Wednesday, April 13, 2011

psychopathology, parasitism, totalitarianism

Video - A parasitic wasp has injected her eggs into a caterpillar -- and now they're ready to hatch.

ActivistPost | Perpetual Parasitism - There are other examples in nature of parasites with evolved dependency upon a specific host species. If the host species becomes extinct, so does the parasite. It is unable to survive with any other host.
Some species of parasites are termed species specific. This means that they can complete their life cycle in only one species of host. Should they enter the wrong species they are unable to complete their life cycle and die, all generally without the host requiring treatment. Source
It seems clear to me that the psychopath/society relationship is that of highly specialized parasite/host. That the psychopath operates externally to the host in no way disqualifies it as parasite. The common mosquito is without question parasitic, as are the tick, the leech, and many other bloodsuckers. I think this human/human arrangement is unique in at least one regard, however: I know of no other situation wherein the host and parasite are, apparently, of the same species.

The psychopath/parasite cannot survive without non-psychopathic humans to prey upon. It needs the support of other humans, as do we all, but is incapable of functioning as a cooperative member of the population. Nor can it survive on its own or within a group comprised only of psychopaths. Although often highly intelligent, they frequently lack any real abilities or skills, but rely instead on deceit, malicious cunning, and ruthless self-interest enhanced by a complete absence of conscience or remorse.
What’s nice about this explanation is that it not only explains why psychopaths exist, but also why we’re not all psychopaths. If there are few enough psychopaths in the population, then being a psychopath makes sense because you’ll mostly have winning confrontations with nice people. But if there are too many psychopaths, then the gains from taking advantage of nice people will be swamped by the losses from confronting other psychopaths. In equilibrium, you’ll get both psychos and nice folks, with each strategy generating approximately equal returns, and with the precise balance determined by the relative payoffs of different interactions. Source
The Matter Of Degree
At the extreme, the psychopath simply resorts to outright violence to satisfy its needs. These cases are by far in the minority however. They may be a separate variety, a sub-group, which is not completely parasitic in some instances. In any case, however horrible their acts may be, they are not nearly as deadly as those who function within the system of government and business disguised as “aggressive”, “ambitious” and “savvy” type-A go-getters.
There's currently a bull market in corporate psychopaths, according to psychologist Paul Babiak of HRBackOffice, an industrial-consulting firm in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Organizations undergoing major changes, such as downsizing or mergers, provide a chaotic atmosphere that savvy psychopaths exploit", Babiak holds. "They cozy up to a firm's power brokers, manipulate coworkers, and intimidate underlings on their way up the corporate ladder, stealing everything possible along the way.
Not all psychopaths resort to violence, however. Highly intelligent people with psychopathic personalities find fertile, nonviolent opportunities in conning and manipulating others, in Porter's view. Source
The ratio of parasites to host must be kept quite small, or the entire host population might be wiped out leaving the parasites unable to survive. In the past, when the drain became too great, the host population has attempted to exterminate the parasite, hence the repeated cycle of bloody revolutions throughout history. Evidently, the effort at eliminating the parasitic infestation has never been fully successful.

Threatened with extinction, the psychopath displays great skill at hiding in plain sight. A psycho-camouflage of sorts is employed, allowing the parasite to mimic a sense of sorrow, dismay or other feelings not actually present in the psychopathic character. Some always manage to survive by temporarily blending with the host population.

The Disease Blames The Afflicted The most ironic aspect of this condition is that these life-draining parasites, riding on the body of humanity like great, bloated ticks, are the first to scream bloody murder should anyone among the host population require aid in a time of distress. They express indignation and outrage at any action, program or institution that can be seen as benefitting the general welfare. Such people, they insist, are freeloaders and moochers and such programs a drain on society. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Part of the skill-set I suppose.