Precis for WEA course – “Have psychpaths been unfairly condemned?”

Topic for Workers Education Association (WEA)  (Note:  I have no confidence that I could organize such a course, only that it needs to happen.)

“Have psychopaths been unfairly condemned?”


Two analyses have come along which raise the question seen in the title.

  • A book by Andy McNabb entitled “The good Psychopath’s Guide to Success” which says there are characteristics attributed to a psychopath which are not so bad after all.           Andy McNabb: I do know one reason why I’m successful – the main reason, in fact. It’s because I’m a psychopath. But don’t panic, I’m a good psychopath!
  • A documentary video entitled “The Corporation” which is organized on the premise that corporations are required by law to have the characteristic and “qualities” attributed to psychopaths in a human being.

Noting that the corporation has grown in influence in the global economy to a dominant position, and in the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have some “rights” previously only given to humans, a place of prominence in our societies for the psychopath has arrived, even though it is not often recognized as such.  The importance of this question is underscored by the reality that corporations are the most influential means by which practices which are destroying the planet and advancing inequality are implemented.

Course outline:

This course would examine the traditional psychiatric view of the psychopath; view and discuss the video “The Corporation”; review and discuss the book “The good Psychopath’s Guide to Success”; discuss how human communities/societies currently relate to their chosen economy especially through the corporation; and finally – discuss the question of the relationship and relative importance of “survival” and “success”.  This last item may help us understand the changing political situation we find today.


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