Crossposted at Thomas Paine’s Corner thanks, Jason.
By Mary Sojourner
The unconscionable attacks of Israel upon Gaza can be seen as the action of a sociopathic state upon a helpless victim. While the diagnosis of sociopathy is commonly reserved for the individual, it may be used to describe an entire society in a way that illuminates the behavior of that society towards another group of people. Sociopathy is a social concept by definition, and for this reason can be expanded to describe the nature of an entire society.
The ruling quality of the sociopath is a complete lack of empathy towards the Other. The sociopath is incapable of feeling for other people. The Israelis have kept the Gaza strip blockaded, hermetically sealed for a year and a half, causing untold suffering for the people of Gaza. The lack of empathy for so many helpless human beings is sociopathic. Israel has long held its status as a sociopathic state.
At the core of the sociopath’s personality is a deep-seated rage which is repressed and cut off from the conscious mind but which directs the sociopath’s actions. It is this rage which makes the sociopath incapable of feeling empathy for the Other, and which fuels the mercilessness with which he treats others. This rage is the only valid emotion a sociopath has. It accounts for his short temper, his consistent overreaction to the smallest setbacks, and the ruthlessness with which he treats others when they do not bend to his will.
The blockade prompted the firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel as a last resort response. The Israeli reaction to the Hamas rockets was truly beyond the pale. In return for a few rockets, which are all Hamas has to offer, Israel pounded Gaza with a fierce Air Force assault, and the remainder of the elite Israeli military stands by to assist. The overwhelming force unleashed on the defenseless little strip says everything one needs to know about the Israeli sociopathic state. The rage is here, the lack of empathy was here for a year and a half when the blockade was in place, the lack of remorse was always there when sick people were allowed to die at border crossings while waiting to reach clinics – waiting for no reason but cruelty.
Focused solely on himself and his needs, the sociopath has no regard for, and indeed no recognition of, the needs or rights of other people. The “Other” exists as no more than an obstacle to the sociopath’s achieving what he desires. He is ruthless in exploiting or removing others from his path, and kills mercilessly if it serves his purpose.
Israel’s current assault on Gaza, its most heinous in years, shows no mercy to the Palestinians. The blockade has already brought Gaza to its knees, and now they are bombing the pitiful land almost to oblivion. Children and women are being killed, along with so-called “legitimate targets.” I would maintain that every “target” is a human being, particularly when the battle is so unequal, so unfair.
The sociopath is unable to feel remorse. Emotionally shallow, he abuses others without hesitation. He cannot make friends, much less keep them. He is secretive, paranoid, and authoritarian. Is Israel paranoid? Does it suffer from the delusion that all its Arab neighbors are waiting to destroy it? Of course it does. It threatens attack for no reason – e.g. Iran – and has attacked without provocation in the past – e.g. Iraq and Lebanon. And even now, with the intolerable treatment it is giving Gaza, have there been any threats from other countries? Of course not. It sits in its sea of nuclear weapons and dares anyone to attack, while it destroys Gaza with impunity.
The sociopath lies pathologically and will make promises that he never keeps, yet he continually expects to be believed and will react with outrage if someone refuses to accept his promises as real. At the same time he demands that those around him make and keep promises even knowing that his will not be kept. How many times has Israel broken promises not to increase settlements in the West Bank? Building is going on there even as Gaza is being destroyed.
Is Israel a sociopathic narcissist, with a sense of entitlement to Palestinian land based on religious “chosen-ness” rather than on the simple truth of theft? Israel is building swiftly over the West Bank. Is it plausible that Israel is going to eventually denude Gaza and take it over again? Why else would they be starving it, and bombing it in their “War to the end”?
Israel shows all the signs of the sociopath, most especially now as it makes war upon Gaza. No empathy, utter ruthlessness, paranoia, pathological liar, lack of remorse, narcissistic, and operating out of a deep sense of rage: all the defining characteristics of a sociopath.
Mary Sojourner is the nom de plume of a sentient being who has struggled with her own demons and now endeavors to relieve the suffering of others as she searches for truth and justice.
To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.
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Child killed by Israeli tank fire in Gaza + US blocks cease-fire, gives Israel carte blanche to continue killing
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When the US set out and launched its military campaign to drive Saddam Hussein’s army out of Kuwait, and as I watched events unfold on TV, I observed and noticed, for the first time, the sociopathic behavior in its creepiest form – to me at least. I was watching the American pilots who were returning from their bombing runs agains the Iraqi soldiers who were fleeing Kuwait in everyway they can, unarmed, not fighting or posing any sort of threat to anyone, who just want to return home, being treated as a live target practice by US pilots. They were jubilant and rejoicing and bragging that they were shooting them like shooting fish in a barrel. what bothered me was that they were high on pure, sheer killing of unarmed, fleeing poor soldiers, who just wanted to get the heck out of Kuwait, get back to their families, and they finally had the chance to do it. The glee in their eyes and the bragging disturbed me deeply, for they weren’t defending the US by that, nor clashing with a menacing army, they were harvesting the lives of poor freightened, soldiers, and happy about it, with not a single gesture of remorse or hesitation. The other thing that even disturbed me more was that I haven’t heard from anyone in the media, politicians or anyone at all, on TV, saying a word about that or noticing anything sinister, pathological or just wrong about their behavior. The Israeli soldiers, and people in general in Israel, especially those sociopathic retarded-looking settlers, were breast-fed hatred, rage, paranoia since they are born. They are taught to hate and not to look at or treat Arabs as human beings – and that shows so starkly in their sociopathic behavior when they have any chance to abuse, humiliate or kill Arabs – you get the feeling that they relish and and love doing it – that they have departed from humanity and turned into senseless, sociopathic beasts. What a society the US helped setablish, defended and still does, so blindly and adamantly, and how disgraceful and shameful he US politicians are when they continue to defend, without any consideration for right and wrong, ethics and morality, this crime – against – humanity of a state.
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It is true that ethnic cleansing cannot take place unless the perpetrator is able to un-recognize the humanity of the victims. In conversations with Zionists, it is astonishing to hear them talk about the Palestinians and “Arabs” as though they are vermin that should be driven out or exterminated. How interesting that they sound so much like the Nazis, whose memory they invoke to stir up sympathy among the gullible.
What is even more disturbing is that they have been so sucessful in spreading their genocidal lies to the rest of the world. The Israeli propaganda machine is a wonder, and the stupidity of the American public, coupled with the complicity of our politicians, the cooperation of the media and the Zionist lobby, makes for one very massive sociopathic entity.
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Thanks, Taylor for your comment, I’ll try to let the author know it’s here.
Great suggestion to watch The Corporation, here it is:
Applying clinical terms such as “sociopathy” to states or any organization can be very useful for analysis and isn’t a new idea.
The film “The Corporation” exposed the sociopathic orientation of traditionally structured companies.
Such an analysis can be extended to almost any organization in which specific goals have been set as their priorities while others are ignored. Profits, in the case of corporations, ser vice to a conception of God, as in the case of religions. A common priority of any organization is self-survival; any organization will fight its own destruction, even to the point of causing harm to innocents.
In a world in which Israel’s very existence is a controversial proposition, it is not surprising that her reactions to existential threats are extreme. However, this doesn’t characterize her as a uniquely sociopathic state.
I’d be interested in knowing which states in the world today are not sociopathic in your estimate.
Very good description without any pulled punches.