Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

On Psychopathy, Power, Empire And Ego

By Caitlin Johnstone

House on Property Where John Wayne Gacy's Home Once Stood Sells – NBC Chicago

Listen to a reading of this article:

I’ve been watching The John Wayne Gacy Tapes on Netflix, which features previously unheard recordings of the serial killer known as “The Killer Clown” who murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men in the 1970s. I wasn’t able to finish it because I don’t have that kind of stomach, but what jumped out at me listening to him was the way he talked about how much he loved power and what an easy time he had manipulating his way up the ladders of political influence.

Really makes you think about how many psychopaths who are just a little bit more functional must be in politics today, on all levels. Psychopaths who are deeply messed up inside but not quite so messed up that they enjoy strangling teenage boys to death after raping and torturing them. Or if they are that messed up they’re clever enough to avoid getting caught. Or if they are that messed up and not clever enough to avoid getting caught, but their fetish for murder and suffering is satiated by something that’s considered politically acceptable in our society, like war.

I mean, think about it. What kind of person seeks power over others? Psychologists have been saying for years that psychopaths routinely ascend to power not just in political spheres but in business, academia and law enforcement as well. The competition-based models that shape our society tend to reward those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top, and the type of person who is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top happens to be the type of person who enjoys the power which comes from being at the top.

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