Matt Yglesias writes:
The leverage that Lieberman and other “centrists” have obtained on this issue (and on climate change) stems from a demonstrated willingness to embrace sociopathic indifference to the human cost of their actions.
A sociopath is often defined as “a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” (This is what I found online and what I have always thought the definition was, roughIy — I realize there are more clinical definitions, but I know nothing about clinical psychology, maybe someone can help me out with this.)
I’m glad to see that this word is starting to get used more and more — not long ago, for example, Lindsay Beyerstein accurately described one of Slate’s new hires (a woman who had written books titled “How to Dump a Friend” and “Our Mutual Friend: how to steal friends and influence people”) as a sociopath.
To me, anyone who would start a war for no reason and show no remorse when it went terribly wrong is a sociopath. Anyone who would not only torture but then try to use support for torture as a political wedge issue is a sociopath. Anyone who would hold the health of millions of Americans hostage so that he could get more face-time on “Meet the Press” is a sociopath.
I believe that the biggest question about our society is why it is that so many sociopaths rise to positions of power and influence. Are all societies this way or is there something special about the way ours is structured right now?