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View Diary: Economic Terrorism and Krugman's Latest: "The clear and present danger...is what is happening now." (267 comments)

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  •  are these people completely unmoored from reality? (38+ / 0-)

    I know they think they eliminated the need for labor from wealth creation; that was accomplished decades ago. But are they so deluded as to believe they've eliminated the need for capital, as well?

    The old school titans of industry understood they needed raw materials in order to make things.

    These guys just spend an hour tapping away at the keyboard and then cry, "Look, a new asset class!" and start trading it like mad until they become lost in an impenetrable thicket of transactions. This is how they make money--no resources needed.

    Do they honestly think they're making wealth out of nothing?

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:43:45 AM PDT

        •  As a matter of fact... (10+ / 0-)

          (BTW, I Recced your comment but it appears the site is borked so that recs aren't taking)

          .... there may be a path to a treatment for antisocial personality disorder, this via psychopharmacologist Alexander Shulgin, who developed a compound that briefly produces the primary subjective symptom of the disorder, namely emotional flatline and extreme boredom.  We discussed this at one point and he outlined how to research how the compound interacts with the brain.  Once you know how a compound produces a key symptom, you can develop another compound to reverse the effect.  In other words a potential medical treatment for antisocial personality disorder.

          Narcissistic personality disorder shares many of the features of antisocial personality disorder: manipulativeness and so on.  However it has some other features that are unique such as the constant craving of attention from others, grandiosity, etc.  

          Tom DeLay is a classic sociopath; Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich are classic narcissists.

          If anyone can develop compounds to produce practically any subjective state you can name, Shulgin is the one.  The man is a world-class genius with more new drug discoveries to his name than just about anyone in the history of medicine, and that is no exaggeration.  He's also about 90 years old right now (and still as sharp as someone at 70), so time is short.   He has a bunch of eager grad students who he's been teaching his methods to, but whether any of them have his innate talent I don't know.  (I know one other psychopharmacologist who could potentially be in the same league but he's happily working at a major hospital right now.)  

          And once you have a drug that can produce the key symptoms of a disorder, you have a route forward to develop a medical treatment for those symptoms.  If the treatment is provided before the symptoms become engrained in the individual's personality, there is potential for a cure.

          This needs major funding.  Huge funding.  Sociopaths and narcissists are a large chunk of the crime problem, from street thugs to white collar fraudsters.  It's in everyone's interest to work on this.  

          •  Wow, Geek. (6+ / 0-)

            My ex-hub is one who has "Hypervigilant Narcissism".  One of the sad things is that a psychologist will tell you there is no cure for this personality disorder.

            Honestly, I hadn't conceived of a pharmacological solution.  You are correct,

            Sociopaths and narcissists are a large chunk of the crime problem, from street thugs to white collar fraudsters.  It's in everyone's interest to work on this.  

            For now, I am just glad the Narcissist is out of my house.  Thank god for small miracles.....

            •  i've had to deal with narcissists too. (0+ / 0-)

              It's hell on wheels.  

              One of them in particular, who tried to mess with people close to me, still occupies a place in my mind that is roughly equivalent to that of Bin Laden minus the huge casualty count.  I don't know where he is now, but as long as he doesn't get anywhere near, that'll have to do.  

              Good for you having gotten rid of yours.    

          •  OT: You might be interested in this then... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, aliasalias, LucyandByron

            "Political ponerology." Ponerology being a Church term for the study of evil, borrowed by a group of Polish psychologists who worked together, at great personal risk, from the time of the Nazis through the Communist regime, to account for how entire societies go insane.

            The ultimate cause of evil lies in the interaction of two human factors: 1) normal human ignorance and weakness and 2) the existence and action of a statistically small (4-8% of the general population) but extremely active group of psychologically deviant individuals. The ignorance of the existence of such psychological differences is the first criterion of ponerogenesis. That is, such ignorance creates an opening whereby such individuals can act undetected.

            ..."In any society in this world, psychopathic individuals and some of the other deviant types create a ponerogenically active network of common collusions, partially estranged from the community of normal people... Their sense of honor bids them to cheat and revile that ‘other’ human world and its values at every opportunity." (Lobaczewski, 138)

            ...Living in a world whose morals and customs are meaningless to them and even seen as oppressive, psychopaths dream of a "happy" and "just" world where their depraved worldview is accepted as reality. ...

            Can anyone say "Ayn Rand"? For one example.
            http://www.ponerology.com/...


            Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:56:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly right. and not only that... (0+ / 0-)

              ... notice all the media tweaky-tweak and concern-trolling about Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ranging from mild Asperger's all the way to major autism.  

              One of the characteristics that seems to be common to people with ASDs, is that they apparently have no tolerance for, or capability for, lying.  

              The ability to lie with a straight face is the core skill of sociopaths, narcissists, and suchlike.  

              So it occurs to me: perhaps the freakout over ASDs is somehow being encouraged by the sociopath/narcissist faction, as a distraction from their activities.  

              Yet if we look at this with any objectivity, sociopathy and narcissism constitute a much larger and far more destructive psychiatric pandemic than ASDs.  If we want to raise attention on any psych disorders, those are the ones that are most dangerous to society as a whole.  

          •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Badabing

            and the rise of criminal activity on Wall Street and in the banking industry is the result of the movement of Mafia/ organized crime from street crimes, drugs, gambling, extortion, etc. into banking and the stock market.

            I recall reading the first articles in the WSJ about the transition during the 1980's.  Back then, they were trying to prevent it, today they run the show.

            Organized crime has gone "legit".  Someone did a diary several months ago showing how one of the local government debt schemes that bankrupted several county governments was actually a modern version of a scam from nearly 100 years ago.  I'll have to look it up.

            None of this is new, its just scamming, graft, 3 card Monte, etc.

            It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

            by Betty Pinson on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:10:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  1980s eh, that's interesting. (0+ / 0-)

              What I think was up with that was, the war between oldschool Big Business, with its strong interest in stability and predictability in the business climate, vs. the cowboy casino types who like to foment chaos because they can harvest profits from any change whether favorable or unfavorable to the economy as a whole.  

              For now the badguys have won.  But only for now.  

        •  There ought to be Navy Seals for that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          To capture them, of course.

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:59:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  a shot of Glass-Steagall would lower the fever (0+ / 0-)

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:32:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They are directing wealth to themselves (11+ / 0-)

        The Wall Street denizens I know (knew) are uninterested in creating wealth, they are simply in the business of diverting flows of wealth to themselves.  They want to make assets move, and they want to take as much of that flow as they can for their own account.  If, in the process, the pie gets smaller for the rest of us, that is a matter of no concern.  If in the end, their activity destroys the thing to which they attach themselves, that matters only insofar as every last bit of wealth is extracted, and none of the damage is to themselves.  Good parasites don't kill the host because it is counter to the interest of their species.  These guys are not that evolved.

        •  Yes, I agree: They want more wealth, but not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley

          by creating it.  That's too much work.  

          They prefer to simply divert wealth to themselves and will constantly seek out means to do so.

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:03:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  B School grads aren't smart (0+ / 0-)

      and this kind of thing provides abundant evidence of the fact.

      B School is the educational graveyard for all the students who washed out of engineering, medicine. law and other more rigorous fields of study.

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      by Betty Pinson on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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