Editor’s note: The author is well-known to all Lovefraud readers as “Ox Drover.”
By Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)
I read an article today that made me start to think about psychopathic behavior in groups of people. About groups of people without empathy, without altruistic thinking.
Most of us here in the U.S. have read many stories about the horrible damage done in Japan by both the earthquake and the resulting tsunami which washed over the land, killing tens of thousands, and devastating a large thickly-populated area. We’ve read where people’s life savings, stocks and bonds, and cash were found many miles from their homes and returned to them by the finders who could easily have kept them.
We sat glued to our televisions as the Japanese lined up in orderly fashion for scarce water and food supplies, or lay quietly and calmly in shelters, with the well assisting the ailing, the young the old.
As American, we are “amazed” to read this … while remembered video visions of policemen in storm-torn New Orleans wading through chest deep water with stolen goods held up over their heads are dredged up from our memories.
Only a few days ago a small town here in my immediate neighborhood was demolished by a tornado, and then only a day or so later, huge portions of Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia were devastated by huge F-2-3 storms that left paths swept clean for miles wide and tens of miles long, with over 300 deaths known so far … and now the looters move in.
The people of the area, already hit by the horrors of Mother Nature, are now assaulted by the roaming gangs of psychopathic neighbors who troll for unguarded loot to steal. With more storms passing over my area, headed directly to that area with 2-4 more inches of cold rain, these people are having to try to guard what little they have left of their possessions that might be salvageable…and fight the frustration of knowing that their “neighbors” are willing to “kick them while they are down” to rob them of the few things that might have survived the natural disaster.
Why is Japan different, why was there so little looting, so much consideration, so much compassion among this people? What is it about the culture of the Japanese people today that would show such cooperation and yet, in the 1930s and 1940s, this same culture produced some of the most horrific psychopathic-like abuse of prisoners of war and civilians the world has ever seen?
Why do disasters of the magnitude of Katrina and these tornadoes bring out both the most altruistic in people who have come from hundreds of miles away at their own expense to volunteer to help these people, and yet … it also attracts the psychopathic-like vultures who will loot and steal, and destroy some more? Why more in America and less in Japan in the twenty-first century?
I know if my house were hit by tornadoes, my neighbors would come to assist me … people I know and people I don’t know … and in the rural area where I live and where my house is situated it is unlikely that there would be looters, but if I lived in Little Rock, the larger city and capitol of my state, I would expect looters. The hired hand that worked for me and my husband, knelt over my husband at the scene of the aircraft crash, helped direct rescue efforts, also stole my husband’s gold watch off his dying arm.
Tragedy and chaos seem to bring out both the best and the worst in human nature—in individuals and in groups of individuals, countries and cultures.