April 24, 2012, 10:23 am
2009 passport photo of Anders Breivik (photo from Norwegian police via Wikipedia)
I don’t mean the dilemma faced by psychopaths, but the dilemma presented to us by them. Whether called psychopaths or sociopaths (the terms are essentially synonymous), the reality is that there is a certain proportion of the population—and as far as can be told, this is true of pretty much every population—who fit the diagnostic bill.
Of these, the most recent and horrifying example is Anders Breivik, currently on trial for murdering 77 Norwegians (most of them children) in July, 2011. His trial has riveted the customarily placid citizens of Norway, as well as many others around the world. From a distance, at least, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Breivik is a 100-percent, dyed-in-the-wool psychopath, a category…