We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Share Traders More Reckless Than Psychopaths, Study Shows

Click here to access article from Der Spiegel.

I think a more appropriate title for this article should have been, "Share Traders More Deviant Than Psychopaths, Study Shows."

I have often argued that the capitalist system is led by sociopaths and promotes sociopathic personalities. (Psychopathy equals sociopathy, or anti-social disorder, with the former term used beyond the US English speaking world.) This Swiss study found that stock brokers, including bankers, actually scored higher on sociopathic tests than do those already with a diagnosis of this personality disorder. 
Particularly shocking...was the fact that the bankers weren't aiming for higher winnings than their comparison group. Instead they were more interested in achieving a competitive advantage. Instead of taking a sober and businesslike approach to reaching the highest profit, "it was most important to the traders to get more than their opponents," Noll explained. "And they spent a lot of energy trying to damage their opponents."
Take a look at this stock trader and financial analyst for this type of personality disorder that even shocked the BBC staff:

These are the kind of people who shape our lives in so many ways and to our detriment--in fact, they rule over most of today's world. Like alcoholics they were not born that way, but had a predisposition toward such behavior. The capitalist system insures that those with sociopathic tendencies are rewarded, and thus, foster such personalities.

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