November 27, 2012

Crisis: The decline of the rule of law & the rise of psychopathology

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I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
-- Lord Acton


    1. The decline of the rule of law &
         the increase of psychopathology

  About ME/CFS


This is about what the title says:
The decline of the rule of law & the rise  of psychopathology - and for your information I have also given Lord Acton's well known aphorism that all power corrupts in the context of which he wrote it, with my additional stressing, because it is all very relevant to my subject.

1. The decline of the rule of law & the rise of psychopathology

I have written about psychopaths (*) before in Nederlog
As my titles indicate - and don't miss the first, for it has a revealing video! - these two items were especially about the corporate Úlite, rather than the political Úlite, so let me consider Our Leaders for a moment:

But first, let me get the meaning of the term more or less right. One can find on crimelibrary an extensive review of Dr. Robert Hare's work on psychopathology (*),
by Katherine Ramsland, that contains e.g. this paragraph:

Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. The general public hasn't been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison and who don't commit violent crimes.However, they do often commit violations of another sort: They exploit people and leave them depleted and much the worse for the encounter.  They prove to be treacherous employees, conniving businessmen, or immoral officials who use their position to victimize people and enrich themselves.
The same file contains this attempt at a definition in terms of traits:
Refocusing the idea of antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy is characterized by such traits as
  • lack of remorse or empathy
  • shallow emotions
  • manipulativeness
  • lying
  • egocentricity
  • glibness
  • low frustration tolerance
  • episodic relationships
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • persistent violation of social norms

One must be very dumb or very naive (or perhaps very tired) if at this point one does not think: "This sounds just like a real life description of well-known politicians", incidentally something Machiavelli very probably would have agreed to (with the likely addition: "And thus it has been always and everywhere, so don't expect it will ever be different, exceptions excepted: Politics strongly attracts these types, and once arrived they select their own kind").

Now consider this

from which I quote:

"Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory."

To me this sounds criminally insane: There cannot be the least doubt that, under existing legislation, both of the United States and international law, using drones to kill people in other countries, that the United States also is not at war with, is criminal and illegal. It also seems stupid to me, but perhaps I am naive:

Indeed, the reasons I wrote "perhaps I am naive" are that Obama is educated as  a lawyer, and that it may all be on purpose: "The war on terror" is not a war on terror, but a crafty PR excuse to introduce an authoritarian police state: It is a PR-war against the rule of law and the welfare state, and a pretext to introduce a police state. See my

I am not saying this is so: I am saying president Obama is easily intelligent and learned enough in the law to know he is breaking national and international laws. Also, president Obama is not only intelligent and learned: He is a politician, and he is manipulative and glib, indeed like anyone else who rises as high as he did.

Also it is not so very hard to see where and why he breaks the laws of his land and the International Court of Justice in The Hague (located there
in the Peace Palace).

In case you are doubtful here are
two very clear and good explanations, one spoken one, in fact both by men also trained as lawyers:
And one written one:

Here is Greenwald's first paragraph:

For the last four years, Barack Obama has not only asserted, but aggressively exercised, the power to target for execution anyone he wants, including US citizens, anywhere in the world. He has vigorously resisted not only legal limits on this assassination power, but even efforts to bring some minimal transparency to the execution orders he issues.

And here is the third paragraph:
From the start, Obama officials have also ensured that these powers have no physical limits, as they unequivocally embraced what was once the core and highly controversial precept of Bush/Cheney radicalism: that the US is fighting a "global war" in which the "whole world is a battlefield", which means there are no geographical constraints to the president's war powers. In sum, we have had four straight years of a president who has wielded what is literally the most extreme and tyrannical power a government can claim – to execute anyone the leader wants, even his own citizens, in total secrecy and without a whiff of due process – and who has resisted all efforts to impose a framework of limits or even transparency.
There is considerably more in Greenwald's article in The Guardian, and also this reference to another article in that paper:

I leave you with a quote from that last article, which concerns the PR spin of the US government - before the election, since put on the back burner - that it plans (re)writing a rulebook for drone strikes:

"To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there isn't already a rulebook" said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Center for Democracy. "But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war]."


(*) The term is not a part of the DSM, possibly because it is too apt a descriptive term for many psychiatrists. Instead, terms like "antisocial personality disorder" are used, that are definitely misleading, as my text explains, for that suggests that being a - unrecognized - psychopath may help enormously with making a career as a leading politician or top bank manager. (Also, what must be so nice about it, from the psychopath's point of view, is that leading politicians or top bank managers rarely get punished: Ordinary folks, who did not rise to their heights of power or income, have to fight their wars on the battlefields; will get killed by the weapons they order to be used; or have to accept major financial losses to pay off their debts. Meanwhile, the psychopaths gets praised, get rich, and get admired as Our Leaders In Politics and Banking.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komarof

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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