Friday, January 24, 2014

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

While I don't think sociopaths have any sort of moral urge to do good things, I think they can and do act morally in the context of pursuing their own advantage  A good analogy would be a corporation.  There are a lot of corporations that do things that you like, maybe even good things, like produce vaccines or electric cars, although the primary motivation is to make a profit.  But just because you are trying to make a profit doesn't mean you can't do it by doing things you like, or that you are good at, or that comport with the way you see the world, or want the world to see you.

Ruining people.  I love the way the phrase rolls around on my tongue and inside my mouth.  Ruining people is delicious.  We're all hungry, empaths and sociopaths.  We want to consume.

M.E. Thomas spends this entire book talking about how great she is.  She also talks about how great sociopaths are.  According to her, sociopaths, uninhibited by emotions, are free to act rationally.  This cold calculation allows for maximizing desirable results.

It also means that sociopaths feel no moral reservations about manipulating the people around them.  So, the books describes in detail how the author manipulates the people around her.  She talks about ruining people, too.  She engages in such ruining for revenge or for sport.  Whatever suits her. 

She also claims that many successful people are sociopaths too.  I found this portion of the book to be a bit terrifying at first.  She describes sociopaths as having a unique aptitude for navigating institutional politics and working their way up.  Specifically, she claims, successful lawyers are likely to be sociopaths because the manipulation necessary to climb to the top is a skill sociopaths excel in.

This furthers Thomas's goal in describing how sociopaths are great for society and how we need them.  Yawn.  I would only recommend this book to someone interested about antisocial personality disorder and too lazy to read a real book about it.  Even then, though, I'd recommend the book with reservations because it goes on and on; it feels like the author is too self-congratulatory.

Hilariously, the book's author appears to have outed herself by appearing on Dr. Phil.

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