MAY 11, 2013 10:30PM

Why Does Sociopathic Scum Rise to the Top?

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The sociopaths rise to the top of power by clawing, bullying, intimidating, lying, charming, betraying their ways.

They rise to the top by being enabled by the bullied, the craven, the stupid, the naive, the opportunistic, the distracted, the brainwashed, and/or by crony bullies.

Colin Todhunter in “Psychopathy, Politics and The New World Order” writes:

Psychopathy is a personality disorder identified by characteristics such as a lack of empathy and remorse, criminality, anti-social behaviour, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and a parasitic lifestyle.

With that definition in mind, look around: the criminal, parasitic activities by bankers that have plunged millions into poverty; the destruction, war and death brought to countries in order that corporations profit by stealing resources; the dropping of atom bombs on innocent civilians in 1945 or the use of depleted uranium which again impacts innocent civilians; and the many other acts, from the use of death squads to false flag terror, that have brought untold misery to countless others just because powerholders wanted to hold onto power or to gain more power, or the wealthy wanted to hold onto their wealth or gain even more.

Based on these terrible deeds, it becomes easy to argue that the people ultimately responsible for them do not adhere to the same values as ordinary people. It may be even easier to conclude that it’s not the cream that rises to the top, but, in many cases, the scum.

They rise to the top by the re-framing of acceptable social conduct, validating perverse values over humanist ones by a saturating, cynicism-inducing, propagandist, corporate media.

Todhunter writes:

Too many people have become “well adjusted to the values of a profoundly sick society,” whether residing in middle England, middle America or the gated communities of south Delhi or Mumbai.

snip

“A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. " -- definition of a psychopath from Dictionary.com.

snip

Humanity is being beaten down to be neurotic, vicious and to regard these traits as constituting normal, acceptable behaviour. Thanks to the media, this becomes engrained from an early age as comprising ‘common sense’, and those who question it are merely sneered at or ridiculed by a system that promotes a mass mindset immune to its own lies.

snip

Now such a scenario might seem awful enough, but the people who tend to control the world, the ones responsible for these acts, try to impose their warped world view and twisted values on everyone else.

Hollywood films, commercials and political ideology are all engaged in forwarding the belief that it’s a dog eat dog world, war and violence abroad is necessary, competition and not cooperative is what counts, aggression and not passivity is the key to ‘success’ and that success equates with amassing huge amounts of personal wealth and lavish displays of conspicuous consumption.

Todhunter maintains that properly functioning social beings would “contribute to a sense of community, altruism, love or morality.” THE OPPOSITE of what is too often heralded as “successful” by our mainstream media.

The British Todhunter has this to say about TV messaging as one example.

Yet this is the type of stuff that is rammed down our throats as constituting normality every day. Whether it’s the ‘Big Brother’ TV show or ‘The Apprentice’ show, these values are promoted day and night.

The ‘Big Brother’ winner is the one who can survive and outdo the competition in terms of the duplicity and backstabbing involved along the way.

The winner of ‘The Apprentice’ must be more aggressive, more duplicitous, more devious and cunning and more willing to trample over everyone else.

And the winner is judged as such by a multi-millionaire who himself was cunning and ruthless enough to have made it to the top of the pile and has amassed millions for his own personal benefit. These are the role models to be admired and emulated!

These are the measures of success, of sanity, of normality.

Apprentice competitors are highly driven individuals: not driven by a need to help humanity, but by egocentricity and greed. And, ultimately, these are the values that many mainstream opinion leaders, senior politicians and their corporate masters hold dear.

These values of egocentricity, aggression, competitiveness, duplicity and greed are not confined to some TV show. There [sic] are part of a much more sinister process. They are inextricably linked to and underpin the actions that resulted in the killing of half a million children in Iraq for geo-political gain and the sending in of military forces into the jungles of India to beat, rape and dispose of a nation’s poorest people because they stand in the way of profit and greed. From Congo and Libya to Syria and beyond, we witness the outcome of a terrifying mindset that is nurtured and encouraged throughout society.

A TERRIFYING MINDSET.

According to Todhunter this messaging “diet” of “perverse values” AND “destructive actions” is being “force fed” to our GLOBAL community thanks to the corporate mass media. Too many of us become brainwashed that “there is no alternative” or that we are to naively trust a “better” (but not necessarily “moral”) equipped leadership at the top to make the “best” decisions for the masses when said status quo leadership has continued to prove itself, so very often, corrupt, vastly dangerous and injurious. But to those of us non-stop conditioned who are minimizing or willfully or helplessly uninformed or too distracted by trickle down misery or a more brutish hammer of violence an evil status quo continues on unimpeded.

Todhunter:   

Corporate capitalism, consumerism, the new world order, a war on terror (or drugs or poverty, take your pick), neo-liberalism – call it what you will, but it’s all based on the filthy lie that those in control have wider humanity’s interests at heart. They don’t. By any means possible – war, murder, torture or propaganda, they seek to convince people otherwise. What price human life? None whatsoever for such people.

Using Todhunter as a jumping off point and turning to Norman Pollack “The New McCarthyism - National Security and the Inversion of Governmental Promise” for further exploration of sociopathic leadership and values in America, now, in particular:

Let’s forget here the Right; we know its nostrums ad nauseum: Get off my back; screw the next guy; wealth accumulation by fair means or foul, without government interference!

It is the Left, or what passes for the Left, that concerns me here, Obama’s assorted groupies and hero-worshippers, “liberals” and “progressives” who are satisfied by apparent victory on cultural issues (who wouldn’t look good, in light of Republican/conservative positions on abortion, contraception, gay rights?) meanwhile overlooking war, assassination, widening differentials of class, income, and power, and the other fundamentals of a democratically-functioning society, from the state of the environment to the vigorous strengthening of civil rights and civil liberties, from the quality and character of education to the bedrock institutional contributions to human dignity, such as in the case at hand a deep and abiding respect for privacy of the person.

Liberals and progressives passively watch, or quietly turn their collective head away, Obama’s steady (I might add, compulsive) erosion if not outright abrogation of individual personal freedom, nominally in the name of the National Security State, but possibly on a deeper almost visceral level, an attraction to or predisposition for authoritarianism, taking operational effect in weakening or dismantling the rule of law, and, for him, perhaps more important, a genuine desire for submission to power-concentrates in society: the wealthy, the military, the presumed pillars of strength incarnated in class-differentiation and the bearers of domination.

I am not playing Dr. Freud when I say this, because Obama’s callousness toward the deaths he inflicts on others (via armed drones for targeted assassination) bespeaks a rigid line of defenses rendering him entirely predictable in the one-way effort to depersonalize the American people as part of and in the process of erecting a Tower of Strength, the structure of certitude which takes the form—the only form consistent with policy-trends running over at least a century—of American capitalism’s claims to global supremacy through the implementation of a strong military.

Pollack is concerned with what he calls Obama’s “signature treatment” of government. Especially “the absolute denial of transparency.” He cites the Obama administration's operations of government, particularly the military, and its ferocious rejection of “the people’s right to know” to such a degree that it is willing to exploit and “vigorously” apply THE ESPIONAGE ACT against whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning who DARE assume there is a citizenry’s "right to know" what is actually happening in its name as laid out in the “chambers of military and diplomatic policy-making."

Pollack is concerned with further choices of the Obama administration:

... through the vast resources of the National-Security apparatus, directly extend the tentacles of government into the citizenry’s mindset, ideas, thoughts, private dreams, stripping the individual bare before the Behemoth, to ensure total conformity or, more realistically, passivity, as the war machine and its partner-in-destiny capitalist accumulation at the top roll on.

Pollack implores:

When will so-called liberals and progressives speak out at the rapid deterioration of the rule of law and the abuse of power inhering in surveillance, wiretapping, and other assaults on privacy? Obama has proven himself contemptuous of basic Constitutional tenets affecting freedom of thought and association–a self-evident reversion to McCarthyism as, now, the US under his leadership embarks on a new era of the Cold War, no longer directed to Russia, and instead, China, of course, but also Third World societies embarked on alternative strategies of modernization.

This expansion of “wiretap capabilities” is frankly dangerous, the more so because it emanates from a Democratic president whose policies are scented with liberal rhetoric.

The White House exists in a moral vacuum. That targeted assassination is fully entertained and practiced is at one with this phase of psychological-juridical control over the free expression of ideas. Both have reference to despotic ways of governance which have implications even beyond principles honoring privacy and free thought. Democracy itself is called into question.

Tom Engelhardt in his article “And Then There Was One--Imperial Gigantism and the Decline of Planet Earth” explores another dimensional impact of sociopathic leadership. The destruction of the planet.

Engelhardt highlights the incredible irony of how when Russia economically collapsed and was no longer a formidable "enemy", the U.S. as sole, standing superpower chose a self-defeating and defeating for the globe -- in terms of peoples and environment -- SOCIOPATHIC path. It turned its back on the opportunity to make a paradigm shift to a leadership of humanism.

Engelhardt:

In addition, the U.S. had unprecedented military power.  By the time the Soviet Union began to totter, America's leaders had for nearly a decade been consciously using “the arms race” to spend its opponent into an early grave.  And here was the curious thing after centuries of arms races: when there was no one left to race, the U.S. continued an arms race of one.

In the years that followed, it would outpace all other countries or combinations of countries in military spending by staggering amounts.  It housed the world’s most powerful weapons makers, was technologically light years ahead of any other state, and was continuing to develop future weaponry for 2020, 2040, 2060, even as it established a near monopoly on the global arms trade (and so, control over who would be well-armed and who wouldn’t).

It had an empire of bases abroad, more than 1,000 of them spanning the globe, also an unprecedented phenomenon.  And it was culturally dominant, again in a way that made comparisons with other moments ludicrous.  Like American weapons makers producing things that went boom in the night for an international audience, Hollywood's action and fantasy films took the world by storm.  From those movies to the golden arches, the swoosh, and the personal computer, there was no other culture that could come close to claiming such a global cachet.

snip

On the how-much front: Washington’s dreams of military glory ran aground with remarkable speed in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Then, in 2007, the transcendent empire of capital came close to imploding as well, as a unipolar financial disaster spread across the planet.  It led people to begin to wonder whether the globe’s greatest power might not, in fact, be too big to fail, and we were suddenly -- so everyone said -- plunged into a “multipolar world.”

snip

Washington’s enemies in the world remained remarkably modest-sized (though blown to enormous proportions in the American media echo-chamber).  They included a couple of rickety regional powers (Iran and North Korea), a minority insurgency or two, and relatively small groups of Islamist “terrorists.”  Otherwise, as one gauge of power on the planet, no more than a handful of other countries had even a handful of military bases outside their territory.

Under the circumstances, nothing could have been stranger than this: in its moment of total ascendancy, the Earth’s sole superpower with a military of staggering destructive potential and technological sophistication couldn’t win a war against minimally armed guerillas.  Even more strikingly, despite having no serious opponents anywhere, it seemed not on the rise but on the decline, its infrastructure rotting out, its populace economically depressed, its wealth ever more unequally divided, its Congress seemingly beyond repair, while the great sucking sound that could be heard was money and power heading toward the national security state.  Sooner or later, all empires fall, but this moment was proving curious indeed.

The hope of a paradigm shift by the present number of patriarchal global leaders now choosing sociopathy to one of humanism seems futile and yet we, the global family, owe it to ourselves and planet to fight for it. To not succumb to a stupor from sociopathy-friendly propaganda.

Engelhardt’s summation:

... One thing is increasingly clear: whatever the state of imperial America, something significantly more crucial to the fate of humanity (and of empires) is in decline.  I’m talking, of course, about the planet itself.

snip

What if the story of our times is this: And then there was one planet, and it was going down.

The welfare of the planet itself is not, of course, and never will be a priority for a sociopath.

 

[cross-posted on correntewire]

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How could it be??? More conspiracy writing:

"Obama: "This is the Most Transparent Administration in History."
BY SARAH LAI STIRLAND | Friday, February 15 2013

President Obama defended his government as "the most transparent administration in history" Thursday afternoon during a White House "fireside hangout"

Who are ya' gonna believe; the liar-in-chief or Libby?

-R-
What we need are super-citizens! People who know their place and do like they're supposed to! Only by granting me unilateral approval can I fix this country! Let me show you an example of a super-citizen for all to emulate:

I would have bet big money against it, but when I saw Dubya at his Library dedication...I felt for him in a big way. I regretted that I had thrown so many slurs at him during his tenure.

He was a screw up...but he held an office I am not competent to dust. He made some lousy decisions and had atrocious taste in aides…but I would have shit my pants if any of those decisions were mine to make.

At the dedication…he was a fellow human being.

Just sayin'!

Frank Apisa


An irresponsible sort then asked:

Frank, which decision would you have found difficult to make? The one about whether or not to lie your country into a war? The one about raping the lives of millions of people to steal their resources? Or the one about abusing the military until their suicide rate is the highest cause of death among them? Anyone having difficulty making those decisions is a completely amoral human being. Speaking well of evil doesn't make you a good person, it just makes you a liar and duly complicit. Just sayin'!

To which was properly replied:

All of ‘em, CG…mostly because I would know that no matter which way I went on most of them, there would be a significant number of people out in the citizenry who would consider that way beneath contempt…treasonist…or evil.

And since I would want to do mostly “what the people want”…I would find them difficult because we are so fractured as a society that pleasing one segment infuriates others.

So…all of ‘em would be “difficult” decisions for me.

Considering the question, though, you would have found all of them to be easy…and if you had been in a position to make them and if you had done so…there would be people out here writing about how stupid and uncaring and unpatriotic and immoral you are.

Only someone who truly does not consider all the story finds any of these decisions to be less than very, very difficult.


As you can see, we Presidents are above mere questioning by the little souls. Blind faith fixes all! So now you know at least how one of us "good ones" got elected. Who wants to be first to lick my shoes??
Unfortunately as far as your headline is concerned, it's the Peter Principle for every organization. Big swinging dicks all.
There was, for a few score decades in human history, a kind of dream of decency in government and a desire for humans to care for each other but throughout the few thousand years of human civilization always the success of the psychopaths to lead people to murdering each other for one idiocy or another. Despite much talk about the matter it is evident people have not changed. Frank Apisa chooses to enjoy his morning coffee and the pretty sunsets and accept that people will not change. I am waiting for some dynamic indication of a change to appear. But, unlike Apisa, I am uneasy.
I am uneasy as well.
It is obvious in current US society that the trend to privatization makes the public pay private organizations for postal service, education, basic health services, etc. What has not been openly accepted is that privatization is also now a basic constituent of government. If any sector needs government funding, like the gun people, the agricultural corporations, the pharmaceutical corporations, the armament corporations, etc. they must pay to get the legislator vote for their needs. In other words, voting, ehich had been a free privilege of every citizen, must be now paid for by lobbying and hefty donations to election funds. Government, like many other free government services is now a private business whether or not it is recognized as such. If citizens wish to participate in this process, obviously they need rich lobbies and heavy election donations to permit them to persuade the election candidates that they can compete with the corporations. This is known as free competition.
Another fantastic and timely post here Libby!! For the past several months I've been engaged in conversations with friends on exactly this subject. Media is hugely to blame for the our sociopathic mindset that is forced upon us as reality including NPR (for shame). While looking for our DVD on "Living with Ed" I quickly surfed TV with the remote and was horrified to catch a comment by a clearly very rich and evidently sociopathic individual who told a young pair of men "you are dead to me" (Sharktank). I don't care in what manner or context this phrase was used, but it speaks EXACTLY to what is printed here in your brilliant article Libby. As for Obama, wiretapping (and drones) under him is worse than it was with Dubyah and those policies have not only continued but all been heavily expanded. It was quite pathetic to see "them all" at the library "baptism" brownnosing each other and doing everything but wipe each other's disgusting butts. Any clear thinking, literate, conscientious and more importantly, honorable and honest individual could lead from the White House, or 10 Downing (et al), but this isn't how bullies run the world. It is the person who dusts the office desk that probably has too pure of a spirit to enter this kind of sewer. I believe our planet is headed straight down the tubes, thanks to those who choose to think and feel differently. 400ppm coming from the rear end.
Scum has not evolved over billions of years and has always risen to the top. Even after a raging storm roils the waters and clears the surface of any body of water, as soon as the current or the wind dies and the water finds a nook or pool where it can become still, there will soon be a film of scum on the surface. As Hemingway so eloquently wrote: The scum also rises, but only in stagnation.
Sociopaths are never debilitated by heartbreak or guilt or shame. They are goal directed automatons. Once they have a goal, they will kill to achieve it. Good people are weak, in the sense, that they feel and think too much and sort of fall apart due to too many considerations. Then, there is the grey area of the not evil but not good, and they go with the flow. If the sociopath is on top, they will support the sociopath, as long as that keeps them feeling safe and assured of their own ambitions. It's those gray area people that are the most nauseating to behold.
Perhaps the media could focus on asshole management material instead of promoting the culture of violence, corruption and abuse. R.
Scum and sociopaths share the quality of lacking substance, of being loosely put together, of not having sufficient mass to do anything except float aimlessly on the surface and cause a stench wherever they go.
theres a lot of cool new research into psychopathy which is starting to establish a neurological basis, and it is detectable in brain scanning machines now. so theres a sophisticated theory being built up as we speak. heres something I wrote awhile back & maybe should revisit the topic. as I recall there was a TED speaker recently, a new book, etc.....so the awareness by the public is hopefully increasing somewhat. people have different ideas that coexist, that politicians are working for the electorate, but also that psychopaths exist... the ideas are at times incompatible.... we have to sort out our incompatible ideas to get to the truth....
psychopathy—revolutionary, critical, pivotal new science
ps. There is some crazy phenomenon in which the scummiest people can enthrall a group with their commitment to evil and their agenda. Like they say gang rapes are perpetrated by the group being enthralled by the sickest and most violent member to follow their evil behavior. The most sociopathic link who induces the rest to ignore their consciences. Enthrallment to anti-humanitarian behavior of a seductive sociopathic leader. A dark and intense gang-think codependency.

I would like to do a post at some point about American media including commercials that are sending subliminal and not all that buried negative and amoral messaging to Americans. Even Woolite company pissed me off. They have a "torture" commercial with barbed wire and flashes of darkness and torture mechanisms and then they go on to talk about "tortured" clothes and the need to use gentle Woolite. This is so disgusting. It is winking and making light of something so horrifying as the existence of torture. But for the sake of titillation and eye-catching the viewers there seems no rules of decency and it sends the message, "torture can be a joke -- see how we are treating it?"

And the "role modeling" of narcissism on some of these reality shows, whether bratty celebs or just wannabees, is also troubling. The 50s tv was overly goody goody didactic, the tv now is shameless and sociopathic too often itself.

Mark, thanks for the vote of confidence. I read the three articles I quote above back to back. It was hard not to post about them they were so impactful! Obama reminds me of one of those commercials that is visually so appealing, someone strolling along the ocean edge looking blissful, meanwhile there is a buzzing list of warning disclaimers -- inspiring cognitive dissonance -- about possible effects of projectile vomiting, suicide, nausea, etc. And people are being Pavlovianly conditioned to ignore the warnings emanating from their own brains, hearts and consciences like the buzz of those crazy commercials, to follow the Pied Piper of sociopathic agendas because of his authoritarian rank and benign media branding which is like the commercial visual of the person on the beach so seemingly blissful.

That he can bald-faced claim that his government is the "most transparent in history" is so in your face LYING LYING LYING. They say the bigger the lies the harder it is for people to call out the liar since people's own unwillingness to tell such whoppers prevents them from fathoming those who are willing to look into your eyes and lie. When Obama spoke about Gitmo the other day and the starving protesters he was "acting" concerned and surprised and even blaming not only Congress alone but the citizenry for letting this happen. He took NO RESPONSIBILITY and put out the sound bite to convince people he was now on the case. Total bullshit. What a nightmare for those men being at the mercy of Obama's uber hypocrisy and risking their lives to try to counterpoint it to a seduced citizenry willing to follow the liar in chief. So what has happened, more violent force-feeding, not heeding or dealing with the situation with any empathy and respect for the human beings. TWO-FACED doesn't begin to describe him but it would be a start in the right direction. But corporate media does not call out amorality and does not give the mikes to people who do. Unless they are grandstanding and are not really going TO DO anything about it. Not serious about walking the talk.

Dianne, thanks so much for commenting! :-)

PBO- BLIND FAITH FIXES ALL!!! That seems to be the M.O. Brilliantly put. The loyalty over honesty and empathy mantra of the Dems and the whole trap of "lesser evilism" has neutered humanitarian blowback of the citizenry to sociopathic policies of our three branches, who are all swilling at the same trough of the lobbying one percent and selling us out!!!

Great point, ONL. The Peter Principle. The highest level that stops with their incompetence. The more militarized I am noticing corporate environments are becoming (and they already were authoritarian) the more abuse is trickling down from on high, as well as managerial incompetence in not listening to the staff below for valuable feedback for efficiency as well as empathy. The upper management is so disconnected from reality and because of the economy can afford to PUNISH and not bother with rewarding staff to incentivize that work environments let alone the political environment is becoming more and more outrageously dysfunctional. As for patriarchal macho narcissism, "swinging dicks", you are too right (though female sociopaths are up there on high, too)!!! Competition and power and ego DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE these monsters!

Thanks, sky!

Jan, there was some respect for law once upon a time. Regulators did not go through the golden revolving door to corporate jobs and then back to government and then back to corporations once upon a time before Greenspan. You know, I read one book, I think "The Sociopath Next Door" and the writer emphasized how many of them are out there. And she emphasized that sociopaths are afraid only of raw power and having their own welfare threatened and that keeps them in line from not perpetrating even more horrors on their fellow humans. When that law intimidation is removed, as it is now in the Obama administration where the one percenters can get away with murder (in terms of corporate wars), where US troops in a country can commit murder on civilians with no fear of reprisal, where troops can rape other troops and be protected by their macho superiors, where corporations can higher mercenaries or use government to snuff out opposition like union workers in other countries to steal resources and wealth then sociopathy begins to GALLOP more and more as it is doing now. Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton, Obama -- the deregulation and the sweetheart deal-making with the wealthy corporatists. And always -- the corporation as a "legal person" has the personality profile of a "psychopath" -- ruthless and no consideration for human ethics! And big money ensures that sociopathic policies be made for profits uber humans -- human lives. Mass numbers of human lives clearly.

Thanks, Heidi. It certainly is worrisome, and the slippery slope seems to point to more and more sociopathic rampaging on the part of the powers that be!

best, libby
Thanks for great comments. Have to go for now. Will return for further commenting! best, libby
this is a pet peeve of mine, when they say this kinda shit:
" those who question it are merely sneered at or ridiculed by a system that promotes a mass mindset immune to its own lies."
it
brings great inwardness in such a sensitive boy as i.
ay but sociopathy lurks when i gotta go get food...
or drink..

People with this disorder do not follow society’s norms and often break the law. It is characteristic for people with this diagnosis to be entirely careless about other people's feelings and pain. They also show a pervasive pattern of no regret together with irresponsible decisions.
I am somewhat suspicious of the concept that there is a special type of human who commits these callous acts. No doubt there are a few likethat with a defective nervous system, but when an entire society evaluates human worth by the accumulation of monetary wealth I suspect there is something a bit more complex at work. Psychological experiments have indicated that when a group of people is randomly divided into the powerless and the powerful the powerful group acts with such callous disregard for the basic decency of the unpowered group that the experiment had to be cancelled to prevent real damage. In real life business schools emphasize nly thegain of profit as the real goal in social activity and capitalist life creates this social division of the powered and unpowered. And this, in my view, is the root cause of the problem, not a few manic monsters.
Incidentally it is not only capitalism which creates this frightful problem, it exists obviously in te military and was quite obvious in the former Soviet Union and other communist countries. It seems basic in the traditional leader follower situation and religious organizations suffer as well from this. Human social organizations need very deep studies to avoid this. The American Constitution, flawed as it was, was an attempt to control the powerful and the current violations of the Constitution under the false guise of security is a cover for the growing abuse of human relationships.
Psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich addressed this question in his 1933 book "The Mass Psychology of Fascism." He blames it on authoritarian child rearing styles. Children grow up fearing their basic emotional impulses (fear, anger, sexual attraction, etc) and as adults, they seek strong (sociopathic) leaders to rein in these feelings by setting strict rules for them to live by.

The good news is the steady transformation I am seeing in childrearing styles, with women rejecting authoritarian discipline and relationships with authoritarian men who seek to control them.
However people may be raised, the social forces of personal competition without limitations under any system leads to both great esteem for excellence and a ruthless interaction of individuals with society. Some of us have a reasonably strong internal sense of decency which may or may not be installed by religion or merely a sense of fairness which is possibly inherent in all social animals. All of these motivations vary in strength from one individual to another and general proclaimed and enforced limitations on all of them are probably vital for a decent society.
Not many societies develop excellent interactions and extenuating circumstances can be highly destructive to reasonable social interactions. Politicians and leaders of all types manipulate these variations, generally in their favor and humans never seem to be able to uniformly control things for a long duration of sensible decency. Beyond this, technology, which is basically neutral, provides the means for extraordinary violations of a good society and it seems standard that these means currently are being perverted into disastrous directions which may lead to a total collapse of civilization.
Thank you for this. Mesmerizing. And thanks to all for the great commentary, particularly Dr. Bramhall and Jan Sand. Jan, your comments about the psychological experiments were really insightful. Scary...REALLY scary, but insightful.