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View Diary: Microbiome research vaults science and politics in reach of Lao Tzu (56 comments)

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  •  I think it's simpler (7+ / 0-)

    ...than that. Evil is at root psychopathy. Practically all the "evil" characters in the world's literature are classic psychopaths. Psychopathy appears to be a genetic glitch.

    Psychopathy appears to be caused by a polymorphism on the OXTR gene that codes for oxytocin receptors; thus they have none. You can give them all the oxytocin in the world and it makes no difference whatsoever, whereas it causes the rest of us to feel loving, trusting, and compassionate. It is the molecule for empathy. These individuals thus do not experience empathy but learn to fake it over a lifetime of being with normals and having to fit in somehow. They actually favor power, mediated by dopamine. They often regard themselves as superior because they are not "limited" by empathy; in extreme cases, all options are on the table and anyone in their way are expendable. Thus they may appears "strong" in a brutish sort of way. They tend to rise in politics and business.

    Some define sociopathy as a willing adoption of the psychopathic paralogic. Thus, certain types of nonpsychopaths often find the psychopaths irresistible as leaders because they appear so "strong" and invincible. Psychopaths are notorious for acquiring followers! My guess is that the more fearful people are, the more likely they would be attracted to psychopathic leaders who show no anxiety and radiate absolute certainty.

    Recent studies show that self-identified conservatives tend to be more fearful than self-identified liberals about the free fall nature of life and the many shades of gray. They like definite, unequivocal answers to the insecurity of existence.

    So my hypothesis is that these conservatives are far more likely to follow psychopathic leaders.

    Remember the outcry from the right when Obama said he wanted to appoint Supreme Court Justices with empathy? It was a full bore freakout!

    I realize that it's probably far more complex than that, but that is my take on it.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

    by eyeswideopen on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:02:06 PM PST

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