the connection between the individual and the community. While the 'community' may be a family unit, it is usually understood in the wider sense of interactions between a community of people in a geographical location, or who have a shared history or interest. Communitarian philosophy is derived from the assumption that individuality is a product of community relationships rather than only individual traits.[Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communitarianism]
a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. There may be an impoverished moral sense or conscience and a history of crime, legal problems, impulsive and aggressive behavior.[Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder]
Wikipedia cites definitions of sociopathic behavior as stated by the American Psychiatric Association:
A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:This definition pertains to individual behavior, and goes on to stipulate that
1 failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2 deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3 impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
4 irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
5 reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6 consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
7 lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;[American Psychiatric Association (2000). "Diagnostic criteria for 301.7 Antisocial Personality Disorder". BehaveNet. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Retrieved 8 July 2013]
B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.
But, oddly, sociopaths, like anarchists, are able to transcend their presumed near-total loathing for community and band together in sociopathic groups, dedicated to opposition to other social groups. Sociopathy is becoming institutionalized within ad hoc associations like the Tea Party.
Worse, because more insidious, sociopathic “values” like the seven characteristics listed by the APA are beginning to characterize official behavior, ranging from the presidential decision to assassinate suspected terrorists (and the inevitable innocent bystander) to a recent incident in my own local city, where police shot and killed an eighth-grader who was carrying a (borrowed) “toy” rifle.
According to the newspaper account, the toy is manufactured and distributed for use in indoor facilities where properly trained and armored participants shoot at one another for “sport.” Further, the weapon is deliberately made to resemble a military assault weapon, with the double result that it is apparently very popular among practitioners of the “sport,” and quite confusing to the police.
What kind of society provides facilities for the sport of pretend warfare? What kind of culture leads parents to believe this is healthy sport for their children? What kind of government encourages its police to fire first, investigate later? In my view, a sociopathic society.
The beast thrashes, tail in mouth, attempting to devour itself.