Preaching love to the loveless is a losing strategy

Dr. Gabor Maté on ADHD, Bullying and the Destruction of American Childhood

The bully is just a kid who is emotionally very immature, has a desperate need to belong, and the way he attempts to do so is by exploiting somebody else’s vulnerability. But these are not deliberate behaviors, so they don’t call for punishments. What they call for is the understanding of where bullying arises out of.  http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/24/dr_gabor_mat_on_adhd_bullying

I simultaneously thought his comments were both excellent and deeply flawed.

He is totally unaware of or disbelieving in sociopathy (as a genetic, dichotomous form of humanity).  He very well lays out how empathy can be destroyed, how faux sociopaths can be created but doesn’t allow for the existence of those born without empathy or the possibility of developing it.  True sociopaths lead, set the bar, set the example for the faux sociopaths.  Bullying and other morally corrupt/damaged empathy social problems have two aspects — but the sociopathic side is totally ignored.

We need some high profile humanists to publicly recognize the problem of sociopathy, to say that we simply aren’t all brothers and sisters under the skin.  I used to read Alice Miller, Robert Bradshaw, etc.  They neither ever mentioned sociopathy, nor seemed to feel there was some motivation, some force in the tragedies of their patients and subjects that they couldn’t account for.  Though looking back I definitely see psychopathic individuals described in their writings.

On one hand Gabor Mate is a very deep thinker, on the other hand what he says is common sense.  Why has this common sense been so ignored or even smashed in our era?  Enlightened, deeply humanistic common sense has lost out to a sociopathic simple-mindedness, greed and ego-driven self-serving lack of understanding of others.  Surely he sees that, yet he can’t see that true sociopaths are the cause of his own defeat.  Preaching love to the loveless is a losing strategy.

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