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Excerpt from Endgame

Psychopathology (p. 669)

From chapter "Psychopathology"

Just as earlier I went through the characteristics of abusers and showed they were applicable to this culture as whole, I’d like to do the same, only far more briefly, for characteristics of psychopaths. The characteristics come from the ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders, World Health Organization, Geneva, 1992, section F60.2 on Dissocial (Antisocial) Personality Disorder:

I’m sure you can see how these apply to the culture at large, and to those who run it. But let’s quickly go through them.

Callous unconcern for the feelings of others. What measure would you like? Have the civilized ever cared for the feelings of the indigenous whose land they’ve stolen? How about the half-million Iraqi children whose deaths Madame Albright said were a price those in power were willing to pay?

How many times have we heard that emotion must be removed from all scientific study? How many times have we been told that emotions must never interfere with decisions having to do with cold hard cash?

Not only are the feelings of those to be destroyed by this culture given at best token attention, but in most cases they’re “scientifically” denied. Do chickens inslaughterhouses have feelings? How about pigs? How about monkeys in vivisection labs? How about trees? How about rivers? How about stones? This culture not only has “callous unconcern” for the feelings of these others, but denies the feelings even exist.

Next, gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations. Obviously the civilized are persistently irresponsible: I don’t believe it’s possible to be more irresponsible than to kill the planet. So far as the latter part of this characteristic, because the society we’re talking about is the entity suffering from this disorder, we cannot use its norms, rules, and obligations as the standard by which we judge. That would be akin to asking whether Ted Bundy was acting according to his own norms, rules, and obligations when he raped and killed women. And what are the norms, rules, and obligations of this culture? Norms: The rape of women, the abuse of children, the destruction of landbases. Rules: Laws made by the powerful, for the powerful, to maintain their power. Obligations: To amass as much power as possible, to never deviate from premise four of this book; to always—always—protect abusers and abusive social structures.

But let’s move to a larger scale, and talk about the norms, rules, and obligations of living sustainably on this planet, such as the fundamental predator- prey relationship,giving at least as much to your landbase as you take, and living in long-term intrahuman and interspecies cooperative arrangements. I have read scores of accounts of the indigenous saying they do not understand the civilized, because the civilized violate every rule of living. Recall the words of the Sauk Makataimeshiekiakiak (Black Hawk),“An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eat up by the wolves. The white men are bad schoolmasters; they carry false looks, and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them, to ruin our wives. We told them to let us alone, and keep away from us; but they followed on, and beset our paths, and they coiled among us, like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterers, lazy drones, all talkers, and no workers.”

Next, psychopaths have an incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though no difficulty in establishing them. How long has this culture been on this continent? I live on Tolowa land, and the Tolowa lived here at least twelve thousand years (if you believe science, or since the beginning of time if you believe Tolowa myths instead). They had enduring relationships with their human and nonhuman neighbors. We do not. It’s hard to maintain enduring relationships with those you exploit.

Psychopaths have a very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence. How many times has the United States invaded other countries? How many of the indigenous have been slaughtered by the civilized? What slight excuses are always made for this aggression?

The next characteristic is an incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment. How much guilt does Charles Hurwitz experience over the destruction of ancient redwood forests? After deforesting the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Britain, Ireland, much of North and South America, Africa, Oceana, and Asia, and with damage from this deforestation increasing daily, can we honestly say that those who run this culture are learning from prior experience? And how much do those in this culture profit from the repeated experience of failure as technology after introduced technology is promised to be clean yet inevitably leads to widespread destruction? How much are they learning from the experience of changing the climate through burning coal, oil, and natural gas? Will that stop them from pursuing genetic engineering? How about nanotech? Will they learn from their pursuit of nukes? Pesticides? Dams? Of course not.

Finally, there’s a marked proneness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the psychopath into conflict with society. How much responsibility has Hurwitz taken for his violence? George W. Bush for his? The typical rapist for his? Bush blames forest fires for his urge to deforest. Clinton and company blamed beetles. It’s the same old psychopathic story. And I’m sick of it.

I’ve long used the simile that sharing our finite planet with the dominant culture is like being locked in a room with a psychopath.There’s no way out, and although the psychopath may choose other targets first, eventually it will be our turn. Eventually we’ll have to fight. There’s no way around it. And the sooner we fight back—the sooner we kill this psychopath—the more life will remain.