Selfish or Sociopath, Does It Make a Difference?

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

In recent years many studies have come out  that have made the case that a high proportion of CEO’s of major companies are sociopaths. At the end of this blog I’ll provide a number of links that discuss this, some from major conservative business magazines. We do know that from 1% to 3% of humans are sociopaths sharing all of these 10 characteristics:

#1) Sociopaths are charming. #2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. #3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. #4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. #5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. #6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent #7) Sociopaths are incapable of love #8) Sociopaths speak poetically. #9) Sociopaths never apologize. #10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth.”

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmorePaul_Ryan--113th_Congress--Mitt_Romney_by_Gage_Skidmore_7Now the problem with the definition of Sociopathy is that there can be a good deal of subjectivity in making the diagnosis, absent a clinician interviewing the subject. After all many people are charming, spontaneous, invent lies, try to dominate others and speak “poetically” and that doesn’t make them sociopaths. The subjectivity comes in trying to determine whether a given person is incapable of feeling guilt, shame, remorse and is delusional. A trained clinician may be able to do this via an intensive interview, but the nature of this disorder is such that even a trained clinician can be fooled by a sociopath. Rather than argue back and forth about the negative effects of CEO sociopaths on this society as the root of so much dysfunction, my readings this week suggest another theory that would provide a simpler explanation of why it seems that so many in this country have so little compassion and empathy for the less fortunate among us. We need not deem them sociopaths, but people who are simply removed from the misery that they inflict. The apocryphal story of Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake” may well characterize those who control most of this country’s wealth. It may be why some are sincere philanthropists, yet show such disdain and lack a sense of responsibility for the suffering that they cause. Let’s explore this further.

“Scrooge has come early this year. We’re kicking our Tiny Tim’s. This holiday season, kids in America’s poorest families are going to have less to eat. November 1 brought $5 billion in new cuts to the nation’s food stamp program, now officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Poor families will lose on average 7 percent of their food aid, calculates the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A mother with two kids will lose $319 over the rest of the current federal fiscal year. The cuts could cost some families a week’s worth of meals a month, says the chief at America’s largest food bank. More cuts are looming. A U.S. House of Representatives majority is demanding an additional $39 billion in “savings” over the next decade. Ohio and a host of other states, in the meantime, are moving to limit food stamp eligibility.”

The author Sam Pizzigati, writing at , goes on to enumerate some of the actions being taken that will hurt parts the of  the American people that are least able to defend themselves against the depredations of poverty and hunger. This country which is so fond of creating metaphoric wars against objects of perceived fear like “Drugs” and “Terror”, has also had metaphorical “Wars” declared against “Poverty” and “Hunger”.  The latter died due to the entanglement in Viet Nam monopolizing government funds. The paradigm this era’s “War on Something” may actually have been transformed in a “War for Something,” because what it seems we now have is a “War for Poverty” and a “War For Hunger”. Some examples:

“Today’s brazen heartlessness toward America’s most vulnerable actually goes far deeper than food stamp cuts, as a new Economic Policy Institute report released last week documents in rather chilling detail.

Four states, the report notes, have “lifted restrictions on child labor.” In Wisconsin, state law used to limit 16- and 17-year-olds to no more than five hours of work a day on school days. The new law erases these limits.

Other states are cutting back on protections for low-wage workers of all ages. Earlier this year, the new EPI survey relates, Mississippi adopted a law that bans cities and counties in the state “from adopting any minimum wage, living wage, or paid or unpaid sick leave rights for local workers.”

There are those of course representing a particular conservative mindset, that would argue that ending “child labor restrictions” are actually a good thing, because they allow children in poverty to rise above their situation through work. The history of child labor in this country would give lie to this. The impetus for passing these laws that  defenestrate “child labor restrictions”, comes from companies paying the minimum wage, or less, to people who are looking for any kind of job. The young are seen as a source of  pliable,cheap labor that can be easier controlled and made more fearful. Unless one is quite extraordinary, being stuck at the minimum wage, or less, ensures rather than provides an escape from poverty. We of course have those “lift themselves up from their bootstraps” types like former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who used himself as an example of this because he worked in a McDonald’s after his father’s death. He didn’t elaborate though that he came from the wealthiest family in his home town and that his father’s estate provided more than ample sustenance. Considering that after graduation from College Ryan was secured a job in the office of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator and from then on has always worked either in government or for Conservative lobbying organizations, the congressman has done very little “bootstrap pulling and much string pulling to get work. Very few people “lift themselves up by their bootstraps” and those few exceptions do prove that rule.

The “War for Poverty”, as I like to call it, doesn’t only affect children and teenagers. Its cost cutting howitzers are also trained upon this nation’s elderly:

“The sick and elderly aren’t faring all that well either. In Arizona, the governor proposed a health-insurance cutoff that would have tripped some patients up right in the middle of their chemotherapy. Texas is considering Medicaid cuts that could end up closing 850 of the state’s 1,000 nursing homes.”

It seems we have reached a point in America where the notion of a community of citizens, bound by common destinies has been replaced by an “everyone for themselves” attitude, that is inexplicably endorsed heartily by all too many supposedly “devout Christians.” They have made the notion of “Christian Charity” a relic of the past.  As with Mr. Ryan our new Deities have become Ayn Rand and Gordon Gekko. For someone of my age, whose parents became adults during the “Great Depression”, this is not the America I grew up in, or at least not the image of America that was fostered during that “Depression”, and during and after World War II. The 2010 elections seem to have seemed to accelerated the process of our nation becoming one that extols selfishness and rewards greed.

“America’s current surge of mean-spiritedness, observes Gordon Lafer, the University of Oregon author of the EPI study, essentially erupted right after the 2010 elections. In 11 states, those elections gave right-wingers “new monopoly control” over the governor’s mansion and both legislative houses.

Lafer links this right-wing electoral triumph directly to growing inequality. A widening income gap, he explains, “has produced a critical mass of extremely wealthy businesspeople, many of whom are politically conservative,” and various recent court cases have given these wealthy a green light to spend virtually unlimited sums on their favored political candidates.

This spending has, in turn, raised campaign costs for all political hopefuls — and left pols even more dependent on deep-pocket campaign contributions.

But America’s new heartlessness reflects much more than this turbocharged political power of America’s rich. An insensitivity toward the problems poor people face, researchers have shown, reflects a deeper psychological shift that extreme inequality makes all but inevitable.

The wider a society’s economic divide, as Demos think tank analyst Sean McElwee noted last week, the less empathy on the part of the rich and the powerful toward the poor and the weak. In a starkly unequal society, people of more than ample means “rarely brush shoulders” with people of little advantage. These rich don’t see the poor. They stereotype them — as lazy and unworthy.”

It is a closed circle that is driving and justifying the ever widening economic divide in this country. The wealthy elite never see the poor and the disadvantaged in this country. They are separated from them by their wealth and because of that, only are able to view them through the lens of self serving abstractions. They are catered to by armies of servants who of necessity treat them obsequiously for fear of their jobs. When one lives a life of pampered privilege it becomes difficult to understand why, or how, people live otherwise. One who is to the manor born naturally grows up with a sense of entitlement and many of our American religious leaders cater to that assuring them that God has bestowed blessings upon them since they are worthy. Conversely, of course, those who live in poverty and deprivation must deserve their fate and their state must be also ordained by God.

Forgetting for a moment the politics involved, didn’t we see just that in Mitt Romney’s run for the President. From what I’ve seen of the man, I don’t believe that Mitt is a sociopath. I believe he genuinely loves his wife and family. I believe he has feelings for his religion and feelings for his friends. I believe that even in some abstract way he cares for the plight of those less fortunate. Mitt though, can serve as the poster boy for those elite who are driving this new American attitude and by his own uttering’s he reveals how his attitudes arose. Romney was born into the “royalty” of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) and thus from his first realization of life was a privileged person. His father George, a successful Automobile Executive was a very rich and very doting father. Mitt and his wife to make themselves seem more like average American’s discussed with no iron their “struggles” when he was in school and had to “only” live off of his stock portfolio. Rich people hate to live of the principal. His father of course paid for his education. After school his father gave him $10 million to buy into Bain Capital and from there his fortune grew and grew, convincing him that through hard work “anyone” can make it in America. Can we really blame Mr. Romney for his disdain for the 47% of Americans who are not “producers” like himself? Isn’t it obvious that when Romney gave advice to young “men” starting out as entrepreneurs to “borrow” $20,000 from their fathers and start their business, that he sincerely believed this a viable option for most Americans? If we extrapolate Romney’s attitudes to a whole class of the American elite, Koch Brothers anyone, we can see that one doesn’t have to be a sociopath to respond as a sociopath towards those less fortunate.

Now to be fair I know and have known people who started in life with very little and have built wonderful careers and became wealthy via their own efforts. Having become successful on their own, they have little sympathy for others who are not able to rise above their own poverty. I may not agree with their social views, but they are good people and their success was hard won, so they’re my friends nonetheless. Conversely, I also know and have known people who have inherited businesses from their parents and were quite successful in managing/expanding it. Many of these are quite concerned about the conditions of those less fortunate and act upon their sympathies. The reality is that among my friendships and acquaintances there is no one that even rises to the level of wealth had by Romney, the Koch’s, the Walton’s, the Mellon’s, the Scaife’s. People such as these live in a totally different and inaccessible world to me and to most of the people I’ve known in my life. These people representing a small percentage of American wealth and privilege have been the driving forces behind today’s “War On Poverty”.

‘Defenders of inequality typically do their musings at a high, fact-free level of abstraction. CNN columnist John Sutter last week brought America down to inequality’s ground level, with a remarkably moving and insightful look at the most unequal county in the United States, East Carroll Parish in Louisiana.

In East Carroll, the rich live north of Lake Providence, the poor south. The two groups seldom interact. East Carroll’s most affluent 5 percent average $611,000 a year, 90 times the $6,800 incomes the poorest fifth of the parish average. Such wide income gaps, Sutter shows, invite “gaps in empathy.”

“Looking across Lake Providence from the north,” as he puts it, “can warp a person’s vision.”

One example of this warped vision: East Carroll’s rich see food stamps as an “entitlement” that rots poor people’s incentive to work. Yet these same affluent annually pocket enormously generous farm subsidies. In 2010, East Carroll’s most highly subsidized farmer grabbed $655,000 from one federal subsidy alone. The average food stamp payout in the parish: $1,492 per person per year.” 

East Carroll Parish in Louisiana is a microcosm of the conditions throughout our country. We see those that consider themselves the “producer” in this country missing totally the point of how they have had their own form of entitlement, in this instance farm subsidies, which as most students of politics know have become almost impossible to eliminate even though the bulk of the subsidies go to our huge Agri-Business industry. Providing a complement to Mr. Pizzigati’s article was another one that I read this week at  by Paul Bucheit which was titled: “How the Supperich Are Abandoning America”

“As they accumulate more and more wealth, the very rich have less need for society. At the same time, they’ve convinced themselves that they made it on their own, and that contributing to societal needs is unfair to them. There is ample evidence that this small group of takers is giving up on the country that made it possible for them to build huge fortunes.

They’ve Taken $25 Trillion of New Wealth While Paying Less Taxes

The 2013 Global Wealth Databook shows that U.S. wealth has increased from $47 trillion in 2008 to $72 trillion in mid-2013. But according to U.S. Government Revenue figures, federal income taxes have gone DOWN from 2008 to 2012. Even worse, corporations cut their tax rate in half.

American society has gained nothing from its massive wealth expansion. There’s no wealth tax, no financial transaction tax, no way to ensure that infrastructure and public education are supported. Just how much have the super-rich taken over the past five years? Each of the elite 5% — the richest 12 million Americans — gained, on average, nearly a million dollars in financial wealth between 2008 and 2013.

There is literally so much supporting material for the fact that the economic fortunes of the wealthiest American’s have grown exponentially since the beginning of our new century that all one has to do is Google it. At the same time there has been this unprecedented growth in wealth, those who most benefitted from it have paid less and less taxes, while deriving benefits from government programs such as the “oil subsidy”.  In the 50’s and 60’s when only the affluent could really afford to fly the term “Jet Setter” developed for those who were wealthy enough to travel to Europe, or Bali, on a whim. There developed a culture of those people who lived their lives bathed in sybaritic luxury and could nonchalantly suggest to their friends to meet them in Paris for the weekend. As the separation of Americans on the basis of wealth has grown the “Jet Set” has become what is really the “Expatriate Set” who have homes all over the world and indeed consider themselves to be “Citizen’s of the World” rather than just plain Americans. Is it any wonder than that when they deign to even think of those less fortunate then themselves? Many of those thoughts are laden with disdain against those “unwashed masses” many of who they would see as readers of this blog.

“For the First Time in History, They Believe They Don’t Need the Rest of Us: The rich have always needed the middle class to work in their factories and buy their products. With globalization this is no longer true. Their factories can be in China, producing goods for people in India or Europe or anywhere else in the world.

They don’t need our infrastructure for their yachts and helicopters and submarines. They pay for private schools for their kids, private security for their homes. They have private emergency rooms to avoid the health care hassle. All they need is an assortment of servants, who might be guest workers coming to America on H2B visas, willing to work for less than a middle-class American can afford.

The sentiment is spreading from the super-rich to the merely rich. In 2005 Sandy Springs, a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, stopped paying for most public services, deciding instead to avoid subsidizing poorer residents of Fulton County by hiring a “city outsourcer” called CH2M to manage everything except the police and fire departments. That includes paving the roads, running the courts, issuing tickets, handling waste, and various other public services. Several other towns followed suit.

Results have been mixed, with some of CH2M’s clients backing out or renegotiating. But privatization keeps coming at us. Selective decisions about public services threaten to worsen already destitute conditions for many communities. Detroit, of course, is at the forefront. According to an Urban Land Institute report, “more municipalities may follow Detroit’s example and abandon services in certain districts.”

As this year draws to a close we again see a battle shaping up in Congress, led by the “Tea Party” controlled House over cutting both Social Security and Medicare. The conservative propaganda machine abetted by a corporate media has turned these programs into “Entitlements”, when they are really insurance funds. Not one of those in Congress trying to choke off these programs will ever have to rely upon them in their old age, nor will the corporate sponsors, of which most of our Congress people have become “wholly-owned subsidiaries.”

“They Soaked the Middle Class, and Now Demand Cuts in the Middle-Class Retirement Fund. The richest Americans take the greatest share of over $2 trillion in Tax Expenditures, Tax Underpayments, Tax Haven holdings, and unpaid Corporate Taxes. The Social Security budget is less than half of that. Yet much of Congress and many other wealthy Americans think it should be cut. These are the same people who deprive the American public of $300 billion a year by not paying their full share of the payroll tax.”

However, those clamoring for these cuts among the elite believe they are justified in paying less taxes because they “made it on their own” and this reflects a false, self-serving view of the historical realities:

“They Continue to Insist that They “Made It on Their Own”. They didn’t. Their fortunes derived in varying degrees – usually big degrees – from public funding, which provided almost half of basic research funds into the 1980s, and even today supports about 60 percent of the research performed at universities.

Businesses rely on roads and seaports and airports to ship their products, the FAA and TSA and Coast Guard and Department of Transportation to safeguard them, a nationwide energy grid to power their factories, communications towers and satellites to conduct online business, the Department of Commerce to promote and safeguard global markets, the U.S. Navy to monitor shipping lanes, and FEMA to clean up after them.

Apple, the tax haven specialist, still does most of its product and research development in the United States, with US-educated engineers and computer scientists. Google’s business is based on the Internet, which started as ARPANET, the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency computer network from the 1960s. The National Science Foundation funded the Digital Library Initiative research at Stanford University that was adopted as the Google model. Microsoft was started by our richest American, Bill Gates, whose success derived at least in part by taking the work of competitors and adapting it as his own. Same with Steve Jobs, who admitted: “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Companies like Pfizer and Merck have relied on basic research performed at the National Institute of Health. A Congressional Budget Office study reminds us that The primary rationale for the government to play a role in basic research is that private companies perform too little such research themselves (relative to what is best for society).”

What we see now is a world where businesses and the wealthy that own them, consider themselves multi-national, which means they are untied to any government and owe no government their allegiance. What goes unmentioned though, as expanded upon above, is that the source of wealth for many of our “elite” and the corporations they control is in our case the American government which they’ve captured. The same America that had to bail out the banks and Wall Street from the results of their own excesses and the same country that goes to war to protect their private oil interests.

As a Final Insult, Many of Them Desert the Country that Made Them Rich: Many of the beneficiaries of American research and technology have abandoned their country because of taxes. Like multinational companies that rationalize the move by claiming to be citizens of the world, almost 2,000 Americans, and perhaps up to 8,000, have left their responsibilities behind for more favorable tax climates.

The most egregious example is Eduardo Saverin, who found safe refuge in the U.S. after his family was threatened in Brazil, landed Mark Zuckerberg as a roommate at Harvard, benefited from American technology to make billions from his 4% share in Facebook, and then skipped out on his tax bill. My thanks for this article go to

The some of the Elite of this country, whether inherited, or self-made believe that the rest of us exist merely as appendages for their comfort. They view the great mass of us with disdain. Their world-view is self-serving and self soothing and from my perspective they are entitled to believe anything they choose to believe. What they are not entitled to in my opinion is to play a being “Robin Hood” in reverse. They have taken and taken from the American people, they control our government and this need to stop. I’m neither a socialist, a communist, nor a fascist. I don’t believe in an enforced equality of wealth in society. What I do believe in is a society that treats everyone equally before the law. I believe in a society that is empathic towards all of its members. I believe in a society that cares for, nurtures and protects all of us. Perhaps I am a Utopian at heart in my beliefs. Whatever I am though, my anger at the way this country is being stolen from its citizens by powerful people who take but never give, is great. You all can have plenty of money and still take care of your responsibilities to society as a whole. That is why I suspect something more is afoot. Our corporatist elite has the money and has the control, what they seem to really want it to have the total subservience of all who they think themselves the better person. This is not necessarily a sociopathic disorder, but the difference between these points of view and sociopathy is so minimal as to be ignored.

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger.

Articles on CEO’s being sociopaths:


155 thoughts on “Selfish or Sociopath, Does It Make a Difference?

  1. Skip: Gold by the way has increased some 4,400% since then so it is surely a terrible investment.

    And since Obama began his second term in 2012, Gold has dropped from a high of $1800 an ounce to $1276 an ounce, a nearly 30% decline.

    So if you think rising Gold prices indicate a problem with the economy, then to be consistent you have to think that falling Gold prices must indicate a healthy economy.

    The biggest economic change that Obama’s re-election ensured was that ObamaCare would go forward and be fully implemented; that Republicans would not be able to repeal the legislation. So by your lights, ObamaCare must be great for the economy, and must be increasing the value of the dollar.

  2. Has this msg bb decided what is an acceptable definition to use for “sociopath”, “psychopath” & other monsters yet?

    I’ll try to catch up later.

    This below infowars interview is well worth your time if you’re interested in the unfolding events of Fukushima’s Jap/GE nuke nightmare.

  3. Skip: So mike what your solution.

    A criticism that something is wrong does not have to be accompanied by a solution. I claim that murder is wrong. Do I have a way to forever prevent murder from occurring? No.

    Does that mean I am wrong about murder? No. It is wrong.

    Am I wrong to criticize anybody (like a Mafia Don) that disagrees with me, and considers murder a valid business tactic? No, I am not wrong.

    In fact criticism and understanding what is wrong with murder is what leads us to collectively band together to punish murder, which reduces the rate of murder amongst us. We don’t have to have THE solution for murder, being able to separate murder from self-defense, murder from battlefield killing, and murder from accident is a result of critical analysis of deaths. Even a partial prevention of murder is still a good idea.

  4. Skip: when the world was most libertarian and that was actually for a very short period of time,

    Are you talking about the “world,” or are you talking about “the new world?”

    Because the Old World was ruled by brutal dictators (kings and emperors) for most of recorded history, and in the New World, stumbling across a few trillion dollars worth of free exploitable natural resources (with no laws against killing any current inhabitants) does have the tendency to let many do “exceptionally well,” if you conveniently dismiss the lives they destroyed to do it. (like Native Americans and African slaves).

    Also, if Libertarianism is so great for humanity, then it would have lasted longer than a “very short period of time,” but it did not. Because once all the free resources are consumed or locked up, Libertarianism is only great for a small elite that do “exceptionally well” by exploiting those without power. But they just cannot stand forever against a majority opposed to exploitation, laws will be passed to stop the exploitation, and the experiment in Libertarianism is over, as it should be.

    By your own claim, Libertarianism is an unstable solution, it cannot last long without dictatorial enforcement. What you advocate for is despotism.

  5. If I’m replying to one person, what would be the best way to show that but still place the original post and rely ion priority. It’s like butting in line.

  6. Skip: I believe in the Libertarian world, more people would be killed by the sociopaths and psychopaths than are killed by governments.

    But “living” is hardly the measure to worry about; there is this thing called quality of life and standard of living, and in a Libertarian world it would be far beneath the current state for the vast majority of people.

    The proof is in the many second and third-world countries where there are no workplace regulations, or where (like India) they can be ignored without any consequences, or a minor bribe. The workers there are underpaid, endangered, and miserable, because they either work or starve, and nobody competes on being a better employer, ever.

  7. Skip: “If everyone can assert their rights against all others the strongest win.”

    Mike is talking about the basic evolutionary theory, survival of the fittest. In evolution the “fittest” are measured by their reproductive success; in economics the fittest are measured by their wealth, in society the fittest are measured by other factors like influence, good will, and so on.

    The problem with opposing regulation is that mere wealth or power or profit is a fundamentally amoral measurement. If I can profit more by finding ways to use my greater resources to keep people from competing with my monopoly, and monopolizing products and services (like food and shelter and safety and health care) they will eventually need, then I am allowed to do those things and oppress those people.

    The natural outcome of “competition” is that somebody loses, and without regulation and legal protection, the winner is almost certainly the entity with the most resources. Money, personnel, and ability to set prices that others cannot compete with.

    For example, say I am rich. I see Joe, who is much less rich than me, has invented a new kind of burger. I hear about that, Joe is selling burgers fast, and I want to do that. How can I “compete” with Joe? Well, to start, I can hire professional chefs and analysis to figure out Joe’s recipe; he can’t stop me because there are no regulations against it. I can buy the building from the owner, at a premium, and kick Joe out of it. Or I can buy the streets that lead to it, and close them. I can open a store next to Joe, and sell the same thing as Joe for less than it costs Joe to make it. I might lose money, but I am rich, and eventually I can bankrupt Joe. Even if I don’t, because I am rich I can open a chain of burger joints selling Joe’s recipe, I can advertise better, I can even lie about Joe’s burger and his lack of cleanliness and his mystery ingredients, and drive customers away from Joe. Presuming I am rich because I own other businesses, without regulations I can threaten to fire any of my employees caught eating at Joe’s. Heck, after I open 50 stores to Joe’s one store, I can threaten my suppliers with retaliation if they even SELL products to Joe, and without regulation I can find his suppliers and pay them to refuse service to Joe. Why would they refuse? Instead of making a few percent profits off of Joe’s one store, they can make that profit for doing literally nothing, and they can see the writing on the wall — Tony Rich is going to drive Joe out of business anyway. Might as well take the “fee” Tony is offering, and not risk doing business with Joe.

    Then, when Joe’s idea is thoroughly stolen and Joe is broken, broke, and bankrupt, I will have an effective monopoly on Joe’s burger, and I can charge what the market will bear and enjoy all the profits. More than enough to make up for any losses I incurred in my campaign to destroy Joe.

    Without regulations, the rich win. I haven’t even touched on some of the practices of the 1800’s like fire-bombing factories or sabotage.

    The regulations on business did not appear out of thin air, they are due to actual practices that were legal before the regulation was written, and should not have been.

    Where there is no restraint the sociopaths and psychopaths win, and the vast majority of us think of their tactics as theft, fraud, and unfair competition. There are a thousand ways to “compete” that do not have anything to do with the standard metrics of producing a better product, better price, better service, better quality or guarantee. Those ways involve attacking the person instead of competing with their product, and repressing their customers instead of offering them another choice.

    The need for regulation is to prevent unfair competition, and thereby benefit consumers by protecting startups that really do have innovations that make their product more desirable, more affordable, safer, less costly to operate and so on.

      • So the fact that England has invaded and occupied every county in the world except for about 25, would be what? And the US is not far behind.

        Secondly, are you assuming that we reject the creation of contracts which create mutual responsibility and respect? It just a big free for all?. That my neighbors and I would not try to stop someone or a group, if they tried to take away one of our rights or that we would not join other voluntary organizations or communities that except that premise? Remember groups like the Green Mountain Boys were “voluntary” soldiers who fought along side the Continental Army in the revolution and in numerous situations were the real ones responsible for some wins as were privateers on the oceans.

        There are many ways to skin a cat and government force of arms or police power does not necessarily have to be a part of it.

        Is not what we are all seeking, peace and justice. It cannot be accomplished by any other means except government? In fact, neither to me has been done to any acceptable manner by government. We know the reasons why, we just have not been able to implement a system that is superior.

        Sadly there is only really two systems to choose from and one we know doesn’t work very well. We have been manipulated by organized government for well over 4,000 years and mankind still has the same old problems. Oligarchs still maintain the system and they use force of arms and the police power of government to enforce their controls. Gandhi got it pretty right and proved it. If he were hear today and had the resources we do, I’m pretty sure he would be a libertarian.

        What do you thi8nk he meant when he stated?: The State is a soulless machine. It can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its existence – Mahatma Gandhi

      • You cannot assert a right against others. A right is the ability to go out in the world without someone trying or taking your rights away. Self defense, which is a right, attempts to prohibits such action, unless legalized and guess who always wants to legalize the usurpation of rights?

  8. Skip: No, you don’t get contracts.

    Contracts are worthless if you cannot appeal to a third party to enforce them. Who says a contract must be honored? That is a law. Who enforces the law? That is a government.

    It cannot be a for-profit agency out for their own self-interest, because

    A) They can sell to the highest bidder, and
    B) They can refuse to enforce if doing so risks their lives (like trying to seize property forfeit by the contract),
    C) The poor, or robbed, or dead, cannot afford law enforcement,

    and all of those three points result in rule by the most wealthy and most brutal.

    Laws and contracts must be enforced by courts and police, by force when needed. All contract coercion must potentially escalate, in steps, to the use of force, or lethal force. No party can be allowed to escape a contract on the grounds of “I changed my mind, I’ll lose money.” Otherwise a contract is worthless — simply refusing to comply breaks it and there is nothing the harmed party can do about it.

    Law and contract enforcement must also be available at no cost to those that have no money. Otherwise they have no rights and the contracts they sign are not binding on the other party, because they cannot enforce the contract. Suppose a man without money signs a contract for a job, performs the job, and then his employer refuses to pay him. How does he get that contract enforced? Hire a contingency collector to collect? How? With another contract he cannot get enforced? What prevents that collector from collecting the pay and then refusing to pay him?

    The enforcement must be free, or the result is rule by the wealthy and brutal. If the enforcement has a profit motive, it corrupts Rights and Law and gives the advantage to entities that can pay the most. (Like in our country). The enforcers have to be paid the same to be neutral.

    Your fantasy is just unworkable; force is absolutely necessary because sociopaths and psychopaths respond to nothing else. No for-profit or pay-as-you-go scheme is fair or will ever work to create a society with all persons treated equally under the law, it just results in rule by the rich and slavery of the poor.

  9. Oky1 1, November 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Has this msg bb decided what is an acceptable definition to use for “sociopath”, “psychopath” & other monsters yet?

    Nomenclature is important.

    The failure to be able to develop a nomenclature for the degrees of selfishness (acceptable selfishness -> sociopath -> psychopath) is an indication of an inability to think clearly in a professional group setting.

    Our culture is mentally impaired in that sense when it comes to grasping those dynamics.

    As one consequence we are making war on some via the war on drugs yet glorifying other and more egregious forms or degrees of the same thing:

    06:28 – “the genetic argument allows us the luxury of ignoring past and present historical and social factors. In the words of Louis Menand who wrote in the New Yorker very astutely:

    It’s all in the genes”: an explanation for the way things are that does not threaten the way things are. Why should someone feel unhappy or engage in antisocial behavior when that person is living in the freest and most prosperous nation on Earth? It can’t be the system! There must be a flaw in the wiring somewhere.”

    … which is a good way to put it. So the genetic argument is simply a cop-out that allows us to ignore the social and economic and political factors that in fact underlie many troublesome behaviors”

    (Dr. Maté).

    07:25 – “addictions are usually considered to be a drug related issue, but looking at it more broadly, I find that addiction is any behavior that is associated with craving for temporary relief and with long term negative consequences along with an impairment of control over it so that the person wishes to give it up or promises to, but can’t follow through” (Dr. Maté).

    08:10 – “The addiction to oil … at least to the wealth and to the products made accessible to us by oil … look at the negative consequences on the environment we are destroying the very Earth that we inhabit for the sake of that addiction. Now these addictions are far more devastating in the social consequences than the cocaine or heroin habits of my … patients. Yet they are rewarded and considered to be respectable. The tobacco company executive that shows a higher profit will get a much bigger reward … doesn’t face any negative consequences legally or otherwise … in fact is a respected member of the board of several other corporations … but tobacco smoke related diseases kill 5.5 million people around the world every year. In the United States they kill 400,000 people a year” (Dr. Maté).

    09:05 – “And these people are addicted to what? To profit, to such a degree are they addicted that they are actually in denial about the impact of their activities, which is typical for addicts, is denial. And that is the respectable one. It is respectable to be addicted to profit no matter what the cost. So what is acceptable and what is respectable is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society. And it seems like the greater the harm the more respectable the addiction” (Dr. Maté).

    (quoted from video index up-thread, emphasis added). In a society mentally impaired like that, nomenclature is more difficult to fashion, shape, and bring to bear on the dynamics at issue.

  10. I found a blog about Dr. Fallon whom I provided a video lecture up-thread.

    It is written by a Dr. McAleer:

    Fallon again found that everyone in his family has the low-aggression variant of the MAO-A gene, except for one person—himself.
    “I’m 100 percent. I have the pattern, the risky pattern,” he says, then pauses. “In a sense, I’m a born killer.”

    Fallon isn’t, of course, a killer; however, genetically speaking he meets the criteria of psychopathy.

    Fallon reported that, “he had a had a terrific childhood; he was doted on by his parents and had loving relationships with his brothers and sisters and entire extended family.”

    And therein lays the process of how one person can become a psychopath, and another to go on with a fairly “normal” life. Without the environmental component of an abusive or neglectful childhood, the genetic factors are not “activated.” This provides further insight into psychopathy—it is not only important to study those who are psychopaths, but also those who had major predispositions to become psychopaths, but did not. The protective factors can help us to better understand and encourage preventative measures.

    Had Fallon had a different kind of childhood his life may have taken an all together different path…or not.

    It’s difficult to know what particular factors protected Fallon from becoming a psychopath, but this certainly further supports the notion that our genetics do not predetermine our life’s course.

    (Psych Central, The Case of James Fallon).

  11. We absolutely do not need the hypothesis of ‘sociopath’ to explain socipathic behavior.

    Look at the “Stanford Prison Experiment” by Zimbardo, Milner’s work and all of the following research on this topic.

    Basically, the great majority of people take their morality from their peers and from their superiors.

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