Saturday, September 6, 2014

Some Facts & Untruths About The Quest For Power.

 

A new visitor to psychopathicwritings.com left a comment during my absense, and I found his post very interesting for a couple of reasons, but most of all because he touches on something very central not only in human nature, our interactions on every level ranging from the highest, powerful and withdrawn position over the most personal between two individuals, and everything in between: Power and control. And I'd like to share what I have to say about the subject with my Readers but also because I am interested in seeing if my words may have some influence on this guy's own views.

Let me say right away that he's obvious intelligent, and he also happens to share some of my own chosen approaches to life as well as a drive towards learning more, getting to a greater level of understanding, understanding of oneself, one's own place in the world and how to make the best you can of it and of yourself.

But let me get on with it. Here's Nate's comment which he left under the article Am I A Psychopath - Part 2 

Nate Reynolds:

"smarts, looks, power and control, wealth, and all the other luxuries you desire. Now imagine all these took on a human form."

Interesting assertion. But it makes some assumptions that may not be applicable. The only thing of interest to me on this list is smarts, specifically knowledge. I have no interest in power or control, wealth, or any luxuries other than those which cannot be taken away from me. I place the highest value on science, mathematics, logic and reason, and philosophy. I do not place high value on material things, I don't have much use for them. But knowledge, this cannot be taken from me, once I have learned it, it is mine. About seeing it in human form, by spreading what I know around. Teaching people about about math, science, and philosophy, and challenging them to think about the world around them, I do create what I want in human form. I create it in every person I encounter who will listen

In fact knowledge is the reason I'm here. I am not a psychopath. But reading what others have to say about their experiences and lives aids in my quest for knowledge, it helps me understand people, the world around me, and my place in this universe. Understanding logic and reason, in addition to a vast array of knowledge helps me seek out the truth. It is my vaccine to others' bullshit.

Here is my response:...

You explain that you not only do not actively seek control or power, wealth, and so on, you're not even interested in them. I think you were being honest when you wrote this, but I nevertheless also think it isn't true, and I'll explain why.

You wrote that most people are interested in control and power and seek to obtain it. But all human beings with a reasonably sane mind have an interest in control and power. They have to be, because control and power some of the most central and important concepts and related to everything to do with social aspects and the structure of human society and thereby also to the very survival of our species. And that's because we survive by cooperating and keeping a strong consensus.

However not all people are interested in being powerful and in control of others. Quite the contrary, in fact: by far the most people do not want to be in positions of power and control (for various reasons), the average person prefer to be lead and to be like "everybody else"...and just as well, we might say, for can you imagine how the world of mankind would look if everybody were equally interested in getting and maintaining positions of power and exerting control over those around them...who would be equally eager to do the very same thing.

Most of us have met someone who refused to listen to reason, not because you couldn't express the message in a simple and easily understandable manner, but because they just wouldn't allow others to influence their opinions, knowledge, beliefs, etc.

Yet, you aren't one of the many people who prefer to be lead, Nate. You should soon see why that is...


If you truly believe you have absolutely no interest in power or control, you must be unknowingly lying to yourself. Almost everything you wrote in the comment I have quoted above shows that you are a power- and control-person, and that's without a doubt.

Consider this: Do you propose to think that teaching other people things you find valuable is not a form of control, a very efficient one at that, and one that has been used since education came into fashion. Every time you challenge someone to open up and allow you to add more depth and new perspective to their thinking, you exercise control as well as power over them. You can say it's for their best, but don't forget that you enjoy helping others and see the result when you succeed. You control what kind of intellectual growth they'll receive if you convince them to open up, you can't avoid doing so. 

You value knowledge. Yes, what sane person wouldn't? But please don't tell me you've never heard the saying "Knowledge is power", it's just too unlikely to be the case. ;)
I can also tell you have a substantiable amount of knowledge and I wouldn't be surprised if you can enter a university and compete with the best in philosophical prowess, depth of understanding and general knowledge. - That is power. - Power is not bad or evil, only what you do with, how you use it, can be good, better, bad, or worse.

As you put it yourself: you create what you want in human form.

Bravo,  you've chosen the ultimate form of power available to human beings. - Now, don't tell anybody this, but, I do the exact same thing! And you know what? I always try to do what I think is good, healthy, and beneficial, - unless it's a  person I have a specific reason to destroy.

(Yep, believe it or not, psychopaths can be interested in and do things that society considers 'good', for we too are individuals and can be very different in between.)

You're also intelligent, so you know that it isn't possible to pass on your knowledge to just anyone, simply because most people cannot process large amounts of complex knowledge. - Conclusion? Your knowledge is a source of power to you!

Each time you decide to challenge someone you have exercised the power you hold by being more knowledgeable and more intelligent than that person. The same is the case with each of the many people you chose not to challenge. When you pass someone by you've used your the power to not give that person a challenge - I'm sure your reasons are benign, but if we have to be absolutely honest there's no way we can know what every single individual we pass by is capable of achieving, and that means we'll make mistakes; some people will not reap the benefits of what you can teach them simply because you chose not to - for whichever reasons that impacts your daily life.


The last passage in your comment pretty much mirrors my own quest in life. There's only one difference: I don't have illusions about one absolute truth that is universal and the same for all. I've seen to many examples of how things can be done differently people in between and be beneficial to each party. It's only when one decides that their truth is more true than their neighbors the blessings begin to disappear and curses take their place. - I'm aware that you may disagree, few people see things this way. But hey, we can't all agree about everything, and I'm not surprised to see that we  have quite a few fundamental things in common even though you're not a psychopath and I am. After all, the wish and drive to learn and understand, and even to create something that impacts society in a positive way(*) are very human and consistently a large part of intellectually and philosophically inclined people.

..........

(*) - It's a very common mistake to believe psychopaths only enjoy and want to hurt others, to destroy and create chaos. Having no actual integrated moral compass nor emotional sense of remorse and love, we can just as little develop any deep seated dislike towards doing things that happens to be labeled 'good' by the mainstream. We simply do not care what others feel and think about our actions. I happen to take just as great pleasure in making people happy as I do breaking them psychologically, or hurting them physically. It all depends on the situation. And there's always a very clear reason for what I do (though much of the time only I know about it unless I choose to explain it). The very idea that I should be lurking around corners in hope of finding someone I can harm for no reason is simply absurd. And there are many psychopaths who are like this.