On this site and on others, I see wonder and despair as our government takes no action to rein in the the despicable behavior of our ruling economic class. Of course, it take no action because its leaders are members of that same economic class. Meanwhile, the corporate media and many citizens cheer on those who advocate for MORE privatization, LESS regulation, FEWER safety nets, LOWER taxes on the wealthy, and MORE sacrifice from the majority of Americans. “Let the Free Market Work!” is their battle cry.
Now, let’s take a look at the symptoms of a particular psychiatric disorder, sociopathy. According to the American Psychiatric Association, a sociopath exhibits three or more of the following traits:
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
- deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
- impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
- irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
- having shallow or seemingly nonexistent feelings.
I think I can make a clear case that our financial system is definitely guilty of #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9. Most capitalist businesses in their relentless pursuit of profit are guilty of #s 4(when a union shows up), 5, 7(especially when they layoff people and outsource jobs), and 9 when it comes to their employees and the impacts of their actions upon their communities, and I’m being very generous on that one. As for politicians, well, there are some who are guilty of all nine.
So. It appears that our capitalist system is sociopathic by definition. Certainly corporations routinely engage in behavior so bad that if they were individuals they would be institutionalized by court order, if state mental hospitals still existed. (sarcasm alert) Maybe that is why Reagan cut federal funding for state mental institutions, because he identified the parallel between his precious free market system and some of the mentally ill.
Seriously, it is apparent that our economic system is insane. And those who profit from it make sure that they have their own in charge of our federal government and most of the state ones. They have a defender in President Obama, and in the leadership of both major political parties, not to mention the Supreme Court. Therefore, hoping that electing the right people from one of those parties to national office is futile. The corporate grip is just too strong.
Some day, probably in the next few years as things get progressively worse, people will realize this. They will have a choice between being good little slaves and serfs or out and out revolting. Ideologically, that revolt could come from either the left or the right. Probably it will come behind whoever has the most charismatic leader and the most easily understandable ideology that promises Justice for All.
Beyond that, I make no predictions. But hoping that the likes of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, or Mitch McConnell will provide such leadership is foolish.