We’ve extensively documented that sociopaths in D.C. and on Wall Street caused the financial crisis.
But we didn’t realize how many people are sociopaths.
Psychologist Martha Stout – who – clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for 25 years – estimates in her book The Sociopath Next Door that as many as 4% of the population are conscienceless sociopaths who have no empathy or affectionate feelings for humans or animals.
4% might not sound like much.
But – using the U.S. as an example, that means that 12 million Americans are sociopaths.
Because sociopaths are ruthless and will squash their rivals and burn institutions to the ground in order to reach their goals – but great at pretending that they care about people – they are incredibly destructive.
Sociopaths would have been discovered very quickly in a small group. But in huge societies like our’s, they can rise to positions of power and influence.
Unless we learn to spot “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, we will continue to fall prey to their scams.
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