Is it only me or is there something fundamentally flawed with the people who are running our government, including the autocrats, technocrats and bureaucrats who number in the hundreds of thousands.
Does it bother you that,
...have their needs met at the expense of everyone else?
They control our government. We don't. Instead we fear our government.
They tell us,
Okay we trust you.
They say we are for peace, democracy and freedom. But everywhere we look they are colonizing and militarizing foreign countries with over 960 military bases with a budget of 1.6 trillion going to numerous corporations to keep American imperialism afloat.
At the same
time, there have been massive home foreclosures, repossessions, for-profit
prisons stuffed to the brim with inmates for minor crimes, and the now
reappearance of debtor prisons in 27 states. We are graduating students who
are functionally illiterate.
that the economy is booming and the stock market is reaching record numbers.
We say is that because you are loaning to small businesses? Is that because
you are helping new companies to jumpstart manufacturing again in the U.S., or
is it because you can go to the fed to be bailed out at zero interest?
And yet, private banks and
corporations have been fined tens of billions of dollars for being serial
repeaters crimes and never go to jail. On the other hand the average person
gets caught jaywalking and can be thrown into the slammer.
The U.S. is the sickest developed nation in
the world and the pharmaceutical giants and insurance companies are
perfectly happy to keep it that way.
They say we should not
give welfare to the lazy and nothing should be socialized. We say major
corporations reap 200-300 billion a year in corporate welfare. When they
succeed citizens don't share in the profits. When they fail we are forced to
pay for their ineptitude.
They say, we are doing everything for your
benefit; however when whistleblowers come forward they are immediately
demonized and prosecuted.
Many of our
educational leaders refuse to join protests over the takeover of schools by
immoral business privatizers, which goes to show academia is nothing more
than a handmaiden of the corporate industrial complex.
the contrary their cards have been stacked to abet the fossil fuel moguls
and hydrofrackers who without remorse contaminate and destroy the
environment while depleting precious water resources upon which communities
depend. And then even in the aftermath
of Fukushima, we are told believe
that nuclear power is a clean, safe and green alternative.
Otherwise there would be no incentive or reason to conduct massive
covert spying and surveillance on every aspect of our lives. As well as
militarize the police to assure that demonstrators are dealt with the needs
of Big Business and Big Government
And, where is the choice in declining a vaccine when state
mandate vaccination in our school systems?
So our real total debt is over $293 trillion.
the U.S. is worse off than Greece or Spain. In fact, the U.S. is virtually
bankrupt as the most indebted nation on the planet.
Increasingly the administration has stripped away government from the people and handed it over to a corporate oligarchy.
In this article we explore this phenomena with two leading experts on the
psychopathic nature of our CEOs, business leaders and politicians who rule
America from their residences on Psycho Street.
During the Great Generation following the Second World War, most people's entire careers were often with a single company or firm.
They climbed through the
ranks based upon seniority and time spent at the firm. Because corporations
and banks were more stable then, it was therefore incumbent that business
leaders be psychological stable as well.
The advent of radical deregulation, the rise of our present free market and the neoliberal capitalist paradigm has made way for a new dominant economic system that is fundamentally amoral, as Jerry Mander has elaborated upon in The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System.
Within an amoral system we would expect to find chairmen, CEOs and
executives who are also amoral and callous about the financial decisions and
policies they make and that consequently have a profound deleterious impact
on the lives of others.
Psychopathology for the general population is approximately one percent.
However, among the wealthy and power elites, estimates range between four percent (Dr. Robert Hare, an expert in criminal psychology at the University of British Columbia) to ten percent (Sherri DeCoveny, a former investment banker now researching psychological disturbances in the finance community).
Welsh journalist Jon Ronson, author of the bestseller The Psychopath Test, claims the percentage is even higher.
Psychologist Clive Boddy at the Nottingham University has devoted his research to studying corporate psychopaths. In his book Corporate Psychopaths As Organizational Destroyers, Boddy argues that it was the psychopathic behavior of the global and financial elite that brought about the economic collapse in 2008.
His research also indicates that those with the most psychopathic
tendencies are promoted fastest through the corporate ranks. And it is well
known that the risks for crime and illegal activity is far greater among
psychopaths than the general population.
...and others, have uncovered widespread, systemic crime.
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the U.S. and UK, 26 percent observed firsthand wrongdoing in the workplace, and one in four believed it was necessary for professionals in the financial sector to engage in unethical and illegal conduct in order to be successful.
Sixteen percent stated they would commit insider trading if they were certain they could get away with it, and 30 percent said that the pressures to maximize on compensation plans were an incentive to break the law. These statistics provide evidence to just how deeply ingrained psychopathic qualities have become institutionalized in our financial industry.
They validate the former Goldman Sachs employee, Greg Smith, who has written and spoken publicly about the disturbing psychological characteristics among his colleagues.
And wasn't it Goldman Sachs' Chairman Lloyd Blankfein who rhetorically asked an interviewer with the London Times,
Blankfein has publicly stated he doesn't believe there are or
should be caps on either personal ambition or compensation and reward for
He is intimately aware of the self-destructive and devastating psychological damage being caused by those deeply immersed in high finance culture, and is blunt about the epidemic of psychopathic personalities running throughout America's corporations and firms.
During a conversation with Dr. Bayer, he noted that psychopaths lack the capacity to experience empathy.
He estimates that among his Wall Street clients, this is the norm.
The Vice President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Jim Corey, collected data on personality traits common to specific professions, primarily looking at superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness and lying, lack of remorse, and manipulation of others.
These are common traits of psychopathic killers, but Corey also found them common among many politicians.
The problem that arises is whether or not the entire system within which private corporate industries and our federal government function and progress is now programmed to be psychopathic.
Has corporate culture now de-evolved to such a degree where
psychopathology has been legalized and above the law?
Psychopathology has become fully institutionalized as a legitimate way of doing business and making policy decisions.
The Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, which ruled that
corporations and banks are "persons," was a further step infecting our
entire politics and society with a serious mental disorder that has steadily
contributed to the U.S.'s widening inequality gap, class struggle, and
Americans' loss of democracy and freedom of speech.
When I last spoke with Professor Bakan, I asked him about the kind of corporate personality the Supreme Court ruled in favor of.
The problem lies less in the fact that Wall Street and multinational presidents and CEOs are psychopaths.
Rather according to Bakan,
If we can imagine putting JP Morgan or Monsanto on the shrink's couch, analyze the way these firms think and function, how they are programmed, they would be diagnosed as psychopathic.
Bakan believes this is the current state of private industry.
A bank's collective control and power is
unfathomable to the average person. Executives believe they are untouchable
and their astronomical wealth enables them to act with complete freedom and
without regard for the consequences of their actions.
Back in the late 19th century, large industries, such as the railroad and telegraphy companies, discovered that being thoroughly self-centered was an effective way to raise huge capital to expand and further develop productivity.
However, to keep the industrial moguls such as the Rockefellers and Carnegies within bounds, the government instituted a regulatory system.
Joel Bakan explained that this was a way to,
With the election of Ronald Reagan, the regulatory system began to be dismantled while leaving the inherent psychopathology of these corporations not rehabilitated.
The illusion that deregulation would improve the economy from the top down is as irrational as giving a crack addict more cocaine to reduce his habit. Now Wall Street firms and large corporations can essentially self-regulate, which is the same as saying there is no regulation at all.
Bakan poses the question,
But that is exactly what we have
today and the consequences are self-evident as we witness the erosion of
Constitutional rights and the emergence of a distinctly postmodern
police state indoctrinated to protect corporate interests over the needs and
demands of the American public.
When Dr. Bayer applies his evaluative model to his Wall Street patients, the bottom line is that the revenues they generate and who they succeed in influencing in order to protect the firm's interests is all that matters. The prestige of a person's alma mater, ZIP code and family background is of little consequence.
Speaking about Manhattan's financial community, he described it as,
These bailouts are indicative of just
how dysfunctional and subservient to the power elite our nation has become.
Since the 2008 derivative collapse, the economic gap has steadily widened
and the middle class is sinking to its lowest point in history.
This in turn has led to a cascade of social crises, increasing the incidence of scourges including mental illness, violence, addictions and much more. And it has been the richer countries, particularly the U.S., which have been overrun by an oligarchic, corporate elite who believe austerity is a solution towards economic stability.
Joel Bakan holds the view that,
What is even worse is that these same psychopathic corporatists serve as the primary advisors to the President and elected officials.
At the state level,
the GOP aligns readily with the Koch Brothers, perhaps two of the most
ideologically fanatical individuals in the U.S.'s billionaire club. The same
can be said for many of the advisors who revolve through the circular door
between Washington and Wall Street.
Belfort spoke about the insanity behind the lack of ethical decisions rampant throughout the financial industry and the instant gratification of a select elite who are willing to destroy everything for short term profits in order to accumulate massive amounts of wealth.
Belfort shared one noteworthy example: the former Treasury Secretary Robert Ruben who,
What does Ruben do after completing his stint as a politician in Clinton's administration?
To this day government officials have not made any effort to
investigate and indict Ruben for reckless, unconscionable behavior. His
foolhardy acts have devastated the
However, the problem is more systemically entrenched than simply having a bunch of psychopathic personalities sitting in high executive positions.
Joel Bakan has explained that,
Former investment banker Sherree DeCovney has stated that she has,
Clive Boddy explains that psychopaths,
Under these circumstances they are able to clothe themselves in a veneer of charm which makes "their behavior invisible."
They are able to take
full advantage of circumstances for their firms and personal
self-aggrandizement while simultaneously feeling no remorse over the
consequences of their decisions and consistently deny any personal
responsibility for how damaging their acts may have been.
Likewise, firms' public relations arms re-imagine corporations in a glowing, positive light.
Joel Bakan suggests that,
For this reason, he concludes, their ability to create a sense of themselves
that is very charming is one reason why people buy into the "sheer lunacy"
of the entire system.
They want to believe what they hear and be charmed.
This is the dividing line that separates the psychopaths running Wall Street, the multinational corporations, private military contractors and Washington from everyone else who desires a more just, equitable and sustainable nation and world.
The psychopath lacks the ability to care for the stranger.
This is why Jordan Belfort warns that their coldhearted behavior, void of any redeeming morals and ethics, destroys everything.
long as such people are placed in charge of banks and firms that control so
much of our economic lives, and we continue to elect legislators and
presidents based upon charm rather than true integrity and moral substance,
the U.S. as a nation is destined to continue on its long descent into
psychopathology and towards a future of narcissistic bliss for an oligarchic
elite and immense suffering for everyone else.