Neurotypicals want to believe that all the evil in the world is attributable to “bad people” and that they themselves are immune from those pressures that beget antisocial deeds. We know this to be false as many neurotypicals commit great atrocities in the name of religion, passion, “duty,” or any number of other things. However, we must remember that the evil of action is not entirely dissimilar from the evil of inaction. If evil is loosely defined by definitions that include the acts of harm to others or the absence of compassion and mercy, then it becomes even harder for the neurotypical to claim that they are entirely dissimilar from those on the antisocial spectrum. The key difference is that we, particularly those that are psychopaths, do not make any claim to be righteous whereas they (the neurotypical) do.
I look in the mirror and this I see. Hate, apathy, and all in between. You look in the mirror and what do you see? Love, compassion, and all in between. Which one of us is lying?
I gave an interview last weekend on the intersection of Antisocial Personality Disorder and relationships. Part theory, part experience, and part opinion, I hope that I have given pause to those that would rather see all ASPD (and psychopathic) individuals locked away or rendered permanently mute. I take a dual-pronged approach when attempting to win allies from the neurotypical – a word I use to mean not ASPD and not psychopathic – community. I strongly believe in two things: that individual ASPD individuals need not fall to tired stereotypes even if they once did and that the neurotypical is with great hypocrisy when it comes to striking down “bad” behavior. The antisocial can look into the mirror and see hope, while the neurotypical can look into that same mirror and see the darkness of the human condition.
I find it interesting how the empathy of a mass for a demographic can be used to ostracize those that criticize said demographic. For instance, we have right-winged individuals that immediately turn defensive when religious groups are criticized and we have left-winged individuals that lose themselves when historically criticized groups such as ethnic or sexual minorities are subject to any sort of critique. The core mechanism is the same regardless of the direction one comes from. Empathy drives an individual to become overprotective of a larger mass, regardless of any actual stake in the survivability of that mass.
People hold empathy for different groups in manners that are unequal. Consider the activist that spends her time fighting for cause X. Those afflicted with X get an unequal share of her empathy and her efforts. Maybe the rest of the groups around her are in a relative deficit, but that does not mean that she need be antagonistic to those that are not aligned with her cause. However, more often than not, we see empathy applied in a manner that grants it to one group while taking it away from another. Consider, rightly or wrongly, the religious freedom bills being passed in many states recently. The lawmakers are empathizing with small business owners while leaving other groups’ fate to hang in the balance. Alternatively, you could think of those championing LG rights as being antagonistic toward the small businesses that would operate more comfortably with more autonomy. It’s all about perspective.