Show Me Someone Who is NOT a Psychopath

Friday, August 26 2011 @ 10:39 PM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
- from Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Scottish journalist Charles McKay (1841)

It's a matter of commonsense that the CIA recidivists are behind these rebels in the streets of Tripoli. As some experts have observed, the way they fire their assault rifles from the hip is an unmistakable evidence that they have been recruited by the intelligence agency, and/or they are disguised members of al-Qaeda. In the video embedded above, the former Deputy Speaker of the Belgian Parliament puts it in a broader perspective when he says what the Americans term "the Arab Spring" is, in fact, the beginning of the "second colonization of Africa."

Believe it or not, though, I couldn't care less whatever is underway 6,580 miles away from Tokyo. Neither do I care at all if that person named Muammar Gaddafi is a psychopath as many Americans call him. He hasn't inflicted any harm on me or my friends.

Just let me ask you something here: "Have you ever asked yourself why the hell the American people repeat the same folly over and over again, learning no lessons from their failures of nation-building in Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq?" Of course you haven't, because you think you already know the answer. Then, why don't you just go ahead and implement the corrective measure you have in mind? Actually, you can't find the answer without first identifying the root problem very specifically. You may be a heretic. In fact, though, your delusion that you can know the correct answer without knowing the real question indicates you are trapped in the huge intellectual vacuum created by mainstream ideologues.

You always put the blame on a growing number of psychopaths for the crimes committed by the U.S.A. in Africa and Asia. But in order to clearly identify the issue at hand, you should first define your terminology very precisely. Previously I wrote that since conspiracies are ubiquitous these days, seeking the truth about a conspiracy without specifically defining what conspiracy you are talking about, and why, will get you nowhere. By the same token, if you name the culprits psychopaths without defining what exactly the word should mean, you will always end up in the endless shouting contest where you and your opponents are calling each other psychopaths.

Of late, the sterile climate has spilled over to this side of the Pacific. As my predominantly-American audience is becoming more and more aware that this blogger suffers a mental illness, one of you said a couple of months ago that I am a "mild" schizophrenic. I have no problem being labeled that way, except that I find the qualifier a little insulting. I even think I would have really appreciated his frankness if he had been more specific about the reason he thought I look like a nut by clearly defining the schizophrenic symptoms he saw in this blogger. That way, he might have diagnosed me as a case of psychopathy, rather than schizophrenia. According to a vague definition given by the American Psychiatric Association, psychopathy is "a more severe form of antisocial personality disorder."

In the late 1970s through '80s, American anthropologist Edward T. Hall made an extensive research into Japanese culture to find out the real reason behind the spectacular growth of the Japanese economy. He drew the conclusion that Japan's success was attributable primarily to the fact that this country is a "high-context" society where people communicate amongst each other with a high-context language. In my interpretation, an "HC" language does not require each word to be defined precisely because the sender and the receiver of a message supposedly share the same understanding even before the word is spoken. A 17-syllable Haiku piece or a short text message is still considered long enough here. The real problem facing the Japanese today, therefore, is the fact that this success factor identified by the anthropologist more than 20 years ago is now quickly turning into a failure factor.

On the contrary, English is one of the most low-context languages. But with this silly thing called Twitter sweeping through America, its people have started speaking an HC dialect of English. That is basically why they think just tweeting a word "psycho" is good enough to make a difference to their psychopathic society which still remains low context.

In my previous post, I called Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara a psycho. On second thought, however, I realized I shouldn't have used such an ill-defined word to describe a guy who is offering athletes from all over the world a big treat of contaminated food in his second bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. Not that I think I was too harsh with him. On the contrary, I was too complimentary to the Governor because practically every ordinary Japanese is more or less a psycho today.

As usual, I looked up the word psychopath not only in the dictionary but also in APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, WHO's International Classification of Diseases, and some other websites. It was appalling to know that none of these authoritative documents clearly define the mental illness.

Take DSM for example. Its fourth edition published in 1994 defines antisocial personality disorder like this.

A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;

2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;

3. impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;

4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;

5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;

6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;

7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

B) The individual is at least age 18 years.

C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.

D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

As you may agree, this is real rubbish that indicates even among American shrinks, intellectual faculty is quickly deteriorating. If they think these criteria serve their purposes, they are psychos, too. Small wonder, in 1988, a psychiatrist wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry that since the catch-all definition of psychopathy is little more than a moral judgement masquerading as a clinical diagnosis, it should be scrapped altogether.

Most other related websites are even more biased not only morally but also ideologically. One of them lists such names as Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Joseph Stalin as "famous sufferers of psychopathy," without giving a single piece of neuroscientific evidence. There's no website that puts on its list Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta or Ben Bernanke, let alone Japanese names such as Emperor Hirohito, Hideki Tojo, Shintaro Ishihara and Naoto Kan. In short, they think anyone they hate is a psycho. This indicates that these self-styled psychiatrists can also be psychos themselves.

Admittedly, I am equally in the dark about neuroscience. So I don't have the slightest idea about what kind of abnormality of secretion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine makes you a nut. And yet, I think I would be able to come up with a more objective, religion-/ideology-free and actionable set of diagnostic criteria for psychopathy if I took into account additional attributes such as ability of abstract thinking (NOTE 1) and contextual thinking (NOTE 2), physiognomical features (NOTE 3), ideological/religious tilts, manifested goal of life, willfulness (NOTE 4) and methodology to attain it, presentability (NOTE 5), propensity toward fanaticism, sexual orientation, financial condition, etc.

NOTE 1: It's a known fact that in the U.S., psychos' IQ is on the high side. But this is not to say an idiot can't be a psycho. Actually, most Japanese psychos are idiots as is the cases with Tokyo Governor Ishihara, outgoing Prime Minister Kan and contenders for his successor Kaieda and Noda. Current Finance Minister Noda, for one, ordered early this month the Bank of Japan to step into the currency markets to stem the further depreciation of the U.S. dollar. To that end, the central bank bought the U.S. currency worth 4.5 trillion yen. As a result of the pointless intervention, Japan suffered an appraisal loss of 100 billion yen overnight.
NOTE 2: Thanks to the HC language they use in the HC environment, Japanese idiots are good at handling "multifaceted" or ill-defined issues. To be more precise, they procrastinate things until the problem defines, and then solves itself.
NOTE 3: In the mid-1960s, Ichiro Kawasaki, former Japanese Ambassador to Argentina wrote in his controversial book to the effect that the Japanese are the world's third ugliest people only next to Pygmies and Hottentots. Kawasaki stopped short of mentioning the first-rate meanness lying underneath their ugly physical appearance, but many physiognomists, including Abraham Lincoln, have argued that your face always mirrors your soul.
NOTE 4: While American psychos attempt to topple or subvert an institution they are targeting very willfully, their Japanese counterparts attain the same end primarily by "gross negligence" or inaction.
NOTE 5: In the U.S. mainstream, there are quite a few psychos who are highly educated and well mannered. But that does not mean a weird-looking and ill-mannered person can't be a psycho.

When you apply these yardsticks to your patients, you will find out that:
● their symptoms are the responses to the particular environments they are in,
● the "Mask of Sanity" they wear varies from country to country, and
● the threshold between normal and abnormal varies accordingly.

This exercise will lead you to conclude that in a terminally-ill country, such as Japan and the U.S., psychopathy is the norm. In our countries, you can't walk a block without stumbling on a psycho.

You are allowed to hate anyone, or oppose anything. But you don't have the right to call him a psycho if you can't prove it with your own diagnostic and statistical manual. Neither do you have the right to do so if you can't prove your sanity in an objective way.

Previously I wrote, "Don't seek truth outward because then you are evading inner truth." But if criticizing others without subjecting yourself to the same checklist is your favorite pastime, it's a different story. The Cretan who said all Cretans were liars couldn't prevent his rotten nation from falling apart. Likewise, you can never prevent America from recolonizing Africa, or keeping Japan pegged down as a "docile satellite" until the end of time.

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