Showing posts with label sociopath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sociopath. Show all posts

Friday, April 18, 2014

They Walk Amongst Us

I've spent some time musing over whether certain prominent "manospherians" are psychopaths or sociopaths.  I was recently referred to this link which distinguishes the two conditions. 

One of the differences appears to be that sociopaths tend to act out in controlled, premeditated ways, to indulge in "calculated or opportunistic violence," and are "often social predators."  Psychopaths, on the other hand, tend to be impulsive, and more likely to run afoul of law enforcement.  So I will continue to use the term "sociopathic" to describe many of the behaviors I have observed by reading the manosphere.

We are learning that sociopaths are more common than previously acknowledged, and they often function at very high levels.  I've read several articles or books in the past year written by people who identify as sociopaths.  There is even considerable interest in whether, and in what ways, sociopaths serve society or whether sociopathy is an evolutionarily advantageous trait.  It's a topic that the manosphereans themselves occasionally discuss, often with some anxiety.

Personally, I have known two people in my life that I suspect were sociopaths, one a (now deceased) member of my own family.  Intelligent sociopaths perform "normalcy" so well that in the context of superficial relationships, their sociopathy is not detectable.  So it is reasonable to assume that most of them walk amongst us unrecognized.

And that's probably true of many of the "manospherian" bloggers themselves. Some of the manospherian bloggers and their commentators make such chilling pronouncements, evince such utter lack of empathy and such endless wells of rage, that it's hard to deny they exhibit sociopathic tendencies.  Of course, they're doing so, in most cases, under the cloak of anonymity.  Part of the threat of being "doxxed" in this 'sphere is that the disparity between their online and offline personas is so great that they have much to lose by being attached to the opinions they fearlessly share online.  They are well aware that by being doxxed, they will be exposed as freaks, objects of scorn, pity, and fear, to the very people they depend on most.

Of course, despite the handles they hide behind, the active participants inevitably drop clues when they refer to their "real" lives, and from these scattered crumbs it's clear that some of them occupy positions of considerable authority and public trust.  (It's enough to keep a person up at night!)

On the other hand, the same anti-social traits that make them "scary" (or at least damned peculiar) as individuals also keep them immobilized as a social or political group.  As the recent frenzy of doxxing and smearing proves, the most popular bloggers, despite being charismatic enough to generate followers, cannot form the kinds of strong alliances that would allow them to organize an effective campaign or exert much influence on society in general.  They can only wreak havoc on each other, the unfortunate people in their immediate circle (i.e., spouses and children), or upon targets that they perceive are lone, weak, and unable to retaliate (although I think Paul Elam of AVfM may have seriously miscalculated when he decided to take on Prof. Mercier).

Is it possible that the "manosphere" is a symptom, not of some broad-seated social malaise, but of the internet giving the sociopaths who have always existed a loud (albeit rather impotent) "voice?" 

Note bene: Now I am in no way suggesting that everyone who has taken "the Red Pill" is sociopathic.  In fact, most of the traffic on those sites is probably coming from very young disaffected youth who are looking for answers, an outlet to safely vent their frustrations, or a forum in which to entertain their fantasies of dominance.  A recent reddit survey indicates that the majority of respondents who characterized themselves as MRAs are between the ages of 17-20, white, and, while politically "extremely conservative," are not religious. Is it overly optimistic to trust that as they gain experience, intelligence, and find their paths in life, they will wander away from these dark recesses and integrate themselves into the mainstream?

See also Is Roosh a Sociopath?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Is Roosh Even Human?

In a recent forum, Roosh and his minions were amused by a well-publicized news story about two women who drove into a lake and drowned.  What they found particularly hilarious was that one of the women, in a panic, attempted to dial "911" on her cell phone.  Because women are so stupid.  And because women deserve to die, anyway.

Back when I was living in Louisiana, I was in the throes of my "bridge phobia."  Driving on bridges and overpasses triggered severe panic attacks.  (I still get a little anxious about bridges, but I managed to "desensitize" myself once I moved back to Seattle -- otherwise, I wouldn't be able to drive anywhere!)

I've had nightmares of being trapped in a car underwater ever since the Chappaquiddick scandal, when Mary Jo Kopechne was abandoned to such a fate by a drunken and cowardly Edward Kennedy.  And who can forget the death of Jessica Savitch, whose date drove into a canal in New Hope?  Mired in mud upside down, the doors of their car could not be opened.

Every time I had to drive across a lake or bayou in Louisiana, I unrolled the driver's side window and mentally rehearsed swimming out.  I tightened my muscles in anticipation, and visualized bursting to the surface.  The problem was that the windows of my Toyota were pretty small, and I wasn't convinced I could squeeze through.  So there I would be on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway -- which is 24 miles long, mind you -- gripping the steering wheel, sweating profusely despite the wind rushing through the speeding vehicle, and roundly cursing myself the whole way for being such a lard ass.

I still occasionally read of people, often late at night, driving off embankments or bridges and drowning in their cars.  And I still think it's prudent to unroll the window when crossing bodies of water.

The story was tragic, but the real horror here is the psychology of people who find such stories risible, or evidence of the inherent inferiority of the victims. 

When we hear about terrible accidents, we naturally try to learn how to avoid them (or how to survive them if they befall us despite our best efforts).  We struggle to find meaning and purpose in what is otherwise random horror.  We may look for ways to "blame the victim" in order to deny the possibility that such a fate could ever visit us.  We grieve for the families and friends, imagining or remembering the sudden loss of our own loved ones.  But regardless, on some level, we can't escape being reminded of the fragility of our own existences.  Such stories are occasions for somber reflection.

But a person like Roosh is not one of "us," is he?  He is a human who is devoid of humanity.

It's not exactly accurate to say that people like Roosh lack empathy.  In fact, he has enough empathy to actually take pleasure in the suffering of others (specifically women, the targets of his inchoate, inexplicable, relentless rage).

His isolation from the cloak of humanity is his tragedy. And although I have just finished reading The Wisdom of Psychopaths, in which author Kevin Dutton argues that psychopathic elements contribute to the survival of cultures, I cannot imagine what purpose the existence of someone like Roosh serves in this world.  

Perhaps one must simply accept that there is no purpose.  Perhaps the best we can do is to try to identify the potential dangers of dark mountain roads or dark charismatic personalities, at the same time resigning ourselves to the fact that these are simply parts of the mystery of life.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Is Roosh a Sociopath?

Roosh is now in Romania, a country I've never visited.  I've always assumed From the little I have read and seen on television, it's kind of a shit-hole a developing country with many socioeconomic challenges and seriously ugly Soviet era architecture. 

This is nothing against the people.  I've had several wonderful Romanian students in the past.  Rather, it's because Romania is still recovering from the disastrous socioeconomic policies of the Nicolae CeauČ™esc regime, i.e., a large population of unwanted young people who grew up on the streets due to Ceausesc's prohibition of contraception = a high crime rate, degraded family structure, and pervasive despair.  It certainly isn't a place that would draw me as a tourist, although I might take a temporary assignment there as part of an international aid program. yet. 

But Roosh favors Eastern European countries like Romania because the people (specifically, the women) are poor and desperate.  American tourists are rare for the reasons described, and they represent opportunity (for cash or green cards).  This is Roosh's value in the eyes of young Eastern European women.  The language barrier which he occasionally complains about actually works in his favor; it's harder to evaluate a stranger's intentions or character if he does not speak your language, and people tend to forgive foreigners for social faux pas that they would not tolerate in a native.

Roosh likes Eastern European girls because, unlike American or Scandinavian women, they embody traditional "feminine" characteristics: they put effort into their sexual appeal (naturally enough, as it is their only real avenue of social mobility), they tend to be thin, they defer to men (at least in public).  And unlike American and Scandinavian women, they are not "promiscuous" (that is to say, sexually autonomous).

The problem is that the chastity that Roosh admires is an obstacle to his mission, which is to have sexual intercourse with as many nubile teenagers as he can without either opening his wallet and paying upfront, or establishing a committed relationship.  He deals with this by deceiving women, either directly or by omission.  For example, he suggests he's more interested in a serious relationship than he really is, he attempts to disguise his true identity, he doesn't hang around too long in one place.  He coolly acknowledges the occasional tears, the sense of betrayal these girls experience, yet remains emotionally detached.  He is, after all, a predator, so is only acting according to his authentic nature: "This is what I do."  

He is not disingenuous when he denies that the appalling way he exploits girls reflects any animosity toward them. In the same way, many of us are genuinely fond of animals, yet still enjoy eating cheeseburgers.

He blames global feminism and western materialism on corrupting the women he himself is trying to corrupt.  He refuses to acknowledge his own culpability in the process.  The lack of integrity, the disconnect, is mind-boggling.  He doesn't seem to be stupid.  He certainly takes his own intellectual pretensions seriously, with his regular reports on the "big ass books" he is reading (Thucydides, really?). 

And yet there is a giant blind spot in his moral consciousness that defies explanation.

To read Roosh is to enter the mind of a functioning sociopath.

In a Roosh V forum thread, a reader worries whether he himself is a sociopath. Some readers dismiss his concern, reassuring him that the fact that he asks is proof he is not. 

I dunno, if I thought I might be a sociopath, I'd be running, not walking, to a good shrink. But that's just me, your garden-variety neurotic.

Roosh, on the other hand, responds, tellingly, "Why do you feel the need to label your behavior?  Do what you want. As long as you don't get arrested, get AIDS, or cause unreasonable harm in other individuals, who gives a fuck whether you are or not."  [italics added]