Someone drew my attention to an article in the Scientific American about psychopaths. Here is the URL:
The article is quite long, but worth reading.
It describes how a ‘professor’ went to visit a mental hospital to meet inmates who were psychopaths. These were people who had committed crimes and had been judged to be psychopaths and dangerous people who needed to be locked up sine die. Here is an interesting quote:
The triumvirate of charm, focus and ruthlessness can predispose someone for long-term life success. Take Steve Jobs. Jobs, commented journalist John Arlidge shortly after the Apple chief’s death in 2011, achieved his cult leader status “not just by being single-minded, driven, focused … perfectionistic, uncompromising, and a total ball-breaker.” In addition, Arlidge noted, he had charisma. He would, as technology writer Walt Mossberg revealed, drape a cloth over a product—some pristine creation on a shiny boardroom table—and uncover it with a flourish.
The interesting point about The triumvirate of charm, focus and ruthlessness is that many people have these qualities, but do not go to the extent of murder and mayhem.
I venture to suggest that individuals in Tobacco Control have some of these qualities. Each individual has only part of the total recipe, but, taken as a whole, the Group is maniacal. You see, someone like Arnott is just a publicist. Her job is to propagandise. I suppose that there were people in the broadcasting medium in Germany whose job it was to describe Jews, gypsies and homosexuals as disease-ridden rats which needed to be exterminated. No problem – read the text and go home.
But we must ask about the mental state of the Top People in Tobacco Control. Who are they? Are they the equivalent of Hitler? Are they psychopathic?
I think that they are. They are focused and ruthless and they lie. But what about charm? I suspect that you can replace ‘charm’ with ‘money’. Money can be charming.
In the psychopathic mind, there is only one way and that is the way which the psychopath decides. Any obstacle must be eliminated by any means.
And so we see the Irish Health Minister drafting legislation to ban smoking in cars where children are present with fines of 3,000 euros. Is he out of his mind? Will no one recognise that he is a psychopath?