Corporations are psychopaths – with zero degrees of empathy
Saturday, June 25, 2011 by: Kaitlyn Moore
(NaturalNews) Corporations play a big role in our day-to-day activities and they are constantly making decisions that have a profound effect on our daily lives. For example: a corporation makes the decision to empty its chemical vats into a nearby river – the water supply is poisoned and residents of the adjacent town fall sick; or a corporation makes the decision to cut costs to increase profits and initiates a round of layoffs – the community that was formed around the corporation is decimated. We have often been appalled, angry, and go on rants about the evil ofcorporationsbut according to Simon Baron Cohen–evilis not the issue.
Mr. Baron-Cohen, an expert in autism and developmentalpsychology, is also a psychology and psychiatry professor at Cambridge University. For years he has spent considerable time researching whypeoplecommit vile and heinous acts. His theory?
That a lack of empathy is the root cause of all evil deeds and that this lack of empathy can be measured and treated. (http://af.reuters.com/article/south…) He defines empathy as the drive to identify another person’s thoughts and feelings combined with the drive to respond appropriately to those thoughts or feelings.
Baron-Cohen goes onto note that the lack of empathy or failure to utilize it to its full potential is the driving force behind most of what ails our society on a global, domestic, community, and family unit scale. The abstract arenas of diplomatic, legal, andmilitarychannels are insufficient to appropriately deal with conflict because their involvement forgoes empathy from entering the picture on a true person-to-person level.
In his books Baron-Cohen sets forth an empathy bell curve spectrum and quotient test that indicates where an individual will place along the curve. (Good news is that most of us fall right in the middle). There is a zerodegreeempathy range and within lay the psychopaths, narcissists, and individuals suffering withborderline personalitydisorders.
Corporations are legislatively derived artificial individuals that can sue and be sued, raise funds, make political decisions, etc. They are headed by a Board of Directors that is by law duty bound to make decisions in the best interests of thecorporation.
Since corporations are businesses whose sole purpose is to make money, best interests are almost always those that increase profit, empathy be damned.http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/…
True, there are those corporate bodies, who while making a profit, strive to do no harm to society. However embedded deep within the zero degrees of that bell curve are corporations that seem to have made human suffering their side business.
For instance, we haveMonsanto, creators of Agent Orange, DDT, GMO, and a host of other toxic substances that have caused horrific damage and injury to the world on a global scale (http://www.lycos.com/info/monsanto-…).
How about a corporation that has been accused of murdering individuals seeking to form unions to gain fair wages and treatment (http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/f…).
And we have the lovely Chiquita that was actually fined by the U.S. Justice Department for funding a known para military group in Columbia that was infamous for themurderof innocent civilians. (http://www.thenation.com/article/pa…)
Is there a criminal housed within any prison in the world or any mental institution that has committed the crimes noted above, whether the answer to that question yes or no, the fact of the matter is not one person involved in making any of the above decisions has served any jail time.
By their very definition corporations forgo empathetic decision making because they are abstract beings. When making decisions that directly affect humanity empathy is a necessary ingredient. Take away the capacity for empathy and you are left with what we have today- psychopathy corporations spreading what we would deem to be evil all over the world. The corporate machine is a cold calculating one that makes decisions that solely pay homage to the bottom dollar with the well being and needs of the human race coming up a distant second – if at all.
Imagine a world where corporations were held to the same moral standards as individuals. A world whereprofitscould not be made to the detriment of the environment, where fair wages were paid on a global scale, where government leaders weren’t paid off by corporations to make decisions directly against the best wishes of the people they were elected to represent: Imagine a world where the corporate psychopaths were put to rest.
- Psychopaths, Vonnegut, and Eliot Rosewater (writingkurtvonnegut.com)
- Is Evil Just a Lack of Empathy? (bigthink.com)
- Cambridge professor wants to re-brand those classed as evil to people who ‘lack empathy’… even if they’re mass murderers (dailymail.co.uk)
- From Hitler to Mother Teresa: 6 Degrees of Empathy (3quarksdaily.com)