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The Ascendence of Sociopaths in US Governance
Casey Research ^ | March 21, 2012 | Doug Casey

Posted on 03/30/2012 10:34:28 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder

An International Man lives and does business wherever he finds conditions most advantageous, regardless of arbitrary borders. He's diversified globally, with passports from multiple countries, assets in several jurisdictions and his residence in yet another. He doesn't depend absolutely on any country and regards all of them as competitors for his capital and expertise.

Living as an international man used to be just an interesting possibility. But few Americans opted for it, since the US used to reward those who settled in and put down roots. In fact, it rewarded them better than any other country in the world, so there was nothing pressing about becoming an international man.

Things change, however, and being rooted like a plant, at least if you have a choice, is a suboptimal strategy for surviving and prospering. Throughout history, almost every place has at some point become dangerous for those who were stuck there. It may be America's turn.

For those who can take up the life of an international man, it's no longer just an interesting lifestyle decision. It has become, at a minimum, an asset saver, and it could be a life saver. That said, I understand the hesitation you may feel about taking action; pulling up one's roots (or at least grafting some of them to a new location) can be almost as traumatic to a man as to a vegetable.

As any intelligent observer surveys the world's economic and political landscape, he has to be disturbed – even dismayed and a bit frightened – by the gravity and number of problems that mark the horizon. We're confronted by economic depression, looming financial chaos, serious currency inflation, onerous taxation, crippling regulation, developing police states and, worst of all, the prospect of a major war. It seems almost unbelievable that we are talking of the US – which historically has been the land of the free.

How did we get here? An argument can be made that miscalculation, accident, inattention and the like are why things go bad. Those elements do have a role, but it is minor. Potential catastrophe across the board can't be the result of happenstance. When things go wrong on a grand scale, it's not just bad luck or inadvertence. It's because of serious character flaws in one or many – or even all – of the players.

So is there a root cause of all the problems I've cited? If we can find it, it may tell us how we personally can best respond to the problems.

In this article, I'm going to argue that the US government, in particular, is being overrun by the wrong kind of person. It's a trend that's been in motion for many years but has now reached a point of no return. In other words, a type of moral rot has become so prevalent that it's institutional in nature. There is not going to be, therefore, any serious change in the direction in which the US is headed until a genuine crisis topples the existing order. Until then, the trend will accelerate.

The reason is that a certain class of people – sociopaths – are now fully in control of major American institutions. Their beliefs and attitudes are insinuated throughout the economic, political, intellectual and psychological/spiritual fabric of the US.

What does this mean to the individual? It depends on your character. Are you the kind of person who supports "my country right or wrong," as did most Germans in the 1930s and 1940s, or the kind who dodges the duty to be a helpmate to murderers? The type of passenger who goes down with the ship or the type who puts on his vest and looks for a life boat? The type of individual who supports the merchants who offer the fairest deal or the type who is gulled by splashy TV commercials?

What the ascendancy of sociopaths means isn't an academic question. Throughout history, the question has been a matter of life and death. That's one reason America grew; every American (or any ex-colonial) has forebears who confronted the issue and decided to uproot themselves to go somewhere with better prospects. The losers were those who delayed thinking about the question until the last minute.

I have often described myself, and those I prefer to associate with, as gamma rats. You may recall the ethologist's characterization of the social interaction of rats as being between a few alpha rats and many beta rats, the alpha rats being dominant and the beta rats submissive. In addition, a small percentage are gamma rats that stake out prime territory and mates, like the alphas, but are not interested in dominating the betas. The people most inclined to leave for the wide world outside and seek fortune elsewhere are typically gamma personalities.

You may be thinking that what happened in places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia and scores of other countries in recent history could not, for some reason, happen in the US. Actually, there's no reason it won't at this point. All the institutions that made America exceptional – including a belief in capitalism, individualism, self-reliance and the restraints of the Constitution – are now only historical artifacts.

On the other hand, the distribution of sociopaths is completely uniform across both space and time. Per capita, there were no more evil people in Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China, Amin's Uganda, Ceausescu's Romania or Pol Pot's Cambodia than there are today in the US. All you need is favorable conditions for them to bloom, much as mushrooms do after a rainstorm.

Conditions for them in the US are becoming quite favorable. Have you ever wondered where the 50,000 people employed by the TSA to inspect and degrade you came from? Most of them are middle-aged. Did they have jobs before they started doing something that any normal person would consider demeaning? Most did, but they were attracted to – not repelled by – a job where they wear a costume and abuse their fellow citizens all day.

Few of them can imagine that they're shepherding in a police state as they play their roles in security theater. (A reinforced door on the pilots' cabin is probably all that's actually needed, although the most effective solution would be to hold each airline responsible for its own security and for the harm done if it fails to protect passengers and third parties.) But the 50,000 newly employed are exactly the same type of people who joined the Gestapo – eager to help in the project of controlling everyone. Nobody was drafted into the Gestapo.

What's going on here is an instance of Pareto's Law. That's the 80-20 rule that tells us, for example, that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your salesmen or that 20% of the population are responsible for 80% of the crime.

As I see it, 80% of people are basically decent; their basic instincts are to live by the Boy Scout virtues. 20% of people, however, are what you might call potential trouble sources, inclined toward doing the wrong thing when the opportunity presents itself. They might now be shoe clerks, mailmen or waitresses – they seem perfectly benign in normal times. They play baseball on weekends and pet the family dog. However, given the chance, they will sign up for the Gestapo, the Stasi, the KGB, the TSA, Homeland Security or whatever. Many are well intentioned but likely to favor force as the solution to any problem.

But it doesn't end there, because 20% of that 20% are really bad actors. They are drawn to government and other positions where they can work their will on other people and, because they're enthusiastic about government, they rise to leadership positions. They remake the culture of the organizations they run in their own image. Gradually, non-sociopaths can no longer stand being there. They leave. Soon the whole barrel is full of bad apples. That's what's happening today in the US.

It's a pity that Bush, when he was in office, made such a big deal of evil. He discredited the concept. He made Boobus americanus think it only existed in a distant axis, in places like North Korea, Iraq and Iran – which were and still are irrelevant backwaters and arbitrarily chosen enemies. Bush trivialized the concept of evil and made it seem banal because he was such a fool. All the while real evil, very immediate and powerful, was growing right around him, and he lacked the awareness to see he was fertilizing it by turning the US into a national security state after 9/11.

Now, I believe, it's out of control. The US is already in a truly major depression and on the edge of financial chaos and a currency meltdown. The sociopaths in government will react by redoubling the pace toward a police state domestically and starting a major war abroad. To me, this is completely predictable. It's what sociopaths do.

There are seven characteristics I can think of that define a sociopath, although I'm sure the list could be extended.

Sociopaths completely lack a conscience or any capacity for real regret about hurting people. Although they pretend the opposite. Sociopaths put their own desires and wants on a totally different level from those of other people. Their wants are incommensurate. They truly believe their ends justify their means. Although they pretend the opposite. Sociopaths consider themselves superior to everyone else, because they aren't burdened by the emotions and ethics others have – they're above all that. They're arrogant. Although they pretend the opposite. Sociopaths never accept the slightest responsibility for anything that goes wrong, even though they're responsible for almost everything that goes wrong. You'll never hear a sincere apology from them. Sociopaths have a lopsided notion of property rights. What's theirs is theirs, and what's yours is theirs too. They therefore defend currency inflation and taxation as good things. Sociopaths usually pick the wrong target to attack. If they lose their wallet, they kick the dog. If 16 Saudis fly planes into buildings, they attack Afghanistan. Sociopaths traffic in disturbing news, they love to pass on destructive rumors and they'll falsify information to damage others. The fact that they're chronic, extremely convincing and even enthusiastic liars, who often believe their own lies, means they aren't easy to spot, because normal people naturally assume another person is telling the truth. They rarely have handlebar mustaches or chortle like Snidely Whiplash. Instead, they cultivate a social veneer or a mask of sanity that diverts suspicion. You can rely on them to be "politically correct" in public. How could a congressman or senator who avidly supports charities possibly be a bad guy? They're expert at using facades to disguise reality, and they feel no guilt about it.

Political elites are primarily, and sometimes exclusively, composed of sociopaths. It's not just that they aren't normal human beings. They're barely even human, a separate subspecies, differentiated by their psychological qualities. A normal human can mate with them spiritually and psychologically about as fruitfully as a modern human could mate physically with a Neanderthal; it can be done, but the results won't be good.

It's a serious problem when a society becomes highly politicized, as is now the case in the US and Europe. In normal times, a sociopath stays under the radar. Perhaps he'll commit a common crime when he thinks he can get away with it, but social mores keep him reined in. However, once the government changes its emphasis from protecting citizens from force to initiating force with laws and taxes, those social mores break down. Peer pressure, social approbation and moral opprobrium, the forces that keep a healthy society orderly, are replaced by regulations enforced by cops and funded by taxes. Sociopaths sense this, start coming out of the woodwork and are drawn to the State and its bureaucracies and regulatory agencies, where they can get licensed and paid to do what they've always wanted to do.

It's very simple, really. There are two ways people can relate to each other: voluntarily or coercively. The government is pure coercion, and sociopaths are drawn to its power and force.

The majority of Americans will accept the situation for two reasons: One, they have no philosophical anchor to keep them from being washed up onto the rocks. They no longer have any real core beliefs, and most of their opinions – e.g., "We need national health care," "Our brave troops should fight evil over there so we don't have to fight it over here," "The rich should pay their fair share" – are reactive and comforting. The whole point of spin doctors is to produce comforting sound bites that elude testing against reality. And, two, they've become too pampered and comfortable, a nation of overfed losers, mooches and coasters who like the status quo without wondering how long it can possibly last.

It's nonsensical to blather about the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave when reality TV and Walmart riots are much closer to the truth. The majority of Americans are, of course, where the rot originates – the presidential candidates are spending millions taking their pulse in surveys and polls and then regurgitating to them what they seem to want to hear. Once a country buys into the idea that an above-average, privileged lifestyle is everyone's minimum due, when the fortunate few can lobby for special deals to rake something off the table as they squeeze wealth out of others by force, that country is on the decline. Lobbying and taxation rather than production and innovation have never been able to sustain prosperity. The wealth being squeezed took centuries to produce, but it is not inexhaustible.

In that light, it was interesting to hear Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, speak about the lower, middle and upper classes recently. Romney is an empty suit, only marginally better than the last Republican nominee, the hostile and mildly demented John McCain. In any event, Romney is right about the poor, in a way – there is a "safety net," now holding 50 million people on Medicaid and 46 million on food stamps, among many other supposed benefits. And he's right about the rich; there's no need to worry about them at the moment – at least until the revolution starts. He claims to worry about the middle class, not that his worries will do anything to help them. But he's right that the middle class is where the problem lies. It's just a different kind of problem than he thinks.

People generally fall into an economic class because of their psychology and their values. Each of the three classes has a characteristic psychological profile. For the lower class, it's apathy. They have nothing, they're ground down and they don't really care. They're not in the game, and they aren't going to do anything; they're resigned to their fate. For the upper class, it's greed and arrogance. They have everything, and they think they deserve it – whether they do or not. The middle class – at least in today's world – is run by fear. Fear that they're only a paycheck away from falling into the lower class. Fear that they can't pay their debts or borrow more. Fear that they don't have a realistic prospect of improving themselves.

The problem is that fear is a negative, dangerous and potentially explosive emotion. It can easily morph into anger and violence. Exactly where it will lead is unpredictable, but it's not a good place. One thing that exacerbates the situation is that all three classes now rely on the government, albeit in different ways. Bankruptcy of the government will affect them all drastically.

With sociopaths in charge, we could very well see the Milgram experiment reenacted on a national scale. In the experiment, you may recall, researchers asked members of the public to torture subjects (who, unbeknownst to the people being recruited, were paid actors) with electric shocks, all the way up to what they believed were lethal doses. Most of them did as asked, after being assured that it was "alright" and "necessary" by men in authority. The men in authority today are mostly sociopaths.

WHAT TO DO

One practical issue worth thinking about is how you, as someone with libertarian values, will manage in a future increasingly controlled by sociopaths. My guess is poorly, unless you take action to insulate yourself. That's because of the way almost all creatures are programmed by nature. There's one imperative common to all of them: Survive! People obviously want to do that as individuals. And as families. In fact, they want all the groups that they're members of to survive, simply because (everything else being equal) it should help them to survive as individuals. So individual Marines want the Marine Corps to survive. Individual Rotarians want the Rotary Club to prosper. Individual Catholics leap to the defense of the Church of Rome.

That's why individual Germans during World War II were, as has been asserted, "willing executioners" – they were supporting the Reich for the same reasons the Marines, the Rotarians and the Catholics support their groups. Except more so, because the Reich was under attack from all sides. So of course they followed orders and turned in their neighbors who seemed less than enthusiastic. Failing to support the Reich – even if they knew it had some rather unsavory aspects – seemed an invitation to invading armies to come and rape their daughters, steal their property and probably kill them. So of course the Germans closed ranks around their leaders, even though everyone at the top was a sociopath. You can expect Americans to do the same.

Americans have done so before, when the country was far less degraded. During the War Between the States, even saying something against the war was a criminal offense. The same was true during World War I. In World War II, the Japanese were all put in concentration camps on groundless, racially based suspicions of disloyalty. During the early years of the Cold War, McCarthyism was rampant. The examples are legion among humans, and the US was never an exception. It's even true among chickens. If a bird has a feather out of place, the others will peck at it, eventually killing it. That out-of-place feather is deemed a badge of otherness announcing that its owner isn't part of the group. Chicken Autre must die.

Libertarians, who tend to be more intelligent, better informed and very definitely more independent than average, are going to be in a touchy situation as the crisis deepens. Most aren't going to buy into the groupthink that inevitably accompanies war and other major crises. As such, they'll be seen as unreliable, even traitors. As Bush said, "If you're not with us, you're against us." And, he might have added, "the Constitution be damned." But of course that document is no longer even given lip service; it's now a completely dead letter.

It's very hard for an individualist to keep his mouth shut when he sees these things going on. But he'd better keep quiet, as even HL Mencken wisely did during both world wars. In today's world, just keeping quiet won't be enough; the national security state has an extensive, and growing, file on everybody. They believe they know exactly what your beliefs, desires, fears and associations are, or may be. What we're now facing is likely to be more dangerous than past crises. If you're wise, you'll relocate someplace where you're something of an outsider and, by virtue of that fact, are allowed a measure of eccentric opinion. That's why I spend an increasing amount of time in Latin America. In truth, however, security is going to be hard to find anywhere in the years to come. The most you can hope for is to tilt the odds in your favor.

The best way to do that is by diversifying your assets internationally. Allocating your wealth into real assets. Linking up with sound, like-minded people who share your values. And staying alert for the high-potential speculations that inevitably arise during chaotic times.

[Another puzzle piece that sadly fits in place for the fall of the US is its astounding debt crisis. Those with the foresight to take advantage of the shifting trends it triggers can not just survive, but thrive during the challenging times ahead.]


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: morality; sociopaths; tbtf
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Doug Casey is primarily known as an investment book & newsletter writer. Maybe what he expresses in this article is just run of the mill "decline of society" type stuff, but the distinction I wish to point out by posting the article resides in the title. It's government itself that's being/been infested by parasites and infectious agents.
1 posted on 03/30/2012 10:34:36 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Casey’s train runs off the track with his over-generalization of events such as the Japanese Americans were put into “concentration camps”. They were “internment camps”, not the real killing camps of the Nazis and the Communists.

There are good people in govt and bad people. The “bad” ones are in control because their leaders have been able to bamboozle the masses, even the educated ones. They have played the race card very effectively, lied, performed massive cover-ups, and schemed. Some are communists, marxists and racists, and unfortunately they are in control.

However, there are others in govt (or who have now been forced out of govt) who oppose this totalitarian group/trend and are speaking up at grave risk to their jobs and reputations.

It is bad out there (I’m in the heart of the beast), but there is also hope and light (i.e. the Tea Party movement, Alan West, Michele Malkin, etc).

Casey knows nothing about the so-called “McCarthyism” period. If he did, he would have shut up before even referring to it.

Take his rant as “interesting” and then read something serious such as “Ameritopia” or “Liberty and Tyranny.”


2 posted on 03/30/2012 10:44:22 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Great article.


3 posted on 03/30/2012 10:47:46 PM PDT by Rich21IE
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

I tend to agree with you. There have always been people in power with anti-social intentions and there always will be. The very position of being able to exert power and authority attracts sociopaths to some extent even in our alleged Republic.

I wish not to throw the core sentiment of what Casey writes out with the bathwater, however. I think that we have entered an era where fantastic rewards have been passed out to flagrant criminals with a frequency never before contemplated nor experienced. I am referring to the banking crisis and the fact that practically zero prosecutions have occurred in that realm despite the horrific societal damage that has been done. And, I find it hard to be equivocal about it because I find it society-wide. It’s illustrated at the bottom with the “taker” and “entitlement” mentality, and at the top with the bankster looting of society and de facto takeover of the government itself. And I think that a pan-societal example has been set that prosecution need not be feared as long as the crime is brazen enough and widespread enough. Though Casey goes a little overboard as you say, it’s a formula for societal and national breakdown and it’s beyond an intellectual construct; it’s reality. Many times I get the feeling that a flock of vultures is attacking a still-breathing but soon-to-be-dead animal in the form of our society; lest there be nothing left unless whatever can be scammed is scammed while the scamming is good.


4 posted on 03/30/2012 11:02:54 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

going to another country really isn’t a solution for the average lower to mid middle class family - it’s the same as moving to a town in a state you’ve never been - you will always be an outsider when push comes to shove.

I’d propose that it’s more beneficial to be around Family and close friends when it comes to surviving upheavals. Those in wagontrains that settled the West, for instance, were almost always interrelated families traveling together and then homesteading next to each other as groups. There is safety in numbers. imo jmo


5 posted on 03/30/2012 11:05:45 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: blueplum
I've got news for you. Going to another country is the only solution sometimes, because entire families can be put up against he wall. My grandfather came from Mexico after the Christero war with his two sisters as the only survivors of a rather large family/ranch community after the "peace treaty" was signed and the government forgot to tell the troops to quit killing Catholics. . First generation works labor, second generation becomes cops,soldiers or teachers and third generation goes to college.

I'll fight to defend my family but I won't get caught up in defending these POS in our government. The new brown shirts are the TSA,BATF, FBI, DEA, Dept of Ed swat teams and viper teams. They'll gladly kill, maim and destroy you for donuts and their pension. Ask Randy Weaver's wife and son or the children in Waco that were cooked by the BATF, FBI and US Army.

6 posted on 03/30/2012 11:43:28 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
There are good people in govt and bad people. The “bad” ones are in control because their leaders have been able to bamboozle the masses, even the educated ones. They have played the race card very effectively, lied, performed massive cover-ups, and schemed. Some are communists, marxists and racists, and unfortunately they are in control.

And far too many, as Casey has pointed out quite tellingly, are just garden variety sociopaths. I work for the government, and I've seen them first hand. These sociopaths use the other things you've described, marxism, communism, and racism as further camouflage to obscure their true nature.

He is eminently correct in his assessment that they are drawn to government for one reason, and one reason alone. They seek out the capability to dominate others with complete impunity, and get paid for it as a side benefit. No nation can survive this for long.

*YOU* are likewise eminently correct in your statement that there are others in government who oppose this. I count myself as one of them. That said, the stark reality is that the barbarians, the sociopaths, are in the ascendancy. I see this, I recognize this, hell, I *live* this every day.

My time in government is drawing to a close, and I will be glad to leave, for I've seen far too much that is just flat out wrong, and am in no position to remedy. I've grown weary of trying to stand in the gap, to hold the sociopaths at bay...

the infowarrior

7 posted on 03/31/2012 12:19:21 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Bump


8 posted on 03/31/2012 1:46:35 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Bump


9 posted on 03/31/2012 1:47:40 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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To: infowarrior

Interesting, thank you. What would you say are the quickest ways to spot a sociopath?


10 posted on 03/31/2012 4:41:18 AM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
And it is an "interesting" read. It's a good thing to compare notes with someone who at least has their eyes open to the unfolding danger.

The work lacks an essential wisdom I'm sure the author would not recognize as wisdom at all, apparently not allowing even for the possibility of Providence. Practical and pragmatic discernment by men and women with common since and those who had contemplated long and hard over the Christian Gospel were both necessary to come up with our Declaration of Independence, for example. Too many Libertarians wrongly discount God as a tool used by unfeeling power hungry people to pacify "boobus americanus." It is not a logical outlook, and as such the Libertarian must be as disheartened as any at the alliance between academic (the sciences in particular) with the Ruling Party.

The dismissal even of the possibility of Providence taking an interest in our lives as individuals takes off the table an army willing to lay down their lives for their friends, those, in the best traditions of American history, preferring to die where they stand over living on their knees.

The author might think such an attitude not to be a demonstration of action in self-interest, though no greater love there be than laying down one's own life for one's friends.

The situation in Britain's North American colonies in 1775 is a good example of the value of persistence in resistance without regard to the transitory opinions of the majority not in favor of taking up arms.

11 posted on 03/31/2012 5:09:48 AM PDT by Prospero
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To: infowarrior

I ask because where I am, sociopaths seem to skate into disaster for the company and staff with impunity. It’s almost like mgt. *prefers* sociopaths to ‘normal’ people.


12 posted on 03/31/2012 5:42:18 AM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: txhurl

The quickest way to spot a sociopath is to trust your gut.
Most of the time, there’s no “there” there. It’s missing in the eyes.

They don’t come with a blinking “S” on their foreheads.

A book, “The Gift of Fear” discusses this.

The reason they seek control over others is because they cannot control themselves. They are dominated and subsumed by compulsion.

We’ve come a long way from our founding. Great men served out of a sense of duty, “payback” for the great and free land that was recently won.
Now, a gubmint job is for “me” (excepting our fine FReepers who possess courage and character - your posts make me sad).
It’s all about the bennies and the perks. Cushy retirement.
It’s magical thinking -
where no moral duty is owed to the payor(s), money is just magically “there”.


13 posted on 03/31/2012 5:45:42 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: spankalib

The quickest way to spot a sociopath is to trust your gut.
Most of the time, there’s no “there” there. It’s missing in the eyes.


Do you mean their eyes are ‘dead’ while they ‘work’ until they’re reminded to look up and start the charm up again?

And their eyes only sparkle when something bad happens to someone in their workplace periphery? I’m starting to worry there are way more sociopaths in America than I thought.


14 posted on 03/31/2012 5:57:34 AM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
BULLSEYE!

"There are seven characteristics I can think of that define a sociopath, although I'm sure the list could be extended."

It can be:

8. Sociopaths inspire fanatical loyalty. I have identified some because of this marker.

9. Sociopaths exploit chaos, disaster, and social unrest, which they willingly create or exacerbate, emerging as saviors, heroes, and leaders to adoring incognoscenti.

10. Sociopaths not only lack the capacity for remorse, but they are also incapable of love, gratitude, sympathy, or empathy. Although they pretend the opposite.

11. Sociopaths are manipulative and paranoid.

12. Under peaceful and ordinary circumstances, most circumstances yield to social preassures and remain invisible; however when they are provoked to violence they are capable of the most hideous and unimaginable atrocities.

13. Sociopaths are unrecognized by most non-sociopathic people, mainly because non-sociopaths cannot imagine that such people could exist.

14. Sociopaths are highly resistant to any attempt to change their personalities. They tend to be very pleased with themselves exactly as they are.

15. Sociopaths tend to have a sixth sense, which can give them certain awareness almost like and idiot savant.

It was 420 years from Cincinnatus to Julius Caesar.

An excellent source of information about the sociopathic personality is The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. The statements I have made about the sociopathic personality are based on my own extensive experience with such people; they are not paraphrases of Mrs. Stout, whose writings speak for themselves.

15 posted on 03/31/2012 7:05:45 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: txhurl

That’s part of it...our brains receive everything. Subtle clues that during the course of a normal person’s day-to-day encounters, we’d file away and forget.
But it’s the dissonance, the disconnect, that niggles the gut with a “something’s not quite right” vibe.
Yeah, like eyes sparkling at others’ misfortune.

Investigators, LEO’s, etc. are trained to spot these things. Also, those of us who’ve had too close encounters become sensitive, develop “radar”.

A rule of thumb continuum I use, in ascending order of pathology:
- Narcissists (NPD) & Borderlines (BPD) note: remember Borderline is borderline psychopath
- Sociopaths
- Psychopaths

I use “appearing on a police-blotter most frequently” as my measure.

It can be argued that NPD’s & BPD’s cause more damage, due to their greater numbers, and the fact that their victims often have nowhere to turn to, also, their victims quickly learn to remain silent because they’re the ones perceived as crazy.
It’s the psychos & socios that more often turn up on the news doing crazy, evil stuff: killing their children, random murders, you know, the awful stuff.

Without quibbling over terms too much, I think we’re talking Narcissists. I’ve thought about it. What else could be the product of decades of advertising to “get it now” & “you deserve the best”? Decades of “entitlement”?

I am astounded by the parallels btwn the diagnostic criteria for Narcissists and liberals.

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Remarkable, isn’t it? You could cite examples from every point on this checklist to prove most garden variety leftists are in actuality - Narcissists! (at LEAST they’re Borderlines, because really? They’re not that charming lol).

Yes, they do drift up along the continuum, displaying more rage (How many examples of that do you know? Right.) & many DO perform murderous, evil deeds. (again, you know & can cite many instances!)

The other diagnostic differential I think, is “charm” (funny you should use just that word)...
N’s are the most charming...then B’s, socios, and lastly (if at all) psychos.

Trust your gut. If you get a sick, queasy feeling & it ain’t the beans, you’re probably around a leftist.


16 posted on 03/31/2012 7:08:56 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: txhurl
Interesting, thank you. What would you say are the quickest ways to spot a sociopath?

The signs that Casey wrote of are a good place to start...

the infowarrior

17 posted on 03/31/2012 7:11:06 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
"Doug Casey is primarily known as an investment book & newsletter writer. Maybe what he expresses in this article is just run of the mill "decline of society" type stuff"

I don't think so. What he has said is absolutely on target, and his insights are astonishing.

18 posted on 03/31/2012 7:11:20 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: Savage Beast

13. Sociopaths are unrecognized by most non-sociopathic people, mainly because non-sociopaths cannot imagine that such people could exist.

...and this is the main reason their victims learn silence, because you’re trying to explain “crazy” to “normal”. It’s almost impossible, unless someone has experienced this first hand.

Good post, Beast.


19 posted on 03/31/2012 7:12:56 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: txhurl
I ask because where I am, sociopaths seem to skate into disaster for the company and staff with impunity. It’s almost like mgt. *prefers* sociopaths to ‘normal’ people.

Because like seeks like, and the true horror of what is happening is that far too many *in* management have sociopathic tendencies, if not are outright examples of sociopaths themselves.

Where *I* have been working, it isn't 'almost like management prefers sociopaths to normal people', it is fact that they *do* so...

the infowarrior

20 posted on 03/31/2012 7:18:43 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: txhurl
"What would you say are the quickest ways to spot a sociopath?"

Corbett Thigpen (The Three Faces of Eve) once said that his secretary could spot them faster than he could. Her first tip-off was if she saw Thigpen lending someone money.

They tend to be highly manipulative.

I recognized one I knew well when I realized that this person inspired fanatical loyalty--mine!

I recognized one in my extended family. Her youngest child treated her very badly--spoke abusively to her--aroused the horror of all family and friends. When I finally realized that she was sociopathic, I asked him about this. He replied: "I figured her out when I was a child. She didn't give a damn about any of us." He had no respect for her, and for good reason.

Some people consider sociopaths to be fun, amusing, and charming. I've heard so-called experts say that they're lots of fun at a party. They're not. They are shallow, boring, predictable, unlikeable, and uninteresting.

Another tip-off is if I say: "I do not understand this person. I never have, and I never will." If I conclude that the person is sociopathic and I'm correct, the person immediately becomes easily understandable. As an excellent clinical psychologist once said to me: "Sociopaths are easy to understand." However, unless you know what's going on, their behavior can be confusing and hard to understand.

Another characteristic is emotional shallowness. The way a sociopath speaks of his/her children (or anyone else) tends to be odd (though some are good actors). One I knew well, in speaking of her son, clutched her throat, filled her eyes with tears, and announced dramatically (like a lousy actress in a grade-D movie): "He's mine. He's mine. He'll always me mine." Her entire affect, emotions, and everything else were utterly unlike any normal mother speaking of her child.

21 posted on 03/31/2012 7:36:39 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: txhurl
I’m starting to worry there are way more sociopaths in America than I thought.

When a behavior is rewarded, you have a tendency to get more of it. Sociopathy has been rewarded in government ranks in this country for quite some time now, and it shows, to anybody with a modicum of discernment...

the infowarrior

22 posted on 03/31/2012 7:42:54 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: spankalib
Excellent, Sp. You know these people well.

I agree that they can charm people. That's one of their salient qualities and one reason they inspire fanatical loyalty. But once you know what's going on the charm evaporates and you see the rattlesnake beneath it.

That's another characteristic. I knew one very, very well. She was Hollywood beautiful and immensely popular! But on rare occasions--when something struck a nerve--the mask dropped, and her eyes were the eyes of a rattlesnake.

I saw this a few times.

Her mother saw it once and was in shock. She said that she had never seen anything like that before. She never fully recovered from the experience and never saw her beloved, "perfect" daughter in the same light again.

23 posted on 03/31/2012 7:51:57 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: spankalib
Excellent again, Sp.!

I particularly like this:

"The quickest way to spot a sociopath is to trust your gut. Most of the time, there’s no “there” there. It’s missing in the eyes."

I grew up with one of these, and you can be sure I kept silent!

24 posted on 03/31/2012 7:56:36 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: txhurl
"Most of the time, there’s no “there” there. It’s missing in the eyes."

This rings true to me. The woman who said: "He's mine! He's mine!" did it with no appropriate affect. Her eyes were not the eyes of a normal mother talking about her child. There was no depth of feeling--in fact no feeling. It was like a very bad actress spitting out memorized lines.

25 posted on 03/31/2012 7:59:24 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: txhurl

Shapeshifters. Often they are charming,, that is hw they rope people in, but have no real beliefs. Yhey will support whatever they think benefits them the most. They have no conscience, so if you try to appeal to that, you will get no response. They always believe they are smarter than others and if they fail at something, pay it no mind. It only failed because of someone lesser who screwed it up.

They are arrogant and believe the world revolves around them. They can get pretty nasty and resort to scorched earth if they think they have been wronged or disrespected.

I knew one a while back. He had no ability for compassion or self introspection. He had to get some books to see how a person was supposed to act in given situations. Unreal. It just wasn’t there. (think Casey Anthony)


26 posted on 03/31/2012 8:03:29 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Savage Beast

Right on, right on!
Gosh, that poor mom...gives me shivers...how did her daughter hide it so well from her own mother? That’s hard to imagine, unless the mom was wearing heavily-tinted glasses? Plausible.
So it must have been one of the more dramatic denouements, aka: mask-slipping event. Likely the reality the mom had been trying to deny for so long @ her “perfect daughter”...the mom’s denial was so great - that’s why she never fully recovered. Sad.
<<<<shudders

The parallels btwn the various flavors of sociopathy & leftists are impossible to overstate.

As FR often chronicles the left’s hypocritical and childish behaviors, so too does that resonate with the development of these conditions.
One always finds a point where the sociopath “arrested” in development. Usually it has to do with abandonment &/or abuse. All abuse is emotional, so emotional abuse (only) counts too. The age range varies, but you can spot it to somewhere btwn 6 - 14/15.

In a very real sense, they are always “that child”, “that age” (when the trauma occurred)...in adult bodies.

Now how is that so unlike the spoiled rotten ranting leftist loons? How can a Supreme Court Justice Pantload the Boatload of drivel she does? It’s transparent, ridiculous, and appalling all at the same time!

I see no difference between sociopaths & libs.
To understand libs,
study sociopathy.


27 posted on 03/31/2012 8:56:07 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: dforest

You & Beast said the same thing, all very true.
“Bad actress” & “He had to get some books to see how a person was supposed to act in given situations.”

Unreal. Right? Most don’t get books and study (man, that’s scary!)...most learn to mirror others’ reactions so as not to stick out and risk being ostracized.

That contributes to the not-quite-right vibe. They’re laughing weird, or a little late. They’re acting strangely silent during intense or sad events. They’re watching how others react to get clues...so they can “look like” they’re sharing the same emotion.
Just listen to your gut for the strange “off-putting”.

They’re charming because they’ve been studying YOU, so they feed you what you want.
You don’t realize you’re just being fattened up for THEIR next meal.


28 posted on 03/31/2012 9:10:22 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: spankalib

That pretty much says it all.

By the way, those books were given to this person by a psychologist.

In the end, it turned out that all the books in the world were unable to replace what isn’t there.


29 posted on 03/31/2012 9:27:53 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

He lost me when he started pushing Argentina as a place to be. There’s something in his writing and thinking that hits me as kind of a double secret reverse sociopathy.


30 posted on 03/31/2012 9:50:39 AM PDT by Stentor ("All cults of personality start out as high drama and end up as low comedy.")
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To: spankalib

That pretty much says it all.

By the way, those books were given to this person by a psychologist.

In the end, it turned out that all the books in the world were unable to replace what isn’t there.


31 posted on 03/31/2012 9:51:17 AM PDT by dforest
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
Libertarians, who tend to be more intelligent, better informed and very definitely more independent than average...

"All knowing" statements like this tend to turn me off. But most of the rest is good, and the comments even better.

32 posted on 03/31/2012 10:01:42 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
Is the author calling President Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell etc sociopaths?

Or just republicans in general?

We went after Al Qaeda. Singling that out as an example of sociopathology is itself sociopathic.

33 posted on 03/31/2012 10:18:04 AM PDT by Manic_Episode (Politics is fake. I think it's owned by Vince Mcmahon)
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To: Stentor; Excellence

Again I say, there is some good meat in this article should some of the circumferential fat be trimmed.

Doug Casey was one of the rare winners on the Bre-X gold scandal, which was a complete fraud. AFAIK, he did nothing unethical, he was just on the right side of the trade...short, I assume. Or, very early, and he could afford to exit while the price was on the ascendency. Like 97% of all newsletter authors, his “do what I did and you, too can retire comfortably in [xx] on $350 a month” isn’t for everyone. Nothing is, really.

And, I’m not advocating bailing to another country, though I do not rule it out. It’s certain to mark the emigree as a target, in multiple ways.

Really, the essential nugget I wished to point out by posting the article was just that top-to-bottom, our society has become the reflection of the conclusion that 51% are now predators, takers, and willful saboteurs. There is no longer this exalted principled stance associated with “government service”. “Government service” has become a license to steal and ideally, to build up ones’ bureaucratic defenses against prosecution once one decides to shift the theft from covert to overt. And many of the non-takers are seeing the rewards showered upon the new (not really) uber-criminal class and wondering, “why work for a living?”. It’s pervasive, from bankster to brutha. And it does not bode well.


34 posted on 03/31/2012 10:25:33 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

There’s not a tight fit between clinical descriptions and political actors. You can find some “sociopathic” or “narcissistic” traits in politicians, but as in the general population there’s a distribution, with some people at the extremes and most in the middle. In comparison with the rest of us that middle may be shifted towards the pathological pole, but most politicians aren’t in the extreme, sociopathic range.


35 posted on 03/31/2012 10:35:30 AM PDT by x
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
I wish I could write and think as well as you. I agree that the article has important things to say. My problem with Casey is that in his total Libertarianism there seems to be nothing left of my "America". No doubt it's being run by a cabal of international criminals and more local thugs and sycophants. His International Man thing seems to be an upscale version of the mountain redoubt.

It seems that if he is carving out a place in Argentina where he can be safe, he has to be making deals with Christina and the gang. His response to Ferfal leaving Argentina for Northern Ireland, that he's a lower level newsletter writer with an axe to grind, was condescending and pathetic. The man ran for the safety of his family. The same thing bothered me about Harry Browne. Most of what he said made sense, but there was always that the peasants will fend for themselves and I must go organize the wine cellar thing .

36 posted on 03/31/2012 10:57:06 AM PDT by Stentor ("All cults of personality start out as high drama and end up as low comedy.")
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To: spankalib
"So it must have been one of the more dramatic denouements, aka: mask-slipping event."

Dramatic is hardly the word for it. Her mother was a highly moral, exemplary woman. The event was precipitated when the sociopath asked her mother to keep her children while she went on a vacation with a man she had recently met. Obviously she planned to sleep with him. The mother was horrified. She finally tried to restrain her daughter physically. A very unseemly fight broke out between them in the mother's elegant living room. The daughter was chain smoking, something of which the mother disapproved, and in the altercation she burned a hole in the mother's rug. The mother--a grand lady, who had never experienced or even witnessed anything like that--was absolutely in shock! She had always thought of her daughter as a perfect lady, and most of the time the daughter acted like it. She definitely knew how.

"Likely the reality the mom had been trying to deny for so long @ her “perfect daughter”...the mom’s denial was so great - that’s why she never fully recovered."

That's exactly how it was.

"One always finds a point where the sociopath “arrested” in development. Usually it has to do with abandonment &/or abuse. All abuse is emotional, so emotional abuse (only) counts too."

This has not been my experience.

In my experience, these people have had good, nurturing parents and a normal upbringing. Some have had unfortunate experiences, but in the case discussed above, there was absolutely no abuse, physical, emotional, or anything else. The child was raised by very caring, loving parents and given every possible advantage. And although she was well socialized because of her parents, the sociopathy did appear at a very early age. She tried to murder one of her siblings when she was 4 or 5 years old.

I think it's hereditary. There was another one in the same family. A beautiful girl who spent her life on drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex and died young. Even her mother wasn't sorry to see her go. She said so.

37 posted on 03/31/2012 11:11:28 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
The Ascendence of Sociopaths in US Governance


38 posted on 03/31/2012 11:11:42 AM PDT by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: Savage Beast

great post...It is exhausting, destructive to self and mind bending to work for these people....


39 posted on 03/31/2012 4:06:58 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (NEWT in 2012)
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
It is exhausting, and their effect is always destructive. When I recognize one, I arrange to have nothing to do with him/her.

I was forced to work closely with a sociopathic man for many years--one of the most highly intelligent, sadistic, manipulative, narcissistic, exploitive, and scary people I have ever known. I managed, probably because I was as intelligent as he was, and I accumulated great riches; so the experience was not without great rewards, but it was exhausting, and when I finally got him out of my life it was as though a heavy burdon had been lifted from me.

40 posted on 03/31/2012 5:05:01 PM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie
It is exhausting, and their effect is always destructive. When I recognize one, I arrange to have nothing to do with him/her.

I was forced to work closely with a sociopathic man for many years--one of the most highly intelligent, sadistic, manipulative, narcissistic, exploitive, and scary people I have ever known. I managed, probably because I was as intelligent as he was, and I accumulated great riches; so the experience was not without great rewards, but it was exhausting, and when I finally got him out of my life it was as though a heavy burdon had been lifted from me.

41 posted on 03/31/2012 5:05:01 PM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: Savage Beast

Do you ever feel like you... attract sociopaths? I do. I’ve spent countless time agonizing why a (turns out sociopath) person winds up developing a love/hate relationship with me. Always at work, don’t think I’ve known any outside of work.


42 posted on 03/31/2012 5:25:43 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: txhurl

I have done some research/reading on workplace bullying.

The sociopath usually picks on the most ‘threatening” person at work in terms of competence and productivity..then the bully also splits the other people and they get the message quickly if you speak about what’s happening or even acknowledge it..you will be next.

If you are at all competent , you will be “useful” to the sociopath and they are very good at offering on and off rewards and generally making you think “gosh, there must be something wrong with ME”..that is the name of the game.


43 posted on 03/31/2012 5:53:46 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (NEWT in 2012)
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To: Recovering Ex-hippie

That makes perfect sense. What I do involves intense customer service, so messing with someone’s frame of mind via sociopathic behavior is an over-the-top distraction and an extreme challenge.

I’ve won all my battles in various jobs with sociopaths by unloading both barrels in them with upper management’s involvement, and once I take them down, they turn gentle as kittens. That’s the part that mystifies me: they go out of their way to ‘end’ me, I retaliate by ‘ending’ them pre-emptively, then they leave me completely alone from then on.

It’s very weary-ing and discouraging, sad and depressing to cycle through this.


44 posted on 03/31/2012 6:39:37 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: txhurl
I do not attract sociopaths. I have an aversion to them, and the people in my life are definitely not sociopathic. In the past I have been thrown with some of them because we were related and because I encountered them at work. Once I learned to recognize them, I learned to avoid them.

I do know people though who attract them and people who are attracted to them.

I'm thinking of a friend whom I love, admire, and respect but who is almost like a sociopath groupie. She was married to one. He did committed multiple murders. For years one of her best friends was a sociopathic woman. And she has worked hard supporting at least one politician who is a sociopath. She can't see it. She understands that her ex-husband was one, but she hasn't a clue about the best friend or the politician. When I tried to explain it she gave me a blank stare and never understood.

45 posted on 03/31/2012 7:54:16 PM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: txhurl
I do not attract sociopaths. I have an aversion to them, and the people in my life are definitely not sociopathic. In the past I have been thrown with some of them because we were related and because I encountered them at work. Once I learned to recognize them, I learned to avoid them.

I do know people though who attract them and people who are attracted to them.

I'm thinking of a friend whom I love, admire, and respect but who is almost like a sociopath groupie. She was married to one. He did committed multiple murders. For years one of her best friends was a sociopathic woman. And she has worked hard supporting at least one politician who is a sociopath. She can't see it. She understands that her ex-husband was one, but she hasn't a clue about the best friend or the politician. When I tried to explain it she gave me a blank stare and never understood.

46 posted on 03/31/2012 7:54:16 PM PDT by Savage Beast (The way of the Left is conformity--ruthlessly enforced conformity.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

I found the column, and maybe even more so these FR comments that followed, fascinating. I am certain I have had as my direct assistant in a municipal government job for the past five years a person with NPD. And, it has become more and more clear to me that I will never be able to rid myself of him because the elected official I answer to is probably suffering from that or even a step worse. I guess it’s somewhat heartening-maybe the real word is scary-to find so many others facing the same challenge.


47 posted on 03/31/2012 8:40:25 PM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: Talisker

Do all Sociopaths look down their nose at us when they speak in public?

Your picture of Hilly, the current Secretary of Statements, is every bit as arrogant as snot-nosed Dictator Baby Doc-Barack.

BTW, Doug Casey forgot to mention the Copperhead Revolt during our Civil War.


48 posted on 03/31/2012 9:49:22 PM PDT by Graewoulf ((Dictator Baby-Doc Barack's obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

BTTT. This needs to be seen far and wide.


49 posted on 04/01/2012 5:49:19 AM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: John W

It does explain our current lack of lionheart in our government, and delves deeply into the weasel that has taken control.


50 posted on 04/01/2012 7:02:07 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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