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New Sociopathy as ideology: Campos nails it
I’m going to quote most of this entry by Paul Campos over at “Lawyers, Guns & Money” because I think that his analysis, though nothing most of us haven’t arrived at ourselves, is particularly well put:
Political systems in particular and societies in general both depend on the maintenance of informal norms as much or more than they do on adherence to formal rules. The most basic norm is that these systems/societies assume that sociopaths are and will remain extreme outliers, and that therefore they can be constructed on the basis of that assumption.

For example, contract law in the United States legal system simply wouldn’t work if most or even a large minority of contracting parties were sociopaths, because in game theoretical terms the most personally advantageous thing for a contracting party to do in a huge number of situations is to defect. This is because in those situations the cost of enforcing contract rights will outstrip the benefit to the enforcing party of enforcing them, and the defecting party knows this.

That of course is a precise description of Donald Trump’s entire business strategy and indeed life as a whole: don’t honor your legal obligations whenever it’s to your advantage not to do so. This is how sociopaths think; and someone like Trump literally cannot even understand the argument that he shouldn’t do something that’s good for him because it’s bad for society.

Sociopathy can even be transformed into a political ideology: It’s called “libertarianism,” and its votaries labor mightily to escape the natural implications of their views, by inventing elaborate and subtle arguments about how self-interested defection from social norms will not actually be self-interested in the long run, for Reasons.

Here’s a not very elaborate or subtle argument: Anthropology teaches us that, in societies that live at or near the ecological margin, repeated defection from social norms tends to get the defector killed outright by the rest of the group. Such societies can’t afford luxuries like the delightful intricacies of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, because their members understand that any toleration of sociopaths in their midst will lead rapidly to the extinction of the group as a whole. Hence these societies employ their own versions of summary judgment and Rule 11 of the aforementioned FRCP.

Complex contemporary societies can afford to be more tolerant of sociopaths, because the enormous surplus wealth of such societies creates “a lot of buffers,” as Willie Cicci might have put it. But neither that wealth nor those buffers are unlimited. What, for instance, happens when one of the two parties in a two-party putative democracy becomes frankly and openly sociopathic? That is, what happens when sociopathy becomes a rampant ideology, instead of just a handy DSM-V categorization?

Nothing good.
cordially,

PS: I nominate “Hence these societies employ their own versions of summary judgment and Rule 11 of the aforementioned FRCP” for an LRPD slot.
New "And NO sprinkles! For every sprinkle I find, I will KILL you!"
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Well said. Thanks for the pointer and excerpt.
New This be the apex of cubic-closest-packing, Example-the-First.
Wish I had brainz that good; gotta trundle along with status quo :-/
(See? Planet Earth/the bipeds-in-charge: is at least a contender for, "What is Hell rilly like?')

Certainty always invalid.. and Despicables have already grabbed pwnership of 98.666% of all the tangibles as keep the stomach stoked.
Worldwide, pretty much, with a few bright lights like Scandihoovia, etc.
Carrion, an Earth analogue?

Need to pet a cat, maybe even a raccoon.. Neither perpetually collects infinite-Stuff, just food.



PS: that the irony of that June 2016! report.. manifestly LOST on the tin-eared breathers of his exhalations ... a few months later.
--merely seals the Doom: that STILL the unTeachables rove our carcass-country in solidarity..
likely Mad-Maxing to a fare-thee-well? (wherever it is that Drumpf parks his carcass, in the interim).

IF Georigia vote proves a FAIL for any Survival-oriented outcome, well, you know.. Lies go out at light-speed;
Truthiness walks in snowshoes. The Crap-shoot is now ON and counting.
Expand Edited by Ashton Jan. 3, 2021, 03:18:10 PM EST
     Sociopathy as ideology: Campos nails it - (rcareaga) - (3)
         "And NO sprinkles! For every sprinkle I find, I will KILL you!" -NT - (malraux)
         Well said. Thanks for the pointer and excerpt. -NT - (Another Scott)
         This be the apex of cubic-closest-packing, Example-the-First. - (Ashton)

Beware of things that go blimp in the night...
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