Friday, February 18, 2011

Is he or is he not? REPLAY from 2009

A comment by a person known only as MONTY, titled "Mr. Campbell is not a well man", showed up on a Rafe Mair article published in The Tyee:
As a psychologist I can tell you he is exhibiting delusions of grandeur, of omnipotence as the Supreme Being in this province, of a remarkable inability to remember what he has said from month to month, an inability to understand what a democracy means, let us say politely, a loss of contact with reality. There is a history of mental illness in his family as his father, a doctor, committed suicide. Editor, please note: these are factual statements. If a parent has had the disorder it increases the chance of the disorder. A number of environmental factors in the childhood home, school, and community may also contribute to the disorder. Robins (1966) found an increased incidence of sociopathic characteristics and alcoholism in the fathers of individuals with antisocial personality disorder.
On the Internet, a contributor can be anything. I might truly be a youthful, lithe danseur awaiting stardom rather than the grizzled, pudgy ancient pictured on the profile here. Is Monty a real psychologist or is he manipulating his readers because he suffers a grandiose personality disorder that drives him remorselessly to name as psychopaths people who won't answer back?

Monty's comment though started me thinking. He is not the first to notice that common personality traits of psychopaths and political leaders overlap. Dr. Michael Craig, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, University of London provides this definition:
People with psychopathic personality disorders have a constellation of personality traits which typically means they are:
  • grandiose
  • egocentric
  • impulsive
  • manipulative
and they
  • experience shallow feelings
  • lack empathy
  • lack guilt or remorse in the ways of normal people
  • participate in anti-social behavior.
It's a constellation and extreme version of these personality traits that leads to people having a diagnosis of psychopathy. . . . The traits themselves don't necessarily lead to criminal behavior. What they do is predispose somebody toward criminality.
Other definitions related to psychopathy:
  • [Psychopaths] operate under the blinding inertia of unquestioning self-confidence, without a hint of self-examination or internal doubt - for the psychopath, emotions are simply used as a dramatic tool, in order to evoke pity, guilt, fear or self-doubt in others for manipulation purposes; and are completely lacking in connection to any deeper meaning.
  • Psychopaths are untalented narcissists who profit only on the work of others. And in a political environment, this can be disastrous.
One web writer I encountered speaks with uncommon certainty:
Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, cheat, steal, torture, manipulate, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse, in order to establish their own domination.
Dr. Robert Hare, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia Psychology Department, is an international authority on psychopathy. With Dr. Paul Babiak, he wrote Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work,a book widely read by professionals and lay persons. Dr. Hare also originated diagnostic tools used throughout the world.

So, I return to the original point raised by Monty. We are accustomed to labeling serious criminals as psychopaths but the condition involves a continuum. Not every psychopath is criminal in a legal sense. Many are sub-clinical but they flourish because the very characteristics defining the disorder are actually valued in business and politics.

Is Premier Gordon Campbell a psychopath? Health Minister Kevin Falcon? Finance Minister Colin Hansen? Surely, not all three. Well, maybe two of them.

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5 comments:

  1. I was watching a history program about the Roman Empire, specifically focused on Nero. There were too many similarities between that time and what we are seeing in BC today to not compare the two.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not Campbell. Definitely Falcon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Campbell and Falcon. Hansen is just an enabler, happy to toady up to his boss for money.

    BC is screwed and its' voters will be stupid enough to keep the status quo going. The HST is one example.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Campbell is so full of, hate, spite, malice and so vindictive, his sanity is suspect. Anyone daring to oppose him, loses their jobs. The H word isn't allowed, sorry, but that's who he reminds me of. It is so true of him to be absolutely cruel. Our BC children living in poverty, so hungry they can't focus on their schoolwork. Yet he gave himself a $60,000 per year salary hike. His henchmen a 27% hike. The candidates all supported him. They are just clones of Campbell's. We will just, trade one tyrant for another. That Campbell and Christy Clark were cleared from, Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR fiasco. Turns out that was another lie. Read, Alex Tsakumis for an eye opener. The media, is just a propaganda machine for Campbell. Campbell and Clark, look worse than ever. The media are a disgrace to their professions. How really disgraceful they are.

    ReplyDelete
  5. kootcoot said:

    I get confused about the difference between a "sociopath and a "psychopath," but am confident that both Campbell and Falcon exhibit signs of one or the other. Maybe Hansen is as the commenter above suggests, merely an enabler or co-dependent.

    I've always felt that the modern corporation is, with its court endowed "personhood," a textbook example of sociopathy.They aggressively assert all the rights of an individual, but the responsibilities, not so much! When they do damage people or the planet, they pay a fine so petty it is just a business expense or worse yet, litigate till the BC Rail lease expires if necessary, getting a reduction in damages each step of the way, as EXXON has been doing and is doing since the Alaska spill or just go out of business under that name allowing the same slimeballs to start up under a new pirate flag, oops, I mean corporate banner!

    It is disgusting to think of how over twenty years of legal bills, evading liability, could have helped repair the damage from the Exxon Valdez. But a corporation is only accountable to its shareholders, the rest of the planet is merely colatteral damage!

    The poor over regulated buggers!

    ReplyDelete

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