NYT: Was Marx Right?
Karl Marx is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s great thinkers: philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and a founder of scientific socialism. Strange, is it not, that not a single one of the dozens of nations that have been established on Marxist principles has enjoyed success, and most have suffered crushing, abject failure? Does the Emperor have no clothes? Yes, he does not. Old Karl is as nekkid as a jaybird.
The New York Times has published a balanced debate on the subject, “Was Marx Right?” A balanced debate is a major step forward for the mainstream media but the debaters on both sides of the question continue to ignore the most salient feature of Marx and Marxism. Marx and his ideas have always generated furious debate. Some people accept what Marx had to say and some do not, and the dividing line is psychological more than rational. Karl Marx had many of the characteristics of a clinical psychopath, and professional psychologists do not credit what a psychopath says, but only the effects that the psychopath produces. It is the psychological element that attracts Marx’s followers. Psychopaths are pathological liars and are big on self-aggrandizement and manipulation, among other unattractive features. Many sympathetic followers tend to fall under the spell of a psychopath, and these are known as enablers. Marx was a victim of the world’s worst mental disorder, and the world has been victim of Marxism for over 100 years. That is the definitive reason that Marxist schemes, without exception, always fail to greater or lesser degree.
Marx will never receive a psychopathic evaluation which requires extensive personal interviews and medical and legal document reviews; Marx predates the clinical description of psychopathy by Dr. Hervey Cleckley in 1941. We can only rely on the historical record to analyze Marx’s personality. Marx’s behaviors were prominent for anti-social and narcissistic personality disorder indicators, the primary evidence for psychopathy. Imagine that; a founder and leading proponent of socialism was anti-social. But contradictory words and actions are typical of psychopaths. Marx eloquently expressed love for his wife and children, but four of the children died of starvation-induce illness because Marx had more important things to do than to provide for them, and two grown daughters committed suicide. Additionally, Marx had an illegitimate son with the household maid.
Psychopathy is measured using Dr. Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Check List Revised (PCL-R). Psychopathic behaviors range from obnoxious to criminal to genocidal depending on the individual psychopath’s abilities and inclinations. Psychopathy is a personality disorder, but it is sometimes confused with thinking disorders (psychoses) or mood disorders (depression, bi-polar). Psychopathy takes many forms, most prominently family and community psychopaths, serial murderers, and organizational psychopaths.
It must be noted that professional psychologists do not fully agree on all details in the study of psychopathy. The field is so dynamic that there have been major new insights and redefinitions within the last few years. A consensus among professionals is developing and recent changes have taken the form of refinements rather than radical changes. Dr. Hare’s work is the most widely accepted model for the psychopathic personality and it is used extensively by the FBI for solving crimes and profiling criminal behaviors. The July 2012 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin was dedicated to the subject of psychopathy and the introduction was written by Dr. Hare. Public awareness and opinion on the subject has not kept up with recent developments in psychology and the public tends to think of psychopathy in terms of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, Don Corleone in The Godfather, sociopathy, insanity, and eccentric personal opinion, none of which are very accurate.
Psychopathy is complex and counter-intuitive, and there is growing awareness of psychopathy as the worst of mental disorders. Hitler exhibited both extreme anti-social and extreme (malignant) narcissistic behaviors, as did Stalin and the Japanese militarists; consequently the biggest, most destructive war in history was driven by leaders who exhibited psychopathic-type tendencies. Dr. Clive Boddy has made a credible argument that the worldwide 2008 financial meltdown was driven by financial psychopaths. The largest corporate failure in history was Enron, and Jeff Skilling, the CEO of Enron, was identified as a corporate psychopath by Dr. Hare. John Wayne Gacy murdered about thirty-three young men and was formally assessed as a serial-murder psychopath. Psychopathy includes a wide range of diverse behaviors.
There were a number of serial murderer cases in the 1970s (Corll, Manson, Bundy, Gacy) and there have been similar cases throughout history, including Gilles de Rais and H.H. Holmes. Corporate psychopathy (Sunbeam Corporation, WorldCom, Enron) appears to be a more recent phenomenon reflecting the increase in size, complexity, and technology of recent organizational developments. Psychopaths are quick to grasp new opportunities, and do so before professional psychologists can react, much less anticipate. Psychologists are becoming more experienced and more capable in dealing rapidly with psychopathy developments and it is now the general public that is behind the learning curve — way behind. Psychopathy comes in many different manifestations, contributing to the confusion surrounding the subject. Who would have guessed that serial murderer John Wayne Gacy and the Boards of Directors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with their $10 billion accounting fraud were subject to the same mental disorder?
Power over others is the driving force in the psychopathic personality, whether it is control of the size of sodas, or control of guns, or control of national healthcare, or control of the Crimea. Psychopaths have a pathological need for control regardless of constitutions, laws, or treaties and psychopaths are skillful at manipulating the system to make themselves appear to be what they are not. Psychopaths’ primary need is for physical, emotional, thought, sexual, military, religious, and/or political control depending on the psychopathic individual’s screwed-up personality. For a psychopath, everyone is an object to be manipulated and used, and both the psychopath’s supporters and his opponents are subject to being thrown under the bus or shot in the back of the head when the psychopath finds it expedient (Ernst Rohm, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright). The psychopath’s supporters and enablers fully embrace the psychopath, blissfully unaware that the psychopath’s mental disorders may well lead them to destruction. See German General Staff, 1945. Psychopaths always fail. What else would you expect of the world’s most destructive mental disorder?
Of the many cases and many different manifestations of psychopathy, Karl Marx appears to be almost unique as an intellectual psychopath striving to control the thoughts of others. The only comparable intellectual psychopath that comes to mind is Saul Alinsky, mentor to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The growing crises in the USA under Obama are a direct reflection of psychopathic inefficiency, incompetence, and corruption, just like Enron and just like the Soviet Union during the years before it failed.
The attraction of Marxism is the quasi-intellectual patina it gives to elitist psychopaths and to their enablers and supporters as they pursue their goals of personal power and aggrandizement. This may include, and most particularly does include, Gramscian politicians, professors, and journalists who are attracted to power and influence with no thought for the appalling ramifications of what they are creating. Dr. Cleckley pointed-out many years ago that psychopaths build an appealing, even charismatic, mask to cover their dishonest and larcenous personalities.
Psychopaths are thought to be about one percent of the population, but organizational psychopaths are attracted to positions of power and authority, precisely where they can do the most damage. But this statement is tautological; doing the most damage is a primary purpose and intent of psychopaths. Dr. Hare cites a study showing that about 3-4% of corporate leaders are psychopathic. Family and community psychopaths are by far the most common type, but organizational psychopaths do the most damage: wars, economic disasters, military disaster, etc. Captain Bligh of The Mutiny on the Bounty and Captain Queeg of The Caine Mutiny both had the characteristics of psychopaths. Their psychopathic behaviors are what make their stories so remarkable and intriguing. The historical Captain Bligh was a principal in three separate mutinies at a time when the penalty for mutiny in the British Navy was an automatic death sentence. Captain Queeg was only semi-fictional. The US Navy ship Zane, DMS-14, was the ship on which Herman Wouk served and that became the model for the fictional USNS Caine, DMS-18.
Karl Marx was a hack philosopher, hack economist, hack sociologist, hack historian, and hack journalist. His sole attraction was for fellow psychopaths who also wanted to control people.
The United States of America and the Constitution were predicated on the equality of all men and in a long purification process this equality has been formally extended to all citizens. But we now have a self-selected body of “the best and the brightest” and “elitists” who have undertaken to recreate a savage psychopathic world controlled by — their psychopathic selves.
Benjamin Franklin said that we were given “A Republic, if you can keep it.” It is now crunch time for the American Republic.