Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Extrovert Cycle of Destruction

As the political scientist Kevin Phillips has pointed out, all societies go through three phases before they collapse: agricultural, industrial, financial...then they collapse. The U.S. is deep into its financial/empire phase, so deep it will collapse. That is, the government will collapse, but society will not. It will be damaged, of course, but it will survive and revive, as it always has in the past.

There are a few explanations for the denseness of the financial elites who can't see what it coming. You can call it Hubris, as the Greeks did: believing you can get away with exploiting and humiliating people and nothing to happen to you. It's always followed by Nemesis, which is revenge. I call it Humiliation followed by Revenge.

Another explanation I use - and it fits in with the Humiliation/Revenge Cycle - is that of Introvert/Extrovert.

Introverts tend to be far more imaginative than extroverts, and without imagination you can't feel empathy and put yourself into someone else's place. So introverts can see what is coming.

It's extroverts who lack empathy and who are far more afflicted with Hubris than introverts. They can't see what is coming because of their Hubris and lack of empathy - which are the same thing. This is the main reason 90% of those incarcerated are extroverts. As for politicians, try about 95%.

I had one introverted wit tell me that he found the best way to deal with extroverts is to consider them the human equivalent of a TV set that cannot be turned off. He also called them, not surprisingly, "insensitive."

Additionally, those who desire political power and gain it almost always misuse it. When you put all those together - the Hubris, the extroversion, the misuse of political power - then you invariably get a collapse of society.

There are only a few psychological tests that I consider halfway accurate. One is the Enneagram. One of the most destructive is the Achiever, the Type 3 - "the success-oriented, pragmatic type: adaptable, excelling, driver, and image-conscious."

The Type 3 is the kind that often becomes politicians. That type is of course an extrovert, and at their worst they are the narcissists and psychopaths, i.e, the ones most prone to Hubris.

I know a woman who is a Type 3 quite well. She became a lawyer.

The Challenger, the Type 8, is described as "the powerful, dominating type: self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational." They too are extroverts, and at their worst they develop Anti-Social Personality Disorder, i.e., they become psychopaths. They, too, are prone to Hubris. They often claw their way to the top of the business world, where they busily destroy everything for money and power.

The most extroverted is the Enthusiast, the Type 7: "the busy, variety-seeking type: spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered." At their worst they develop Bi-Polar Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

I knew a woman like this is college; she became bi-polar and histrionic.

I am the the Investigator, the Type 5: "the intense, cerebral type: perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated." These are the introverts, the ones not prone to Hubris and wanting power over others, and it includes such people as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Georgia O'Keefe, Stanley Kubrick, John Lennon, Gary Larson, James Joyce, Björk, Susan Sontag, Emily Dickinson, Agatha Christie, Ursula K. LeGuin, Jane Goodall, Glenn Gould, John Cage, Tim Burton, David Lynch, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Friedrich Nietzsche, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, Jodie Foster, and "Fox Mulder" (X Files).

At our worst we are the Schizoids, and when under stress we disintegrate to the Type 7, which why I have to maintain control over myself when it comes to tobacco and alcohol. - I'm either nothing or 100 mph.

As I and many others have said before, the introverts are the scientists, the artists, the musicians and the creators. We're the ones who advance society, as compared to many extroverts, who unwittingly destroy it.

When society starts to go under, it's the introverts who gather together and pool their knowledge to restart society. They're the monks who lived in monasteries in the Dark Ages and saved the collected wisdom of the human race. The extroverts didn't do it.

The same thing is going to happen in the future, when the cities go under and become jungles and they introverts move into the country and take their knowledge with them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Took it twice just in case I wasn't being honest with myself. First time I came out a 7 and the second an 8. I won't pretend I'm not gregarious, but being a father colored my answers. I do enjoy being the rock for my family. On the other hand, I sacrifice career success, and its concomitant baubles, to spend time with my family.

Having said that, my anecdote doesn't disprove your thesis.