As regular Sott.net readers will know, much of our work over the past 10 years has been dedicated to exposing this decidedly dangerous and depressing state of affairs which we consider to be the root of all other problems facing humanity. However, for the most part, we have always stopped short of offering any solutions, mainly because any possible solution to this problem would first require a critical mass of awareness about the problem itself. And we're still a long way from that critical mass. But time is running short, and perhaps it is time to depart, if only momentarily, from our usual approach and consider any possible solutions to this over-arching dilemma. Indeed, we may very well have to face this issue at some point in our collective future.
The following is 'solution' to the problem of psychopaths among us, proffered by a Sott.net reader. Admittedly, the solution is shocking and, to the normal human mind, morally reprehensible. Certainly, in a world without psychopaths, normal human values would work. But psychopaths use the best things about human beings against them, including the idea that human life is somehow more valuable than other forms of life on our planet. We've all been brought up with the idea that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god", and the corollary, that all human-looking beings have souls that can be redeemed. What if that is not true? What if that has been programmed into us for the very purpose of protecting psychopaths from the reckoning of the majority of normal human beings?
We present the following short story purely in the spirit to which we, as an organisation, have always adhered: the facilitation of open discussion on life's most pressing and complex issues... and this is the big one.
Psychopaths - A Solution?
Robbie knew he was smart, his parents and everyone else said so. He also learned he could get away with things. There was the time that he killed 'Ms Boots', the family cat. Caught her one day in the back yard and rammed a sharp stick in her chest, watched her eyes widen in hurt and astonishment before the light went out of them. That excited him and he liked the feeling of power. He stuck the stick into the garden with her body on top, and told his parents that she'd gone after a bird, didn't see the sharp stick and landed on it. He was only 5 at the time.
Fast forward 10 years, Robbie had done very well in school, knew how to tell all the teachers what they wanted to hear, and tested well because he was smart. He also made sure he got ahead, whatever it took. Crazy glue in Jimmy's laptop ports was just a prank, right? And nobody saw him do it, so it didn't happen in his school record.
Another five years gone, and Robbie's on top of the world, college is going swimmingly and he's learned how to subtly trash his peers while appearing upright and eager to please all of his professors. He even gets selected for an elite leadership program, quite exclusive.
In the psychology lab in the stale smelling basement of an old hall, Robbie's professor says, "This is real, it's no longer a simulation." And he asks, "Are you up to doing this?" Of course, Robbie eagerly says, "Yes!" He has no idea what's to come but he likes to think of himself as very adaptive.
They enter a room with a window into another small room, in which there's another young man, strapped to a chair. The professor says, "It's a one-way mirror, he can't see you." Then he says, "This is a condemned criminal. To see if you're fit to lead, we ask you to push the button to execute him." He asks, "Can you do it?" Well, Robbie has no qualms about killing another human being, but he's learned enough to know that normal humans aren't meant to enjoy killing, so he hesitates a bit for effect and feigns nervousness saying, "Yeah... I can do it."
Robbie steps up to the window. There's a button on a console there. The professor says, "Go ahead." Without hesitation, Robbie pushes the button. Electricity flows, and the young man in the other room stiffens, jerks and finally goes limp.
He shrugs, glances at his professor and asks, "Is that it?" The older man hesitates a second, then asks, "Do you want to know what he did?" Robbie, thinking he's just punched another ticket into the elite club, says, "Yeah, I guess so, what did he do?"
The professor says, "He was a psychopath, he executed a young man just like himself without asking beforehand for any proof, or to see an order from a court that he was condemned to die."
He stopped, looked hard at Robbie and said, "Like you just did."
Without further ado, the professor calls out: "Guards, take him!"
Comment: Read our forum discussion of The Odyssey for a message in a bottle from our ancestors about how they dealt with the issue of psychopathy, with the help and encouragement of Athena.