Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Psychopathic Personality Disorder - A Paradigm

We occasionally use the word "psychopathic" to describe individuals or general behaviour in power hierarchies. In a similar manner that Chomsky uses "fascist" in advocating a bottom-up democratic system, we feel that we should explain the reasoning behind this assertion.
Lorna Benjamin, Theodore Millon, Roger Davis and other leading Personality Disorder researchers are in general agreement that a very significant number of political, business and military leaders, both now and historically, display Psychopathic Personality Disorders (PPDs).
PPDs are created when an individual has two separate disorders that, when co-existant, cause psychopathic behaviour. These two disorders are Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD).
The ASPD is the prime foundation for the condition and may be sociological and/or pathological in it's roots. A standard case study of such an individual is presented below (adapted from Personality Disorders in Modern Life by T. Millon and R. Davis).
"He (most PPDs are male) thinks that life hasn't given him his fair due. He believes that he has been deprived on the required amount of love and support and material reward and that others have received more than their share. Jealous of others, he is driven by an envious drive for retribution. Through deceit or destruction, his goal is to compensate for the emptiness in his life. Seething with anger, his greatest pleasure is to take control of the properties and possessions of others. Many possess an enormous desire for revenge manipulating others like pawns in a power game. He remains insecure about his power and status. He makes ostentatious and wasteful displays of materialism and conspicuous consumption as a means of exhibiting their power to others. He has little compassion or guilt for the outcomes of their behaviour. He will never be happy. He is fearless under threat. He is unable to gauge his own fear and ploughs ahead violently regardless of risk. He finds life clinically boring and needs sensations of excitement to feel alive. He is aggressive, oppositional and opportunistic".
Many psychopaths are shrewd and calculating and struggle to learn the social mechanics of interpersonal communication thus masking their disorder. Some are able to develop a thoroughly charming mask and are not typical of society's view of such a perpetrator.
The Biological Factors behind PPDs may be split into two types - those known to effect the development of the organism (eg. genetic conditions) and those that accompany the appearance of the syndrome but with uncertain development role (eg. neurotransmitter patterns).
For people with ASPD, the ego develops but the superego doesn't which leads to a total personality that is dominated by an infantile id and the pleasure principle. The combination of ego and intellectual cunning is always present. Social conventions and ideals have no intrinsic value to ASPDs and, whereas normal persons rationalise their behaviour to themselves, ASPDs develop accounts of their behaviour that are plausible to others.
ASPDs seek to control others while doing everything possible to avoid being controlled themselves. Their goal in life is to achieve power and prosperity by monopolistic abuse. Their moral perspective can be described as "morality is an illusion/ goodness is weakness/ trust is naive".
Additionally, there are a range of other Personality Disorders that are often present in those with PPDs including Paranoid Personality Disorder and Sadistic Personality Disorder.
It is evident that such individuals seek out positions of power and control in the military, business and politics arenas. The above template fits with far too many historical and current figures from Genghis Khan to Saddam Hussein, Nelson to Nixon, the Robber Barons of the 19th century to the neo-Conservative Shareholder Capitalists of today.
In relation to the financial and football markets, the whole structure of the trading system is psychopathic. Monopolistic abuse is sought out as a business strategy. Manipulation and corruption are seen as competitive advantages. Cartelisation is creative networking at a corporate level. The markets are manipulated in a variety of simple and complex ways that allow advantageous trading conditions for insiders and market operators. The markets are not transparent and disinformation is rife. Insider trading is accomodated and, indeed, encouraged. The accounting and legal systems are swiss-cheesed with loopholes. Institutions, governments and regulatory bodies are co-opted into the power structures. The psychopathic operators seek control of their environment - they deal with absolutes and not probabilities. The less level the playing field, the better.
In the current global investment climate, individuals with PPDs have the ideal credentials to succeed in a system that is designed with a prime purpose of helping them to succeed. Due to globalisation, the prize for the psychopathic man is greater than at any time in history. The downside for the rest of the planet is that these psychopathic individuals are making psychopathic decisions that effect all of us in all areas of our life in a manner not seen before in history. Their thinking is short-termist (as defined by their condition) and their desire for instant gratification is one of the key problems underpinning climate change, for example.
We strongly believe that the global dynamics of the football industry (and it's associated market sectors) act as a clear parallel to the rest of the global financial system - our Trading Team apply virtually the same Unified Trading Model (UTM) to both the sports and the money markets. We will continue to attempt to address these parallels and to utilise football issues as a window to wider societal issues.