Monday, January 14, 2008

Psychopaths, Corporations, and Government

In the book "Snakes in Suits", the authors claim that the corporate world attracts psychopaths because the corporate structure rewards ruthless behavior. 1% of the general population are psychopaths. It is mostly genetic, like dyslexia.

Contrary to popular belief, most psychopaths don't become serial killers, as they don't necessarily enjoy killing.

[Psychopaths are not] burdened by conscience. Psychopaths have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life "games" they can win -- and take pleasure from their power over other people.
This is where you're likely to find such people as Ebbers, Fastow, ImClone CEO Sam Waksal, and hotelier Leona Helmsley. We put several big-name CEOs through the checklist, and they scored as "moderately psychopathic"
There are certainly more people in the business world who would score high in the psychopathic dimension than in the general population. You'll find them in any organization where, by the nature of one's position, you have power and control over other people and the opportunity to get something."
Indeed the 2003 documentary The Corporation, corporations are "sociopathic" (a synonym for "psychopathic") because they ruthlessly seek their own selfish interests -- "shareholder value" -- without regard for the harms they cause to others, such as environmental damage.

Psychopaths succeed in conventional society in large measure because few of us grasp that they are fundamentally different from ourselves. We assume that they, too, care about other people's feelings. This makes it easier for them to "play" us.
If corporations attract psychopaths, then by extension government attracts psychopaths.

When one rises above a certain level in a large corporation, one rubs elbows with government and enter the "revolving door" between the corporate world and government.

One of the ways people "debunk" a conspiracy theory is, "why would these people want more money and power than they already have?" Well, there's the answer, they are psychopaths.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another group that obviously attracts psychopaths is the military. Military/Industrial complex, anyone?