Was Hernán Cortés a psychopath?

Aug 2017
42
Canada
Haha thank you, I am new to being on camera, I find it hard to utilize my research and speak. You hit it on the nail, I butchered the names so badly we made it a mockery to cover my missteps. Thank you for the critique!
 
Nov 2018
105
Idaho
Many people have a tendency to look at ancient figures who engaged in military and political mass murder as being 'psychopaths', but I think this is simply the view of people who are soft and sheltered. Simply put, ancient societies did not have nearly as much moralizing and certainly did not view all human life as intrinsically valuable (with some possible exceptions, mainly among philosophical and religious traditions). Killing people and taking their stuff is perfectly normal human behavior. The ordinary response to encountering another tribe has been hostility. Torture, slavery, summary execution and mass arson were means to ends which might draw some reproach (especially from people connected to the offense) but would not bother the sensibilities of many of the peers of the slavers and conquerors.

If the Spanish Conquistadors and Caesar can be considered psychopaths for their behavior then so is virtually every military leader in active conflict in the 20th century, certainly including the so-called 'good guys' (i.e. victors). While I do find it plausible that most human political and military institutions are controlled by sociopaths and psychopaths that renders the verdict on any particular person somewhat less meaningful. In fact I doubt there is much meaning to these medicalizations of personality, it smacks of moralistic pseudoscience. 'Sociopaths' are good at acting without empathy, without feeling obligated to others, and that describes any successful political class, whose primary tools have always been extortion, propaganda and violence. 'Sociopaths' and 'psychopaths' are the judgments of slave morality, which would more likely arouse contempt than sympathy among the ancients who were in a position to do the killing and extorting.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
People don't like Cortez and what he did, but that does not make him a pyschopath. Nor were Cortez's opponents the Aztecs saints, they cut out the beating hearts of their victims, but that didn't make the Aztecs pyschopaths either.

Pyschopath has a clinical definition, it does not mean just not a nice guy.
 
Aug 2017
42
Canada
Hello thanks for the critique! I want to address I don't emphasize much of the "murder" or war aspects during this piece. As obvious, this time period showed most of this to be the norm, I do however cover other aspects. The rampant disregard for authority through out his life, the odd alleged murder of his first wife and the unbelievable lies he told the king while making enormous enemies within the empire. Of course this is a superficial piece, akin to people whom try to "diagnose" Hitler, it's not very reasonable. I want to also emphasize anti social personality disorder does not have to do with murder, its a lack of empathy. The murderous nature of cortes, columbus or Caesar as mentioned by Bart Dale was considerably normal for its time, hell i'd argue Ludendorff showed "normal" behavior. I am very grateful you are not only willing to view my material, but to make comments is what I want the most.
 
Nov 2018
105
Idaho
Heck, anyone who tells the truth to their government is mentally deranged.
I do think there is some value to applying the DSM's superstitious voodoo to men like this, though, because it shows that it's not scientific - it's just people in authority and slave moralists condemning behavior that undermines their power over the individual. It's akin to heresy, and other fact-free 'diagnosis' of belief and behavior.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,574
Las Vegas, NV USA
What did Cortés think of the Aztecs? Maybe he thought that cutting the hearts out of their own young women and children while they were alive was, if not psychopathic, at least not something he would do.
 
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Nov 2018
105
Idaho
People don't like Cortez and what he did, but that does not make him a pyschopath...Pyschopath has a clinical definition, it does not mean just not a nice guy.
I would say that that's actually what the 'clinical definition' of psychopathy is. It's moralizing and judgemental civic religious ideology dressed up with pseudoscientific medical jargon. Barring actual physical damage or deformity 'mental illness' is simply a Soviet code-word for 'I do not approve of this behavior'. Brains can be ill, minds can not. There is no 'correct' set of values, motives, preferences, beliefs, or social arrangements. These terms like 'sociopath' are on the same level with Soviets jailing homosexuals and anyone who didn't want to be robbed by Communist thugs, and frequently have been used as an excuse to jail people without trial in the USA as well as the USSR.