Human History

Largely through our history humanity has been lead by sociopaths.  It should not be so surprising to figure out that the corporate economic world is much the same, the only thing that has changed is the complexity, sophistication and language used.  Capitalism has elements similar to feudalism, and the feudal lords of the past were often capricious and to play the “feudal game” it is best not to have had a deep conscience about things.  A feudal lord who impresses thousands of subjects into an army to start a campaign and a modern corporate manager who can layoff thousands and ship their jobs to Asia are both often men with little sense of empathy or conscience about others.The period from the late 17th century to now has been fairly remarkable in the fact that increased knowledge, the growth of education and ideals of liberty and equality have lead to an open type of society.  This in the case of the American Revolution fostered, with difficulty and black issues like slavery, in the long run a system of government that had self-limiting capacity that prevented high levels of corruption.  This is however likely coming to an end.  The growth of unrepresentative power (corporate power is not representative to anyone outside of shareholders) that is not as limited against corruption, and the proliferation of surveillance systems is starting to close society inwards.  A case in point is the revelation on how big banks have been laundering billions of dollars of illegal drug money.  In addition a society that is watched is more likely to be compliant and self-limited in its range of thoughts and actions.  The dark ages are likely to return.

Of course then again one can look at it all as a grand farce.  A huge percentage of what is going on in the human sphere amounts to fighting the fire while at the same time feeding the flames.  In the end we have this looming problem with our prospect for collapsing the life support system on this planet.  Global warming is of course the big case of that.  So the coming dark age might be just a prelude to a saga that sees our species fade out into the dark and become snuffed out.
Cheers LC

On 1/1/2013 3:15 PM, C. Hansen wrote:

Not only that, but they usually rise to the top not through skill, intelligence, or strength of character, but through a combination of chance family connections/nepotism and ruthlessness.

We have created a system where sociopaths rise to the top.

I think we should ask the question of why we have created a system that rewards, lauds, and trumpets this type of behavior.

We hear about incentivizing certain types of choices.  Unfortunately, when we look at these types of incentives, they tend to be on a small scale, and we don’t always consider the larger-scale picture of what we are incentivizing.  Our present structure rewards the predatory, the ruthless, the selfish, the brutal.  Surely we can do better at creating a system that incentivizes non-psychopathic behavior.

In a family structure, the analogy to today’s financial mogul would be an individual who sneaked into the room of other family members to steal whatever jewelry or cash he or she could find.  That person would work against the overall good of the family, and yet no one would deem it undesirable.  The strange situation we are in with today’s bankers, et al., is that they are behaving in exactly this way toward our metaphorical “family” of society, and yet are held up as admirable icons whose station the young should aspire to.

Aside from being morally repugnant, this strategy is unworkable.  Human beings are social by nature, and mutual compassion and responsibility are necessary to create any type of social fabric that can be sustained.  We are like a pack of wolves that cannot bring down a common prey because we are too busy nipping at each others’ heels.

We lose the whole power of collective action toward common goals and instead fall into a dysfunctional solipsism.

TARP is a great example.  Sociopaths deliberately disregarded the well-being of people’s life savings invested in their homes and 401ks.  They knowingly lied about the safety of these investments in order to dupe people into making bad investments so that they could then extract the people’s wealth and take it for themselves.  The government helped them do this.  These bankers left a huge sector of Americans broke and not only felt no compunctions, but even congratulated themselves on “saving” our economy and lionized their roles.

Now, let’s return to the idea of these people as family members.  Let’s pursue the analogy of family versus society for just a minute.  If such a person were entrusted with the family bill-paying and checkbook, this person would have knowingly cleaned out every other family member’s account and left them broke, funneling the money into their own personal offshore financial haven, without a moment’s pause for any feeling of responsibility or guilt for the human destruction caused.

It is worth asking why we denounce psychopathic behavior in the family and recognize that a family cannot function in the presence of such a psychopathic member, yet do not recognize the same on a larger scale with society.

Christine Hansen

Calling them sociopaths will not rise our understanding. The common cause  is called ‘human nature’. Till we will not realize that we have to fundamentally change the human nature nothing will change.  I.V. 

About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence. Artificial Intelligence Foundation Latvia, http://www.artificialintelligence.lv Editor.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Are We doomed?, Economics and Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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