XCVI – The Sociopathic Cult

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I
can imagine no more absurd explanation for the outcome of the 2004
elections than the proposition that they were a victory for "spiritual
values." In the face of the continual lying and butchery practiced
by the Bush administration, one can only ponder the distorted meaning
of "values" that were endorsed on election day. Shall
we next hear of Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags being
celebrated for "bringing people together"?

If
"society" can be thought of, in dictionary terms, as "a
voluntary association of individuals for common ends," these
elections confirmed the total victory over society by well-organized
coercive forces that I shall refer to as a "sociopathic cult."
"Sociopaths" are antisocial persons who are "averse
to the society of others or to social intercourse." This cult
— which has always been the driving force behind political systems
– is comprised of men and women of misanthropic dispositions,
traits defined by one dictionary as "a hatred or contempt for
mankind," or a "distrust of human nature."

Such
people are at war with society itself. A creative, life-sustaining
society is held together by peaceful, cooperative forms of behavior.
Voluntariness, persuasion, and a respect for the inviolability of
individuals, are the modi operandi of social beings. The sociopaths,
however, will have none of this, which helps to explain their unending
hostility to the marketplace, private ownership of property, and
other expressions of individual liberty; and their attraction to
political (i.e., coercive) forms of organization. To sociopaths,
coercion is to be preferred over cooperation, conscription over
contract. Because force must remain the paramount virtue
of state systems, no human action can be regarded as immune from
political direction. This is a primary reason we are witnessing
an exponential increase in government regulation of even the most
personal matters, whether it be smoking, obesity, child-rearing,
treatment of pets, or the wearing of seat-belts. Such thinking produces
a world in which every aspect of life becomes a political question.

Furthermore,
whereas social individuals value truthfulness and peaceful behavior
as the adhesive for a free and productive society, the sociopaths
— in their ongoing war with society — insist upon contrary values.
To worshipers of the sociopathic cult, lying and violence — as long
as they are conducted on a grand scale — are not only to be tolerated,
but rewarded. These antisocial qualities must not be misused
for trifling purposes, however. Thus, Bill Clinton was impeached
for lying about his sexual behavior, while George W. Bush was reelected
for the blatant lies upon which his most visible policies were grounded!
Likewise, a government official who murdered a young woman would
properly be prosecuted, but a president who butchers innocent people
in a war fashioned from falsehoods will be revered.

For
true believers of this cult, lying and violence are reserved for
those who practice them in a stately fashion. Isolated acts engaged
in by wannabes are not to be tolerated, as they tend to not only
trivialize the values underlying cultish behavior, but create the
impression that such conduct is appropriate for ordinary people.
Thus, you would not abide your spouse or business partner lying
to you, but will venerate politicians for the adroitness of their
lies. If your child behaved at school the way President Bush behaves
in his world playground, you would likely have him on a psychiatrist's
couch without hesitation.

Through
the principal means of schools and the media, most Americans have
become thoroughly conditioned in the sociopathic cult, and are able
to recite its mantras without a break in meter or misstatement of
phrase. They have learned to distrust social forces, and
to regard violence as the only trustworthy means of bringing
about change in the world. In my experiences with law school students,
I find many expressing the idea that, with a law degree, they will
be able to direct state power for the accomplishment of "good"
ends.

Such
is the mindset of members of the sociopathic cult: uncontrolled
forces are not to be trusted; individual behavior is a danger that
can only be overcome by the collective powers of the state; while
truthfulness and lying are no more than fungible strategies to be
used according to the necessities of the moment. At base, politically-minded
people believe what every street-thug believes: that dishonesty
and violence are the most efficacious means of promoting one's self-interests.

The
re-election of George W. Bush was a confirmation of the depths to
which the sociopathic cult has infected the minds of most Americans.
Even the Democrats — who are also members of this cult — were afraid
to confront the antisocial nature of the political system. I suspect
that Democratic leaders are now in awe at just how far these cultish
practices can be extended in modern society, and will endeavor to
out-proselytize the GOP in their efforts to become the high-church
expression of antisocial thinking and conduct.

President
Bush tells the world that his second term will employ state power
— presumably in the form of military action — to promote "freedom"
throughout the world. He talks of "freedom" in much the
same way that a streetwalker might speak of "love." Are
mass killings, torture, and other forms of state violence to be
considered tools of liberation? Minds that have been thoroughly
inculcated in sociopathic dogmas will have no difficulty synthesizing
such rhetoric into their confused and contradictory thinking. It
will doubtless get shoe-horned in between the lies about Saddam
Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" and his involvement
in 9/11 that have already become an integral part of popular thinking.

To
thoughtful minds that have not succumbed to this political orthodoxy,
and who still adhere to the sentiment that a society will only be
as free and peaceful — or as unfree and violent — as are its individual
members, Bush's proposition is mindless twaddle. How can people
be "free" if they are in conflict, engaging in violence
against and the killing of one another, using lies as a substitute
for truth? Of what is one "free" if his or her
life is dominated by such behavior?

"Freedom"
is an expression of an integrated state of mind, wherein people
conduct their lives without conflict and contradiction. "Liberty"
is a condition in which "free" men and women live in society;
in which the integrity of that society is a reflection of
the inner integrity of its members. The idea that state violence
can foster individual integrity is an absurdity worthy of FoxNews,
but not to be entertained by thoughtful men and women who take seriously
their lives and the world in which they live. To characterize the
Bush re-election as a victory for "spiritual values" is
equally moronic, and illustrates the total bankruptcy of a society
in entropic collapse.

Albert
Jay Nock spoke of the "Saving Remnant," the minority of
individuals whose awareness transcends fashionable illusory thinking
and passes truth on to future generations. "You do not know
and will never know who the Remnant are, or where they are, or how
many of them there are, or what they are doing or will do,"
said Nock. "Two things you do know, and no more: first, that
they exist; second, that they will find you."

This
Remnant may remind our children and grandchildren of a truth known
to our ancestors: individual "freedom" expresses itself
as harmonious, integrated social behavior. If you refer to an etymological
dictionary, you will discover — as I did many years ago — that the
words "peace," "freedom," "love,"
and "friend" have interconnected origins. Our allegedly
"primitive" predecessors understood what our college-indoctrinated
minds have long since forgotten, namely, that a peaceful society
is one in which free men and women live as friends with genuine
love for one another.

But
all of this is empty sentimentality to members of the sociopathic
cult. Individual liberty, free markets, privately owned property,
truthfulness, peace, and a love for life in all its expressions,
are anathema to misanthropes who express "hatred or contempt
for mankind," and who place their faith in lies and violence.
Even many who oppose war are not friends of peaceful behavior, but
only have other political agendas to force upon their neighbors.
To the politically-minded, spontaneous social processes must be
suppressed or co-opted.

Perhaps
these cultists are, like the societies they have helped to destroy,
going through the final stages of their entropic collapse. I strongly
believe that this is, indeed, the case. Like other dark-side forces
in human consciousness, sociopathic tendencies have always been
present but, for many years, lay somewhat dormant. Such was largely
the case in America until the mid-nineteenth century, when the war
with Mexico and the slaughter of Indian tribes began to mobilize
these shadow tendencies that were finally unleashed in the Civil
War, an undertaking that James Street referred to as "a holiday
for butchers."

Such
forces have once again found expression in America, with their destructive
tendencies carefully managed by officials and advisors in Washington.
A nation was offended on 9/11, and few were willing to look for
the source of those atrocities as a reaction to the foreign policies
(i.e., military actions) of the corporate-state with which most
Americans identify themselves. For people to look inward for
the causes of their difficulties, and to consider political behavior
as an explanation for the disordered nature of our world, would
be heretical to the sociopathic cult. Others must be blamed
and sought out for punishment. In the end, it doesn't even matter
against whom and for what purported reason retaliation will be directed.
To such a mindset, it is wholly irrelevant whether the Iraqi people
had anything to do with 9/11. It is sufficient that they can be
made convenient scapegoats to be slaughtered in furtherance of the
collective catharsis that is essential to the health of a political
weltanschauung. Whatever lies must be concocted in the performance
of this ritual will be readily accepted. John Kerry understood this
implicitly, as did the members of the Senate committee who sat on
their hands listening to the current high priestess of this cult,
Condoleezza Rice, express offense at the questioning of her honesty
and integrity.

The
common threads running through the Bush administration's first four
years have included a calculated campaign to confuse "freedom"
with extended state power; as well as a disregard for both truth
and the consequences of its deceitful policies. The efforts of the
Busheoisie to connect the dishonest and philosophically unprincipled
ambitions of these cultists with "spiritual values" will,
in time, be revealed as but another falsehood; one more contradiction
in the state's continuing war against individuals in a free society.

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