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Old June 30 2013, 04:29 PM   #6
Elias Vaughn
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Re: What's your opinion of Gul Dukat?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Unlike some Cardassians ..., he doesn't seem to have been a sociopath of mentally ill.
...right.

Let's look at the definition of the word 'sociopath':

dictionary.com wrote:
so·ci·o·path [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
noun Psychiatry.
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
(If you have a preferred online dictionary other than this one, my apologies. It's just the first one I always remember the URL of.)

Point by point:

"psychopathic personality"

Again, let's define our terms.

dictionary.com wrote:
psy·chop·a·thy [sahy-kop-uh-thee] Show IPA
noun, plural psy·chop·a·thies. Psychiatry.
1.
a mental disorder in which an individual manifests amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.
2.
any mental disease.
The second definition is obviously not the one we're looking for, so I'll focus on the first.

"Amoral and antisocial behavior" is kind of a perfect way to describe his relationship with the Bajorans. He doesn't care about them, though I'm sure he'd like them to think otherwise. He did, after all, plunder their home and their people for years; and on top of that, he later admitted to Sisko that he hated the Bajorans and wanted them all exterminated (DS9 "Waltz").

"Lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships" I'll admit, is borderline at best. He really did care for Ziyal, as evidenced by how her death practically broke his, let's call it pagh. But here's the thing - this seemed, in Dukat's head, to only apply to Cardassians. He loved Ziyal despite her Bajoran heritage, but he believed anyone who wasn't Cardassian was inherently beneath anyone who was, and even more, beneath Dukat himself. This is why he masterminded the Bajoran Occupation, this is why he continued to be adversarial to the Federation even though they bent over backwards to try and help out the Cardassians every chance they got. Dukat couldn't love anything not Cardassian. Admittedly, this is more of a Cardassian trait in general than one specific to Dukat himself, so it's not really a crux of my argument.

"Extreme egocentricity" I won't even bother justifying. If you really need me to, I will, but... this is Dukat.

"Failure to learn from experience". "Hey, the Occupation didn't go real well for the Bajorans. Let's have the Dominion do the same thing to Cardassia and hope things change." I'm sure he didn't know Cardassia would become fully occupied, but the way the Dominion first forged an alliance with Cardassia holds a number of striking similarities with how Cardassia did the same with Bajor (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Occu..._Bajor#Prelude).

In addition, there's this psychopathy checklist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho...athy_Checklist

(Yeah, Wiki, I know; but I admit ignorance on what psychology-dedicated websites are best in general, so I'm open to suggestions.)

There is nothing on this list that doesn't blatantly describe Dukat perfectly. There's the 'short term marital relationships', but with a little stretching, we can assume his love of comfort women fits this criterion.

Forgive my own egocentricity, but I feel that we've established Dukat's psychopathic tendencies beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now, back to the sociopath thing.

dictionary.com wrote:
so·ci·o·path [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-] Show IPA
noun Psychiatry.
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
"Whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal". The man raped and pillaged an entire planet despite their repeatedly stated desire to be free. He also raped Kira's mother (though I'm not keen on restarting that old chestnut of a thread). His actions may have been legal under Cardassian law, but they certainly weren't under Bajoran law.

"Who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience." Remember all the times he blamed the Bajorans for resisting his rule instead of just sitting back and letting the Cardassians enslave them?

Yeah, Dukat was rather obviously sociopathic. He was well-written, though, and probably my favorite Trek villain, but he was not a mentally healthy man. Not even before Ziyal died.

(disclaimer: I am not a psychologist. I am someone who likes to argue and is okay at Googling, so grain of salt I guess.)
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