Power Madness (was Subject: Re: Sociopaths)

Jeff Davis (jdavis@socketscience.com)
Tue, 19 Oct 1999 03:35:55 -0700

Madame Ubiquitous

provides a little except from the APA (presumably American Psychiatric Association), entitled,

Antisocial Personality Disorder

I read this little piece and thought I could hear the tormented wails from every Gulag, concentration camp, inquisitional "purification" chamber, witch hunt, rack, ethnic-cleansing killing field, and pogrom since time began.

What kind of personality invents, or uses a mouth pear? (Or any of the other monstrosities of medieval torture.) The kind of person so socially and spiritually twisted that nothing is more important than the power they cloak themselves in to cover their monstrosity.

To such a person, and the sick hierarchy of which they are a member, there is no greater sin--and sin is truly the operative term--than rebellion against (their) authority.


Religious power madmen--priests, popes, mullahs, etc--claim the unassailable authority of a god as the justification of their power. Emperors and kings do the same ("God made us kings to rule over you."). Modern governmental authorities aren't quite so direct in claiming divine authorization, but they are quick to pay homage to this (seen to be) ultimate source of all power and truth, claim its blessing, and then dance the age old dance of power madness. And now the psychiatrist in the white lab coat, raiment of the priest of science, claiming superior knowledge of human nature, claiming, by years of study and psychoanalysis, to have risen above his own irrational impulses, so that now, "purified", he may claim the authority to judge and rule the lesser orders of humanity, claims his right to the drug of power.

Well, fine. Sell that bullshit to whomever you can get to buy it. Rule over the chittering sheep. And when spiritually wounded and vulnerable people come to you desperate for help, revel in your power, take their money, and victimize them in whatever manner satisfies you. And by all means strive to spread the gospel to every slavish, obsequious sheep-in-human-clothing that unflagging, unquestioned, and instantaneous obedience is the greatest of all human values.

Generalizations are odious. There are many, many competent and caring psychiatric counselors. But there is also a clear occupational hazard in the psychiatric situation. Where there is so profound a power imbalance--the powerful doctor, the vulnerable patient--one can caught up in the vanity of power. I suspect a cult-like element, possibly dominant, in the higher echelons of this hierarchical and politicized profession, which is paternalistic, power-obsessed, dominance-obsessed, emotionally coercive, and spiritually destructive.

The APA, in "Antisocial Personality Disorder" wants to cloak in legitimacy a definition of socially disfunctional individuals, but I detect an underlying and corrupt agenda whereby the oppressive authority structure seeks to internalize the policeman, and buttress its position of power by redefining, as a form of mental illness, a natural and healthy rebellion against oppression. It justifies the net by the real sociopaths it will catch, but casts it wide to round up those it is really after, those who noisily challenge its authority.

But hey, it could be that I'm just a sociopathic paranoic.

But I'm not the only one.

Perhaps some day you'll join us.

And the world will live as one.

Best, Jeff Davis

	   "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
					Ray Charles