears not just as a conflict between those who want freedom versus those who want control, but instead as the battle between normal people and the psychopaths. I have found incredible explanatory power of our world within the psychopathic hypothesis: The world feels wrong because psychopaths run it. In a country trained to discount and ridicule all ideas more than a standard deviation from the average, coherent explanations of observable social phenomena don’t get much press. Without understanding physical laws, we would never have gained the massive improvements in our quality of life from technological developments. Similarly, without understanding our social systems, we will never escape from the tyranny unleashed on us by psychopaths. We should spread the word and explore this rich vein of thought with vigor.