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There are at least two reasons why non-psychopaths might attempt to construct a social and political structure which either facilitates or guarantees that psychopaths rise to the top (or the apparent apex of power if not the actual one.) Both are delusional, but if there's one talent that psychopaths and sociopaths share, it's the ability to delude!

The first is based on the academic theory that psychopaths are ideally suited to lead the nation (or the world) either in some desperate circumstances, such as the aftermath of nuclear war because they do whatever is necessary, or more generally because psychopaths tend to deliver an agenda. The problem here is that a psychopath's perception of necessity in a given situation may be very flawed indeed and they are not prone to accept outside guidance unless it comes from a VERY skilled manipulator of psychopaths and, in the absence of a very skilled manipulator with a firm grasp on his strings, even the peacetime agenda of a psychopathic leader will be his own and in politics as in business, the psychopath's agenda always brings the roof down in the end. We see this in the second half of Mr Putin's leadership of Russia: his original manipulator lost control of him


and was replaced by:


who wanted Putin to impose a merger of the Orthodox Church with neo-paganism (no sane and competent person could even make that one up) and since most of the early and sacred history of the "Russian" Church lay in Kyiv and not Moscow, Ukraine had to be conquered by force rather than careful economic entanglement. This is where the roof falls on not just the psychopath, but potentially the whole of Russia.

The other is that some individuals and even some cultures, are highly prone to being charmed by psychopaths and that alone explains how Jacob Zuma came to be ANC president of South Africa. It does not explain, by itself, how Zuma's successor, Cyril Ramaphosa came to be trapped in Zuma's agenda of systemic corruption despite having very accurately described exactly what it was before coming to power himself! Someone who has hosted dinner parties attended by both Jacob Zuma and his predecessor, Tharbo Mbecki, told Medawar that Mbecki is by far the more intelligent and thoughtful leader, but he lacked Zuma's obvious charm and so couldn't retain power. Not that he was able to do very much with power when he had it, other than feather his own nest. I suspect that he was manipulated into a situation where that was the only course open to him: all roads to South Africa's future well-being being blocked.

The Blair government in the UK was always a two-man band, with Blair being the sociopath who needed a tame (and diagnosed) psychopath (Alistair Campbell) in order to function. It was Phillip Gould who devised the scheme that put the two of them in power and when they were in power, the cabinet might as well have been cardboard cutouts, because they had no input into the agenda whatsoever, which is why Robin Cook started briefing the journalist Andrew Gilligan against Blair and Campbell, which caused Blair and Campbell to start the witch-hunt which destroyed Dr David Kelly, who never even saw the documents leaked to Gilligan! Following Gould's death it has not been very clear who in British politics has hold of the strings of either Blair or Campbell: the logical course is to suspect it's actually someone totally outside the UK, perhaps working them through a foreign influence organisation such as the 48 Group Club, of which they are both members. They may be members of other groups, too, but the 48 Group Club connection is well documented.

Interestingly, Marxism seems to be a blueprint for ensuring that sociopaths rise to the top and this may be because they are best able to form an effective team with the kind of psychopath needed to enact the brutal changes in society which Marx desired in order to further his delusional belief that something better always rises from the ashes of destroyed civilisations. (There is no reason why anything BETTER should rise from the ashes and we now live in an age where the means of potential incineration are so complete that there's a good chance that nothing will ever rise from the ashes of our civilisation at all.)

Stalin was succeeded by his pet psychopath, Beria, who was such a complete disaster that the politburo and the army had no choice but to take him down. Even when Stalin was alive but losing his grip, Beria was a menace.

It's the TEAMS between sociopaths and psychopaths that we need to watch. And we need to resist revolutions because they tend to deliver power to such teams, Marxist revolutions being especially dangerous because that's precisely what Marx intended. This was the conclusion which George Orwell reached during WWII, aided by his own frontline experience in the Spanish Civil War. His alternative, put forward in his essays during WWII's darkest days, was to achieve social justice by a form of patriotism which created a culture where the rich and powerful felt under an OBLIGATION to work for the general good. (Not very different at all from Quakerism or the Church of England at its best, but still.) And although hated and despised by the left and right to this day, this idea did take hold and was pursued by every post-war British Prime Minister until Edward Heath, then by Jim Callaghan as well as he could after the damage that Heath had deliberately done to the economy and social cohesion. Thatcher's more strident patriotism lacked any real sense of obligation to the weak or less well off and at least three quarters of her ministers simply lacked patriotism and felt obligation only to their personal contacts. Then came the banker, Major, loyal mainly to other bankers, who paved the way for Gould to put Blair and Campbell into power.

Heath is the anomaly here: whatever he thought he was doing, he was probably doing it by conviction and not some inner compulsion, but in his flirtation with power he did more long-lasting harm than most of the others. If sociopaths and psychopaths form effective but always destructive teams, then what sort of mind is it which manipulates those teams? Is it someone like Heath, who sees a chance to take power and do whatever is in his head, or is it someone like Gould or Surkov, who always stays on the sidelines and whose mind is never really known by anyone?

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