We Are Ruled by Sociopaths

Via Doug J

Matt Yglesias writes:

The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.

A sociopath is often defined as “a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” (This is what I found online and what I have always thought the definition was, roughIy—I realize there are more clinical definitions, but I know nothing about clinical psychology, maybe someone can help me out with this.)

I’m glad to see that this word is starting to get used more and more—not long ago, for example, Lindsay Beyerstein accurately described one of Slate’s new hires (a woman who had written books titled “How to Dump a Friend” and “Our Mutual Friend: how to steal friends and influence people”) as a sociopath.

To me, anyone who would start a war for no reason and show no remorse when it went terribly wrong is a sociopath. Anyone would not only torture but then try to use support for torture as a political wedge issue is a sociopath. Anyone who would hold the health of millions of Americans hostage so that he could get more face-time on “Meet the Press” is a sociopath.

I believe that the biggest question about our society is why it is that so many sociopaths rise to positions of power and influence. Are all societies this way or is there something special about the way ours is structured right now?


Anonymous said... / Dec 14, 2009, 7:21:00 PM  

more sociopaths are the result of increasing population pressure (crowding) combined with an electronic-based social system in which people only relate to those who agree with them in distant twitter and blog communication (as opposed to the good old days when everyone knew their neighbors and you had to get along because everyone was different.)

sociopaths are nurtured by a system of social interaction which encourages physical isolationism.

wendell berry said it best in his poem entitled
Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.....

J said... / Dec 14, 2009, 8:36:00 PM  

LOL...incapable of not questioning peoples' motives, personally try to psychoanalyze people who aren't attracted to a set of policies and label them with some deragatory term

Codester said... / Dec 15, 2009, 2:17:00 PM  

If he truly had concerns the medicare buy-in was a some path to single payer... he should have thought of that before he was advocating it for years... and up until 4 DAYS AGO.

And before he crafted the very initiative he now is opposing.


I think it's pretty clear.

J said... / Dec 15, 2009, 4:07:00 PM  

"I think it's pretty clear."

That he's a sociopath?

J said... / Dec 15, 2009, 9:24:00 PM  

"Then there’s the latest version of health care reform put forward by Sen. Harry Reid. We all know what great financial shape Medicare is in, right? (“It’s not technically bankrupt, it just needs more money” - Barney Frank).

Now Democrats want you to believe that the way to fix health care is to push millions of Americans into becoming new Medicare patients, while simultaneously cutting the Medicare budget by $500 million. It’s going broke, you’re adding millions of patients while cutting billions of dollars - and you think it will fix the problem?

That’s not “starry-eyed optimism,” that’s jaw-dropping stupidity."

Codester said... / Dec 15, 2009, 11:36:00 PM  

Barney Frank is right. It's one of the most efficient and popular systems the govt came up with. Try to take it away... seniors will kill ya. Everyone loves it. AND it's under-funded.

J said... / Dec 16, 2009, 1:31:00 AM  

It's one of the most efficient and popular systems the govt came up with.

I'll ignore "popular", due to the fact that most people don't pay attention to all of the intricacies of Medicare. But efficient? Here's a little case study for ya kiddo:


"New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof singled out Lieberman in "Are We Going to Let John Die?" It was an emotional story about John Brodniak, a former sawmill worker suffering from bleeding in the brain and seizures.

Kristof wrote: "If Joe Lieberman or other senators ... strolled indifferently by as John retched in pain, we would think that person pitiless. But isn't it just as monstrous for politicians to avert their eyes, make excuses and deny coverage to innumerable Americans just like John?"

Human interest stories are sure to get readers' sympathy. But emotion is no substitute for common sense. In reality, John Brodniak's situation has nothing to do with Sen. Lieberman's objection to a government-run "public option." Mr. Brodniak already has a public option--namely, Medicaid. His real problem, Kristof reveals, is that "he hasn't been able to find a doctor who will accept him as a patient for surgery, apparently because the [Medicaid] reimbursements are so low." Brain surgeons are scarce, and you get what you pay for. Medicaid won't pay, so John won't get one."

Since I know you and most liberals (since I used to be one), I already know what you're going to come back with...so let me have it and I will debunk that quite expeditiously.

Codester said... / Dec 16, 2009, 3:41:00 AM  

"...to avert their eyes, make excuses and deny coverage to innumerable Americans..."

Just like John? No. Those innumerable Americans are not all in need of neurosurgeons.

Whose cherrypicking? Kristof? Or Alan Reynolds.

The Times article clearly states "conventional" private insurance is what is needed for John's singular situation. Not Medicare or Medicaid.
He needs affordable comprehensive private insurance.
Get it?

That doesn't negate the fact that Lieb is either showboating in his grandiosity.... or he's in it for the payback torture for Dems.
EITHER ONE of which is standing in the way of genuine meaningful reform for millions AND a measure HE FUCKIN CONSTRUCTED HIMSELF FOR THIS VERY SENATE BILL.

Wanna know the truth of the matter... straight from the Horse's Ass... http://is.gd/5ph4G

Progressives like HIS OWN proposal, so he decided it wasn't something he should actually support anymore.

Seriously. How you can defend such a blatant flip-flop like that is beyond me.

J said... / Dec 16, 2009, 11:37:00 PM  

"He needs affordable comprehensive private insurance.
Get it?"

For sure, that's why I oppose this bill, which will raise the price of premiums. Get it?

"Progressives like HIS OWN proposal, so he decided it wasn't something he should actually support anymore."

He flip flopped from 2000 to 2009...ALOT has changed in our entitlement picture since then..specifically that Medicare/SS are unfunded liabilities in the trillions, and even demanding "more funding" for them wouldn't fix their insolvency. There needs to be structural reforms with the programs we already have.

" Thus federal income taxes for every taxpayer would have to rise by roughly 81% to pay all of the benefits promised by these programs under current law over and above the payroll tax."

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