“One must be cunning and wicked in this world.” – Leo Tolstoy
2.) Media & Literary Representations of The Dark Triad
3.) Macro Dark Triad
4.) The Probability of Acquiring Dark Triad Traits
5.) In Closing / Relevant Reading
To get the most value from this article, I highly recommend reading the following material first:
Understanding The Dark Triad – A General Overview
Understanding The Dark Triad – The Second Overview
“Lucifer’s Daughter” – An Introduction to The Dark Triad Woman
Nuance In Manipulative Style: The Machiavellian Trifecta
Without the background knowledge acquired from reading this body of work, a capacity to appreciate this essay’s content cannot be assured. That aside, let us begin.
2.) Media & Literary Representations of The Dark Triad
“Are there any videos (movies, documentaries or anything of the sort) that you would recommend to give a more clear-cut example of Dark Triad behaviour?”
To my knowledge, few good documentaries exist on dark triad behaviour. I recommend watching prison-based documentaries, as roughly 1-in-5 prisoners is a psychopath. Naturally being a prison setting, it is likelier you will observe low IQ blue-collar psychopaths rather than white-collar high IQ psychopaths, however despite this bias in sample, you will see the occasional high IQ.
Differentiating the lower from the higher IQ is easy as higher IQ prisoners will engage in creative pursuits and use violence instrumentally, whereas lower IQ prisoners will lack creative pursuits and thus seek conflict for stimulation. It is my contention that because lower IQ prisoners lack the intellect necessary to creatively abstract, acts of violence comprise the totality of their interest.
Nailing down a higher IQ white-collar psychopath is incredibly hard as their greater impulse control means they’re better able to conceal themselves, however Vice was able to base a short documentary on one.
There is an English documentary called “Psychopath Night“, which contrasted an FBI profiler’s analysis with the behaviour of an imprisoned high IQ psychopath. There was likewise input from Oxford University’s Kevin Dutton, a professor known for his friendship with an ex-SAS psychopath that has partnered with him on numerous psychopathy texts. These texts are useful, but not well written.
Dutton constantly attempts to normalise psychopathy as something that’s “cool but slightly quirky” with an overbearing chummy tone, and it is this which detracts from the authority of his writing. It’s hard to take somebody seriously who discusses the ruthlessness of negative empathy with the salivation of a hyperactive teenager, and oh boy does Dutton salivate.
Nonetheless, Dutton rewards those with the constitution to endure his blabbering should you prove either masochistic or curious enough. If one can exercise a little patience, one will find Dutton has many valuable insights. Dutton’s books are not literary masterpieces to be absorbed and pleasurably savoured, but rather, verbose drudgery to be dissected for occasional nuggets of gold.
As for media examples of Psychopathic characters, there are countless, but to name a few:
– Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street is a narcopath (an ego dominant psychopath)
– Marlo from The Wire is a psychopath. If autists were psychopaths, they’d be like Marlo.
– Omar from The Wire is a sociopath (like a psychopath, but has sympathy for his in-group.)
– Snoop from The Wire is your typical butch dyke psychopath
– Katherine from The Vampire Diaries is a more accurate portrayal of typical female psychopathy/BPD behaviour.
– Lord Varys & Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones are Machiavellians.
– Frank Underwood from House of Cards is a depiction of the highest form of psychopath, a “General.” Unlike others on the negative empathy spectrum who blunder out of a need to indulge shortcomings (eg: violent tendencies, excess depravity, historicism etc) “Generals” have evolved beyond such indulgences. A “General” puts the requirements of the game above desire by strategising before fulfilling his urges, whereas his lower-tier counterparts prioritise their urges before the game and thus become unstuck.
A General is instrumental rather than reactive; to react to provocation or give in to pettiness is not characteristic of the General, for the General recognises the tactical pitfalls these things represent and possesses the iron will necessary to resist them. The General realises only a correct sequence of steps will get him what he wants, thus he is future-orientated where his lesser counterparts are present-orientated. If you want to learn more about the General archetype, read this article.
As the list above alludes, dark triad characters comes in many shades and varieties. Whether they are criminal, corporate, violent, cold or charismatic, one thing is universal among them: they’re cut-throat and cunning. The media is rife with different variations upon the same theme, although there is something one should be aware of when scouring the media for dark triad personalities – the characters are plausible, but their schemes aren’t.
In TV shows timing is too perfect, and so the elaborate schemes in play are so utterly contrived they’re inimitable. As such, only analyse a fictional character’s psychology, not their schemes. The schemes by merit of their fiction are ridiculous, and therefore unviable for real world emulation. When a show’s writers ensure a character always wins and can perfectly execute his plans to the nanosecond, cunning is deified to a realm of fantasy through the misrepresentation of what is humanly possible.
3.) Macro Dark Triad:
“Have you considered the macro societal result for when becoming a dark triad psychopath becomes the norm for getting pussy? – Are you a traditionalist after meditating on the matter?”
It is inconceivable “becoming dark triad” would ever “become the norm for getting pussy” because most men are incapable of incorporating sufficient ruthlessness. That is to say, men may increase their ruthlessness out of sheer volition, but said ruthlessness will pale in comparison to the psychopath’s.
That being said, “the macro societal result” has been in play for a very long time, gaining traction since the institutionalisation of feminism. It has not done so under the umbrella of “men embracing and internalising the dark triad”, but rather in the semantic context of “men endeavouring to be meaner” in response to the growing vacuum of narcissism “independent women” embody.
Why do men have this desire to be less empathic and more dismissive, or in a nutshell, to become more narcissistic? Simply put, it’s because of the women. In order for a man to have sex with a woman, his narcissism must trumps hers, and so what we’re seeing is an adaptation to an environment in which the collective feminine ego has run amok. If empathy and kindness got men laid rather than exploited, such adaptation would not take place. As women’s collective ego is culturally bootstrapped by feminism, men must defeat girl narcissism with superior narcissism to remain viable.
Another reason many a man wishes to diminish his natural empathy for women is as a measure of self-protection. As our society becomes ever decadent and dysfunctional, predatory women (some of whom study these very texts on power) grow ever numerous. Women bestowed the sovereignty to live as they see fit oft reward the immoral man at the expense of the moral man, and so in a culture where women are not subject to their men, men must play by women’s rules.
Religion recognises the folly inherent to women’s preferences, and thus in its infinite wisdom sets about teaching the importance of following rather than defying man, lest both parties suffer. This is neither an endorsement nor advocacy of religion in so much as it is recognition of the value religion offers the sexes at the macro level.
Where there is no religion, absent the immigration of the religious, political ideology fills the areligious vacuum by replacing its executive function as a culture’s dominant belief system. Everybody needs something to believe in, and thus where one rejects religion, they almost always look to replace said religion with ideology. In the case of western women, this is the rejection of Christianity (or a diluted adherence to it) in favour of the dysfunctional and colourful depravities offered by feminism.
It is due to women’s chaotic propensity to punish the virtuous and reward the unvirtuous that virtuous men question the value of their virtue. When there is a disincentive to be moral, or morality otherwise comes with harsh penalties, reasonable men will shun many of the costs associated with morality.
This is neither desirable nor sustainable from a macro-societal perspective as civilization is built on the backs of the hard-working, the noble, and the selfless. However in all her grand retrograde dilapidation, feminism has all but confined virtue to the realm of luxury, and so man’s reproductive future lies in emulating rather than defying the dark triad.
Gentle, kind and innocent men are punished for their empathy in a way that contorts them at the most primal of levels. It is women’s inexcusably poor ability to differentiate kindness from weakness that perpetuates man’s collective movement toward a darker disposition. As women reward men demonstrating dark triad traits, without a social force to compensate for such disposition natural selection will push men toward becoming what women incentivise.
Woman’s attraction is primal, unsophisticated, and unadapted to the needs of modern civilization, and so bereft fatherly dominance or meaningful religious guidance, “free women” sign the ominous decline of society. An unguided woman is a feral woman, for she navigates society promiscuously, exploiting the good man whilst welcoming the evil; and it is in this lunacy there lies no greater retrograde force, no greater battlefield in which virtue flounders in the face of unvirtue.
When women win the gender war nobody wins, because the nuclear family dies out, the welfare state grows beyond all control, and the population of bastards soars whilst the fertility rate plummets. The cost inherent to rewarding feminine insolence is a cost too high for either society or man to bear, and thus a society of insolent women represents nought but a grand projection of the innumerable regressive relationships that permit women’s despicability.
I surmise a return to traditionalist practices are what’s best for the health and prosperity of western civilization, although I do not believe what is good for civilization is necessarily good for the contemporary man. The traditionalist male social role is incompatible with the matriarchal model of marriage legally institutionalised at present, but nonetheless I make neither recommendation nor judgement on what a man should do as I fundamentally believe this is something every man must decide for himself.
4.) The Probability of Acquiring Dark Triad Traits:
“Do you believe it possible to become completely Dark Triad?”
Narcissism is cultivable and Machiavellianism is studied, whereas psychopathy is neither. Realistically, subclinical psychopathy, achievement-based narcissism and a devotion to the study of warfare is as close as an average person can come to being dark triad. This however is not an overnight thing, and will require many years of study and cultivation to actualise. Merely reading this publication will not make one dark triad, however it may serve as the spark that ignites a trip down a life-changing path.
I’ve been presented with theoretical ideas on how a neurotypical could become psychopathic, but I’ve yet to be presented with a working methodology that takes said idea beyond the stage of conception. So yes whilst it may fall within the realm of possibility, for all intent and purpose it is impossible. If someone figures out how to create an empathy chip to “treat the empathy disordered” one day, they’ll almost certainly likewise find a way to make said chip turn empathy off – just imagine the military applications!
Negative empathy results from reduced neural activity in the brain’s empathy circuit, as I understand it, it is caused by one of two things, one is to be born with such a brain, the other is to develop such a brain due to severe childhood trauma. The brain is highly malleable in childhood, and so it is thought that particularly bad upbringings can short a child’s empathy circuit effectively “bestowing” psychopathy.
Psychopathy is not something that can be studied and internalised, but it can be studied and to a crass degree, emulated. Second to psychopathy and attainable to all, stoicism serves as something of a psychopathic simulacrum and lacks all the negative connotation of the prior.
5.) In Closing / Relevant Reading:
Prior to my remastering of this article, there was an additional section positing a generalised question accompanied by an answer as lengthy as the question’s breadth. I have omitted this from the remaster, as I believe my rework of said question is a project unto itself.
I am fielding questions for a potential successor article, so should you have any questions pertaining to the dark triad, leave them in the comments and if they’re good enough I’ll answer them in the follow-up.