In the wake of a devastating financial crisis, President Obama has enacted some modest and obviously needed regulation; he has proposed closing a few outrageous tax loopholes; and he has suggested that Mitt Romney’s history of buying and selling companies, often firing workers and gutting their pensions along the way, doesn’t make him the right man to run America’s economy.
Wall Street has responded — predictably, I suppose — by whining and throwing temper tantrums. And it has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be. Remember when Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group compared a proposal to limit his tax breaks to Hitler’s invasion of Poland? Remember when Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase characterized any discussion of income inequality as an attack on the very notion of success?***
And it has been especially sad to see some Democratic politicians with ties to Wall Street, like Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, dutifully rise to the defense of their friends’ surprisingly fragile egos.
As I said at the beginning, in a way Wall Street’s self-centered, self-absorbed behavior has been kind of funny. But while this behavior may be funny, it is also deeply immoral.
Think about where we are right now, in the fifth year of a slump brought on by irresponsible bankers. The bankers themselves have been bailed out, but the rest of the nation continues to suffer terribly, with long-term unemployment still at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with a whole cohort of young Americans graduating into an abysmal job market.
And in the midst of this national nightmare, all too many members of the economic elite seem mainly concerned with the way the president apparently hurt their feelings. That isn’t funny. It’s shameful.
It really is amazing to me just how many sociopaths become so wealthy and powerful.
Just Some Fuckhead
Is it really that amazing? Think how much money we could make if we just drove around town knocking people down and taking their money.
Then imagine the influence we could buy with that money.
Time magazine included Lucky Luciano among the top 20 most influential builders and titans of the 20th century.
This is a direct takedown of the Bobo column that appeared early this week. The fairy tale that Krugman mentions is what is being taught in the Business Schools all over. The financial crisis has not changed their thinking at all.
If you are a sociopath born to poor parents, society puts you in jail. But if you are a sociopath born to rich parents, society makes you king of the universe. There is also tremendous pressure for non-sociopathic rich people to “fit in” by adopting the vicious ways of their sociopathic peers.
John Cole @ Top:
In a society functioning on the basis of Social Darwinism, those with financial power will accrue more and more money by stealing it from everyone else, because they can.
The fact that sociopathy has become the norm in American business and finance, and that the sociopaths expect to be uncritically worshipped for it, is simply proof that we have in fact become a Socially Darwinistic society.
They have the UChicago economists to thank for, starting with Milton Friedman, they provided the intellectual fuel for this revolution.
Forum Transmitted Disease
Huh. I don’t find it funny at all, two of my family had their retirement accounts basically zeroed by these self-annointed goddamned Masters of the Universe right as they hit retirement age, us kids are doing our best to take care of them but we can only do so much…and for that alone, by God I am not a violent person but they really all deserve to die.
For instance, the promotion of Ayn Rand’s asshole training manuals as “literature”.
It’s not surprising to me at all. Over time, I’ve come to the admittedly dubious conclusion that highly functioning sociopaths (meaning ones that don’t stash bodies in crawl spaces) are a key component of any society, and such as it’s always been. They’ve been kings, conquerors and industrial titans throughout human history (some times for better, a lot of times for worse).
The lack of a moral compass and conscience, requires a highly developed and deliberate set of ethics that is codified through learned behavior. The ones that are successful are often brilliant (I think that’s a necessary part of being “highly functioning” in this context).
That said, it is not without it’s myriad of downsides. You cannot trust them to look out for other people when it gets in the way of their own goals. Extreme narcissism and obsessive self interest are par for the course. Given that, in a space where their own self interest dovetails with that of others, they can be leaders. But like a loaded gun, they are extremely dangerous when that is not the case.
Villago Delenda Est
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Beat me to it. You’ve said it for me.
All it takes is absolutely no sense of right and wrong, no moral compass, and you too can be as rich as OvenMitt Rmoney.
The most depolorable of all scams is televangilism, and it thrives in this country. It’s protected by the First Amendment, the government dares not try to stop it. Because there are a lot of suckers out there who need to have their candy stolen from them.
I have two very rich relatives who own their own companies. And you can’t disagree with them about anything. They are used to talking with people who work for them, or who are dependent on them and will inherit someday or talking to their fellow geniuses at the country club. No one disagrees with them.
I have heard it said that no one is dumber or more sensitive to insult than a beautiful model. Everyone they talk to agrees with them whatever they say because they want to have sex with them. Rich guys are essentially ugly supermodels with money.
Villago Delenda Est
It’s key to understand that it is short term self interest, as in immediate gratification, that drives these people.
They have no clue as to their long term self interest (altruism is that…it’s paying it forward) and all the trends since WWII in business (see: the Harvard MBA) is about short term gain, with no concern for long term prosperity, or that one of your missions is to provide to many people a means to make a living. Everything is subsumed into short term monetary gain (not even material gain, mind you…simply imaginary money).
Also, a Substitute McArdle is flipping out because the proposed carried interest/ordinary income rule is being written to close the obvious Sale of Interest loophole instead of being a complete sham.
And they gave him anonymity to do it!
Are they successful on Wall Street because they’re sociopaths, or are sociopaths created by success on Wall Street?
I think a study of history is in order. The current Masters of the Universe seem to be more whiny and less manly than previous Masters of the Universe, but they don’t seem that much more sociopathic really. You think someone like Henry VIII cared much about the peasants? Or Louis XVI? Alexander the Great? Julius Caesar?
Or if you don’t like comparing leaders of companies to leaders of kingdoms (though, frankly, companies have replaced petty fiefdoms in our modern age, but whatever) there’s always the list of Robber Barons to choose from. Men like Carnegie, Morgan, Mellon, Astor, and the rest were just as much a bunch of sociopaths as the guys we’ve got today – their images have been rehabilitated as time has passed, but someday I’ll bet Jamie Dimon will have a bunch of foundations dedicated to making his legacy something positive too.
Yeah, it’s a real shocker. Totally new phenomenon too.
WADR Cole, you really have been laying teh stoopid on mighty thick lately.
@Villago Delenda Est:
I agree that many are short sighted, but a plurality of them aren’t, so I don’t think it’s anywhere near universal.
I wonder if Rockefeller and Carnegie for example, were not sociopathic. I could easily see that for them, their altruism wasn’t really altruism in the strictest sense, but rather a narcissistic concern for their legacy “immortality?”.
Stuck in the Funhouse
Good article by Krugman!! Delivering cold hard facts without a lot of hyperbole and his aim spot on the bad guys.
I think we passed the sign post of “immoral’ a while ago, and now the watchword should squarely be in the “national survival” category, with regard to the situation on Wall Street, and throughout the realm. From a mindset of hyper short term profiteering, with a GDP heavy on the manufactured wealth via variety of get rich quick schemes permeating our financial world. And it is not the least bit certain it will be fixed to avoid some very bad times, worse than the times we just came thru. Supply side mania is firmly entrenched in the system from a thirty year run of deregulation, with more than a few democrats still enabling that status quo. Cory B-ker is but one of those. And the media propels the bullshit as much as anything else.
A lot more reform is needed, and PDQ.
This is an example of another step into a feudal-style system: the belief that the noble Houses are by definition morally above any serf.
@NonyNony: I think the reason we are seeing so many “short sighted” MOTUs these days is that for these people – they no longer have ties to any single nation. They have more in common with themselves than they do with anyone else. They are isolated from their roots, and insular in their goals. First of all, legacy building has nothing to do with creating institutional structures in the nation they were reared in. Also, it’s not an imperative anymore in the extremely wealth class to make the appearance of “giving back” – I believe that’s become a quaint notion for them. They have nothing to fear from social reprisal among their peers for being all for themselves. I think that plays a not-insignificant role here.
I had a similar reaction a few years back to the vast number of people who squealed in shocked outrage at “Obama’s apologizing for America!”
Nation lied into a war, four thousand troops dead, vast amounts of treasure pissed away into the wind, an entire nation destroyed, thousands and thousands of its people killed, millions more maimed, displaced or otherwise seriously harmed by the occupation, the money supposedly allocated to repair these things vanishing without a trace. Arguably the single greatest crime of our generation, and the only thing they’re concerned about is that Obama’s hurting their fee-fees by saying out loud that America’s not perfect.
Yeah, sociopath about covers it, though it’s much, much, much too mild a word.
Really? Because looking at my own self, I imagine it would be pretty easy to get wealthy if I lacked morals, empathy, human decency, and that little voice in the back of my head that tells me not be a lying, thieving, myopic, selfish jackass.
Why? It seems to me that the clinical analyses of a corporate CEO and a sociopath are 95% congruent.
What’s amazing is why more sociopaths aren’t successful businesspeople. Give a sociopath a LinkedIn account and he’s halfway to the executive washroom.
Y’know, they dind’t call the rich “Robber Barons” back in the day because it was ironic. It’s because there’s a certain percentage of business people who are unethical, slimy, and often immoral.
Spot on. This isn’t just economic structure at work. Social/cultural norms have changed too, in the last generation. Personally, I blame the Soviet Union for collapsing. The bastards! How dare they deprive us of an enemy. As long as those fuckers were threatening us from outside we couldn’t quite afford to go all Lord of the Flies on each other, because you never knew when the Reds were getting ready to strike. Since 1991 the Fall of Communism has unleashed the repressed cannibal Id of the American ruling class.
@Woody: Boiled down as much as possible, This.
There is no social reward for anything other than neo-feudal thinking among the extremely wealthy class.
Echoing pretty much everyone upthread, have you not read any history. A more amazing thing would be the number of rich and powerful people who are NOT sociopaths.
OT but Holy Shit! There’s a guest host on Bashir on MSNBC right now and the conversation has three black men on air all taking turns expressing their opinions.
What kind of fucked up world did I wake up in this morning?
@Zandar: Most people aren’t super-intelligent – including the sociopaths. Unfortunately for sociopaths – you kind of need to be hyper-smart to overcome this disability. Without it, you are crippled.
You are exactly right. And a lot of times these driven people are very valuable to society — but society also needs to rein these folks in sometimes. Which is why regulations are good.
If corporations are people, those people are effectively sociopaths. They have to be to succeed. It’s just baked into the system.
The SF writer Charles Stross has extrapolated this into the near future in some fascinating stories that show a deep understanding of capitalism and its social consequences.
@Svensker: yep. well, I’d also add that fostering a healthy social reward system is also key (though that’s a bit tough to figure out how to do, I’d think)
The thing I find so amazing is how sensitive this topic is with people who haven’t given it much prior thought. I recently expressed to a friend how it’s a problem that we’ve designed an economy that’s so rewarding to the biggest assholes, and he–a very liberal fellow–totally overreacted to, what I thought was, a fairly obvious and uncontroversial statement.
Soci.alism was a major theme of his expressions of concern even though he and I joke frequently about the soci.alism bogeyman. I think the difference between those jokes and my statement about the economic system as a whole was that, to him, I was directly challenging our national culturally defined version of meritocracy. Something that he, in spite of his liberalism, hadn’t previously put a whole lot of thought into.
I find that kind of thing happens a lot in various circles.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: That’s a very interesting point. I think you might be on to something there. =)
I would disagree with this. IMO, it’s clear you don’t need to be hyper anything, just connected to the right people or have the right air cover.
In a world were corporations are granted rights like people, it is only natural that people will start acting more like corporations.
Speaking of sociopaths, the head of the IMF says she really has no sympathy for out-of-work Greek people who can’t afford to feed their children: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/25/payback-time-lagarde-greeks
Is it safe to say LaGarde’s heart bleeds for all those European bankers who will lose money when the Greeks tell them to go F*ck themselves?
What stories are these? I’m always in the market for more sci-fi, especially when it agrees with me…
@beltane: She may say so publicly if she feels it suits her to do so. And it may, because continuing the current system is totally in her interest. But in the end, I doubt her heart bleeds for anyone save herself.
That’s sort of the definition of a sociopath, after all. =)
You in effect told him to stop hunting for his Golden Ticket, because once you actually go thru the gates of the Chocolate Factory you find out that Willie Wonka isn’t an eccentric genius, he’s just a creepy and manipulative sociopath with a huge PR account to make him look good, the Oompa-Loompas are slaves imprisoned in an industrial labor camp, and all the candy bars taste of sweat, toil and human suffering.
Nobody likes it when you shit on their dreams.
I’m thinking of Rule 34 in particular, his most recent. It’s very good.
I think it’s a related, but subtly different problem. Not only do they not have any ties to a single nation, most of them don’t even have ties to a single corporation. Unlike the robber barons, who at least were trying to build up their petty feifdoms to enrich themselves and their heirs, our modern day MotU have no long term investment even in their own corporations. They are corporate pirates – roaming the “High Seas” from one board room to another, pillaging and plundering whatever they can into their own paychecks and their own Golden Parachutes, and then, once they’ve done as much damage as they can but before it becomes too obvious that they’ve done it, they get out and move onto the next corporation to leave a mess for the next guy to take care of (or liquidate as the case may be).
At least the old-style sociopaths had some kind of pressures on them to build something to generate wealth and power for themselves – they had to build a country or build a company to actually make money. The incentives these days are all messed up – the sociopaths have every incentive to tear things apart to make their money. As just one example, look at how much money the big banks made betting on failures instead of on successes (and for another, look at what Bain did over the years). And that’s a big problem because it’s a systemic problem – and one that took generations to create so it will probably take generations to fix.
Recently, This American Life, NPR had a show on the psychopath test. CEO’s exhibiting psychopathy are 4% of the population, 4 times the general population.
@gaz: And yet when the inevitable happens and a political party on either the extreme right or extreme left proposes lining some of these people up against a wall, it will be the Ms. Lagarde’s of the world who will squeal about the need for civility and moderation.
If the global predator class chooses to dangle themselves over the heads of humanity like a juicy piece of meat being dangled in front of a pack of starving wolves they should at least have the strength of character not to whine when the jaws start snapping down on them.
@NonyNony: I agree totally. You essentially unpacked, and articulated some things I’ve ignored in my previous post. I’m glad you did, because you’ve added some emphasis on some of it that I should we should all be cognizant of (myself included) if we are to figure out a way to sell some sort of counter dynamic. Not that I think any of that will help, but even if it doesn’t, the intellectual exercise itself is worthwhile, and in any case, you raise an EXCELLENT point, and one that bears repeating.
What Zandar said.
Social networks. I’m always astounded at what they do for people. It’s amazing how much they get taken for granted. Which is why I don’t necessarily think sociopathy is a required attribute of capitalists. I just think it’s a traditional one that keeps being inbred.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Agreed. I’ve also heard that social welfare programs were allowed by the ruling class in this country in order to provide ammunition against resorting to communism. Of course, once the USSR toppled, many ruling class geniuses decided there was no further need for social welfare. QED.
Damn! You all are kicking ass with the analogies lately! I’m going to start a list.
A sociopath doesn’t perceive right and wrong the way other people do, so they tend to do stuff like murder and steal. That gets a lot of them taken out of circulation. The rest, the ones who figure out how to get what they want without getting caught, end up in Business School.
I don’t think it’s technically necessary, for sure. But to riff on something Jesus said, “The sociopaths will always be with us.”
As long as they are around, the brighter ones will be driven enough to attain wealth and power in ANY form of society man has ever been able to construct. So while they may not be necessary for capitalism, it is an unavoidable fact that they will be at the levers of power.
Insamuch as I think they are NECESSARY – and yes I did say they were, I’d be hard pressed to imagine what any system in human history would have looked like without them.
To borrow douglas adam’s famous shorter:
People are a problem
It’s probably not a coincidence that this behavior appears concentrated in the financial sector and, to a lesser degree, at the higher levels of corporate management, which tend to travel in the same circles. To be a successful sociopath, you have to be in a position that does not require much in the way of building relationships based on trust. It seems that Wall Street has increasingly become such an environment, particular with TBTF and “innovations,” like micro-trading and derivatives, which allow one to essentially cheat in a socially-acceptable manner. In the financial world, everything has been abstracted into short term, one-off and fully arms-length transactions. Where you have that level of abstraction, there is more opportunity for sociopaths, because truth matters less (an analogue is current Republican politics, with it’s increasingly ideological cast).
This is unlike, for example, maintaining a product line in a manufacturing business, which generally requires continuity, commitment and a certain level of trust among parties. Sociopaths suck at that, so they self-select into an area in which the opportunity to cheat without being detected is greater. We’ve basically created a culture medium for sociopaths by creating an economic sector that has little in the way of intrinsic governance, and now has little in the way of regulation.
I can’t help but disagree. I’ll use politics as an example:
Hillary Clinton (ducks the flames)
I could go own practically forever.
Politics is about tricking people into trusting you, the same way Bundy and Gacy did. The bright ones are especially adept at this, maybe in part because they had to explicitly LEARN how to instead of having an ingrained moral and social compass.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: @24 well think about it…. why did we have the great depression? there was no enemy to be fought externally because America was going through a profound isolationism phase at the time, couldn’t even get anyone to sign onto the League of Nations. Before there was the Brits, then the French, then the indians, then the Mexicans and then the Spanish and finally WW1. Then we had WWII and the Russians and the Chinese and now the Taliban and Al Queda… we essentially cleared out the heavyweight division and now we’re fat and out of shape cruiserweights waiting to pick any fight we can find rather than solve our own issues and perform a bit of self examination.
Yeah, I’m with Gaz on this. Many sociopaths are exceptionally charismatic and know how to play the popularity game. Because they see it as a game, without any moral dimension at all.
the fugitive uterus
@beltane: i think you are right about that
@piratedan: An excellent follow up.
So now bringing this back around full circle to where we need to craft a dynamic to make the goals of the high-functioning sociopaths be more closely aligned to our goals:
As horrible as it is, is infinite hegemony and conflict the answer? I hope not, but I suspect that both of you are right, and that it just might be the easiest way to save the nation?
What an awful thought. Again, I recite douglas adams. People are a problem. Meh.
Hitler, where are you when we need you?
This all makes me feel a little sick.
I think the super rich have long been this way. I believe what happened was that the Great Depression put at least SOME shame into them, or perhaps it was just fear of torches and pitchforks.
There was an article some months back on CEO compensation which compared the attitude of a particular CEO of the 50s-80s era with his son, now CEO of the same company. It noted that the father would have been ashamed to make so much more than his workers, whereas it never occurred to the son to do the comparison.
To me, it seems that the narcissism and sociopathy of the uber-rich is supported by the obsequious worship they receive from the Right. They really do view them like Greek Gods – powerful capricious beings who must be appeased.
A tidbit from Perlstein’s Nixonland that stuck in my memory was a bit of conversation between Nixon and his chief fundraising guy Maurice Stans, this was in late 1966 when Nixon has using the midterm elections as cover for preparing to launch his 1968 nomination campaign and looking to fleece loyal GOP financial backers by pretending he was raising money for the GOP congressional campaign when it was really being used to build up Nixon’s reputation, in which Nixon asks Stans, “what are friends for, if you can’t screw them every once in a while?”
Sounds like George Romney versus Mitt Romney.
the fugitive uterus
the fugitive uterus
@beltane: would it be mysoginistic for me to say that she looks like Tan Mom in that picture?
the fugitive uterus
@beltane: so you have to reach the depths of sub-Saharan African poverty and deprivation to get a drop of sympathy? well, hang on, won’t be long.
@the fugitive uterus: wow, she so does! – and FWIW, I don’t think it’s misogynistic in the least to make the observation, even if slightly mean. If you were talking about some guy vs another guy that wouldn’t even blip on the radar. You’re not objectifying her at all as far as I can tell, and particularly not based on her gender. My $0.02, YMMV
@gaz: Actually your examples prove my point to some extent (note that I indicated that success in Republican politics resembles success in an environment like Wall Street). For the politicians you cite, the “product” is nebulous; the consumer really has a hard time figuring out where real value lies, because the product is very abstract. Most of those sociopathic politicians you describe (you completely mischaracterize Hillary Clinton) sells/sold a product that is abstract and poorly defined, stuff like “national security” and “fiscal discipline.” That creates room for mischief, much like the creation and marketing of derivatives does for Wall St. sociopaths. Contrast with, for example, constituent service type politicians (who deliver a relatively real thing, bacon to the district) or manufacturers of actual physical products. The irony is that Republican pols don’t really deliver anything to the people that vote for them other than emotional gratification; they’re selling them hot air, screwing them just like banksters screw their customers by selling them fantasies like certain types of derivatives.
@the fugitive uterus:
amuseddisgusted by people who try to stratify “the poor” and start talking about how these ones need/deserve our help, but these ones don’t, because they’re just so transparently full of shit.
Ask them about foreign aid for programs in Africa: “Oh my God, why are you liberals always trying to be trendy and caring about Africa? We have problems right here! Why can’t you spend money to help your OWN communities first?”
Ask them about spending money to help poor Americans: “Oh my God, don’t you know America’s the richest and best country in the world? Our poor people live better than anyone else! They’re not real poor people! If you really cared about poor people, you’d put your money in Africa!”
Back and forth and back and forth just so they don’t have to come right out and say the perfectly obvious, namely, they don’t give a fuck about poor people and are just looking for a lame excuse to duck out of having to admit that.
I should think that being a sociopath would help you amass wealth. If you have absolutely no conscience or scruples about your behavior and are willing to run down anything that stands in your way many of the barriers that keep the average person from performing acts that are illegal, immoral and dangerous to others just don’t exist for you. I started thinking a lot about this when I was reading A Game of Thrones as it is clear that in terms of personal survival in the Westeros world being a sociopath has its advantages. It seems to me that it is also advantageous in the world of finance.
@Hoodie: The initial point you appeared to be making seemed based on the ability of a sociopath to foster relationships based on trust. The point you followed up with seems anything but. I’ll reserve comment on that, except to say insomuch as it is the former point – the one in your initial comment, I still disagree with you.
I’ll reserve further comment on Hillary because I’d rather this thread not devolve into an OT flamewar.
@Roy G.: bingo
In a nation of cowards and bully-worshipers like America, being a sociopath is a prerequisite for becoming wealthy and powerful.
Your typical Americano is a like a failed rapist who hasn’t got the guts to attack a woman by himself, but will eagerly hold her down for someone else to brutalize.
@mclaren: You are completely freaking clueless.
If only stupidity weren’t always coupled with a blistering lack of self awareness you might actually have a chance for a little personal growth.
News flash: Sociopaths are at the levers of wealth and power throughout human history – well before the US was even around. Feudal society had more than it’s fair share, also, any modern dictatorship you can name – guess who’s at the top?
head meets desk.
And if only to prove my point about your lack of self awareness, I expect you to double down in 5… 4… 3
Fair enough. I guess I was kind of ignoring the inherited wealth set in the context of my response to Zandar. Sociopathic tendencies are not necessarily inherited – or at least I’ve not encountered evidence to suggest that they are – and wealth is. I’d say in my defense though, that ANYBODY who inherits vast sums of money will also gravitate to the top – sociopath or not.
FTR I don’t believe Bush Jr was a sociopath. He was simply a blithering idiot. If he didn’t have his dad’s money and dynasty behind him, he’d be selling oranges on a street corner. Cheney, OTOH, is another ball of wax altogether.
I’m more talking about the people who are sociopathic that can function and get ahead in society. Money is often part of it to be sure, but especially in the old Robber Baron days a lot of the people that clawed their way to the top started out with next to nothing – I’d even go as far to say that if we didn’t have a huge “class mobility” problem in this country these days, we’d still be seeing a bunch of that.
You don’t have to be a sociopath to be born on home plate.
As usual, Wikipedia is your friend: Charles Stross. Bibliography and book descriptions at the link.
And his blog.
Spoken like a classic sociopath. You’re going to do very well in America.
Yes indeedy…but have you checked out the stats on serial killers, the primo archetypal sociopaths?
The FBI estimates that 85% of the world’s serial killers currently reside in (wait for it)…America.
The Soviet Union thought serial killers were a sign of Western decadence. That’s why they put Viktor Burakov in an insane asylum when he tried to convince them they were wrong. Chikatilo killed at least 52 people before Burakov was able to convince his superiors that serial killers weren’t just a Western phenomenon.
@mclaren: This thread needs some sort of litmus test for entry. It was a great thread until you came in and dropped the average intelligence quotient by at least half.
Your serial killer stat is dubious as well. Other societies may not be so ready to report them. The soviet union notably, had some prolific serial killers, and attempted to cover them up. We also have a thriving and sensationalist insistence on drumming up crime reporting.
An interesting aside though: Serial killers tend to be white, able-bodied males. Naturally the US has plenty of those.
Naturally I would expect that you’d not even consider the myriad of variables in the equation. For starters, quite simply put, you’re an idiot. But more than that, you wouldn’t want any pesky details to get in the way of your hate america first bullshit.
I’m not going to respond to you anymore, because you are a troll, and ruining the thread with your dumb shit. So respond or not, but I’m scraping you off of my boot and moving on.
There are several outcomes of sociopaths.
There are the poor dumb ones, who end up punching the wrong guy in the face or torturing a car or whatever as a kid, and end up spending their life in and out of jail, often as hired muscle.
There are the poor smart ones, who realize that everyone else has this thing called ’empathy’, if anyone realizes they don’t have it, they’ll be considered a freak, and thus they start to emulate a ‘pseudo-empathy’ at all times. (And then will do things like frame others for murder or burn down their house or something, all while being perfectly ‘sympathetic’. This mask is impossible to see through, because _all_ their caring about other people is a mask.)
Then there are the rich ones, who have Daddy cover up their acts of sociopathy, and eventually have it beaten into their heads they aren’t allowed to act a certain why, but never quite get why. Often they end up with a mask, but it is a much shittier mask, imposed by outside sources, which can result in the sort of hissy fits we see.
However, I don’t think most of the rich are any of those. I think the rich are often ‘manufactured sociopaths’. Or, to use the correct psychological term, psychopaths’. Sociopaths have a _mental defect_ that causes compete lack empathy, whereas psychopaths do not, they’ve just managed to _ignore_ their empathy.
And that’s the entire point of everything the rich do: To ignore the pain they are causing.
Other-ing helps there, which lets them not have to think of certain sorts of people as people. Likewise, living in a bubble where you don’t have to see the people you’ve hurt helps. And as a last resort, victim blaming.
Sociopaths don’t need to bother with any of that stuff. Anyone who starts _justifying_ their actions like that is not a sociopath. They’re a psychopath, they’re someone who _does_ have empathy, but have managed to not actually use it.