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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:58 AM
Original message
The Rise of the Second-String Psychopaths
Published on Sunday, June 5, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
The Rise of the Second-String Psychopaths

by David Schwartz


The great writer Kurt Vonnegut titled his final book A Man without a Country. He was the man; the country was the United States of America. Vonnegut felt that his country had disappeared right under his and the Constitutions feet, through what he called the sleaziest, low-comedy Keystone Cops-style coup dtat imaginable. He was talking about the Bush administration. Were Vonnegut still alive in the post-Bush era, he would not have felt that his country had returned.

How had our country disappeared? Vonnegut proposed that among the contributing factors was that it had been invaded as if by the Martians by people with a particularly frightening mental illness. People with this illness were termed psychopaths. (The term nowadays is anti-social personality disorder.) These are terms for people who are smart, personable, and engaging, but who have no consciences. They are not guided by a sense of right or wrong. They seem to be unaffected by the feelings of others, including feelings of distress caused by their actions. Straying from a decent way of treating people, or violating ethical codes causes no anxiety, the anxiety which is what causes the rest of us to moderate our more greedy impulses. If most children feel anxiety when they are pilfering the forbidden cookie jar, psychopaths feel just fine. They can devour the cookies, shatter the jar as evidence and stuff it in the trash can. When accused, they can argue with apparent sincerity that the cookie jar has been missing for at least a week. There suffer no remorse, no guilt, no shame. They are free to do anything, no matter how harmful.

Psychopaths can be very tricky to recognize. As psychiatrist Dr. Hervey Cleckly wrote in his classic The Mask of Sanity in 1941, psychopaths are not technically insane. They dont have a psychosis, like schizophrenia. They are experts in appearing normal. They can act the role of a caring, concerned executive, even though they actually do not seem to experience such feelings. If they hurt somebody, they dont modify their behavior.

.....(snip).....

It is no secret that the Koch brothers and others of the super-rich seem to have undertaken a final push to consolidate control through the conversion of a marginally democratic to an essentially fascist state; extreme right-wing, authoritarian, and demagogic. This kind of government is ideal for control of a populace by the moneyed elite. To carry this out requires the employment of many kept politicians to excite and misdirect scared and angry and ignorant voters. Lest the citizenry realize who stole their money and storm their castles with torches, the rapacious elite need politicians who will carry out the work of re-directing anger at teachers, or labor unions, or the poor. I can only conclude that the people who now own the country couldnt find any first-rate psychopaths to carry out their work. Or maybe the smart ones were all occupied. So they had to go to second-stringers, people who could actually believe what they were told to say. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/06/05-1



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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. For any article that starts out "The great writer Kurt Vonnegut...", I skip down to....
...the bottom, hit the Recommend button, skip back up and continue reading.

:rofl:

PB
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. What Poll_Blind said.
:no fooling:
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
26. Me too.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. "Player Piano" was a prophetic masterpiece. The rest are just great fun to read.
After being weaned from plain, good literature, I was nourished on Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter Thompson, and Joseph Heller. I laughed myself to sleep many nights as a boy.

Lo and behold, 21st Century America became a grayed version of what they predicted. Most of what seemed so cruel and unusual that I couldn't help but giggle as the pages turned in my youth has become normal and even, sigh, old-fashioned.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
37. Amen to that
"What are people FOR?"
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
33. Exactly.
.... may he RIP.
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bluevoter4life Donating Member (387 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
48. K&R
For the Vonnegut reference. Cat's Cradle is one of my all time favorites.
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
65. Absolutely,
Vonnegut's,Slaughterhouse Five is my favorite book, ever. AKA asTHE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE.

Vonnegut had the ability to analyze and report what he lived and the terrible irony of it all, with a style that is incomparable.

He was so right about the "invasion" and take-over of America.

We must fight to get our country back. Our children and grandchildren need us now more than ever.
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #65
68. Slaughterhouse Five is one of the most touching books I've ever read.
Trailed closely by Sirens of Titan, which I also consider an underrated masterpiece.

PB
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. recommend
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. people acting like corporations b/c corporations have more rights than people
i'm feeling psychotic already.
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. and here's the cause.... and the easy solution- might take a gen or two
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. The Koch brothers and the super-rich are not immune to bullets.
When you destroy enough peoples lives, some of them will seek revenge. There are many crazies out there and the Koch brothers and the super-rich better have security.

Actually this would mean more work for me since I am a security guard. :evilgrin:
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. For those interested about psychopaths...

Was listening to NPR's "This American life" yesterday.

While the whole show is fascinating and informative, just play part 2 for a segment on how it relates to business.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/...
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Wow....Al Dunlap
of Sunbeam is a psychopath...I remember his Massive Downsizings. Now everything Sunbeam is made in China.

The journalist believed him when he said he had had no affairs....hell, his wife was right there. Don't tell me he has not been unfaithful. Pleeeeeeeeeeeez.

W is a psychopath...I have no doubt. Just the story of his childhood fun...sticking firecrackers up the butts of frogs and blowing them up was all I had to hear. And of course, he was never wrong, nor apologized....in his mind he was never sorry for anything.

Politics would be a great career for any and all psychopaths.
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. In Ronson's book he isn't so believing about Dunlap's infidelity denial.
Edited on Sun Jun-05-11 02:28 PM by karnac
To him, it isn't so important. it's only one point out of many to reach the clinical diagnosis of being a psychopath. Not all psychopaths are "players."

One wonders if one has to find that an "enemy" HAS to be "conveniently" guilty of all our imagined sins/transgressions. Ronson felt disappointed that Dunlap only reached 20 out of 30 points necessary.


Gotta reach harder for those extra points don't we? ;)

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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I believe psychopaths
are excellent liars. No blinking....just look you straight in the eye and lie.

Ever had one in your life? Ever so charming....but animals sense there is something not 'right' with them. But that would make for another Test.
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. An interesting Irony
At least that *I* see.

I've been fascinated by "Psychopathy" for the past few hours. Just blundered upon the story of an actual academic who forte is the study of psychopaths. He recently discovered by genetic history, brain scan, Test, and other predilections. He SHOULD be a psychopath. Perhaps even a killer. Yet isn't.

The one thing that he fathoms prevented him from turning out bad. He has always had a very nurturing and loving childhood and family life. Serial killers don't.

Dunlap actually had a very GOOD loving childhood. Ergo the irony.

If he hadn't he might very well have killed a few people, been put in incarcerated or executed. End of story.

Dunlap actually did far more damage not being a full blown psychopath. Entire towns destroyed of livelihood and peace. Reduced to violent ghettos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx8RxRn6dWU&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnV4RnWcmWo&NR=1



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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Maybe Dunlap has
an aversion to blood and it was more fun to 'kill' people financially...take away their ability to make a 'living.'

I don't think one has to be a serial killer to be a psychopath. Ruining peoples' lives gets them off...killing them puts them out of their misery.
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Libertarian == Psychopath ???
An interesting proposition put out by Dr. Fallon. (post edit time expired)

Being libertarian himself, he thinks the idea should be explored.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #25
54. Too simplistic
Psychopaths are, at most, one percent of the population. Libertarians are rather more. However, you can divide Libertarians into two groups: The leaders and the followers. The leaders, who actually understand what the "philosophy" entails, probably are psychopaths. The followers generally don't understand what the consequences of such a system would be and aren't psychopathic, just stupid.

Incidently, one could say exactly the same of Objectivism. In fact, Objectivism is virtually a training manual for psychopathy.
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #25
62. Perhaps a Fiscal Libertarian
Or Conservative Libertarian.

I am a Libertarian Socialist, as is Chomsky. We believe it the actual freedom of individuals without Big Brother State watching over us.
Such as if an adult chooses to spend some leisure time with "Illegal drugs" (which, BTW, I do not indulge in)
along with other things BB does "for our own good" (BS)

Each Party has it's own scary "L" word: Repukes have "Liberals". Democrats have "Libertarians". Both are bullshit.

Just "Libertarian" as a smear isn't going to cut it any more. It's past time we Libertarian Socialists took back that "L" word
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #21
52. A good loving childhood
is entirely subjective.

From the outside, many people have had a 'good, loving childhood'. However, there is a particular type of mother who is a master of manipulation, a master of illusion that makes everyone feel like she is a loving mother when in reality, behind closed doors, very subtle emotional abuse is happening. Look up narcissistic mothers (or fathers).

With many narcissistic mothers, one or more of the children are highly favored, and one is always singled out for more abuse. This explains why some children in a family highly praise their mothers while other children speak of how cruel their mother could be. Sometimes the cruelty is so incredibly subtle, and always so plausibly deniable that it can make you question your very instincts of survival, or even your sanity. In my case it messed up my ability to detect things about people that were 'off' or that were lies. Because I wasn't around people who responded to events 'normally' I don't know what normal emotional behavior is like, nor do I know how to 'read' it in people. People like me are always good prey for psychopaths. And I wouldn't doubt that many psychopaths learned how to lie and manipulate from their narcissistic mothers or fathers. Also in my case, I have a sibling that sees our upbringing as totally normal, since this sibling was highly favored, and sees nothing wrong with our parents and thinks I have no reason to be upset over how I was treated.

I am also guessing that most psychopaths were never shown or taught empathy as children and therefore are unable to feel it. And narcissistic parents are not empathetic, unless it means some form of gain for themselves, somehow. Just imagine a lifetime of growing up with that! I'm just amazed there aren't more psychos coming from 'loving' homes.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. I am also guessing that most psychopaths were never shown or taught empathy as children...
Most, but not all. The fact is, even those of us who study criminal psychology (as I do), don't really know what causes psychopathy.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #15
53. You would be right
In fact, glibness, credibility and superficial charm are all entries in Dr. Hare's Psychopathy checklist (a much-used diagnostic tool in criminal psychology). Because they literally have no conscience, they don't feel remorse, regret or empathy (or fear, in the usual sense) and so, they can lie completely convincingly, to the extent that polygraphs usually can't tell the difference. Polygraphs don't actually detect truth, they detect certain signs of stress and since psychopaths have no "inner angel" to trouble them, they don't feel stress at lying. In fact, they feel little stress at all.
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PotatoChip Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. That was great.
I love 'This American Life', but for some reason it never occurred to me to check online for it. Thanks for the link. The subject explored in this one fits in so well w/the OP's piece. Interesting topic. My thanks to the OP as well.
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90-percent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. The last line
Edited on Sun Jun-05-11 12:57 PM by 90-percent
"We are a country who has become second-best, even in the quality of our psychopaths"

We may be resorting to second string psychopath's to fill the expanding need for them, but the USA will forever be Number One in the World for the quality of it's psychopaths. We have "the Einsteins of psychopathy" numbering in the thousands. Think of how humanity would have advanced if there ever was a time of a thousand Einsteins. I'm trying to convey the magnitude of the psychopath influence on our way of life here here. There's thousands of these predatory termites in Key positions of power and influence devouring the American way of life for the rest of us.

I told Ned Lamont when he was running for Governor of CT in early 2010 that:

All our institutions are failing us, almost simultaneously, because they are all run by SOCIOPATHS.

And that's my meme and I'm stickin' to it.

-90% Jimmy
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Gotta say I agree with you....nt
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StarsInHerHair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #11
50. agree too, replace those institutions with municipalities
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #50
67. and businesses
become cooperatives.
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. People use the words psychopath and sociopath as if they are synonymous, but they are not.
It is believed by experts, such as the worlds leading expert on Psychopathy 'Robert Hare', that Psychopathy is genetic, whereas Sociopathy, according to Hare, is a product of sub-culture. In other words, Sociopathy is acquired.

For instance, hard core drug addicts become a sociopath. Brain injury can also cause Sociopathy, so can living in a culture of extremely distorted reality.

From all the research I have done on the subject I see Psychopathy as being inherited, and Sociopathy as being something you pick up after your conceived, i.e. Sociopathy is acquired by brain damage or the spoken word.

For instance, people living under impossible conditions such as war zones, ghettos, a conservative extremist culture, or tribe of cannibals, can become a Sociopath. And people closely associated with a Psychopath can become a Sociopath.

In addition, Sociopaths are very disorganized and scatterbrained but can sometime show signs of conscience. Whereas Psychopaths, can be obsessive compulsive when it comes to being organized, and any signs of conscience is just an act.

I doubt that there are many Sociopaths in position of great power, although they play an important role at getting the ball rolling, such as distorting reality via pathological lies, which in turn helps the Psychopath rise to the top of power.


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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #20
56. A small point
I would suggest that the division is neither that obvious nor that distinct. I would further suggest that the difference is mainly of academic interest.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. I need to dust off my copy of The Mask of Sanity.
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nytemare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
14. Our psychopaths appear to demonstrate the Dunning-Kruger effect
Or, as Darwin said, "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_eff...

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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Good Point....
but I think some of the Dunning-Krugers still may have a conscience.
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nytemare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Yes, I would assume a good deal of them do.
Just not the second-rate psychopath Dunning-Krugers. :)
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
30. Thanks
I knew nothing of the Dunning-Kruger effect but I have observed it first hand. I would always think to myself, "I have observed an odd phenomenon, what is it?" I had no idea it actually had a name.
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disillusioned73 Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #30
61. I was right there with you..
and oh the irony in retrospect to the 2000 election/selection..

"The DunningKruger effect was put forward in 1999"
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Yes and no...
Psychopaths are motivated by convincing others that they are a genius, even to the point where they forge document and resumes to prove it, even when they know they dont have a clue about the subject.

However, because they think of themselves as being a genius, the rules of credentials dont apply to them, and are unfair roadblocks to their success and greatness. As if their to smart to be restricted because of what they dont know. To them, their opinions trump facts that they should not be required to know, so they knowingly deceive others about what they know or don't know, and anyone who questions their opinion is the enemy.

Authoritarian followers on the other hand (those who have conscience), inflate what little information they have to that of an expert; they think they know what their talking about and unintentionally deceive themselves.

When psychopaths know they dont know what their talking about, they just make shit up


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lordsummerisle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Wow
Sounds like a lot of my former co-workers...
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. You see them all over the place when you know what to look for. n/t
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
19. Most of our economic and social institutions are sociopathic in nature
Edited on Sun Jun-05-11 03:53 PM by liberation
... among other things because sociopaths in our society tend to be found at the top of the social pyramids in positions of control and power. Thus this should be no surprise that a society designed to cater sociopaths produces these types of individuals, organizations, and actions.

This is nothing new BTW. We can croon all we want about the "good old days" but it was the same crap as it is today.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
23. Second string psychopaths?
I think not! The psychopaths in control are absolutely first string and have the patience of Job in furthering their positions.

Now I will agree they have used the second string to front for them, and third string to gin up support amongst the stoopud masses.

-Hoot
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #23
64. I agree and would add that...
I never herd the perspective of first, second, third string psychopathy before reading this op, but I think it gives a good visual of the problem, and you've put it into the proper perspective. "The psychopaths in control are absolutely first string", I think to say otherwise is a distraction from the truth.

The perspective that I am most familiar with is the "core" perspective, where you have the inner and outer core and several "subservient" rings surrounding and protecting the core. First sting psychopaths are definitely at the core and they are the ones in charge. They might not even be a citizen of the U.S.

The hand picked corporately owned venal politicians that we see on the M$M and vote into office are most likely in the outer rings, not even second string, and most of our politicians, low level psychopaths and narcissist, are too stupid to figure out what is going on, that's why they get the big campaign contributions.

Of course, I think in a sense, that their diminished conscience, combined with the Dunning Kruger effect (pointed out in other post) blinds them to the reality that the big campaign contributions are forthcoming, not because their the best and brightest, but because their stupid mentality is amenable to the higher powers of corruption.

The damage cause by their narcissistic quest for fame and fortune, and their inability to solve problems for the common good, allows the control of wealth, resources and political power to be funneled towards third, second, and first string psychopaths at the core.

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DancingFool Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
27. Happy to give this a rec
Psychopaths are on both sides.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #27
57. They're really not
Psychopaths are always, first, last and always on one side: Theirs.
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
28. And they have nothing to worry about in going about their plan until........
some of us see ourselves as already dead !

Then these motherfuckers will feel their first emotion.....fear !
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
29. K&R...

I think the "anti-social personality disorder" is more than obvious: people who place their own greed above the needs of the greater population. Eventually they will work against the needs of said population and eventually toward its ultimate oppression.
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
31. I agree with the theory of the article, in part, however
The author talks as if we are being slighted, by having only second-string psychopaths in control; as if we would be better of if we had first string psychopaths.

There are different types of psychopaths and they have a pecking order between themselves and their minion of enablers, and as a rule, the ones on the stage are spellbinders / snake oil salesmen, (schizoidal psychopaths and narcissist.

I.e. the venal actors and puppets that control the illusions of ideology (such as our pretend Democracy) that lead the faithful followers over the cliff. But because psychopaths like to play king of the hill, it is most likely well documented that they lead people into war.

And to call them great leaders is exact opposite from the truth. They are, along with their spellbinders, false leaders, aka wolves in sheeps clothing.

They are altogether evil, and when they take control of society, they begin to build empires. And every empire throughout human history has fallen into ruin. And in these modern days, the fall of American empire will be nothing exceptional in human history, but the cause will be same, psychopaths gained political power, and its not because their good leaders, its because they are masters of deception, and really bad leaders. Unless of course you like being at war all of the time.


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blank space Donating Member (266 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
32. Its the narcissism epidemic
Yes there are a great deal of sociopaths and psychopaths in positions of power - it is endemic to the psychological power, most sociopaths and psychopaths find the roots of their disorder in disempowerment and overcome it through their anti-social tendencies.

However i think there is a lot more to be said for the wide spread nature of things with the Narcissistic Epidemic

http://www.narcissismepidemic.com /

The Dunning Kruger comment I feel simply feeds of the Narcissism issue which is the root cause - dunning kruger simply amplifies the base issue of narcissism. Could be wrong, but feel this is what is happening. The appearance of total lack of empathy to me is more from a sense of self righteousness, that what they are doing is beyond question and doubt, that others simply do not understand their higher callings, that trying to explain things is completely below them, and that all the normal rules simply do not apply to them - all of which I see everywhere and are concrete classical narcissist traits -

Anyone hot familiar with this current trend should take a look at it - very, very important stuff.
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larwdem Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
34. PSYCHO KILLERS
:yourock:
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
35. Thank you for mentioning Kurt Vonnegut. K & R for
Later careful reading.

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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
36. Funny
A couple of weeks ago I got grief from a couple of DU-ers when I called repigs psychopaths. They really had no argument against my point that anti-social misfits that only cared about money are officially psychopaths. They just said I was nasty & it was bad for me to do it. What a laugh.
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larwdem Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. NO
NO ARGUMENT FROM ME :fistbump:
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #36
58. Not all repigs are
The leaders might well be psychopaths. The followers tend to just be stupid or delusional.
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #58
66. Yes
You're 95% right; I guess when I use the term "repigs" I'm really referring to the America-haters who make up the Greedy Old Pedophile party.
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SaveAmerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
38. I think they keep R's angry and hating so they don't realize how much like us they are.
I know so many Republicans who believe so many of the same things that I do, as I worked in the yard today I thought of all of them and the similarities we have. Then I thought of their Facebook statuses and how their rants about Obama and Dems in general are so out there and just part of the formula mentioned in this article.

"To carry this out requires the employment of many kept politicians to excite and misdirect scared and angry and ignorant voters. Lest the citizenry realize who stole their money and storm their castles with torches, the rapacious elite need politicians who will carry out the work of re-directing anger at teachers, or labor unions, or the poor."

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999998th word Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. Right along with the news media
to spew the continuous stream of BS-make sure to keep them fired up over some inconsequential nonsense.

Than they can continue to pillage uninterrupted-even encouraged.



:wtf:
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
40. They hire 2nd string Psychopaths for the same reason
that your tech support call gets answered in Bangalore. They work cheaper.

Heck, go to FR and see how many 3rd and 4th stringers work for free.

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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
44. The Flip Side to the Psychopath is the Authoritarian Follower
The other side of the psychopathic or anti-social personality is the authoritarian follower. Without the authoritarian follower the psychopath would not have an easy victim to exploit.


Dr. Bob Altemeyer explains the dynamic between the two in his book The Authoritarians, available on-line. This is an attempted popularization of his psychological survey research into authoritarian personality types.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey /

He identifies two personality types: the more or less docile, passive authoritarian follower and the more or less outgoing, aggressive authoritarian leader (the psychopath). These two are very distinct and separate personalities, but were meant for each other. The follower type, individually a rather nice guy or gal, has a strong need to become absorbed into a group identity and to serve the group with unquestioning loyalty. The leader type tends to be a sociopath who has a strong need for power and dominance regardless what it takes to achieve it. A marriage made in heaven!

And heaven has something to do with it. In America there is a very strong correlation between the authoritarian follower personality type and fundamentalist religious ideology. This is not a necessary relationship, since the same personality dynamic can find expression in extremist left-wing, secular ideologies also. But here in America, at this time, it tends to be expressed in the phenomenon of right-wing fundamentalist political activism.

While his book is readable and is quite informative and insightful for those of us who are concerned about the religious right, Dr. Bob is a bit clumsy as a popular writer. Im sure his dry, academic stuff is much better! However, he is not that bad, and the book is free on the internet. Check it out.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
45. Profile of the Sociopath
Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

>MORE<
http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
47. Love Kurt Vonnegut -- ! Thank you -- !!
Unfortunately, the violent among us have directed our futures since time began?

We have yet to find a solution to it!!


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nikto Donating Member (414 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
49. POLITICAL PONEROLOGY
Here's an analysis of the topic in general (i./e. How & why so many people who seek power are
sociopathic/psychopathic in nature):

http://www.ponerology.com/
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zappaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
51. I work in Hollywood
and deal with psychopaths everyday.
I imagine washington DC to be worse...
K&R
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Shining Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
59. Thank you.
Very informative post.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
60. When I read the title I thought it must be Hedges
Excellent opinion - rec
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
63. DU has revisited this subject over the years,
the problem with sociopaths in positions of power. The same questions remain:

Can we as a country and world overcome such domination and corruption?

If so how do we do this, by challenging the system directly, or by separating from it (living off the corporate grid, starving the beast and building an alternative infrastructure)--or both?

This cycle of domination has happened before, and we have had to 'Declare Independence' from those who wish to subjugate us. The American Revolution and during the Robber Baron era. We are now in a new era of domination, and one way or another we will have to answer this challenge.

There is a lot of very sophisticated interference being perpetrated as well, preventing people from unifying and working together on this. They are working very hard to divide this country, and are very adept at dividing groups of people, turning them against one another. in times of stress it is easy to become annoyed with petty personal shit, and if we are to get anything done--we have to LEARN--we can work together even if we don't like each other!!

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