Cars burning, stores looted, cops maintaining a hands-off policy… it’s situation perfect.
We have their photographs. Soon all their names. It would seem that in one fell swoop our society’s up-and-coming sociopaths have been outed. This is something to celebrate.
We hear talk of anarchists, alcohol, adolescent frustration and kids from good families getting swept up in the mayhem. Let’s talk instead about a much more inconvenient truth – that societies everywhere suffer the aggression of individuals who are untroubled by a conscience. And, so, what hope of life having any meaning?
Often clever, they do not however have the mental machinery to acknowledge their own culpability. What they do have is a talent for charming their way out of personal responsibility. You watch.
My curiosity about psychopaths stems from my friendship with the late Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Dabrowski. Founder of the Polish mental health movement, Dabrowski also taught at the U of A in Edmonton in the 1970s. As a young man, he witnessed the horrors of Nazi and Russian invasions of his motherland. That the human organizm was capable of such unconscionable acts startled Dabrowski, and he devoted his life to the study of mental development.
At one end of the development spectrum – permanently stuck in a state of childish integration – are the psychopaths. Untreatable, but rarely criminal, they bully their way through life, forcing their narcissistic agendas upon whatever occasion presents itself. A lawless, drunken, burning, inner-city is a sociopath’s dream come true.
Courts will fall for their strategic whimperings and pardon most of them. And we will soon forget. But a greater public good will be served if these miscreants realize that we have not forgotten – if they must forever confront photographic evidence of themselves stuffing flaming rags into a vehicle’s gas tank.
The message is: we know who you are and we’re watching you.
Bullies are like vampires – they melt away in the light of truth.
This is the silver lining in the smoke that rises off the still-smouldering reputation of our city.