I have a theory that large number of corporate people are psychopaths. It is not without evidence, and I am not the first to propose it – yet few understand just how rife they are in ‘the office’, or how close ‘office mentality’ is to insanity, or that in fact the corporate environment itself trains otherwise mentally healthy people to think and act like psychopaths.
It has long been understood how psychos can be social climbers. The total, inhuman lack of empathy for other people lends itself to the go-getting of a power-seeker. Stepping on those toes. But the reason such mentally unwell people can so easily ‘climb the ladder’ in the contemporary boardroom and corporate environment is because office culture itself is an insipid, insular world of constructs and fake social contracts. Almost every interaction involves the manipulation of ego and individualism, as you try to navigate and survive the strange modern hierarchy of having no hierarchy (pretending everyone is innately equal in every way) while also giving and taking orders. That bizarre environment lends itself to parasitic exploitation by social predators.
Studies have been performed which indicate, not necessarily a massive prevalence of psychopaths in the position of CEOs, but of CEOs who displayed significant psychopathic traits who could not be classed as full-blown psychos by official psychological criteria. This indicates that they have learned psychopathic traits as a success strategy, as it appears to make one more effective in higher positions in business. They have adopted a thought-system considered mentally ill which is encouraged by the corporate environment itself.
Thus the work itself creates Psychopathic behaviour.
Part of the advantage of ‘learning to have no feelings’ is that it enables you to perform ‘dirty jobs’ such as callously firing people you know well or that you know are feeding a family on their job. There are many other unpleasant duties relating to high level business for which it is beneficial to not have a conscience. Or at least to learn to ignore your conscience. This requires simply not caring about other people.
While there seems to be a certain ‘efficiency’ to corporate work, that it works at a certain level to meet it’s goals, it often does not seem to be as ‘efficient as imaginable’. A great deal of money and time gets wasted on the particular egos of micro-management, and there is a vast imbalance of power between the workhorse roles, being those who take the majority of the burden of labour, and almost entirely superfluous and unneeded roles that are constructs of Postmodern social ‘science’ (like HR). Many controlling office roles are not just unnecessary, but entirely adverse to efficiency and goal-achievement. This is partly due to the actual psychopath being emotionally inhibited in every sense beyond the willingness to lie and execute ‘dirty jobs’. To the true psychopathic personality type other people simply ‘don’t exist’, and this gives them an unwavering arrogance and capacity for risk-taking.
Any casual observer of the various subsets of working groups can see that it is generally a person who knows very little about how anything works, or how mechanically to reach the goal they are given, that is in charge of those who do. The main trait of these lower level managers is to maintain airs of psychopathic indifference and superiority, despite knowing less, generally, than the ‘grunts’ they instruct. They must simply ‘act bossy’ and impose personal deadlines and subgoals. While in some sense this is important to any hierarchy which wishes to keep order, the strange politics of the Postmodern office tend to exacerbate the power this individual is granted simply by acting with confidence.
What is most pernicious in office or corporate environments (now, not so much in the past) is staying abreast of the latest variations of ‘newspeak’. You will note that the managerial psychotic type is unwavering in his/her IMMEDIATE adoption of the latest buzzword or catch phrase, without the slightest irony or humour. They rightly see this as a test of loyalty to corporate values, that they must prove to have abandoned their humanity as a perfect company-creature, ready to alter any moral concept in adoption of a new and idiotic term or turn-of-phrase (eg: ‘reaching out’, ‘dynamic’, ‘revert’, ‘transitioned’, ‘going forward’, etc)
It goes without saying this is also in service to a psychopathic mentality, and acts as a screening to reward the most mentally unsound individuals possible.
Hence, not only do psychopaths succeed in these inhuman situations, but normal people who are otherwise mentally healthy and moralistic soon learn to adapt these traits for social mobility. To simply act, without actual merit, but on a baseless assumption that they hold a higher value of opinion, originating in their ability to facelessly adapt to the latest corporate value structure that shoots down the communication pipeline.
What a strange nightmare it must be, to have normal human feelings, but to simply ‘turn them off’ to get ahead at the office. In many ways, this is less forgivable than the actions of those born with psychopathy. And what does it say for our culture at large, as though it were not bad enough having people with actual dangerous disorders among us, that ‘white-collar’ culture might actively create psychopathic behaviour in normal people?