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Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy

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With the rigged Democratic presidential nomination behind us, the US election reality show continues. The mass media is creating sensations around what has become a national embarrassment with this contest of the lesser of the two crazies. On the one hand we have Donald Trump, depicted as a quintessential narcissist and on the other, Hillary Clinton who is often portrayed as a sociopath. Hype is created by putting these labels on the candidates, pitting one personality disorder against the other.

This is a corporate sponsored election charade doing business as usual and distracting people from the real power behind the veil. In The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profits and Power, filmmaker and law professor Joel Bakan (2004) examined the consistent character attributes of corporations and concludes that if they were a human, they are a textbook example of a psychopath.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that cuts off those who are affected by it from the emotional reality of others. The core of this pathology is the inability to put oneself into someone’s shoes. Empathy is the seat of conscience, and without it comes an incapacity for love. These candidates are just symptoms of a system run by corporations, which is now revealing the full fledge of pathology incorporated here in the United States. When a society lacks understanding of the depth of its darkness, this unaccounted power sees no bounds for its pursuit of a single vision.

The Perversion of Humanity

In his seminal work The Mask of Sanity, first published in 1941, psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley articulated how, among the traits of psychopathy such as superficial charm, emotional poverty and egocentricity, its essential characteristic lies in its deceitful nature.

Those who are devoid of empathy hide their lack of internal structure in a façade of normalcy. By emulating good human attributes, these unknown members of society prey on the rest. They have found the best way to mask their vice by infiltrating governments and directly altering the definition of the norm. Through control of monetary supply and monopoly over markets, these 1% pathological beings have financially engineered a perversion of humanity through a pyramid Ponzi scheme of Darwinian survival of the most callous and cunning. By turning morality upside down, they not only make their deviance invisible, but actively incentivize these disturbing characters, making all people engage in this race to the bottom.

By seducing masses with the allure of middle class lifestyle and material pursuit of happiness, the beast within humanity unlocked citizens’ unconscious desires and opened the door to unbridled commercial interests. The government that was hijacked by corporate lobbyists established a symbiotic relationship with its own people, making voters become the host, through manufacturing consent. While people are busy chasing the American dream in shopping malls and trying to climb a corporate ladder of success, these parasites latch onto the vulnerable, sucking the blood of innocents in the Middle East and the laboring sweat of disadvantaged populations around the world.

Like adventurous American eagles who have no fear of soaring too high, corporate patronage networks with wings of oil companies on the right and the Wall Street banking industries on the left take flight to conquer the globe. Vultures circle around the Bermuda Triangle of the TPP, TTIP and TISA, creating a vortex of unregulated greed. When their conquest turns sour, they make sure they get bailed out by the taxpayers and then move on to their next fraud or crime.

Devouring Conscience

Waves of whisleblowers in recent years have brought true resistance against this corporate takeover of democracy. Human beings who feel the pulse of conscience in the heart are a real threat to this authoritarian state that works in secrecy. They punish with impunity these truthtellers who reveal their crimes. Chelsea Manning, who shed light on government illegal wars, is in prison serving 35 years, being placed in a solitary cage and denied basic care. After her recent suicide attempt, the state tried to punish her even more. Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on NSA mass surveillance remains in exile.

Admins of this merciless autocratic system deflect issues and project characteristics that belong to them. With smear campaigns and character assassination, the mainstream media attacks anyone who dares to hold an accurate mirror of what they are really doing. WikiLeaks, the publisher of last resort, has been a target of this coordinated assault. After the organization released troves of US classified military records of the Afghan war, joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said WikiLeaks might have blood on their hands, when in reality these documents revealed the US Government’s own murder of 20,000 people by assassination, civilian massacres and night raids.

This assault on global free press never ends. Called by US officials a ‘high tech terrorist’ and incited for assassination, WikiLeaks editor in chief, Julian Assange remains detained in the Ecuadorian embassy, despite a UN Working Group’s ruling clearly stating this detention as unlawful. Recent WikiLeaks’ publication of DNC emails that led to the forced resignation of top officials has shown the Democratic Party’s collusion with corporate media in undermining Bernie Sanders’ campaign and rigging the presidential primary.

This Democratic Party’s habit of destabilizing democracy is nothing new. A lawsuit was filed against their use of ‘groundless and abusive litigation’ to bankrupt third party Ralph Nader’s campaign, obstructing his ballot access in 18 states during his run in 2004. Back then, pundits and progressive news outlets in unison kept silent about such injustice and instead created an echo chamber, calling him a spoiler.

We are now seeing the same old knee-jerk reaction. In response to the DNC leaks, the establishment media and the left has attacked Assange and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, slandering them as colluding with Vladimir Putin. New DNC chair Donna Brazile has now joined the attack, twisting reality by calling Assange a cyber-criminal. These apologists for power pledge their allegiance to the Clinton Foundation – the flag of Goldman Sachs, Google and Exxon, and fiercely defend this pathological pursuit of the Corporate States of America.

The Barbarian Within

These developments are all a part of their psychological makeup. Psychopathic abuse unfolds in three stages, defined as ‘idealization, devaluation and discard.’ With charm and feigned empathy, they allure potential victims into their snare. As soon as they seal the relationship and take what they want, they begin looking for their next victim to exploit.

At one point, sooner or later, the mask of the psychopath slips and the monster beneath reveals itself. Psychopathy has been running throughout the history of America, dragging people into a mission of Manifest Destiny. The indigenous of this country were terrorized and murdered, while blacks were enslaved and brutalized. The poor and people of color have been continuously abandoned and impoverished. They have all seen the barbarians inside Western civilization and now even the crumbling middle class is beginning to see the face of this savage beast.

Obama’s campaign was a mastery of deception. Now, the devaluation is moving into the final stage. The masks are blowing off and corporate masters behind the scenes don’t even care to maintain a semblance of democracy anymore. The lesser of two evils in this election cycle, showcasing the two most disliked presidential candidates in US history, is a testimony of this.

Trump blazes through his campaign trail with bombardment of racism, bigotry and word salads of mouthy contradictions. When reflecting on the death of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Hillary Clinton cackled; “We came, we saw, he died”- showing a total lack of compassion and laughing at the role she played then as secretary of state in the complete destruction of a country and leader, who might still be alive if he hadn’t challenged the petrodollar hegemony by trying to create a new currency for Africa. The US election as a center of oligarchic control is now having its own pathology and disdain for life in full display. When the mask of sanity slips, the system comes into the final stage – the discard phase.

Cure Is in the Pain

It is clear now that this election is just another smoky mirror, yet what is not generally known is that the American people have already been discarded. Many are still enmeshed in the illusion or simply refuse to see it. In the eyes of corporate ‘personhood’, which is nothing but a legal fiction, our humanity is becoming more and more disposable. This artificial entity is run by cannibalistic desires and cunning intelligence with no heart that can feel for others. It is driven by relentless destructive urges for control and power, even if it may destroy the world and itself in the process.

Bakan (2004) argues how they are “in a word, inhuman—and its goal, as Noam Chomsky states, is to ‘ensure that the human beings who [it is] interacting with, you and me, also become inhuman’”. We are now seeing this vision of a future with trans-humanism agendas. Cybernetic technology and Artificial Intelligence is attempting to marry machines with humans, while efforts like Bill Gates’ vaccine project, presented as saving lives, apparently aims to depopulate through what amounts to 21st century eugenics. With this trend, a plan to reprogram humanity to become just a cog in a wheel seems to have reached a new stage.

When robots replace labor, corporations won’t need workers anymore. When drones and missiles are automated, they don’t need soldiers anymore who are still willing to fight for this bloody pathological pursuit of power. Psychopaths move on when resources are depleted or their targets just aren’t useful anymore. They have no remorse for victims of their crimes; the unemployed, elderly, indebted, foreclosed and veterans with PTSD.

Where does this lead us? Many who have endured psychopathic abuse in their personal life escaped these toxic relationships and became survivors. They woke up in the midst of horror and found the strength to defy illegitimate authority that had been installed in their minds. Hope now can be found in the courage of our fellow humans and simply in walking away from a society maligned with these heartless agendas.

We can regain sanity by breaking the entrapment of this agreement and change the terms of engagement. While these giants appear very powerful, they are mere shadows magnified by our insecurity, fear and unrecognized potential. They are the few and we are the many. When we stop playing along with this virtual fantasy of grandeur, their world dissolves.

Psychopaths do not possess the creativity that we have. Without an ability to feel deeply, they can’t generate life and all they can do is mimic and feed off of others. Carl Jung once said, “one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” The cure is in the pain and our conscious suffering. Our ability to feel our own pain awakens compassion – reminds us of our inherent obligation to one another. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and can help build a more resilient immunity. With the power of empathy and imagination that is an innate gift in all of us, we can network new pathways, creating a world that truly embodies what it is to be human.

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Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency and decentralized movements.  Find her on twitter @nozomimagine

CounterPunch Magazine


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