A Freak Responds to ‘Occupy Psychopaths’Posted: January 11, 2012
The Occupy Psychopaths video disgusts me. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a couple of minutes of some (most likely neurotypical) amateur psychiatrist explaining how the real problem with the world is…. psychopaths! They’re apparently getting into power and manipulating people and how We have to be vigilant against Them or They will win and We must know how They operate to root Them out. The whole video basically devolved into a conspiracy theory and a call for a witch-hunt, the sort of rhetoric you’d expect from a white supremacist talking about zionist bankers.
People need to stop using neurodivergent mental conditions as a cheap pejorative to attack their political opponents. I know, it feels satisfying for a normie to call the social elite psychopaths, for roughly the same reason it feels satisfying to say that neoclassical economists have an ‘autistic’ mindset and need ‘post-autistic’ economics. You can get out what you want to say about your political opponents in an insulting way that expresses your dislike of them and, more importantly, delegitimizes their viewpoint, not by showing it to be wrong, but by putting them in the loony bin. This sort of tactic comes in two forms. The first is using a neurodivergent status as an insult; saying that the system is crazy or that we have autistic economics or that the policy is retarded. This is not acceptable- it’s using people as an insult. When you use that rhetoric, you make the neurodivergent people, from manic-depressive to autistic to Downs syndrome, feel unwelcome and hostile in the movement. It’s a clear signal to us- freaks are bad, and are not wanted; we use your conditions as an insult.
The second form is scapegoating- taking a complex, structural social injustice, and literally blaming it on neurodivergent people. That’s what Occupy Psychopathy does. It’s basically a bunch of NTs seeing other NTs acting in a horrible way, and assuming that they must be non-NT- because no normy could ever act in a callous, unempathetic, exploitative way!
It’s not only inaccurate and offensive, it’s counterproductive. Corporations act in the way they do because it is most profitable- and they do what is most profitable without concern for people because the law requires them to, because a caste of economic technocrats glorify cutthroat profit making and tell us that this sort of activity really ends up making everyone better off, because they don’t know the people they’re hurting, and because they’re paid very well to maximize profit. These are complex social causes, rooted in the development of whole societies, not infiltration of society by ‘psychopaths’, ‘sociopaths’, or people with ASPD. Until we recognize that this is a systemic problem, and that complex causes, not least of which is the nature of power itself, lead to this sort of behavior, we won’t find solutions. We’ll keep having powerful people doing horrible things, people calling them psychopathic, and nobody bothering to understand, why people in power keep doing these things or how the system of social privilege and power really works. The oppression continues, and the grease in its gears, keeping it running and deflecting real social criticism, is mentalism. The problem isn’t mad people getting power- the problem is the abusive, wrongful, dehumanizing nature of power.
Instead of Occupying Psychopaths, we suggest Occupying Psychiatry: