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Are Politicians Psychopaths?

GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/6/2012 3:56:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
"Psychopaths seem superficially normal but tend to be cold-hearted, lacking in empathy, egocentric, manipulative, irresponsible, and antisocial. Or, as a 2007 Scientific American article put it: Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it... Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead."

"[According to Harvard clinical psychologist, Dr. Stout] Yes, politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."

http://redicecreations.com...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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9/6/2012 4:05:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
*Waits for Ike to come in in a rage at someone insulting politicians.*
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TheAsylum
Posts: 772
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9/6/2012 4:10:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 4:05:28 PM, socialpinko wrote:
*Waits for Ike to come in in a rage at someone insulting politicians.*

You can not be serious. Politicians suck and the position our government is in proves it.
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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9/6/2012 4:41:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 3:56:44 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Psychopaths seem superficially normal but tend to be cold-hearted, lacking in empathy, egocentric, manipulative, irresponsible, and antisocial. Or, as a 2007 Scientific American article put it: Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it... Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead."

"[According to Harvard clinical psychologist, Dr. Stout] Yes, politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."


http://redicecreations.com...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Power fucking corrupts. They did studies and people who were placed in a position that could even be thought as privileged or higher than others were more likely to lie with a straight face. And it's not like they were richer or more powerful in real life, either.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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9/6/2012 5:33:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 3:56:44 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Psychopaths seem superficially normal but tend to be cold-hearted, lacking in empathy, egocentric, manipulative, irresponsible, and antisocial. Or, as a 2007 Scientific American article put it: Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it... Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead."

"[According to Harvard clinical psychologist, Dr. Stout] Yes, politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."


http://redicecreations.com...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

It should be noted that without clinical experience, there is almost no way to tell the difference between a socipath/psychopath an extreme narcissistic with Machiavellian disorder.

Around four percent of people, at the most extreme estimation, are psychopaths in America. I wouldn't be surprised to see politicians overrepresented.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 4:10:15 PM, TheAsylum wrote:
At 9/6/2012 4:05:28 PM, socialpinko wrote:
*Waits for Ike to come in in a rage at someone insulting politicians.*

You can not be serious. Politicians suck and the position our government is in proves it.

People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Frederick53
Posts: 1,037
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9/6/2012 5:44:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Psychopaths are charming. It's true. So it makes perfect sense for politicians to mimic psychopathic personalities (inadvertently, but that is the end result).
In 1975, the Second Vietnam War began -1Historygenius

Like no wonder that indian dude rejected you.- Darkkermit to royalpaladin

Social Darwinism is a justification- 1Historygenius

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GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/6/2012 5:48:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...

They dehumanized me by enslaving humanity. Why did they vote for Patriot Acts, spying on me, destroying my internet freedoms, sending us to war and killing other nations civilians, prop up dictators, take our money and give it to dictators, and erase our right to fair trial.

ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.

Yeah, their strangers with no regard for human life. It doesn't matter their personal details, if I was in their shoes I wouldn't vote for the Patriot Act.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Frederick53
Posts: 1,037
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9/6/2012 5:52:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:48:23 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...

They dehumanized me by enslaving humanity. Why did they vote for Patriot Acts, spying on me, destroying my internet freedoms, sending us to war and killing other nations civilians, prop up dictators, take our money and give it to dictators, and erase our right to fair trial.

ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.

Yeah, their strangers with no regard for human life. It doesn't matter their personal details, if I was in their shoes I wouldn't vote for the Patriot Act.

For once I agree with everything that you said.
In 1975, the Second Vietnam War began -1Historygenius

Like no wonder that indian dude rejected you.- Darkkermit to royalpaladin

Social Darwinism is a justification- 1Historygenius

Equal opportunity exists, so there is no problem- EvanK
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2012 5:54:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:48:23 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...

They dehumanized me by enslaving humanity. Why did they vote for Patriot Acts, spying on me, destroying my internet freedoms, sending us to war and killing other nations civilians, prop up dictators, take our money and give it to dictators, and erase our right to fair trial.

ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.

Yeah, their strangers with no regard for human life. It doesn't matter their personal details, if I was in their shoes I wouldn't vote for the Patriot Act.

I understand your political reasons for disliking them, but I don't see how that connects to personal reasons (ie. calling them psychopaths). When you're in a position where your decisions affect hundreds of millions of people, and you have to juggle ALL those people's interests, and you're receiving advice from every angle, some contradicting eachother, and you are held responsible if things inadvertantly fail,....THEN you'd have the right to say you wouldn't have done X, Y, or Z. Until then, you're claims are non-contextual and not very fair to the human beings that do make it to public office.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
TheAsylum
Posts: 772
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9/6/2012 5:58:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/6/2012 4:10:15 PM, TheAsylum wrote:
At 9/6/2012 4:05:28 PM, socialpinko wrote:
*Waits for Ike to come in in a rage at someone insulting politicians.*

You can not be serious. Politicians suck and the position our government is in proves it.

People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.

No, they are not far-fetched. I am no better. Though I do not declare many things and go out to be in a position of power. Once someone does that they are deserving if they do not stick to what they said and look out for the people.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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9/6/2012 5:59:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:56:09 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Humans are psychopaths.

Haha, that too!
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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9/6/2012 10:12:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 5:54:57 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/6/2012 5:48:23 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 9/6/2012 5:38:14 PM, 000ike wrote:
People have a tendency to dehumanize public figures because,...

They dehumanized me by enslaving humanity. Why did they vote for Patriot Acts, spying on me, destroying my internet freedoms, sending us to war and killing other nations civilians, prop up dictators, take our money and give it to dictators, and erase our right to fair trial.

ultimately, they're strangers. When you realistically put yourselves in their place, it's not hard to see how these personal attacks are far fetched and non-contextual.

Yeah, their strangers with no regard for human life. It doesn't matter their personal details, if I was in their shoes I wouldn't vote for the Patriot Act.

I understand your political reasons for disliking them, but I don't see how that connects to personal reasons (ie. calling them psychopaths). When you're in a position where your decisions affect hundreds of millions of people,

You're laboring under the delusion that most politicians care about the average citizens that they are elected to represent and the constitution they are elected to uphold. Their decisions may affect millions, but if you take a quick glance at the track records of almost every American politician, you'll see that they care far more about toeing the party line and sucking up to financial interests/lobbyists than they do about the average American citizen they represent who doesn't donate money to them and wields no power over them. Yeah, they have the ability to vote politicians out of office every few years, so politicians will give lip service to them and tell them what they want to hear, but it usually stops there.

and you have to juggle ALL those people's interests, and you're receiving advice from every angle, some contradicting eachother,

Why do you think politicians have to juggle all those peoples interests? Again, look at the voting records and tell me if most politicians seem to care about doing what's best for their constituency, or about following orders from their party leaders and those that give them financial support and supporting the status quo (police state, military industrial complex, stripping away civil liberties... all because they care so much about the average citizen, right?).

and you are held responsible if things inadvertantly fail,....

How are politicians held responsible? Some backlash in the media (which itself is rare given the media's general complacency with the status quo)? Wow, do you think they care, when half of congress are millionaires and the rest will be soon. When they screw up, we the people pay for their mistakes. I can think of no ways in which politicians are held responsible if things fail. Failed government programs usually get their fundings increased. And yeah, the taxpayer is always there to bail them out.

Heck, every President since WW2 would be hanged if we followed the Nuremberg principles we used to try the Nazis. Every single one, for crimes which are literally terrorism (the use of violence against civilians as a means of advancing a political goal). Yet, instead of being imprisond, or tried, or even questioned for being lying murdering terrorists (by any credible human rights standard every post WW2 Pres falls under this standard) they live out the rest of their lives above the law, with millions of dollars, etc. And you say they're accountable for when they mess up?

THEN you'd have the right to say you wouldn't have done X, Y, or Z. Until then, you're claims are non-contextual and not very fair to the human beings that do make it to public office.
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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9/6/2012 10:19:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Most politicians are sociopaths and meglomaniacs. Let's take a look at what it means to have a successful political career. You have to be very good at pretending to care deeply about people and making promises to them which you know you won't be able to keep even if you cared enough to want to. You have to be very good at giving lip service and flattering people. You have to want to rule over/make decisions for a huge amount of people. You have to have no integrity or else you probably won't go far in a political world which involves mainly kissing the @$$es of your party and your big donors and disregarding the interests of the average citizen you represent.

Politicians want to control and dictate the rules that millions of people have to follow whether or not they agree with those rules. By definition that means that a large amount of politicians are going to be meglomaniacs (power hungry), when the job description involves wielding deciding power over millions and millions of people.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2012 10:24:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 10:19:06 PM, jat93 wrote:
Most politicians are sociopaths and meglomaniacs. Let's take a look at what it means to have a successful political career. You have to be very good at pretending to care deeply about people and making promises to them which you know you won't be able to keep even if you cared enough to want to. You have to be very good at giving lip service and flattering people. You have to want to rule over/make decisions for a huge amount of people. You have to have no integrity or else you probably won't go far in a political world which involves mainly kissing the @$$es of your party and your big donors and disregarding the interests of the average citizen you represent.

Politicians want to control and dictate the rules that millions of people have to follow whether or not they agree with those rules. By definition that means that a large amount of politicians are going to be meglomaniacs (power hungry), when the job description involves wielding deciding power over millions and millions of people.

Oh please. You wouldn't ever say those nasty things about Ron Paul (and rightfully so). The only difference here is that he appeals to your ideology. Politicians are human beings too,...some of them do legitimately want nothing but personal gain, but many if not the vast majority of them have an aspiration for what values our country should exemplify, developed since they were young.

It's frankly naive to legitimately believe that government is a magnet for the filth of society. That's rhetoric I would expect from Geolaureate, not you.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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9/6/2012 10:27:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 4:10:15 PM, TheAsylum wrote:
At 9/6/2012 4:05:28 PM, socialpinko wrote:
*Waits for Ike to come in in a rage at someone insulting politicians.*

You can not be serious. Politicians suck and the position our government is in proves it.

Actually they blow... all the tax payer dollars they can get their hands on.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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9/6/2012 10:36:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/6/2012 10:24:41 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 9/6/2012 10:19:06 PM, jat93 wrote:
Most politicians are sociopaths and meglomaniacs. Let's take a look at what it means to have a successful political career. You have to be very good at pretending to care deeply about people and making promises to them which you know you won't be able to keep even if you cared enough to want to. You have to be very good at giving lip service and flattering people. You have to want to rule over/make decisions for a huge amount of people. You have to have no integrity or else you probably won't go far in a political world which involves mainly kissing the @$$es of your party and your big donors and disregarding the interests of the average citizen you represent.

Politicians want to control and dictate the rules that millions of people have to follow whether or not they agree with those rules. By definition that means that a large amount of politicians are going to be meglomaniacs (power hungry), when the job description involves wielding deciding power over millions and millions of people.

Oh please. You wouldn't ever say those nasty things about Ron Paul (and rightfully so). The only difference here is that he appeals to your ideology.

No... The differences are that he speaks what he believes is the truth even if it is not what anyone wants to hear, that he upholds the constitution to the best of his ability, that he isn't bought off by lobbyist, that he is consistent and doesn't flip-flop... One of the very very few American politicians about whom this can be said.

Politicians are human beings too,...some of them do legitimately want nothing but personal gain, but many if not the vast majority of them have an aspiration for what values our country should exemplify, developed since they were young.

So why do the voting records overwhelmingly show them supporting the military industrial complex, the war on drugs, the police state, the utter erosion of our civil liberties, and the status quo in general? It would be hard to make the case that these things, on balance, benefit the average American. They benefit the very few - those in power. Patriot Act, NDAA, endless wars, trillion dollar debts, war on drugs, etc... Is it just a coincidence that these things serve the interests of the elite but not the average American? Don't be so naive. And these programs gain broad support across both parties.

It's frankly naive to legitimately believe that government is a magnet for the filth of society. That's rhetoric I would expect from Geolaureate, not you.

Well I guess I appreciate the backhanded compliment but I didn't say that government is a magnet for the filth of society. This is what I was saying:

"All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted." - Frank Herbert, Dune.

Positions of power, where you have control over the lives of millions and the ability to employ violence to enforce the decisions whether or not those people want them to be enforced, will naturally attract sociopathic, meglomaniacal personalities.

It is naive of you to think otherwise, not naive of me for observing the obvious.
RoyLatham
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9/6/2012 11:03:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I always thought that the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is that both lack empathy for others and are completely self-centered, but only the psychopath acts out with violence. But checking Wikipedia, it seems the terms are not so clearly separated.

By my definition, sociopaths view other people as objects to be manipulated to get what the sociopath wants. They are most often friendly and charming, and will say whatever is required to ahieve their objectives.

That seems to fit some politicians, but certainly not all. Many are genuinely trying to do good for the sake of general well-being. Politics attracts the best people and the worst.