Friday, November 1, 2019

Is the Private Property Society the Only Alternative That Eliminates Rule By Psychopaths and Sociopaths?

Caitlin Johnstone has a very important essay out on psychopaths, sociopaths and power.

I don't know if she has ever read F. A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, but she certainly writes along the same vein as Hayek does in Chapter 10: "Why the worst get on top."

I mean this is pure Hayek expanded:

They quickly rise to the top in corporate and financial settings, in media institutions, in government agencies, and in politics. In modern society this ability is a natural advantage that the rest of us simply cannot compete with.
What's most interesting is her thinking as to get around society's psychopath/sociopath problem is pretty close to the private property society:
Maybe you’ve got your own ideas about this, but I personally can’t think of a single solution to the fundamental problem of psychopaths inserting themselves into positions of power which doesn’t involve drastic, unprecedented changes in our civilization and our culture...

I’m talking about changes as drastic as the end of anyone having any power over anybody at all...

There would be no positions of leverage for one to manipulate their way into in order to force others to give them what they want, and if you started trying to create one everybody would immediately point at you and yell “Hey! What are you doing? Stop that, that’s weird! If you want something from us you need to form consensual collaborative relationships with us, just like we’re all doing.”
I have been careful in my selections here, she is not quite as PPS-leaning as these quotes suggest, but she is very close. Though I think she fails to understand capitalism and how it would work in a PPS. She does, after all, call herself a Bogan socialist.

But she does appear to be going in the right direction.

I think if she thinks about it a bit more she will realize that psychopaths and sociopaths thrive in a socialist environment.  Mao, Stalin, Lenin and Hitler weren't accidents of socialist environments.



  1. I believe Ms. Johnstone is a classic everything for free Progressive. But on anti-war stuff she is fantastic, like Jimmy Dore is. Mr. Wenzel, you gotta school these guys on wonders of free markets! :)

    1. They don't care about free markets. They lump together crony capitalists and those who succeed in free markets as equally vile in their eyes. This is no accident. It's all just "hate the man who has more money than you do." No matter how much money that they themselves earn, they'll still hate the game because someone is out there making more money than they are. These people aged out of adolescence, but they'll probably never achieve the maturity of an adult.

    2. The people who already follow those like Jimmy Dore are not like the general public or the general leftists. I travel easy in their circles without getting much flack at all. In Dore's comment section the most I've gotten was a small debate over degree of harm the fed causes from funding the welfare state. It's harm funding the warfare state was agreed upon. Down to sliver of difference. Still significant intellectually, but hardly nothing compared to well everywhere but libertarian circles.

      Choosing the correct language, speaking to them from the perspective they already have on the evils of government is key. It simply has to get into other compartments of their thinking.

  2. Initiation of coercion is the main culprit to a civil society. The more the initiation of coercion is reduced the happier and more prosperous civilization will be.

    Only those that are pathological would claim to have the right to initiate coercion. Who does claim to have this right? What organizations claim to have monopolistic rights to the initiation of coercive force? Governments and gangs claiming areas by drawing borders and claiming territories.

    Centers of power are where psycho and sociopaths do the most damage. Government is the most dangerous power center. All major damage is either initiated, orchestrated and or allowed by the State. No private individual or organization could get away with initiating coercion without the hand of the State; not for long. Pharmaceutical corporations rely on two lobbyist for each member of congress. Cartels and street gangs selling “illegal” drugs rely on government initiation of coercion that make certain plants and chemicals illegal, which does not eliminate the market for these products, just makes them black markets.

    Civilization is a long way from eliminating psychos and socios. They will probably never be eliminated which is also true of centers of power. Eliminating the biggest, most destructive centers of power is our best defense against these pathological predators.

    For most the idea of no State puts them in a state of cognitive dissonance. They just haven’t thought past what is commonly portrayed as anarchy. Anarchy does not mean no governance just no Government.

    A society based on private property is our best solution. Who owns you? You do. Private property starts with yourself. You can extend your property beyond your body with your ideas and actions. These boundaries, established without the initiation of coercion, are the only legitimate borders.

    A private property society (PPS) will reduce the size of power centers, scattering these pathological predators and their coercive abilities.

  3. Johnstone's essay is generally good news. I particularly like her use of the phrase "consensual collaborative relationships" and her solution to psychopathic leaders as no one should have power over anyone. However given her animus toward capitalism I am a little concerned about her meaning of "power". Many people view economic success as power over others when in fact it is quite the opposite. The more people embrace consensual relationships the more clearly they will see economic success as a good thing. And capitalism is just foregoing some of todays pleasures for a better tomorrow. In fact it seems already to be happening. Despite Johnstone's belief that human history is "an essentially unbroken track record of genocide, slavery, torture, exploitation and degradation as far as the eye can see" the last 400 or 500 years of economic success has resulted in a population increase from a few million people to 7 billion. And as Bastiat observed every morning "Paris gets fed" via the economic miracle of the consensual market. And today so does the rest of the world and its 7 billion people!