This blog has long described the powerful elite who run international corporations as having somewhat psychopathic personalities. The problem with this is that they shape corporations in their own image, so that the dominant corporate world-view also becomes psychopathic. And that is where most people work.
Some might describe this as a jaundiced perspective. However, remembering that lack of empathy is a key characteristic of psychopathy, this Scientific American article supports our view.
The article reports on research into how class and wealth affect our feelings towards others. The research clearly shows that rich people are more likely to lie, cheat and steal than poor people.
Another article in Business Insider describes research from Canada showing that while about 1% of the normal population are psychopaths (worth remembering at a football match!) the figure jumps to 10% when you look at the financial services industry. Ascent of the financial ladder is matched by a decline in compassion.
How this happens is another matter – clearly boarding schools and military academies that cater for the British elite are designed to emotionally cripple their students. Field-Marshall Sir Douglas Haig demonstrated at the Battle of the Somme, why it is important to lack empathy. How else could he have ordered his troops to advance slowly and in line against machine-guns – or mount cavalry charges against those same machine-guns?
By such stubborn, heartlessly repeated tactics he totted up 400,000 casualties in just 142 days. That is nearly 3000 men a day – day in, day out for four months. Haig did not believe in shell-shock. So when some poor soul cracked up and could not take it any more – he ordered them to be shot, hundreds of them. Remember, he was not alone but supported by the establishment of the day (including Churchill).
The further up the money and power food-chain you go, the more remote you get from humanity. Just think for a moment about Betty Windsor, currently celebrating sixty years on the English throne (!).
When ordinary people meet her, perhaps to collect an award at Buckingham Palace, it is not uncommon for them to say things like “… she was really nice” “… like your granny”. They have just met that other trait of the psychopath – charm. Such people are expert at manipulating the feelings of others.
Betty has never applied for a mortgage, walked to the corner store, parked in a multi-storey car-park or any of the thousands of little things that make up most peoples daily routines. She, like the rest of the powerful people actively directing our affairs, is different. She is definitely not like your granny.
So the next time you meet Betty, give her a hug and a pat, tell her it’s all right – we understand. She just needs to feel loved. It’s time for her, and all the others, to step back and take a rest. We don’t need them. They are not the future.