Even then, I acknowledge that the reason we work well are because there are so few of us, just like predators. If there were more sociopaths than there are already (maybe 25%), who knows, the world might be chaos. It would definitely throw our ecosystem off and certainly any competitive advantage that a sociopath has now would dwindle down to nothing.
So we can't all be sociopaths (or even have many more than we currently have), but we also can't all be empaths, at least not without throwing our ecosystem into a similar tailspin of chaos. Sociopaths within a society give that society an edge against other societies. And the very presence of sociopaths makes empaths behave in different, more robust and active ways that help propel a society forward instead of letting it stagnate or backslide.
The NY Times provides an interesting economic analogy to this dynamic in "Why Can't America Be Sweden":
“We cannot all be like the Nordics,” Acemoglu declares, in a 2012 paper, “Choosing Your Own Capitalism in a Globalized World,” written with his colleagues James A. Robinson, a professor of government at Harvard, and Thierry Verdier, scientific director of the Paris School of Economics.
If the “cutthroat leader” – the United States — were to switch to “cuddly capitalism, this would reduce the growth rate of the entire world economy,” the authors argue, by slowing the pace of innovation.
These findings, if substantiated, will disappoint those who long for a Swedish-style mixed economy with universal health care, paid maternal leave, child allowances, guaranteed pensions and other desirable social benefits.
In a more detailed paper, “Can’t We All Be More Like Scandinavians?” Acemoglu, Robinson and Verdier expand on their argument that the world is dependent on American leadership in technology and innovation to sustain global growth. In order to maintain its position at the forefront of global innovation, the authors contend, the United States must maintain an economic system that provides great rewards to successful innovators, which “implies greater inequality and greater poverty (and a weaker safety net) for a society encouraging innovation.”
The three authors make the case that the interconnected world economy has reached what they call an “asymmetric equilibrium” in which the United States “adopts a ‘cutthroat’ reward structure, with high-powered incentives for success, while other countries free-ride on this frontier economy and choose a more egalitarian, ‘cuddly,’ reward structure.”
Directly challenging what they describe as the consensus view – that a country can substantially expand the welfare state without sacrificing its pioneering role in technological innovation – Acemoglu and his colleagues write that it is “the more ‘cutthroat’ American society that makes possible the more ‘cuddly’ Scandinavian societies based on a comprehensive social safety net, the welfare state and more limited inequality.”
In an e-mail, Acemoglu provided the following analogy: The U.S. is also the military leader of the world, and it cannot imitate Finland and reduce its military to a trivial size without taking into account the global repercussions of this (and I’m saying this as somebody who is strongly opposed to U.S. military interventions around the world).
Of course there are many criticisms to this argument (see the link to the original article), but it's not at all absurd to think that there is some element of truth to the idea that we can't all be the same and still see the sort of dynamic growth and prosperity we've become accustomed to. Similarly, the diversity that everyone (including sociopaths) provides has value to society as a whole.
Jim Fallon spoke similarly of sociopaths as being the members of society who do the "dirty work":
And not just the dirty work but the good work. You don't want your neurosurgeon to be empathetic and caring emotionally when they're working on you. You want them to be cold machines that don't care. Same thing with an investor. . . . A society almost demands that we have psychopaths. It's a very stable feature throughout society in history that these people are there. And they pop up in a very malignant way sometimes but these traits seem to be very useful to society so we almost ask for it, or our genes and our behavior ask for it.
This is going to be especially useful in the zombie apocalypse.