Psychopaths in business are prevalent enough to be a field of research. Psychopaths are about 1% of the general population, possibly 5% of corporate leadership, and 15% of the prison population. We need to study this issue because covid resulted from a group of psychopaths getting together and deciding they should kill off a big chunk of the world’s population, using the excuse of global warming to provide the moral justification for what they were doing.
Prince Phillip wanted to be reincarnated as a deadly virus, and so did Stanley Johnson, Boris’ father. So it is a notion popular in elite circles. It was Ralph Baric’s breakthrough in manipulating the viral genome in 2006 that gave them the opportunity to operate at their desired scale. Previously, they had been limited to trying to kill people using heart disease. Baric’s gene splicing technology allowed them to incorporate bits of HIV to attack the immune system as well. …
Covid could prove to be a genomic choke point in human evolution on the scale of the of the Lake Toba eruption 74,000 years ago. And psychopaths will be with us until Judgement Day. But in the modern era this isn’t the first time psychopaths have ended up in charge of nations and indulged in killing for the sake of it. Now that we are alert as to what to look for, psychopathy explains a reasonable chunk of modern history.
Stalin killed about seven million people in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. This was before the war with Germany started in 1941, which killed another 20 million. In the Great Purge from March 1936 to March 1938, Stalin selected the names of those to be arrested and executed or sent to the gulag, millions of names. The excuse historians give him is that Stalin was consolidating power. It is more likely that once he started killing he just couldn’t stop. Which reminds us of another psychopath running another major power in the current century.
On 23rd January, 2009, just three days into his first term as President, Obama authorized two drone strikes in Pakistan that killed as many as 20 people. He was still going eight years later in the last weeks of his second term. All up Obama authorised 542 drone strikes that killed an estimated 3,797 people. As he told some of his staff in 2011:
Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.
Which sounds exactly like something a psychopath would say. Obama has the ‘dark triad’ of personality traits: narcissism (egoism and self-obsession), psychopathy (lack of empathy for the other), and Machiavellianism (willingness to deceive others).
Trump went too far the other way, which is a problem in itself. On 20th June, 2019, Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone over international waters. The drone has a sticker price of US$200 million. A retaliatory strike against the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas was planned. Trump asked how many Iranians would be killed by the attack. When told it would be about 100, Trump cancelled because he didn’t feel like killing 100 people. Which in turn meant that the Iranians didn’t learn what their limits were, leading up to the atrocities in Israel on 7th October, 2023 and 1,400 dead Israelis.