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And Ron from Philly, and Zeno
Ohh who was the caller and which blogtalk show does he host? Sure hope he comes by again and we can talk with him more!
How does one become president unless they are psychopathic? Do you think that if someone was not a psychopath, that they would last a day running a psychopathic institution? Do you think someone who had a conscience would use their power to bomb innocent people? It’s so easy to blame it on the institution. However, is not blaming other things beside yourself for decisions you make one of the defining features of psychopathy? If you have the power, you do not have to be immoral. Barack Obama does not have to bomb these countries. It’s not surprising that he does, but at the same time, we should not relieve this man (or anybody else) of the moral responsibility for killing people by saying “well he’s the president and he’s fulfilling an institutional role.” Does that mean that the institution is only capable of killing people? Does that mean that the person in charge of the institution who is responsible for what it does cannot change what it does because of their “institutional role? I don’t think so. In fact, that’s just an inversion of logic. It’s like saying someone who drives a car is somehow irresponsible for what that car does in a car accident. Obama does not have to invade a country. If he did, then the moral thing for him to do is resign. I think the fact that most presidents don’t resign when they fulfill their “institutional role” shows that they are psychopaths. However, I question that whole notion of an institutional role as those who run the institutions control the institutions. Institutions are made up of individuals and they are controlled by individuals. Those at the top have the power, and therefore they have the moral responsibility to use that power in a just manner, and if not step down. We should not relieve them of that responsibility.
We should make a distinction between a person possessing some psychopathic qualities and actually being a psychopath. All U.S. presidents receive instructions either explicitly or implicitly from the money bags who control our society – we are living in an oligarchy, remember? The presidents and all leaders are put there to protect the power and privilege of the upper classes, not to get into a situation where they might have to step down because of some sudden attack of conscience. Power corrupts, but that doesn’t mean that the people who get into power were corrupt to the core or mentally ill to begin with – they are simply people who serve power and sometimes serving power involves making decisions that lead to people being killed. This is immoral, wrong and despicable but it’s not necessarily psychopathic, psychopathy being a very specific mental illness. Given the well known allure of power and monetary gain it’s a little naive to assume that the president has the power or even the desire to make sweeping moral changes to entrenched institutions. Look at what happened to JFK who was certainly serving power but who decided to buck the system in his own way, the same with his brother Bobby Kennedy. Look at what happened to Lincoln when he decided to change the monetary system. Consider all the leaders all around the world who have been assassinated or personally destroyed for not toeing the line. Those who are truly in power are behind the scenes. Perhaps they are psychopaths, perhaps not, there’s really no way to tell. However, what we can see clearly is how institutions operate and how these institutions compel people to act.
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