Cult of the Sociopath | Learning by Proxy

We have the tendency to glorify sociopaths and then watch them ruin the world for the rest of us!

Who is a sociopath?

Those with ASPD have no regard for others’ rights or feelings, lack empathy and remorse for wrongdoings, and have the need to exploit and manipulate others for personal gain.

Source: WebMD

Now, think about every billionaire on the planet. Almost all of them will fit this definition without exception. The richer and more powerful they are, the closer they are to being complete sociopaths.

Your ability to see them as sociopaths is inversely related to the efficacy of their PR team.

The flag-bearer for all sociopaths on the planet was Steve Jobs himself. His ill-treatment and abuse of his employees has been chronicled several times. His second coming with Apple turned him into an icon and provide sociopathy with great credibility. Especially for those living around silicon valley. Being a sociopath was the ‘in’ thing.

Here is the plain truth - No single person on the face of this planet is capable of creating billions of dollars of value all by themselves. They all need to therefore depend on shortchanging those who actually create value to enrich themselves. The more efficient they are at it, the richer they make themselves.

The list of common traits you might see in a sociopath, says Dr. Coulter, include:

Not understanding the difference between right and wrong.

Not respecting the feelings and emotions of others.

Constant lying or deception.

Being callous.

Difficulty recognizing emotion.

Manipulation.

Arrogance.

Violating the rights of others through dishonest actions.

Impulsiveness.

Risk-taking.

Difficulty appreciating the negative aspects of their behavior.

Some sociopaths may not realize that what they’re doing is wrong while others may simply not care. And sometimes, Dr. Coulter says, it can be both.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Today, the flag bearers for the cult of the sociopath are Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. There has been a deluge of news breaking about their actions.

A former Facebook employee, disgruntled that she could not work from the West Indies, decided to leak a lot of internal files from Facebook to Wall Street Journal. These reports showed that Facebook was aware of the detrimental effects of its platform and chose to do nothing about it.

On Tuesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota asked Ms. Haugen whether Facebook had dedicated enough resources to removing coronavirus falsehoods, noting that YouTube said last week that it would ban all anti-vaccine misinformation.

“I do not believe Facebook, as currently structured, has the capability to stop vaccine misinformation,” Ms. Haugen said.

She added that Facebook said that its efforts were only likely to remove “10 to 20 percent of content.”

Source: New York Times

Facebook is controlled by one person who has the largest number of votes in the company. Mark Zuckerberg only cares about money and power. Also, he wants to hold on to it no matter what the cost. The testimony also discussed the role that Facebook played in the Jan 6th Insurrection and Mark has been willing to let these things happen because profit is above all.

After the Senate hearing, in typical fashion, Mark denied any wrongdoing.

“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritise profit over safety and wellbeing. That’s just not true,” he said.

He added: “The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content.”

Source: The Guardian

The truth is that Facebook is very wrong. So much so, that the founders of WhatsApp left close to 1 Billion dollars in stock options on the table and chose to walk away from the company rather than participate any further in the charade.

Mark Zuckerberg is great at gaslighting.

If Mark is in the business of gaslighting, Elon Musk is an arsonist.

A jury on Monday ordered Tesla to pay nearly $137 million in damages in a case that alleged an employee encountered racist abuse, discrimination and harassment at the company’s plant in Fremont, Calif.

Owen Diaz, an elevator operator who worked for the company between June 2015 and May 2016, sued Tesla, alleging a hostile work environment and racial harassment, and said “daily racist epithets” such as the n-word were used in the factory, where his son, Demetric, also worked. The initial suit by Diaz, who is Black, alleged that workers encountered a scene “straight from the Jim Crow era,” where workers were subjected to frequent racist harassment and supervisors took no action.

Source: Washington Post

Elon Musk has branded himself as a genius who can get into any business and pull it off. The truth is, he did not even conceive of Tesla, he pushed out the founders and took over the company. Without NASA, SpaceX would have been dead in the water today. The kind of treatment that many of the employees in his companies have had to endure, is appalling.

Financially, the company and its founder, industrialist and social media personality Elon Musk, have never had a better year. Musk is now the fifth richest person in the world, as the company’s stock price skyrocketed from a low of $72 in March to almost $500 at the end of August. Then, following a split in early September, the company managed to sell an additional $5 billion worth of shares in just three days. Enormous liquidity, a little more than two years after Tesla nearly ran out of money.

Tesla workers and worker advocates say the company is risking the health and safety of its workers in relentless pursuit of these gaudy numbers. To hit the record cars-built mark, Tesla is relying on its new Gigafactory in China, but is also leaning on its American workers. Beginning in August, workers at the Fremont, California factory were informed that they’d be spending a lot more time at work: six days a week, sixty hours a week.

Source: Observer

He has been railing against the state of California because he has been asked not to run his factories during the pandemic. Much like Mark, his only concern is the numbers, not the effect it has on the people producing those numbers. The state did not budge and he has finally decided to move his production to Texas.

This brings us to his contemporary - Jeff Bezos.

When Alexandra Abrams first walked into Blue Origin’s headquarters and saw a model of the USS Enterprise used in the filming of the first Star Trek series, she thought, “Ally, you are home, this is your mothership.”

That turned out to be a false impression, the former Blue Origin director of internal communications told me last week, after she revealed the company’s dysfunctional culture in an open letter written with twenty current and former employees at Jeff Bezos’ space firm. Their description of a sexist culture and excessive demands on the workers, which the company disputes, led the Federal Aviation Administration to open an investigation ahead of its next suborbital space tourism mission, expected Oct. 12.

Source: Quartz

The stories of Amazon are themselves replete with incidents that involve employees being woken up in the middle of the night to resolve issues in a matter of minutes. Sure, Amazon might have managed to grow and kill all of its competitors but there are several thousand employees who have paid for it with their peace of mind. Turns out his space venture is no different.

The more fundamental issue here is that in a world where you are willing to care as little as possible about people, the more likely it is that you will be able to progress. Those who care will always be left behind.

Is it right, though, that we idolise such people, write books about them and teach case studies about such individuals. It normalises the harm that they cause and makes people learn all the wrong lessons.

Once we realised that fossil fuels were causing climate change, the thought that we should probably stop using fossil fuels gathered steam. In a similar manner, maybe we should consider ways by which sociopaths are kept out of positions of power. The harm they cause most certainly outweighs the ‘shareholder value’.