"A nation of sociopaths"

Dr. Helen has a rather good take on an idea that Heartiste has been promoting for some time:
We as a society do not want to encourage sociopathy, but that is what we are doing and as Chateau Heartiste points out, it is beneficial to the individual in sexual terms but our society will be made worse for it by being less innovative. But you get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish. Hence, we should expect to see more sociopathy in the future. All the while, women and their sychophants [sic] will be muttering “where have all the good men gone” while simultaneously breeding the seeds of sociopathy in some men by their actions and behaviors.
Dr. Helen's arguments will not surprise anyone who knows anything about basic economics. However, the question of why sociopathic tendencies are damaging to civilisation is an interesting one- not least because some of the most influential and dominant builders of civilisation and progress in history are men that the rest of us would regard as sociopathic.

To understand why sociopathy is bad for civilisation as a whole, you first have to understand what it is:

so·ci·o·path
noun Psychiatry.
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocialoften criminal, and who lacks sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Another way of putting it might be: a strong tendency towards the Dark Triad traits of Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy.

Now, as Citizen Renegade Roissy Heartiste I-have-no-idea-what-his-name-is-anymore points out, men with sociopathic tendencies also are among the most successful with women. And here's why:
Explanations for the appeal to women of the male Dark Triad have been discussed before, within the hallowed halls of Le Chateau, but usually from esoteric evolutionary theory. Perhaps there are other, more immediate and practical, reasons why men who score high in the Dark Triad do so well with women? Let’s look at the definitions for each of the three relevant traits: 
Narcissism
Narcissism is an egotistical preoccupation with self. Because of all their experience with maintaining their self image, people who score high for narcissism will often appear charming but their narcissism will later lead to extreme difficulty in developing close relationships.

Narcissistic men will be better at building an attractive identity, crafting an alluring image, dressing themselves for maximum impact, and comporting themselves with the utmost self-regard. Women love all these characteristics in men, even if these traits are not societally beneficial in numbers exceeding a tiny percentage of men. A man who is full of himself is a man who is full of women’s love. 
Machiavellianism
Machiavellianism is a tendency to be manipulative and deceitful. It usually stems from a lack of respect or disillusionment for others.

You cannot properly seduce women if you harbor illusions about their nature. A Machiavellian Man, owing to his willingness to engage in personally, and oftentimes mutually, advantageous deceits, is a skilled hand in the subtle feints of flirting. No seduction will take full flight without recourse to innuendo and barely concealed intent. The tacitly adversarial quality of seduction emanates from the fundamental premise that the reproductive goals of men and women are at odds, and the Machiavellian is the man best equipped to leverage that sweet antagonism to his ends. 
Psychopathy 
Psychopathy reflects shallow emotional responses. The relative lack of emotions results in high stress tolerance, low empathy, little guilt and leads them to seek extremely stimulating activities, resulting in impusivity and a disposition towards interpersonal conflict.
The darkest of the three traits. It’s a short neural skip from mostly benign, promiscuous psychopath to Hannibal Lector [sic]. What is it about psychopaths that women can’t get thoughts of them out of their heads? Besides their evocation of high status shamans and warriors of EEA yore, psychopaths bring one big advantage to the mating arena that quickly propels them to the top — fearlessness. That dead zone in their prefrontal gray matter means that psychopaths don’t feel much when women reject them. No hurt, no guilt, no shame, no doubt, no anger, no nothing. Imagine the power at your fingertips if you had the ice cold stones to approach thousands of women nonstop without suffering even the slightest ding to your emotional state from any rejections. Imagine that, coupled with this exotic imperviousness, you impulsively hit on any woman who piqued your interest. I don’t think you’ll need a calculator to figure out how fast your notch count would rise given these personality priors. Chicks dig a go-getter.
The odd thing about this set of characteristics is that the most successful men in history have always possessed ALL of them, to varying degrees.

Some have been true psychopaths- they slaughtered millions on the way to building world-spanning empires that stood the test of time. Genghis Khan is a perfect example of this. When the ruler of the Khwarazmian Empire were ungracious enough to murder his emissaries, he responded by laying waste to their empire in such pants-s***ingly terrifying fashion that to this day, historians still cannot quite comprehend the scale of devastation that he brought down upon them.

Oh, and he had quite the reputation with the ladies, by the way.

Some men who went on to become highly regarded leaders and great men in their own right were, and are, massive malignant narcissists. Perfect recent example: Slick Willy, who of course has some rather interesting skeletons in his closet. Another great historical example: Napoleon Bonaparte- a bit of a narcissist who went about solving his problems by building a continent-spanning empire. It is worth noting that he eventually got his ass handed to him by a man who was almost his exact opposite in terms of personality.

And perhaps the greatest historical example we have of Machiavellianism is the man who partly inspired Niccolo Machiavelli to write The Prince in the first place: Cesare Borgia. The man was considered one of the finest generals and statesmen of his day- and one of the most legendary lovers in history.

So, it IS in fact possible for men who build and maintain civilisations to have strongly sociopathic, Dark Triad traits. Having a few of these individuals at the far right tail of the distribution of human personalities in any given society is not necessarily overly harmful. Such individuals tend to become great statesmen, innovators, builders, and military figures.

It's when such traits become the norm rather than the exception that civilisation begins to break down.

When sociopaths, with their inherent lack of regard for others and total inability to connect emotionally with other humans, are the norm in society, social order, which depends on voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit, rapidly breaks down. Sociopaths aren't interested in mutual benefit. They care only about their own benefit, and care nothing at all for the needs of others. This makes them singularly ill-suited to marrying, settling down, and raising families- and families are a proven cement that binds civilisation together.

Sociopathy also makes them utterly uninterested in actions that are of benefit to the wider society- which makes them singularly dangerous as politicians and leaders, because they will not support decisions that come at a personal cost to them and yet benefit society as a whole. In other words, they will not put country before self.

This is why the breakdown of the sexual market place is so dangerous. This is why Dr. Helen is right to call attention to it and warn us of the dangers of sociopathy becoming prevalent in our society. And this is why men should rightly work towards a society that encourages traits that build civilisation, rather than traits that destroy it.

Comments

  1. Disclaimer: I am neither a historian nor a psychiatrist.

    I resist the notion that Genghis Khan was a psychopath or sociopath. He might have been a homicidal maniac. He might have been sane (but still a mass murderer). If mass murder were enough to qualify as a sociopath, there would be a lot of soldiers accused of sociopathy.

    Genghis Khan and Cesare Borgia cared a great deal about the strength of their social power base. They wanted strong armies. They cared about the strength and health of their subordinates. This runs contrary to your text: "Sociopaths aren't interested in mutual benefit. They care only about their own benefit ...

    Sociopathy also makes them utterly uninterested in actions that are of benefit to the wider society..."

    A megalomaniacal leader like Borgia *does* have a sense of mutual benefit - each of his soldiers gets a small benefit, and Borgia himself gets a big benefit. It's not necessarily justice, but it is mutual benefit.

    Sociopathy in power is a huge problem, but let's not gloss over history. The average sociopath in power probably looks like Lon Horiuchi or Lynndie England, not like Cesare Borgia or Genghis Khan.

    I think you've hit upon an important line of research, but I would encourage you to get expert advice on the definitions of "sociopath" and "narcissist." Dr. Helen might be better-educated than Heartiste, but Heartiste is better at pulling in a broad audience and getting publicity. Now, if we could persuade Dr. Helen to study the character of Genghis Khan, we might elicit a truly expert opinion.

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  2. I'm just catching up with the manosphere, but I recognized a lot of the issues before noticing it. Dr. Helen is doing a good job. I've also got some good material up at my site, http://jebkinnison.com. And I wrote what one of my early reviewers said was a "red pill" book at dating and relationships. I thought he was talking about "The Matrix."

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