Am I My Asperger Brother's Keeper?
Aspies and sociopaths have a unique relationship with one another. Asperger Syndrome is a personality disorder on the autism spectrum that is commonly described as or confused with high-functioning autism. Asperger syndrome is characterized by "a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships, one-sided conversation, intense absorption in a special interest, and clumsy movements." It was originally labeled "autistic psychopathy." Aspies are very similar to sociopaths, with the most obvious exception being that sociopaths are socially charming and aspies are socially awkward. Despite the lack of empathy, one of the core traits of a sociopath, aspies are treated as totally legitimate in our society. Even though aspies seem to be sociopath eunuchs, their childishness and naivete is what makes them palatable to the rest of society.
This is a Cain and Abel scenario. In Steinbeck's East of Eden, the Cain characters are all smart, cunning, and effective. Cathy is the prototypical sociopath. The Abel characters are clueless. Their redeeming values are their guilelessness and ineffectiveness. They are the absence of bad, rather than the presence of good. The flighty Abel characters would be nothing without the hard-working Cain characters. And yet everyone always loves the Abel characters and hates the Cain characters. And the Lord had no regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.
There is a lot of aspie pride. "Celebrate neuro diversity" "Why be normal?" There is also quite a bit of aspie hate for sociopaths. Aspies villainize sociopaths and don't even want them discussed in the same breath, even though there are clear links between autism and "bad sociopath" behavior. The disparate treatment of these two classifications of individuals have some wondering, why? And how are sociopaths supposed to react to this unequal treatment? Not at all to endorse this type of behavior, but I know how one famous sociopath reacted:
Cain said to his brother Abel, "let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.