Ilove reading and I will read just about anything. Some complain that people do not read enough these days but if that were true it would not be because there is not enough to read. Just go online and see for yourself, Dear Reader.
Of course, a critical approach to reading is essential; nothing should be taken at face value, everything should be questioned. In the old days we used to say, “It must be true because I read it in the newspaper,” which you must admit was pretty silly. The same applies to the Internet; just because something appears online does not make it reliable or true.
The Internet has, however, at least one great advantage as a source of information; with a little diligence and research on the part of the reader the Internet offers a wealth of different sources against which any information can be crosschecked.
“Over the centuries a recurring theme in the descriptions of their personality and behavioural characteristics has been that they are impulsive, intolerant of sustained work effort, live for the present, and have poor self-control. In the view of a number of classical eleventh-century historians and geographers they lacked “self-control and steadiness of mind,” even going so far as describing them as having the nature of “wild animals”. 19th century writers wrote, “Laziness is inherent in these men . . . they are a loose, roving, reckless set of beings . . . economy, care or foresight never enters their heads . . . they are creatures of impulse – grown children.”
In 1858 Anthony Trollope observed, “He is idle, unambitious as to worldly position, sensual, and content with little.”
These characteristics, as they have been perceived historically, can now be understood as arising from a high level of psychopathic personality, a concept that was identified in the early nineteenth century by the British physician John Pritchard, who proposed the term “moral imbecility” for those deficient in moral sense but whose intellectual ability was unimpaired. The term “psychopathic personality” was proposed in 1915 by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin.
In his classic work, The Mask of Sanity of 1941, Hervey Cleckley listed the principal expressions of psychopathic personality: having shallow emotions, defective insight, absence of nervousness, lack of remorse or shame, superficial charm, pathological lying, egocentricity and inability to love, failure to establish close or intimate relationships, irresponsibility, impulsive antisocial acts, failure to learn from experience, reckless behaviour under the influence of alcohol, and a lack of long-term goals.
In 1984 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) dropped the term “psychopathic personality” and replaced it with the synonym “Antisocial Personality Disorder”. “The features of APD as set out by the APA are (1) inability to sustain consistent work behavior; (2) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior (i.e. crime); (3) irritability and aggression, as indicated by frequent physical fights and assaults; (4) repeated failure to honor financial obligations; (5) failure to plan ahead or impulsivity; (6) no regard for truth, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or “conning” others; (7) recklessness regarding one’s own or others’ personal safety, as indicated by driving while intoxicated or recurrent speeding; (8) inability to function as a responsible parent; (9) failure to sustain a monogamous relationship for more than one year; (10) lack of remorse; and (11) the presence of conduct disorder in childhood.”
“Psychopathic personality is an extreme manifestation of a continuously distributed personality trait. There are race differences in the distribution of the trait such that psychopathic personality is high among American Indians, somewhat lower in Hispanics, lower still in Europeans and South Asians, and lowest in Orientals. Psychopathic personality appears to be high in Australian Aborigines, among whom it is expressed in high rates of unemployment, crime, truancy from school, and drug addiction. Little is known about the level of psychopathic personality in Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders.”
As for Caribbean people, well, Dear Reader, I guess you know better than I where they fit into the scheme of things. I’m just reporting what I have read about Antisocial Personality Disorder – online! But I will say this: Given the amount of crime and the number of apparently senseless, casual killings in the country, something’s got to be wrong somewhere.