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The Forum > Article Comments > How common are corporate psychopaths in politics? > Comments

How common are corporate psychopaths in politics? : Comments

By Chris Golis, published 17/10/2013

The extent to which psychopaths are prevalent in the community is difficult to estimate typical figures are 1% of the general population, 25% of the prison population and 3.5% of the business world.

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Hard to disagree. I met a few while teaching at university. I remember one bloke who had a pathological hatred of women yet he was made a professor.

One small thing with this article is that the writer has called certain persons psychopaths. They may well be but that really requires some serious medical backup and professional expertise. Naming and publishing such an accusation can also be problematic. The sting is in the imputation.
Posted by Malcolm 'Paddy' King, Thursday, 17 October 2013 8:01:17 AM
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Well, given they are moths to the flame of power, corporate psychopaths in politics may be far more common than we think, or would allow ourselves to believe!
Lack of empathy was all that allowed the worst excesses of the third Reich.
Blame shifting, [I was just following orders,] all that was needed to justify it. [And the easiest and first thing to go for a young soldier, thrown into battle at the deep end, is the moral compass!]
But they can and do return to normal, when returned to normal civilian life. Not so the psychopath, who generally enjoys the conflict and the sense of power it confers.
I've maintained for many years we need our intending leaders, to face an in-depth psychological profiling.
The military, the police/law enforcement, public servants, doctors lawyers, teachers, judges, prison officers, corporate leaders etc/etc.
I'd sooner they were left with no other option than criminality and a life eventually lived entirely behind bars, given, they would do less harm.
I mean was Hitler a psychopath, were his henchmen?
And how many millions were killed when he and his inner cabal (politicians) took the world to war?
Was Stalin a psychopath?
He arguably presided over the death of more Russians than died in the second world war!
Was Nixon, who saw more young American lives wasted in Vietnam, than those lost in the entire second world war!?
Do the criminally insane hide by molding their behavior on social norms or how it looks to others?
Do they have tin ears, always know better, and invariably compound problems with entirely irrational decisions?
I for one would not be very surprised if there were more corporate psychopaths in politics, than is the norm in everyday society!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:16:46 AM
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"The extent to which psychopaths are prevalent in the community is difficult to estimate typical figures are 1% of the general population, 25% of the prison population and 3.5% of the business world."

Chris, you name three apparent psychopath pollies. What is your gut feel for the percentage of current federal pollies that could be so described?
Posted by Raycom, Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:24:48 AM
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Glad none said Rudd was a Psychopath, a terrible slur. Narcissist is the correct term. Gillard a bad case of "Peter Principal" and Latham just a simple, if violent, fruitcake.
Posted by McCackie, Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:29:24 PM
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Your all human/psychopaths:)....just deal with it:)...and Paddy on his hate roll, well:)...So what did you get your PHD in?

Planet3
Posted by PLANET3, Thursday, 17 October 2013 1:10:34 PM
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Rhrosty,
No Adolf Hitler wasn't a psychopath, neither were Stalin or Churchill, it's a big mistake to attribute the maelstrom of WW2 to "lack of empathy", the bogus psychological profile given to the OSS in WW2 is the primary source for all the stories of Hitler's psychopathy and it's long been discredited.
Hitler could make detailed plans and follow them through to completion, he could learn from his mistakes, he was known to be polite,honest and loyal, he wasn't reckless, promiscuous or impulsive and he wasn't self aggrandising or vain though he did like to point out to his generals and subordinates when he was right and they were wrong.
The epithet psychopath is often thrown at Churchill too, after all people wonder how could anyone possessing any empathy order the firebombing of German cities and the resulting slaughter of civilians?
The National Socialists weren't motivated by "hatred" and the allies didn't start the war in the name of "human rights", you have to look deeper than that, WW2 reveals nothing about psychopathy.
A far more interesting case of the corporate (in this case military) psychopath might be Colonel Russell Williams, he's the real thing as opposed to a folk devil like "Hollywood Hitler":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XwynxJxp8M
Posted by Jay Of Melbourne, Thursday, 17 October 2013 1:47:15 PM
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