Are politicians sociopaths?

Discussion in 'Politics and News' started by Dissipate, May 14, 2008.

  1. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    Before you vote in the poll please read this description of behavior exhibited by sociopaths:

    Text


    People need to start to realize that we may very well be ruled by a cabal of sociopaths. If this is the case, could one consider it a good thing that these sociopaths have been unleashed? Are we trying to take out other sociopaths by unleashing politician sociopaths? I'm trying to understand why people would want these politicians going around causing so much obvious destruction. How much we must hate our fellow man to allow these political sociopaths run amok.
     
  2. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Politicians, some are many are not; corporations are sociopaths for the most part, driven almost exclusively for blind pursuit of profit, expecting the same government's laws to take responsibility for morality as they are trying to get relaxed through their lobbying efforts, pretending that if they can get a law off the books, the behavior it prevented must be 'ok', even obligatory if profitable.

    The politicians I see as sociopathic are not the ones who are very concerned with 'the good of the people', whether misguided or not, but rather the types who 'play the game', from Karl Rove to Tom DeLay. Does Rove have any compunction about the people he hurt, about his undermining of democracy when he uses such tactics as push polling about McCain's 'black love child'? Does DeLay have any compunctions about blocking legislation to improve slave-like conditions for workers, in exchange for the golf trips from the factory owners?

    Our system rests on the public's goodwill, but the public has become weaker in its own values as it's been bombarded with propaganda to do wrong.

    I'm pretty convinced our founding fathers would be horrified at the state of the propagandizing of our society and its corruption of the reason-based culture they advocated.

    This results in more sociopathic politicians being attractive to voters.

    When you think about it, what's more notable - Hitler, or the the fact that millions of Germans who saw him as a desirable leader were so flawed?
     
  3. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    So we are unleashing sociopath politicians to take out sociopath corporations?
     
  4. Hayabusa Rider

    Hayabusa Rider Elite Member

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    In a democracy the leaders are somewhat accountable to the public, at least at election time. Political parties mitigate this to some degree as they are effectively a mutual protection society. Even then they face an electorate which principally wants to hear what it wants to hear. Worse, all responses are both "right and wrong" depending on who the audience is. Every now and again someone with principle steps up. They are culled immediately because they can't "work" with the system. People would instantly vote that person out no matter what they say. Parties and lobbies couldn't buy them. Nothing but trouble.

    This is why many act as they do. Whether it's inherent in their nature is immaterial. It's part of the job description. It's precisely what we have collectively asked for.
     
  5. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    So we beg for sociopaths to rule us?
     
  6. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    No, we are unleashing good politicians to take out sociopathic corporations; and we're unleashing sociopathic politicians to ENABLE sociopathic corporations.
     
  7. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Yes, and we demand they lie about it.

    Look at Rome, and the games played where Caesars pretended to respect the Senate.

    Look at Machiavelli and how he instructed leaders to look like they cared about the public opinion while actually ruling with an iron hand.

    Look at the game long played in the US where the presidential candidate would feign not wanting the office as part of what was expected (that's changed).

    Society constantly chooses the 'strong' sociopath who offers them a clear leadership however sociopathic - 'strength' in Napolean, in Teddy Roosevelt, in Putin, get votes.

    It's actually when the leaders are not sociopathic they often lose support - when Teddy Roosevelt was the larger than life guy who was aggressive in war, he got elected; when as a leader he saw the social issues and worked to help the public and took steps such as breaking up Standard Oil, he couldn't get the nomination back.

    As a society, we need to grow out of the need for such 'strong' leaders, and instead value leaders who will have good policies for society.

    Until we do, sometimes, we get lucky, as with Teddy Roosevelt; others, we don't, as with 'The Decider' who was 'stronger' than Gore and Kerry, his supporters assured us.
     
  8. bamacre

    bamacre Lifer

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    Craig234, if corporations are "driven almost exclusively for blind pursuit of profit," then why did the health care companies give so much campaign cash to Hillary Clinton? Wouldn't she decrease their big profits?
     
  9. ITJunkie

    ITJunkie Platinum Member

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    Superficial charm? check
    Manipulative and conning? check
    Grandiose sense of self? check
    Pathological lying? hmmm....
    Lack of remorse, shame or guilt? check
    Shallow? maybe
    Incapacity love? don't know
    etc, etc? in most cases, CHECK!

    Wow...for the most part our congressmen/women, executive branch are sociopaths.
     
  10. bamacre

    bamacre Lifer

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    Yet another reason all members of Congress as well as the President, VP, and Cabinet members should be drug tested and subjected to a psychological analysis. :D
     
  11. mxyzptlk

    mxyzptlk Golden Member

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    drug tested, pfft... They need to be smokin what I'm smokin.. Could you imagine a properly baked congress declaring war on anyone??! They'd be too busy passing bills for increased snack expenditures.
     
  12. Siddhartha

    Siddhartha Lifer

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    If you are not happy with who is government, run for office, get elected, and do a better job.
     
  13. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    And go to work every day with sociopaths?

    Forget about whatever you really want to do in your career. Join the group of sociopaths to fight the group of sociopaths.
     
  14. sandorski

    sandorski No Lifer

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    Why not? Shrinks do it.
     
  15. fskimospy

    fskimospy Elite Member

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    Because they thought that either she was going to win the presidency or would remain powerful in Washington for years to come. Either way they want to have some influence with her.

    If corporations are doing anything but blindly pursuing profit they are actually violating the law, as they are required to obtain maximum value for their shareholders. This is why corporations need to be carefully regulated so they don't get out of control.

    As for politicians being sociopaths, no. The problem the OP has is he is taking definitions out of the DSM-IV as they apply to normal people and attempting to apply them to people in positions with a lot of power.

    Feel entitled to things as their right? Of course they do, they are used to getting things by virtue of their powerful position.
    Shallow emotions/lack of remorse? Both of those are impossible to tell as they are for interpersonal relationships, to judge them based on some sort of professional behavior that they may sincerely dislike but view as necessary is not a very good way at all to attempt to classify something.

    Not only that, but to be classified as a sociopath you need to display a certain number of the above criteria (I think it's 3 or more in a significant way), and so... yeah.

    In short: Are politicians sociopaths? No. (well, I'm sure a few are but that's not the point)
     
  16. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    So they aren't sociopaths but sociopathic behavior is part of the job, so they act like sociopaths?
     
  17. fskimospy

    fskimospy Elite Member

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    No.

    Sociopaths are considered so because their behavior has no grounding in reality. If you think you are Napoleon that makes you crazy, unless you actually are Napoleon. In politics people are unable to publicly show remorse, etc... but that doesn't mean that they don't have it. A soldier who kills someone in a war is not considered psychopathic, but someone who kills someone on a street corner very well could be. Does that make sense?
     
  18. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    No, not at all. Politicians do all this stuff before they even get into office. So the office itself doesn't make them exhibit this behavior.
     
  19. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    For influence, to mitigate the damage, is one answer; did you notice that sadly, reportedly all three candidates leave the insurance industry largely in place?
     
  20. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Remember Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIL) in Iraq?

    Welcome to our invasion of Jamaica, "Politicians' Offense on Terror"
     
  21. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Translation: if you are not happy with who is in government, unless you are in a rare district, run for office and make a choice whether to chase money big time, if not, lose badly.

    It's not about the politicians, many of whom hate the current situation of the dominance of big money, it's about the dominance of big money - the ultra wealthy's way to block democracy.
     
  22. RichardE

    RichardE Banned

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    What about the things you did highlight? Or do you only need 35-40% to be able to qualify?
     
  23. spittledip

    spittledip Diamond Member

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    There is a big difference between someone who is clinically diagnosed as a sociopath and how the op is using it casually here.

    Here is the diagnostic criteria from the DSM IV for Antisocial Personality Disorder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...l_personality_disorder

    No, most politicians could not be diagnosed with APD.

    edit: even if criteria are met, there is more to a diagnosis than just meeting criteria. It is not so black and white
     
  24. Dissipate

    Dissipate Diamond Member

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    How many politicians have been diagnosed with APD and has that information been released to the public?

    I don't know of any politician where that is the case, so we can only go by their behavior. I'm merely asking people's opinions based on the outward evidence.
     
  25. spittledip

    spittledip Diamond Member

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    I would venture that less than 1% could be diagnosed with it, if any at all. Personality disorders are very rare and very serious as they are disorders of the personality- in other words, compleely ingrained int he person. It defines them. This is unlike a disorder like bipolar or schizophrenia where it is a condition rather than a definition of the person.

    A ppolitician, if he were to have a personality disorder, would be more likely to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...c_personality_disorder