The Null Device

Psychopaths in politics

Is George W. Bush a psychopath? This piece examines the evidence, comparing the clinical definition of the psychopathic personality syndrome to an article profiling Bush and other media. (And then, of course, are those stories of him blowing up frogs as a small child, and taunting death-row inmates as Governor of Texas.)

Of course, this isn't a valid clinical test, but it suggests that he may be one. Which makes one wonder what proportion of politicians are psychopaths (a useful mutation for that line of work).

Hare puts the average North American incidence of psychopathy at 1 per cent of the population, but the damage they inflict on society is out of all proportion to their numbers, not least because they gravitate to high-profile professions that offer the promise of control over others, such as law, politics, business management ... and journalism.

(via Charlie's Diary)

There are 4 comments on "Psychopaths in politics":

Posted by: dj http:// Wed Apr 9 00:55:12 2003

If not, psychopaths, how about sociopaths?

Posted by: acb Wed Apr 9 03:05:23 2003

Psychopaths and sociopaths are the same thing.

Posted by: dj http:// Mon Apr 14 02:10:04 2003

for some strange reason, i thought there was some kind of difference. maybe i've been listening to bad pop psychologists for too long.....

Posted by: dj http:// Mon Apr 14 03:30:40 2003

Another article, which suggests the percentage may be higher. It also alludes to how the two terms came to be used interchangeably.

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