Judge, Jury, and Executioner

I was reading through some of the comments on the recent suicide of a 12 year old girl caused by incessant tormenting by two teenaged girls (link goes to a write up but write up links to a much better article, albeit without social media attached).  Some of the comments were directed toward the ‘inattention’ of the parents, some toward the ‘obvious psychopathy’ of the girls, and some toward children in general.  Most commenters agreed that the bullying was unjustified and horrendous.  That does not concern me.  What does is the general backlash against psychopathy and/or ASPD in general.  Granted, this is not a representative sample of the population at whole, but I would bet the farm that most of society would like to see the eradication of psychopaths and ASPD individuals.  We are so alien to them and capable of so much destruction that they cannot comprehend that our actions are impersonal and that we are not obligated to behave poorly by any means.  It is ironic, that these people that despise us would take similar sinister actions in order to meet their own desires – namely our extinction.

Were this animus directed toward any other minority, people, these days, would be up in arms about seeking understanding and common ground.  They would point out that the majority of psychopaths are not massively destructive and that we simply have a different worldview.  They would note our lack of empath and conscience as being different, but not necessarily worthy of corralling.  However, the psychopath is treated differently.  Society wants to be judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to our existence.  What they fear, they hate.  What they hate, they destroy.

I’ve written many times about the misconceptions of psychopathy.  Society’s understanding is crucial to removing our stigma, but society’s ignorance allows the more successful psychopath to walk in the shadows, undetected.  Stories like these, while unfortunate for the victim, paint a picture of society’s ill-will toward the psychopath.  They are quick to decide whether we are guilty (many times only gauging our thoughts as perverse), quick to decide our fate, and so many members of society would gleefully execute the sentence handed down.  It is difficult to have productive discourse when you’ve already been excommunicated as a plague-bearer in the eyes of most.

In the end, it is amusing, because this implies that the non-psychopath is really not that different that us.  They have their own bloodlust to remove those unlike them from society and to imagine the most heinous means available for such excommunication.  They don’t take into account our own uniqueness and our own merit.  They merely want all of our heads on a pike as a warning to those that “choose” to betray the social order.  They are judge, jury, and executioner, and they fail to see that by being such, they can occupy the same state we do.

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Use of this image should not imply endorsement of this post by the image author:  Wikipedia user Jonund

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