Alternatives - Resources for Cultural Creativity

Home | Previous Issues | Advertisers | Events | Links | Contact Us | Ad Info | Book Reviews

Fall '02 Issue 23

Psychopaths On Parade
By Richard Reid

“Be A Soul” The InnerView with Ram Dass
By Peter Moore

Leaving Home: The Touch of Stone, The Taste of Blood
By Ness Mountain

Ecstatic Moments On the Tantric Path
By Bob Theiss

The Healing of Multiple Sclerosis - Embracing Love and the Innate Inner Healer
By Christine-Yazmin Albright

Radical Astrology
By Emily Trinkaus

What Democracy? (Part II)
By Harry Lonsdale

Physicians’ Perspective - Medical Rights 2002: From Exam Room to Ballot Choice
By Rick Bayer, MD

Toxic Waste in the Public Well Revisited - A Foot-in-Mouth Tale
By Miriam Green

Say It Ain’t So Senator Daschle - Shame on the Big Green Environmentalists
By John Borowski

Dreams of Kindness, Love & Grace - Wealth Addiction
By Carolyn Bolton

The Celtic Spiral - An Everyday Path to the Sacred
By Mara Freeman

The Ecstasy of Transformational Creation
By Carolyn Campbell

Thunder Rising: A Green Light for Hope of Global Proportions
By Brian Bogart

Intuitive Solutions
By Karen Grace Kassy

Richard ReidPsychopaths on Parade by Richard Reid

“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”
—J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Krishnamurti was right. We who are outraged by the erosion of democracy, the endless “war,” the continued violation of the environment and the hardship visited on so many by so few, must speak up. What’s most frightening about America’s economic and social crisis is that numerous psychopaths have obviously attained positions of power & accumulated wealth. Most research on psychopaths has been conducted in prisons and mental institutions. Little is known about how they function at large in society.

Psychopaths are often very intelligent and charming and their hypersensitivity to boredom often leads to risk taking and impulsivity. They have no conscience and are incapable of remorse.

Psychopaths have joined others to create bastions of power in societies throughout history. American democracy provides opportu-nities for people who value the common welfare to debate the future and choose leaders, but it also allows power and greed to control the outcome of elections. (Is it possible that our American society has created more psychopathology than other societies?) The psychopaths’ lust for power in government and business increasingly dominates our attention and obscures the fairly orderly transmission of values through our schools, churches and families.

Because they have no empathy psychopaths have victimized societies wherever they arise and are uniquely capable of causing great harm. We Americans should be alarmed as they concentrate greater power and wealth in fewer hands and impose ever harsher punishment for civil disobedience. But we cannot let the psychopaths among us prevent us from honoring our values and our vision of a just society.

As psychopaths unite they seize positions of power until totalitarianism dominates the host culture and society. A genuine society encourages freedom so that the greatest good may be sought by the greatest number. As always we who are outraged must either resist totalitarianism or sacrifice our civil rights and dis-honor those values that are the real “wealth” of our commonwealth.

We must speak up and act up, point out the “craziness” that befalls us and re-assert those values and freedoms that make a society great. History repeatedly teaches us that if we don’t do this, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable it may be, we will certainly lose our freedom. There are abundant opportunities to join others who are outraged and active. I invite you to do so. The alternative is to adjust to a sick society.

Richard Reid co-directs CityWatch which advocates for honest City government. He can be reached at 503.581.0056 or reids@open.org

Alternatives Magazine - Issue 23

Top | eMail Alternatives | Home 

Site updated Spring 2010