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  •  Mitt Romney isn't a sociopath, but his class & the (1+ / 0-)
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    Lily O Lady

    multinational corporation both are.  

         During the election, people here & elsewhere kept calling Romney a sociopath.  He's not*, because he's obviously extremely well socialized regarding the norms of his religion and class.  Unlike the reptilian Newt, he might even have been faithful to his wife -- it's doubtful he could have hidden from today's media more than the occassional peccadillo, if that, over the last 20 years.  But, from the perspective of someone OUTSIDE his class, his behavior often seemed sociopathic because, especially when it comes to how people outside that class are to be treated, the norms of that class themselves are sociopathic.  Think of the culture inside Goldman-Sachs as described by the guy who quit very publicly a few months ago in a fit of disgust.  Think of the aspects of Bain's business that were, essentially, piracy.  Think of Mitt's Galtiian "47%" and how it was obviously what that dinner of donors wanted to hear.  Think of the Bush idea to "privatize"'Social Security"--I.e., allow the banksters to skim a nice profit off of Americans' only guaranteed retirement fund.  Obviously, I could go on.  

          Notice that most of us here regard the above activities as predatory.  But INSIDE the bubble of the Galtian 1%, they are seen as not just legitimate but admirable business practices and/or policies designed to benefit everyone.  It's not all that different from the rationale given by apologists for the Mafia, which, according to myth supported by some fact, contains more than a few "good family men"--I.e., not sociopaths.  As they say when they kill or cheat someone, "It was just business." Even criminals & mobsters know who the sociopaths among them are.

    And, of course, the same can be said in spades of the multinational corporation, which has no purpose and no loyalty other than its own aggrandizement.  What could be a better definition of a sociopath?   Of course, many people working for that corporation might be otherwise well-socialized citizens and loving spouses and parents.  But the organization they work for is fundamentally a sociopath unless its executives and board adhere to the increasingly rare code that says that business should be conducted openly and honestly -- you know, so that that quaint anachronism, the free market, can operate relatively efficiently.  Otherwise, anything goes -- the true motto of every sociopath.

    *I did face-to-face research with imprisoned sociopaths for 2+ years, ran counseling groups for inmates for several more, and did forensic psychological evaluations for many years.  So I have a good sample size to make judgments from.  I also have a brother who was CEO of a Fortune-500-sized company, who is a very good man within the limits of the world-view of 1% and even, on many things beyond (e.g., unions, corporate responsibility).  But he just can't see that so many of the attitudes & behaviors of his class are predatory.  Even worse, even though his company was a science-based one & he was subsequently Chair of the BOT of a major technical university, he buys into climate denialism and is in favor of "drill-baby-drill" as our basic energy policy.  His deliberate ignorance makes me want to rant and rant at him, but said ignorance is apparently impervious to anything but the most concrete demonstration that he is mistaken.  Of course, even though it took well over 10 years, he eventually told me I had been right about Vietnam.  I hope we're both still around when he finally sees enough evidence to convince him of the reality of global warming.  

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