Politics Magazine

The Fate of Psychopaths in Primitive Societies

Posted on the 16 March 2018 by Calvinthedog

Research has shown that psychopaths are present in all human societies. Robert Hare, famous psychopath researcher, asked some Eskimos if they had psychopaths in their villages.

“Yes,” they said, “We have people like that. It’s usually a man. He refuses to hunt or do any work at all and simply lives off everyone else. He is charming and has a high sex drive and when the men go off hunting, he stays in the village and has sex with all of the other men’s wives. He steals and gets into a lot of fights with other man and lies almost constantly.”

“What do you do about someone like that?” Hare asked.

The Eskimos replied, “Well, after this behavior has gone on for some time, the men of the village will get together, tie up the psychopath, and paddle him out to an ice floe. They will drop him off on the ice floe and paddle back to shore.”

In case you don’t know about the Arctic, being left on an ice floe is a death sentence for a human being. So the Eskimos say that after putting up with the psychopath’s antics for some time, the men of the village rise up and all kill the psychopath.

American Indians were known for their kindness and charity. I did a lot of anthropological work on California Indians when I was working as a cultural anthropologist. Here in California, some Indians refused to work. However much the other Indians disliked this behavior, they continued to feed the parasite. He was allowed to survive. Obviously you can’t allow too many folks like this in your society or your tribe will go extinct. In primitive societies, if nobody works, nobody eats because work mostly consists of efforts to obtain food.

However, in doing research on the Indians of the Southwest, I found that some Indians who chronically engaged in bad behavior or broke group rules by committing adultery, stealing, getting into fights, or killing other members would typically simply be thrown out of the tribe. In tribal societies, this could well be a death sentence because while the tribe together knows how to hunt and gather to survive, an individual Indian may not be able to do it well enough to survive.

However these men often survived long enough. In addition, being thrown out of tribes for bad behavior was uncommon but not rare. At any given time, there were a number of  Indian loners roaming about who had been tossed out of their groups for bad behavior. It was common for these men to find each other, and they would then roam about in pairs, threesomes or even in small groups. There were enough of these men that they sometimes formed mini-tribes of their own – outcast tribes so to speak.


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