Overview: Psychopaths Rising: Unholy Links with Civilization and Destruction

Psychopaths Rising: Unholy Links To Civilization and Destruction

Our Evolved  Death Spiral

Cover Psychopaths Rising 2

 Del Wolf Thiessen, Ph.D.

Amazon.com: Agave Publishers LLC., 2014 Paperback, 729 Pages, New
Price: $20.00

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Four Horsemen

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Wikipedia)

             “Professional first responders,” psychologists, sociologists, researchers, historians, and seekers of explanation for deviant behaviors are challenged by the epic sweep of Psychopaths Rising. Discussions within its 729 pages are based on years of investigation by psychologist Del Wolf Thiessen, who offers a unique perspective into the complex and incendiary mind of the psychopath.  The book looks deep into history, literature, art, and genetic and evolution for explanations and consequences of governmental leadership by psychopaths. It is the most comprehensive and controversial analysis of  critical behaviors that affect personal interactions, social and economic outlooks, and uncharted characteristics of the dangerous mind.

            Psychopaths are rising. The world seems to slip from our grasp, moving backward in time and mood, where murder, rape, and plunder swamp advances in science, technology, and jurisprudence. There is an inevitable trace of our evolutionary destiny in analyses of psychopathy, reflecting our marital ties to creativity and a genetic determination to spiral into destruction and death. Soothsayers give their reasons for expecting a bleak “end of days:”

  • Extraordinary growth of populations and impacts on resource availability.
  • Governmental fiscal and ideological irresponsibility.
  • Regional demographic increases in young male sensation seekers.
  • Loss of control over disease vectors, sanitation, and medical management.
  • Ruthless and restrictive ideological control over personal freedom.
  • Growth of secular governments and loss of personal and cultural moral judgments.

             The author believes that what appears as “end of days,” however unsettling, may be but the Malthusian destruction of some civilizations and the flowering of others.

             Psychopaths appear out of the dark cloud of the past, a reassertion of restless evolutionary impulses for survival, social dominance, competitive success, and flexible reactions. If we are to survive, our first challenge is to understand the origin of psychopathic personalities and the adaptive nature of their gravitation to centers of power. Principles of evolution and genetics, neurophysiology, psychology, demography, and environmental studies give us the crucial foundation.

             We also learn how psychopathic strategies help build nations and overcome hurdles, as they often do. Strong leaders and saviors of civilizations are ironically drawn from the same gene pool as street psychopaths, to hone more stable cultures and add new dimensions to our views of the universe. Without their assertive visions of progress and leadership, we would never have successively migrated out of the cauldron of our African beginnings.

             In broad scope we witness the history-making leaders in the ancient civilized world, and see the reiteration of psychopathic leadership and personal destinies during the building of contemporary cultures. The individuals, often referred to as Machiavellians, are no less ignoble than the street psychopaths, although they are more intelligent, persuasive, and visionary. From Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar to Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte and Mal Tse-Tung, to Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara, we observe the illuminating and often blinding Machiavellian narcissism  that works its magic in the creation of innovative governments, as well as in the murder and destructions of generations.

             Thiessen also highlights incomparable Machiavellian leaders like George Armstrong Custer, Winston Churchill, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton in their attempts to protect and extend the Western cannon in defense of freedom from foreign tyranny and destruction.

             History gives us the examples of both the sword of ideological revolution and the unending defense shield of traditions. In the end, science provides the instantiation of general and specific themes in building and defending legendary civilizations and cultivating personal achievement.

            There is much to be learned, from hard reality and smoky metaphors, and much to be feared, but the likelihood is that the worst is no more than the opening of new doors that will beckon many of us to more lasting and humanistic paths of personal wisdom and understanding. This book is the key for understanding the dark and seductive nature of psychopathic deviations and social leaders. It’s a journey worth taking. As Cervantes told us, “The road is always better than the inn.”

Del Wolf Thiessen, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin.

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