“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” --Voltaire
Prejudice (racism, antisemitism, sexism, etc) is the result of seeing psychopathic manipulation unchecked in other peoples cultures. How is your culture holding up? If someone were to stir the pot how would you react? How about your other societal participants (subordinates, colleges, superiors?) Who is speaking for you and what are they saying?
Let review why it matters. Prejudice is at it's core the outside observation of other societies members being emotionally manipulated. This is good and meaningful data, but without an understanding of how a person or people are manipulating the group, outsiders use the only tools they have. They can't discern the manipulated from the manipulators and foolishly lump them together. The whole society becomes bad or weak from outsiders perspective.
Psychopaths are only capable of viewing other people as masters or slaves. If they have not lumped someone in either role it is much more difficult to interact with them. This is the drive to take an existing society and impose a hierarchical structure on it. Now psychopaths interactions with people, most of whom are empaths, is much easier. They simply address them in the fashion normally associated with their relative positions.
Empaths are compelled to trust each other by their conscience. That trust forms a peer or 'equals' type relationship. Societies form to solve problems on their own. If they are a success they attract more and more people, making personal knowledge of peers weaker. Lack of personal knowledge provides golden opportunities for psychopaths to interrupt the trust between members for personal gain. Hierarchies are typically glommed on after the fact, in part as a reaction to the corruption. If the hierarchy is not carefully planned it becomes a formal avenue for the very corruption it was trying to correct.
If the hierarchy is to have final authority on any matter, like a countries government, it is important it is built to fail gracefully. Corruption WILL overtake the society's hierarchy. When it does a peaceful dissolution is critical to social justice and life sustaining economies of scale.
The first condition of a type one civilization is societies with minimal or no hierarchy.
Also important is the identity or the nature and origination of a society. It is critical for people to be part of the identity to which the society owes it's very existence. This is why new societies enjoy a burst of success in their origination, because a sense of identity needs no further nourishment. All the members are part of it's creation.
Identity is critical because it imparts a sense of authority and responsibility on it's empathic members. They in turn do their part for the trust of the society by seeking and attacking corruption. This betters common goals. Identity is damaged by hierarchy because it imparts a sense of disconnect for all but the highest members of the hierarchy.
Identity is a powerful weapon for psychopaths in both creating and exploiting existing golden opportunities and covering up the waste from them.
The second condition of a type one civilization is everyone has a say in what their societies are doing and will do. No one in a society can be above criticism or reproach.
Assessing outside perceptions
When an individual develops a prejudice against a society it is a critique of a societies inability to resist and police psychopaths in their ranks. It is an indication not only that a society is vulnerable to emotional manipulation, but that the vulnerability is being exploited. There is some secondary distortion as individuals pool their observations and conclusions, but the prejudice would never taken hold were it not for the individuals valid observations of socially irrational behavior.
When someone says, 'You ______ are bad.' can you calm your emotions and take it as what it is? It may be a legitimate critique of YOUR choice of society. You may be throwing away good information about who is fleecing, manipulating, or soiling the good name of people YOU care about. If that person is incorrect or making blanket assumptions about what society you have chosen, and you gently correct them, they may realize that instead it is them that has been duped.
We know that empaths can become completely controlled as proto-psychopaths. And prejudice (racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc) are a favorite topics of psychopaths. Few topics provide them with so many opportunities to manipulate you with emotional reactions. Keep it simple. If they continue to provoke you when you reacted calmly, they are not interested in bettering the global society. Do yourself a favor and forget their attempts to trigger you. If not then you have been manipulated, haven't you?
Here is a simple set of yes or no questions. This is not a question of culture, but of control. It does not matter if the societies basis is genetic or otherwise given by birth (like sex, religion, etc)
Repair and prevention
So long as psychopaths walk the earth, no society will be able to avoid all of them. There is a great deal you can do to refresh and create nearly wasteless societies.
The above applies if it can be done peacefully and in a way that keeps your person safe. I am not talking about sacrificing freedom for security but instead realizing that if you are incarcerated, hurt, or killed there may be consequences both for the people who witness your demise and the economies of scale in your society. Non self aware empaths can easily seek retribution or vengeance on your behalf forming a vicious circle. Such circles are the poorly understood consequence of vigilantism and other violent actions.
You could write a library on what can go wrong with the above if you try to apply it to an ultimate authority without discretion. Fortunately this is not necessary. There is a simple solution which will damage corruption, which is needed to further develop the technologies of psychopath genetic screening, and hands-off self-healing spent nuclear fuel storage.
Many empaths will reach the personal limit of corruption tolerance and switch from participating in their economy to shunning and peaceful resistance at every opportunity. Once a critical number of cooperators ceases to participate, the economy will collapse, crushing or shrinking the corrupt government. While this is hard to measure, it is as predictable and inevitable as the mean of destruction of human trust. Crashing the economies that support the most powerful governments will result in a cascade failure not only of national markets, but of meltdowns in nuclear facilities. This will dramatically shorten human lifespans, poison the earth, and end civilization as we know it forever.
Citizens may attempt to shrink the government. This will help, but it is as difficult as any organized retreat. The problem is that the the most masterful sociopaths will share their spoils with their allies, making them a dependent barrier to reducing government power. They vote themselves a share of the treasury. While calls for shrinking government are made, nobody wants to go first. Yet another tragedy of the commons.
Instead avoid the commons trap completely. Retain the law and the funding, but change it to local control. Distribute powers assigned to the national government and codify them to the next level down. This avoids the tragedy of the commons as nothing is lost to the citizens. Local government should graciously support the distribution as the powers and funding will be assigned to them.
The smaller the Dunbar number the less latitude the psychopaths will have. The complexity of the graft will be greater than the resources of the local politicians to hide it. Honest leaders will dismantle the graft and keep the useful programs. Psychopaths risk getting caught trying to maintain the illusion of purpose with fewer collateral resources and closer citizen scrutiny.
The best aspect of this strategy is it succeeds immediately, directly proportional to the scale of the effort. So a single person can begin to make a difference as soon as they begin. It can be implemented at any scope, down to the village or town. Even if a bill never makes it to the floor in your locale, it increases civic awareness of the scope and corruptibility of national law.
I would suggest a new political party would be needed. The distribution party, or the distributors of law. Endorsing capitalist republics, but ones with minimal powers under constant scrutiny and subject to regular legal distribution. Fiscally conservative but socially liberal. Dedicated to rewriting laws and their allocated funding to the smallest locales possible.
There are many steps on the road to peace and prosperity. It is complex, but so is civilization. Resist the urge to make the problem simpler than possible, like prejudice, as then you are subject to manipulation by the very emotions your guardians sought to protect you with.
Becoming a global civilization
It's tempting to say we can simply avoid all of this by 'tying a bell around their necks,' and screening. Psychopaths are not the only ones seeking golden opportunities. At our worst we are just as destructive. We all have the full breadth of selfish motivations, and all have limited experiences with immoral behavior. It is part of emotional understanding and empathy! Your conscience is defined, at least in small part, by the humiliation of exposed selfishness.
One day soon screening will be reality. While we work toward it, lets harden our defenses toward against indifference to corruption and failure to trust. Lets shrink the risk of economic collapse and nuclear disaster towards zero.
Once corruption is sufficiently small, humanity will turn to achieving global goals and solving global problems. Great strides toward eliminating waste and injustice need to be taken but can only succeed at the local level. The power of trust is what makes us civilized. Lets move the power back home, where we can keep both eyes on it.
As usual I welcome ideas, questions, criticism and debate.
You may be interested in my blog, The Civilization Gene
My other theories on the human mind.