I was searching the internet, using “[Name], psychopath, sociopath”, to see what the current thinking was on Anna Nicole Smith, George Armstrong Custer and Adolf Eichmann. There was a certain amount of discussion for each of these individuals. Not as much as there should be, as far as I’m concerned their status is hard, certain fact. I am as certain of that as up being up and down being down. I then found the paragraphs below regarding Adolf Eichmann.
The Compensated Psychopath
Excerpts from the book The Emptied Soul
By Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig.
Compensated psychopaths have played significant parts in society and in history. The more psychopathic compensated psychopaths are – in other words the more they have to compensate – the more sinister they are. All the Nazi functionaries who administered the concentration camps and supervised the destruction of thousands and thousands of human beings; all of Stalin’s subordinates who, during the time of the Soviet purges, directed the arrests and deaths of innumerable individuals; all of Mao’s minions who so efficiently effected the disappearance of large portions of the Chinese population -certainly all of these people were compensated psychopaths.
I am reminded of Adolf Eichmann (the German Nazi official who as head of the Gestapo’s Jewish section was chiefly responsible as the organizer of the “Final Solution”), a man who was relatively conscientious and dependable. Not a devilish moster, he was rather a classic example of a compensated psychopath whose conscientiousness was greater than that of most individuals. He loyally and admirably carried out the “duty,” of exterminating his fellow humans, but his very dedication to “duty,” expressing his own alienation in this world, vented so heinously his hate towards all human beings who were not like him. The commandant of a concentration camp wrote in his diary at the close of the war: “It is very sad that I can no longer fill my daily quotas in the gas chambers. I have neither enough staff nor enough supplies. Every night I go to bed with a nagging conscience, because I have been unable to do my duty.” We can see how conscientious this man was. A classic, compensated psychopath, he had a strong, rigid, “moral” system but not the slightest sense of eros. The morality which sought to replace the missing eros turned into a farce becoming a caricature.
Compensated psychopaths are probably the most reliable supporters of a dictatorial regime, the emphasis being upon “compensated.” A dictator would not function surrounded only with “pure” psychopaths -his regime would achieve nothing, eventually collapsing in utter chaos. A dictator’s subordinates have to be conscientious and obedient -in a word, compensated psychopaths.
http://www.friedgreentomatoes.org/articles/compensated_psychopath_guggenbuhl.php [bolding added – PW]
I could not agree more. Actually, my opinions may very well have flowed from his, though I had forgotten this passage. I last read his book many years ago when I was just forming my own views of the subject of sociopathy/psychopathy. The Emptied Soul is one of the great books on sociopathy and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
While I’ve not done a long study of Eichmann I have written:
The German WWII war machine, particularly the Holocaust machine, was essentially a sociopath selection device. Hannah Arendt had it wrong, Adolf Eichmann, sociopath, was not emblematic of the banality of evil but of the banality of the sociopath — Eichmann, who could count bodies as easily as cords of wood, who parroted noble sounding phrases he had no understanding of.
Proposal to UBS [which has it’s own sociopathic holocaust gold history]
WWII and the Holocaust should have educated the world to the presence and importance of sociopaths in the cause of evil and corruption (at least as “wind in the sails”). Hannah Arendt had it totally wrong, totalitarianism was not about the banality of evil, but about the banality of sociopaths (e.g. Eichmann, who could stack bodies as casually as cords of wood). I have no respect for her phrase. I consider it to be exactly the kind of high-falutin’ empty-of-meaning stock phrase [if a brand new phrase can be stock] and cliche that she accused Eichmann of employing (which he did do as a sociopath in a vain attempt to give meaning to his life and actions).
The term compensated psychopath is quite an interesting one. If you ever meet someone who carefully orders the food on their plate and eats it in strict order (consistently) that person is almost certainly a compensated psychopath. I’m not sure why Guggenbühl-Craig contrasts “compensated” psychopaths with “pure” ones. I wouldn’t use that word, though I understand what he is saying. If a person has no conscience, no empathy, no guilt, that is what is determinative of psychopathy. Self control and skill at being hypocritical is simply so much layering on top.