Monday, December 28, 2009

Economic disaster = sociopaths' fault?

So says the good Doctor Robert Hare:
Robert Hare, from the University of British Columbia, Canada, said in a seminar on psychopathy that people with a certain degree of psychopathy sometimes have their own place in a society.

"They tend to be important to society sometimes," he said.

"These are people who take risks, tend to not be afraid."

He pointed out the example of a white-collar psychopath, viewed as "a good leader, good person and charismatic", but who secretly did harm to their surroundings.

Hare added such psychopaths were behind last year's global economic downturn.

"They engage in all sorts of illegal behavior. Half of the financial crisis we had throughout the world in the last few years, who's behind it all? Warm, loving people? No, people who want all they can get, they don't care about millions of people who lost their life savings," he said.
I'd like to think that sociopaths collectively have the power to send the world spinning out of control, but I wonder if that could possibly be accurate. Sociopaths take risks, and with risk comes higher return. But risk is still risk and there certainly aren't enough greedy sociopaths to have tipped the scales of excessive risk without empath help, no? Let's hope his comment made more sense in context.


  1. There's one thing that's bothered me since I discovered this blog and incidentally it's the same flaw as in Mr. Hare's reasoning. I'm talking about the apparent dichotomy between sociopaths and empaths that ME herself seems to uphold. I cannot say if it'd be more reasonable to view sociopaths and empaths as inhibiting different portions of the same continuum, but I have noticed a certain degree of contrast between the author of this blog, and the sociopaths certain readers write about (namely their experiences with the representatives of the said group).

    I find ME seems like a rather reasonable human being, whereas some sociopaths discussed here (can't find a specific example, but I do recall it featuring a serviceman who made a reader's life hell-ish) seem overly impulsive, unintelligent (despite of claims for the opposite) and too reckless for their own good (self-preservation fail). Perhaps it's intelligence that determines a sociopaths position on a scale of some kind, but the current opposition seems somewhat deleterious to the "cause" of presenting (certain) sociopaths as acceptable variants of the human breed.

    As a reader put it some time ago: "I'll take one psychopath with their wits about them over 99 "normals" driven by fear, any day".


    1. - Vương lão đệ! Mời!

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      - Đội trưởng, người đi bên cạnh Yêu tướng đại nhân là ai thế? Mấy ngày nay thường thấy một số Yêu tướng mang theo một người xa lạ tiến vào truyền tống trận.

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      Tên đội trưởng đưa mắt nhìn về phía Vương Lâm và Mạc Lệ Hải biến mất, trong lòng thầm nghĩ:

  2. It's absurd to blame psychopaths for causing the recession. You don't have to be free of remorse and guilt to be greedy and hungry for power. There are quite a few fools in power looking out for their own interests, refusing to look at the consequences of their actions for fear that it'll bring their house of cards down upon them, and perhaps allow their consciences to get the better of them.

    That's not to say it isn't possible that one or more psychopaths set the whole thing in motion, but asserting as much, without proof, is lunacy. Assuming that quote isn't being taken grossly out of context, it sounds to me like the good doctor's obsession may be getting in the way of his better judgment.

    What next? Witches? Jews?

  3. On one side of society you have the empathic population and on the other side you have the most indifferent types of people, those who judge based on their own views and align themselves with like minded people.

    I imagine that sociopaths are spread throughout the entire population region.

    The two sides (or types) of the sociopathic subculture that hided in plain sight can be divided by the heroic sociopath—the ones who hold jobs and more often then not try their best to do the morally right thing even if they don’t understand morals to their core (because we have no real core). They are the ones who do what is necessary when the empath’s conscience comes into play and the indifferent fail to see gain for them, they do what others morally can’t because we don’t understand such things, we don’t grasp the price it costs for some.

    Then there is the villainous sociopath—the mobster, murders, crooks, ruthless and the complete polar opposite of what the heroic sociopath tries to do. These are the ones who do the most social damage, but their clarity of self causes them to inflict less emotional damage in society, which the heroic sociopath does.

    Both are spread throughout the population, causing different damage for different reasons. The empathic condemn the heroics for the simple fact that they are cut from the same cloth as the villains, while the indifferent use or collaborate with either or types of sociopath, using the heroic and collaborating with the villains.

    In any case…it is a joint venture into the destruction of society in all forms, be it economic or social, for race or wealth. All are at fault, no one is guilty.

    Being a sociopath or empath is irrelevant.

    Or we can blame a certain type of person, which is most likely to be the indifferent sociopathic broker, who used magic to cast a spell to taste the national rainbow.

  4. but really, don't we have all of these same "sub groups" within EACH group?? why have any labels at all?

    (and why on top of that, deem certain labels "disorders"?)

  5. Hare is such a sensational faggot. As if his expertise in psychology qualifies him to comment on the economy.

    Perhaps some "sociopath" ibankers profited during the recession, but this does not mean they create the circumstances they profit from.

    This rebalancing of global economies is historic in scale and the result of nearly two decades of poor monetary policy.

    Did the Chinese and Japanese buy up US Treasuries because they were sociopaths? No, they just needed to store all the wealth they created selling us stuff in a safe/liquid market (no matter how low the yeilds).

    Was Alan Greenspan a sociopath because he believed credit markets were signaling an era of unprecedented expansion and liquidity?

    Virtually everyone in the US participated in the crazy climate of malinvestment and irrational borrowing. Are we all sociopaths?

    No pathology, just history at work.

  6. Everybody is self interested. That's economics, not psychology. You can't blame one group of people for it. . . unless its the blacks.

  7. Race plays a part in everything does it? If it was the blacks then they can get away with it. After all the guy on the one dollar bill was a slave owner and we all know blacks only have ones and benjimans to pay for the cristol and the strippers.

  8. I wouldn't really be all that surprised is it was sociopaths who fudged up the economy. The empaths are too busy fudging up Eastern religion, political protest, and environmentalism.

    One by one, all people of all shapes and sizes and affiliations can do their part to fuck up this planet!


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