Amazing post, eraprank!
Many attorneys suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).A narcissistic personality disorder as defined by the DSM (see DSM cautionary statement) is characterized by an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria are considered necessary for the clinical diagnosis to be met:
Terrorists, serial killers, and mass murderers can be phenomenologically described as narcissists in a constant state of deficient narcissistic supply. The "grandiosity gap" - the painful and narcissistically injurious gap between their grandiose fantasies and their dreary and humiliating reality - becomes emotionally insupportable. They decompensate and act out. They bring "down to their level" (by destroying it) the object of their pathological envy, the cause of their seething frustration, the symbol of their dull achievements, always incommensurate with their inflated self-image. They seek omnipotence through murder, control (not least self control) through violence, prestige, fame and celebrity by defying figures of authorities, challenging them, and humbling them. Unbeknownst to them, they seek self punishment. They are at heart suicidal. They aim to cast themselves as victims by forcing others to punish them. This is called "projective identification". They attribute evil and corruption to their enemies and foes. These forms of paranoia are called projection and splitting. These are all primitive, infantile, and often persecutory, defence mechanisms. When coupled with narcissism - the inability to empathize, the exploitativeness, the sense of entitlement, the rages, the dehumanization and devaluation of others - this mindset yields abysmal contempt for the narcissist's victims. The overriding emotion of terrorists and serial killers, the amalgam and culmination of their tortured psyche - is deep seated disdain for everything human, the flip side of envy. It is cognitive dissonance gone amok. On the one hand the terrorist, or serial killer derides as "false", "meaningless", "dangerous", and "corrupt" common values, institutions, human intercourse, and society. On the other hand, he devotes his entire life (and often risks it) to the elimination and pulverization of these "insignificant" entities. To justify this apparent contradiction, the mass murderer casts himself as an altruistic savior of a group of people "endangered" by his foes. He is always self-appointed and self-proclaimed, rarely elected. The serial killer and the mass murderer rationalize and intellectualize their murders by purporting to "liberate" or "deliver" the victims from a fate worse than death. The global reach, the secrecy, the impotence, and growing panic of his victims, of the public, and of his pursuers, the damage he wreaks - all serve as external ego functions. The terrorist cut pasted and serial killer regulate their sense of self esteem and self worth by feeding slavishly on the reactions to their heinous deeds. Their cosmic significance is daily sustained by newspaper headlines, ever increasing bounties, admiring copycats, successful acts of blackmail, the strength and size of their opponents, and the devastation of human life and property. Appeasement works only to aggravate their drives and strengthen their appetites by emboldening them and by raising the threshold of excitation and "narcissistic supply". Terrorists and killers are addicted to this drug of being acknowledged and reflected. They derive their sense of existence, parasitically, from the reactions of their (often captive) audience.Erich Fromm suggested that both Hitler and Stalin were narcissistic mass murderers. Hitler and Nazism are often portrayed as an apocalyptic and seismic break with European history. Yet the truth is that they were the culmination and reification of European history in the 19th century. Europe's annals of colonialism have prepared it for the range of phenomena associated with the Nazi regime - from industrial murder to racial theories, from slave labour to the forcible annexation of territory.Germany was a colonial power no different to murderous Belgium or Britain. What set it apart is that it directed its colonial attentions at the heartland of Europe - rather than at Africa or Asia. Both World Wars were colonial wars fought on European soil. Moreover, Nazi Germany innovated by applying prevailing racial theories (usually reserved to non-whites) to the white race itself. It started with the Jews - a non-controversial proposition - but then expanded them to include "east European" whites, such as the Poles and the Russians. Germany was not alone in its malignant nationalism. The far right in France was as pernicious. Nazism - and Fascism - were world ideologies, adopted enthusiastically in places as diverse as Iraq, Egypt, Norway, Latin America, and Britain. At the end of the 1930's, liberal capitalism, communism, and fascism (and its mutations) were locked in mortal battle of ideologies. Hitler's mistake was to delusionally believe in the affinity between capitalism and Nazism - an affinity enhanced, to his mind, by Germany's corporatism and by the existence of a common enemy: global communism.Colonialism always had discernible religious overtones and often collaborated with missionary religion. "The White Man's burden" of civilizing the "savages" was widely perceived as ordained by God. The church was the extension of the colonial power's army and trading companies. It is no wonder that Hitler's lebensraum colonial movement - Nazism - possessed all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. Hitler was this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denied himself earthly pleasures (or so he claimed) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling. Hitler was a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that (Aryan) humanity should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Hitler became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral. In this restricted sense, Hitler was a post-modernist and a moral relativist. He projected to the masses an androgynous figure and enhanced it by fostering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural". But what Nazism referred to as "nature" was not natural at all. It was an aesthetic of decadence and evil (though it was not perceived this way by the Nazis), carefully orchestrated, and artificial. Nazism was about reproduced copies, not about originals. It was about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism.In short: Nazism was about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), Nazism demanded the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis was tantamount, in Nazi dramaturgy, to self-annulment. Nazism was nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives were nihilistic. Nazism was conspicuous nihilism - and Hitler served as a role model, annihilating Hitler the Man, only to re-appear as Hitler the stychia.What was the role of the Jews in all this? Nazism posed as a rebellion against the "old ways" - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the European order. The Nazis borrowed the Leninist vocabulary and assimilated it effectively. Hitler and the Nazis were an adolescent movement, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state. Hitler himself was a malignant narcissist, as Fromm correctly noted. The Jews constituted a perfect, easily identifiable, reification of all that was "wrong" with Europe. They were an old nation, they were eerily disembodied (without a territory), they were cosmopolitan, they were part of the establishment, they were "decadent", they were hated on religious and socio-economic grounds (see Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners"), they were different, they were narcissistic (felt and acted as morally superior), they were everywhere, they were defenseless, they were credulous, they were adaptable (and thus could be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They were the perfect hated father figure and parricide was in fashion.This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.
Anti-social personality disorder (what the original poster was talking about, assumedly, with their references to sociopathy) is a relatively common disorder that is often correlated with higher than average intelligence and a strongly competitive nature. It seems intuitive for the law to attract individuals diagnosable with ASP. What bugs me is the implication that sociopathy is bad.I'm not kidding. If the traits that are comorbid with sociopathy lead to sociopaths being better attorneys, and if our society wants good attorneys, then that seems like a good impetus for the ABA to start recruiting anti-social individuals. Heck, they practically do already. I'm a firm believer in Michel Foucault's outlook that diagnoses are only valuable in the context of understanding maladaptive behavior. As soon as you start making judgments about an individual's fitness from the fact that they're diagnosable - not from any specific actions the individual has undertaken - the diagnosis itself has become maladaptive from a societal standpoint.-Ty
Lawyers resemble very much to the ancient Jew priests who were people who lied coolly and easily, even when it is obvious they were being untruthful. It was almost impossible for them to be consistently truthful about either a major or minor issue. They lie for no apparent reason, even when it would be easier and safer to tell the truth. This is sometimes called "crazy lying". Confronting their lies may provoke an unpredictably intense rage or simply a Buddha-like smile. Another form of lying common among ancient Jew priests leaders was known as "pseudologica fantastica," an extension of pathological lying. They tend to create a complex belief system, often about their own powers and abilities, in which they themselves sometimes get caught up. It is often difficult to determine whether the lies are an actual delusional distortion of reality or are expressed with the conscious or unconscous intent to deceive. These manipulators are rarely original thinkers. Plagerists and thieves, they seldom credit the true originators of ideas, often coopting authorship. They are extremely convincing, forceful in the expression of their views, and talented at passing lie detector tests. For them, objective truth does not exist. The only "truth" is whatever will best achieve the outcome that meets their needs.
Quote from: mendeleiev on February 20, 2006, 03:35:18 PMLawyers resemble very much to the ancient Jew priests who were people who lied coolly and easily, even when it is obvious they were being untruthful. It was almost impossible for them to be consistently truthful about either a major or minor issue. They lie for no apparent reason, even when it would be easier and safer to tell the truth. This is sometimes called "crazy lying". Confronting their lies may provoke an unpredictably intense rage or simply a Buddha-like smile. Another form of lying common among ancient Jew priests leaders was known as "pseudologica fantastica," an extension of pathological lying. They tend to create a complex belief system, often about their own powers and abilities, in which they themselves sometimes get caught up. It is often difficult to determine whether the lies are an actual delusional distortion of reality or are expressed with the conscious or unconscous intent to deceive. These manipulators are rarely original thinkers. Plagerists and thieves, they seldom credit the true originators of ideas, often coopting authorship. They are extremely convincing, forceful in the expression of their views, and talented at passing lie detector tests. For them, objective truth does not exist. The only "truth" is whatever will best achieve the outcome that meets their needs.Amen!