Sociopaths and psychopaths in society and politics

Careers With the Most Psychopaths By Kali Holloway, AlterNet, June 21, 2015  …Just 1 percent of the overall population qualifies as psychopaths; in prison, that number skyrockets to 25 percent lots of psychopaths aren’t raging lunatics or violent criminals; in fact, most of them get along perfectly well in society. As Scientific American explains:.Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it. Largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, they have casual and callous interpersonal and romantic relationships. Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead. They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses… here’s a list of the top 10 careers with the most psychopaths working in them…1. CEO, 2. Lawyer, 3. Media (television/radio), 4. Salesperson, 5. Surgeon, 6. Journalist, 7. Police officer, 8. Clergy, 9. Chef, 10. Civil servants… In some fields, being a psychopath is actually a great way to get ahead.

Has Neoliberalism Turned Us All Into Psychopaths? By Paul Verhaeghe, The Guardian, posted on Alternet.org, October 2, 2014 …economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatization have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative…meritocratic neoliberalism favors certain personality traits and penalizes others… articulateness, the aim being to win over as many people as possible….able to talk up your own capacities…you never take responsibility for your own behavior…flexible and impulsive…this leads to risky behavior, but never mind, it won’t be you who has to pick up the pieces….Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace. This is a typical symptom of the impotent venting their frustration on the weak; in psychology it’s known as displaced aggression. There is a buried sense of fear, ranging from performance anxiety to a broader social fear of the threatening other…This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults. More important, though, is the serious damage to people’s self-respect. Self-respect largely depends on the recognition that we receive from the other…Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens. An increasing number of people fail, feeling humiliated, guilty and ashamed. We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system. A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goalOur presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, “make” something of ourselves…a changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us.

The Sociopathic 1 Percent: The Driving Force at the Heart of the Tea Party By Paul Rosenberg, Salon.com, March 8, 2014  …sociopaths are defined by their lack of empathy, conscience or any form of intuitive social awareness… It’s a mindset devoid of empathy or conscience, for whom other people simply are not real, a mindset that has gripped us collectively, ever more tightly, over the past 30 to 40 years…the influence of sociopathic thinking is far broader than we realize, particularly since it’s almost never recognized as such. That’s precisely why we need more awareness of the workings of the sociopathic imagination — the forms it takes, the impacts it has, the conditions in which it flourishes and spreads…. It’s also been argued that sociopaths have a sense of morality, only it’s a different one than the rest of society, perhaps, in which selfishness is a virtue, and altruism a vice, as per Ayn Rand…Now, even if it could be generalized, a 4% presence of psychopaths in business is not a lot, except when compared to 1%. The greater significance lies in why psychopaths are so dramatically over-represented in corporate management, and what that says about the environments they find so hospitable — which ties in directly to the rise of the 1 percent, who have done so much better than everyone else since the 1970s…

It’s Time to Stop Letting Sociopaths in Power Tell Us What Makes Us Happy by DH Garrett, Truthout, October 19, 2014

10 Most Inhumane Laws Courtesy of Southern Republicans By Alex Henderson, AlterNet, September 3, 2014

How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath By Scott A. Bonn, Psychology Today, Alternet.org, July 31, 2014 — Key traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include: A disregard for laws and social mores; A disregard for the rights of others;A failure to feel remorse or guilt;A tendency to display violent behavior. In addition to their commonalities, sociopaths and psychopaths also have their own unique behavioral characteristics as well. Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage…It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules… Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust…