Monday, November 17, 2008

Stephen Harper - Psychopath

Actually, right off the top, there's probably a lot of psychopaths in politics. Paul Martin's consistent ability to wax eloquently about values and principles that he had no intentions of honouring was certainly evidence of some sort of twisted, cynical moral calculus. But Stephen Harper projects the embodiment of the psychopath's inner emptiness, the absolute absence of human feeling that allows the psychopath to go from one selfish goal to the next.

In this post, where Harper's reaction to seeing a young person being carried off stage after fainting during one of his speeches is that there is no reaction. He sips his water during a pause in his speech and turns to see what the commotion is. Seeing what it is, he doesn't even raise his eyebrows, but quickly goes back to his water, it's got nothing to do with him evidently.

In that situation, Harper's coldness is laughable. But the point is that he functions this way at all times, and it's not funny. You can imagine the same blank stare as Harper is faced with an honourable public servant trying to do his job, as in the case of Peter Tinsley, Chairman of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) investigating the Canadian Forces' turning over of prisoners to torturers in Afghanistan. Tinsley is trying to determine if Canada is complicit in war crimes, in the hopes of doing something to correct this problem. Stephen Harper has no moral centre, and for him, the war in Afghanistan is popular with his drooling bloodthirsty base, so war crimes or no, this investigation is inconvenient and must be obstructed. "Canadian values" (whatever they really are, "values" in general being alien to Harper) can be crapped upon and flushed away.

A last example is Harper's vile response to CF personells' complaints about individuals among our Afghan allies (their soldiers, police and interpreters working for the CF) raping children. At first, CF brass tried to ignore these complaints, but they've persisted and some CF soldiers are in need of counselling due to the trauma of witnessing a child being raped and later seeing the child lying dead with his intestines hanging out. Harper's response? To cynically launch an inquiry into this affair (which reflects badly on the state that we're constructing, fighting and dying for) and giving it TWO YEARS to investigate and report, by which time, Harper's out-of-his-fat-ass 2011 deadline will have arrived and presumably Afghanistan's corrupt, unpopular warlord establishment can continue to rape children with impunity.

This is beyond sickening. These are the political fruits of late-capitalist political culture. There are far fewer capitalists than there are workers. To get worker/voters to support an elitist political movement that is antipathetic to their own self-interest, you first target the fucking stupidest people among the electorate and toss them red-meat like war, homophobia, racism and police brutality against minorities, get them all excited, and they'll not notice that their pockets are being picked.

We need a political culture that stands up to stupidity. We'll never be free of these imbeciles, but we should stop kow-towing to them, we should stop pretending that they're people whose opinions should be respected. Human garbage like Harper is what human garbage like the Blogging Tories vote for. Two-thirds of the electorate is at least redeemable and that demographic should be targetted with the waverers shamed into rejecting even considering throwing in their lot with the yammering jack-asses on the far-right.


Anonymous said...

Psychopath is inaccurate. I'm quite sure that Harper is finely tuned to this reality.

Sociopath is probably what you're looking for. He's quite clear about what's going on, he just doesn't care about anything beyond how it aids or hinders his goals which seem to include the destruction of the Liberals as a party, and the imposition of socially conservative values by incremental degrees.

Geekwad said...

me too

Anonymous said...

Well said..too bad the media does'nt get it!

thwap said...


Wikipedia says they're interchangeable.


Welcome to the site. Thanks for posting.

Beijing York said...

They are interchangeable. From one of my text books:

Psychopathic personalities are people who have no sense of responsibility or morality and no concern or affection for others; their behavior is determined almost entirely by their own needs. In other words, they lack a conscience. Whereas the average person realizes at an early age that there are some restrictions on behavior and that pleasures must sometimes be postponed in consideration of the needs of others, psychopathic individuals seldom consider any but their own desires. They behave impulsively, seek immediate gratification of their needs and cannot tolerate frustration... Other characteristics of the psychopathic personality include great facility in lying... Their facade of of competence and sincerity wins them promising job opportunities, but they have little staying power...

I thought I'd end the excerpt with one positive. Maybe Harper will be frustrated beyond self-control with his inability to get a majority and will leave Canadian politics for good.

thwap said...

beijing york,

If he does decide to leave, it will be after some prolonged frustration, but it will all be quickly forgotten if he lands some convenient wingnut welfare, like president of the NCC or something.


Mayhaps some of them are psychopaths themselves, or have become numb from constant exposure to previous psychopathic liars.

Let's all watch the Ignatieff leadership bid!

Lindsay Stewart said...

well said thwap. is ignatieff, the psychopath in the wings? we shall see as the liberals turn up the heat on their dismal offerings. enough to make you shake your head i tells ya.

thwap said...


Not eaten after all!

Ignatieff doesn't have a pretty history, that's for sure. What'll differentiate Iggy from Harpo is that Iggy actually cares about something. I don't even think Harpo cares about being PM all that much. It's just a means to some ends that also don't really matter to him.

It's like his whole life is a coldly calculated serving of nothing.

Anonymous said...

Some view psychopathy as a spectrum disorder, like autism, for example. It is all a matter of degree in this view.

Anonymous said...

Sociopaths also take petty pleasure out of stirring up shit for others. Harper's latest financial update proves that, taking cheap shots at the public service and pay-equity proponents while trying to destroy his political enemies with funding cuts. I can't believe how many people are duped into believing they see a man who loves Canada in this sick-oh. The sooner we get him out of the PMO office the better. Someone should also examine the effect this has on his kids.