I loathe writing posts on the maturation and mindfulness that I’ve acquired in recent years. The reason for this is that I do not want the reader to frame these posts under the romanticized light of redemption. When I think of redemption, I think of love stories where someone cleans up their act in order to be welcomed back with open arms by a paramour. Or, I think about the mythical hero of the day, throwing away their background and the odds in order to heroically save those around him. These are tired tropes. I would propose that the antisocial is beyond redemption but not necessarily for the reasons you may think.
A man is born to harm, a man and a friend can harm more effectively, and a group of men united in cause can harm with an efficiency that no machine will ever reach, as the vortex will swallow all. Like sharks surging toward blood on the water, the mob does not care if they care, only that righteous punishment is inflicted on those unlucky enough to be in their sights. As long as man remains a social creature, this vicious cycle will repeat ad infinitum for any cause that the human mind can imagine. Radical vegans, antifa, Islamic extremists, politicians, ordinary men, and all in between celebrate their in-groups as they drag the waters for the bodies of “them” they’ve cast aside. Blood-stained hands and encephalitic masses will dance so long as they celebrate our own. Reject and reform, we must abandon our own.
Both in the spirit of helping other up-and-coming writers and in sharing articles worth reading, I would like my readership to read the following post from a good friend of mine dealing with the dangers of diagnosing another from far away, especially when it comes to targets of high visibility. Read Mr. Schneider’s post, and we’ll continue from there.
Read it? Great. Let’s continue his train of thought, but from an antisocial perspective. What harm is there in diagnosing someone as antisocial (or narcissistic in the case of the linked article) from afar? After all, we know what sheep look like and we know what wolves look like, so if something looks like a wolf, does it truly matter if we are up close or in safety when calling a wolf a wolf? Well, there are the ethical concerns of doing as much, and then there are the practical concerns inherent to such a process. We shall start with the ethical concerns and wrap up this post with the practicality of calling wolves, wolves.
How many victims are created by the thought that neuroplasticity is out of reach for some? Restated, just how many people with personality disorders or mental illness succumb to caricature simply because they are told that they cannot improve? Anyone that has followed my journey these past four and some years should know how I feel on this subject. Sometimes, the best cure is simply to be told that one exists, and that it is worth fighting for.
These are fascinating times. Competing, and equally extreme, groups are vying for our heartstrings and lives are literally on the line in their self-inflicted wars. I propose that such animosity and blind hatred is born from a surplus of affective empathy and a dearth of cognitive empathy. As a empathetically blind observer, I have no dog in the fight between the extremists on the left and those on the right, except inasmuch it may ultimately affect me if either side should prevail. However, let’s explore in particular the atrophy of (cognitive) empathy that is fostering this current environment of dehumanization and violence.