This article was published previously in Casey Daily Dispatch.
Natural laws are the laws that, if followed, promote the survival and thriving of humans. Natural laws are like laws of physics. We humans don’t write natural laws: we discover them. These contrast with civil laws that are written by humans. One of the natural laws is don’t initiate force or fraud against another person. Another is do what you agree to do. Adherence to natural law, by definition, promotes thriving of individuals and the human species. In contrast, defying natural law leads to distrust, war and death.
Sociopaths constitute from 1-3% of the population. Sociopaths are characterized by a disregard for the rights of others, a lack of empathy and lack of remorse, a willingness or eagerness to lie, no conscience, little impulse control or care about cause and effect, a desire to exploit others and to control them. They blame others when the faults are their own. They are narcissistic, defensive, manipulative, callous, hostile.
How do sociopaths survive, then, living as they do in such defiance of natural law? The answer, I propose, is that sociopaths have written so many of the civil laws. They’ve been able to do so by finding an easy niche in the world of politics.
Government holds the monopoly on the legal power to initiate force against the innocent. In other words, government has given itself the legal right to break natural law. Sociopaths live their lives defying natural law. You can see how politics (the control of government) is therefore a safe and attractive home for sociopaths.
Normal people like to control how nature affects them. Normal people fight entropy, keep out the rain, put food in bellies, and by so doing create value in the world for themselves and others. Sociopaths are different. It’s not nature’s effects they try to control. Sociopaths like to control people. Worse, the distorted reward mechanism in their brains cause sociopaths to be neurologically incentivized to cause harm to other people. And how can one cause harm to people and get away with? Again: by gaining political power.
In addition to their magnetic attraction to politics, sociopaths possess a set of strengths that help them be successful politicians. They can be charismatic, and are highly convincing liars. Lie about their political opponent? No problem. Lie about themselves? No problem. Perhaps bribe, extort, blackmail or kill a few people on the way up? No problem.
Sociopaths are great liars who have a desire to control people. Politics is the nexus of both the sociopath’s strength and his desire. Republican or Democrat? Matters not. The sociopath can lie their way through any election.
I wrote recently about the removal of neutral unbiased people from the climate science community through a process of multiple distillation, and how that could lead to laypeople receiving biased information regarding the very important issue of our shared climate. Such distillation and bias occur in many fields. Politics follows a comparable pattern of distillation, but one in which sociopaths become increasingly concentrated (distilled) within the halls of Congress (and state and local government too).
This distillation of the political class into one dripping with sociopathy is accomplished through several layers.
People desire to go into politics for many reasons. I will categorize them into five groups, the first four of which are all jerks:
- Category A politicians think they have the best answers. They think they are wiser, smarter, better than you. They seek power in order to institute their fixes. They will use threats of force and actual force (guns) to assure that you comply with their brilliance. In other words, as a matter of course, they are eager to use the very process that starts all wars—the initiation of force—as their way to accomplish their goals. Obama provided a good example with his compulsory medical insurance, but there are many others in the U.S. headlines regularly. Ocasio-Cortez fits into this category along with Bernie Sanders. The morality of these politicians is that their chosen ends justify the means.
- Category B politicians are sociopaths. They want to achieve power over others in order to parasitize off society or simply to cause destruction. There are multiple obvious examples like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot, and many others who are less blatant but constantly in the news vying for power over you. These people are immoral to the core. Sociopaths are quite at home in the toxic environment of the swamp, and I expect they swim in its lower depths as well—what is called the Deep State. They are chameleons. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. Fascists in socialist’s clothing. Thieves pretending to be concerned for the poor. They literally don’t care.
- Category C politicians believe government “service” to be a lucrative career financially, or a stepping stone to one. Such people are a waste of food.
- Category D politicians thrive on attention or think they will earn community respect through politics. They may be grandiose and narcissistic. Ideology is relatively unimportant.
- Category E politicians are the rarest breed. They seek power only to protect their freedom against the injuries caused by the previous four categories of politicians. They maintain hope that the political process might be useful to stop the bad politicians from wreaking havoc. Ron Paul is a good example.
Most aspiring politicians fall into categories A-D. So the first massive distillation step occurs: most people who choose to run for office are the type of people who should not be given power.
Category A politicians often justify lying, as needed, to accomplish their perceived greater good. In contrast, the sociopaths (category B) lie outright and need no justification to do so. They just do it. Stated with assurance and backed by the media, their lies gain the support of the uninformed, malinformed and ideologically disabled population, which then supports, contributes, and votes for them. Sociopaths out-lie the aspiring politicians from the other politician categories. This improves their election chances and concentrates their ranks further in the political sphere. This is the second distillation step that concentrates sociopaths in politics.
Once successfully elected into the world of politics, the politician is immersed in a group of colleagues who are culled from among the various groups of political wannabes above—cocky narcissists, crony leeches, and sociopaths. They have to mingle and try to make agreements and compromises with these untrustworthy people. This may be a sociopath’s nirvana, but the good Category E politicians usually can’t endure such miasma for very long, and so are more than likely to flee the political swamp once they have maxed out their tolerance for those who live in it. This attrition removes most of the good guys and leaves mostly the jerks in politics.
Although some flies and vermin from category C and D linger, politics becomes predominantly a battleground between Category A and Category B politicians: a battle between those who will force their will upon you vs. those who want to parasitize off you.
Overall, we have a system that attracts and then concentrates the very worst sort of people into positions of power. Yes, we have an opportunity to vote them out of office, but over the decades, these people have been able to rig the system to reinforce their power. They now control the regulatory regimes, the criminal justice system, the medical system, the retirement system, and support the fiat monetary system. They feed the crony-state. Most importantly, they control the education-indoctrination complex. They nurture divisions along racial and class lines. They promote insane economic notions. They start wars. They take away freedom. They make the laws.
It’s not a conspiracy. It’s simply what happens when we allow government to grow. Washington has grown until it has become intensely attractive to the worst sort of semi-human scum.
Is it any wonder that Congress is despised? Is it any wonder that it is essentially impossible to obtain justice at the national level? Is it any wonder that government has become a threat to liberty instead of a protector of it? Is it any wonder that government defies the laws of nature?
Government is a system that attracts the worst sort of people. And the effects of it are going to be bad, no matter what political party is running things. Relying on the political process to solve problems makes no sense and doesn’t work. Americans—regardless of party or priority—need to learn to solve each problem, not through the coercive mechanisms of government, but through voluntary cooperation of the people who choose to care about each problem. By using voluntary moral means to solve our problems, instead of relying on government, we will disempower the sociopaths and other jerks.
Disempowering the jerks should be a goal anyone but a jerk can support.
N.B.—In this commentary, I am collectivizing sociopaths into one group. But they are not all alike. We need to judge each sociopath individually, and I apologize in advance to any sociopath who has kept his proclivities in check.
Editor's note: Clearly, there are many strange things afoot in the world. Distortions of markets, distortions of culture. It’s wise to wonder what’s going to happen, and to take advantage of growth while also being prepared for crisis. How will you protect yourself in the next crisis? See our PDF guide that will show you exactly how. Click here to download it now.