Social Rules and Sociopaths

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Ilya Shambat

Jan 27, 2022, 6:01:43 PMJan 27
In recent years, we have been hearing thought that good people follow all rules of whatever society they inhabit, and that the people who violate these are sociopaths and narcissists.

I cannot begin to say just how wrong that kind of thinking is.

Some societies are good; some are bad. Most are good in some ways and bad in others. The people who follow rules may do so for right reasons or wrong reasons. The people who violate them may do so for right reasons or wrong reasons. If your society tells you that you should throw sulfuric acid into the face of a child for going to school, then that is a rule that you are obligated to break.

Now. If the thinking such as I've listed above is true, then the West in general – and America in particular – owes most of what it has to narcissists and sociopaths. This includes the institutions of liberty, which were put into place in violation of the monarchic social order of the time – an order that thought itself divinely ordained. This includes the bulk of the West's industrial might. This includes most scientific and literary accomplishments. All of these were put into place by people who thought differently from the time and place and who would be seen by such people as narcissists or sociopaths for that reason.

I do not see why someone who actually is selfish or cold would be likely to be more present among rebels than among conformists. If someone cares only about himself, then he will not care what climate he finds himself in. He will side with whomever he thinks will win. If he thinks that rebels are ahead he will go with rebels; if he thinks that conformists are ahead he will go with conformists. We have seen any number of people who were rebels in 1960s becoming conformists in 1980s and 1990s. That is because these people went with whomever they thought were winning at the time. As a person who's actually selfish would.

Therefore it makes no sense whatsoever to look for sociopaths or narcissists among the rebels. Once again, the selfish people pick whoever they think to be the winner; which means that they will be among rebels during successful revolutions and among conformists during times of social peace. The baby boom generation has a reputation for selfishness, and as I've stated before they went from rebels to conformists. I have also known people who were in no way selfish or heartless go from conformists to rebels when they were faced with corruption within the system.

Sometimes the rebel will be good, sometimes he won't be. Sometimes the conformist will be good, sometimes he won't be. Whatever order the conformist enjoys is owed to people who once have been rebels. That is the case most vividly with America; but it is also in many ways the case all over the world.

Far be it from me to advocate rebellion for the sake of rebellion. But when wrong things happen, a good person is going to take the stance of the rebel. A person who does this when it does not work in their best selfish interest is neither a sociopath nor a narcissist. Such a person is less selfish than the conformist and in many cases his moral superior.

Ilya Shambat
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