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Fri Aug 28, 2015, 01:04 PM

 

Zimmerman, sociopathy, and systemic failure

A full 1/6 of all people have a degree of sociopathy.

Your colleagues who do as little as possible while always shifting work to the colleagues they later blame for the mishaps: a small degree of sociopathy.

Zimmerman, bragging on Twitter about his ability to shoot a teenager, exhibits a rather larger degree of the same affliction. (See this thread here

But what worries me is that there are systemic shortcomings in the structure USA society that seem to encourage that behaviour rather than discourage it:

Scaremongering against fellow Americans (PoC, Latinos, gays)
An educational system that allows such scaremongering to be embedded into the lessons
Ready availability of weapons
Worshipping of vigilantism (Batman, Iron Man)
High degree of heteronormativity in conjunction with 'masculinity' expressed through one's ability to overpower someone else
An economic system so rich in volatility and income disparity that it breeds violent discontent
DU'er Politicub added the following observation: the U.S. labor market - with the increase in temp and contractor jobs - tips the scales in favor of those who treat people like playthings to be thrown away at will.

And the list goes on and on.

We need systemic changes. Lots of them.

Zimmerman is not an outlyer - he is indicative of systemic failure.

DU'er JustAnotherGen suggested that my response in the thread cited above be turned into an OP of its own. While I seldom post OPs, I am happy to oblige.

31 replies, 4224 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Zimmerman, sociopathy, and systemic failure (Original post)
Betty Karlson Aug 2015 OP
JustAnotherGen Aug 2015 #1
Betty Karlson Aug 2015 #2
AllFieldsRequired Aug 2015 #3
Baitball Blogger Aug 2015 #4
AuntPatsy Aug 2015 #5
brer cat Aug 2015 #6
NikolaC Aug 2015 #7
gordianot Aug 2015 #8
Baitball Blogger Aug 2015 #13
gordianot Aug 2015 #15
Baitball Blogger Aug 2015 #17
gordianot Aug 2015 #18
appalachiablue Aug 2015 #9
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #10
raccoon Aug 2015 #21
Octafish Aug 2015 #11
gordianot Aug 2015 #16
Octafish Aug 2015 #19
Blue_Tires Aug 2015 #12
steve2470 Aug 2015 #14
Starry Messenger Aug 2015 #20
uponit7771 Aug 2015 #22
Wash. state Desk Jet Aug 2015 #23
ismnotwasm Aug 2015 #26
MrScorpio Aug 2015 #24
DirkGently Aug 2015 #25
ismnotwasm Aug 2015 #27
LWolf Aug 2015 #28
Betty Karlson Aug 2015 #29
LWolf Aug 2015 #30
bemildred Aug 2015 #31

Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 01:17 PM

1. I'm kicking it!

Thanks for this. Put it in your journal -I'm putting it in mine!

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 01:20 PM

2. Done.

 

Again: happy to oblige.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 02:04 PM

4. Agreed that Zimmerman is not an outlyer.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 02:06 PM

5. Agree

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 02:16 PM

6. I agree.

Great post, Betty. I hope you will post more OPs in the future; you obviously have a lot to contribute.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:14 PM

7. K&R n/t

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:22 PM

8. If anyone wants to consider a profile of someone who does not need firearms study George Zimmerman.

This is ongoing he even tweeted his desire come and get me. When he kills again or commits suicide a few questions will be asked obviously too late. Some incoherent police chief will answer awkward questions with awkward answers and all that remains is disgust that nothing was or could be done to stop what happened. At the very least he should be disarmed. Makes on wonder how many similar cases are running around free?

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Response to gordianot (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 04:05 PM

13. The authorities aren't concerned about Zimmerman.

If they thought he was a racist-loose cannon they would have to admit that there are red counties all over this country that are equally afflicted.

It would be more cost effective for them to delude themselves into thinking that anyone that disagrees with them is the threat. I imagine that those of us who have been very vocal about the skewed criminal justice system are probably under secret double-probation surveillance stake-outs. And if I'm right, I wonder if there is any way to determine how much tax payer money has been spent on this futile endeavor.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 05:09 PM

15. I figure Zimmerman is trolling for donations.

The confederate flag on his tweets is a fairly obvious appeal. Although unemployable; based on his picture he is obviously eating, getting haircuts and someone let him in their pool. Since there has a not been any recent battery complaints from girl friends that avenue of expression may have dried up for now. He seems to be really frustrated my guess he has had another run in and will be heard from again. Shots were fired at him earlier this year there will be some sort of next time, some in the media are obviously watching this drama. When complaints get dropped there is always more to the story.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 05:35 PM

17. I really wish that people who claim to be on "our" side wouldn't resort to the same

stupid level as right-wingers. Seriously, every time that a member of a minority group retaliates in the same violent manner that is attributed to racists, the collective white community loses its shit. And, make no mistake that a community that has a history of being immune to prosecution will not have one reason to show restrain.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 05:54 PM

18. Zimmerman's main problem is violence he gets it where he can find it.

Be it a kid wandering the neighborhood, wife, father in law, girlfriend, cousin, plain clothes police, road rage encounter most of his victims do not follow a clear pattern other than they encountered George Zimmerman. As far a hate he seems to hate everyone with fervor. When someone discharges a weapon at you on the highway you have a serious problem.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:31 PM

9. K & R. Symbol of a very sick society unfortunately.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:45 PM

10. Worshipping of vigilantism (Batman, Iron Man)

What about the need for realism in games where players "kill"?

No more imagination allowed. Games are not just about skill and technique any more. They are about how grisly they can get.

I don't understand why people want to play games like this. I do love good scary movies, but I don't like the fact that I'm becoming inured to the blood and guts part of them. I can watch videos now of cops shooting and killing dogs and people. I never used to be able to.

I have not yet watched a beheading, and I won't do that.

I don't think this is a good thing.



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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 02:33 PM

21. That's because when people watch stuff like that, they build up tolerance for it.

I do love good scary movies, but I don't like the fact that I'm becoming inured to the blood and guts part of them. I can watch videos now of cops shooting and killing dogs and people. I never used to be able to.


Just as people build up tolerances to certain substances.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:45 PM

11. Something has been rotting the soul of the USA since Nov. 22, 1963.

Excellent observations and OP! Please post more often, Betty Karlson.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 05:25 PM

16. I like the explanation by Paul Levy and follows the rotting soul thesis.

Dispelling Weiteko, he did an excellent analysis on the Madness of George W. Bush. Website; www.awakeninthedream.com

An adherent of Carl Jung

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Response to gordianot (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 06:39 PM

19. Amazing story!

Echoes "no country for old men

“Indigenous people have been tracking the same 'psychic virus' for many centuries, calling it 'wetiko' in Cree (windigo in Ojibwa, wintiko in Powhatan), a term that refers to a biologically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others by means of evil acts.”
― Paul Levy, Dispelling Wetiko


The idea of giving that evil "it" a handle, and thus the solid basis, makes it much easier to remove and destroy. It has applications for DU and a certain criminal organization with links going back to that awful day in 1963.

Thank you, gordianot! I will learn more about Mr. Levy and his work. Dr. Jung possessed an awesome mind, a physician, a Bodhisattva.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 03:47 PM

12. ttt

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 04:25 PM

14. Great OP, thank you

What do sociopaths and those with sociopathic traits go after ? Power and money.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:12 AM

20. k&r

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 08:20 PM

22. There were so many people defending Z-Man here on DU

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 10:44 PM

23. Taunting has always been his game



What is behind that face he puts on is the face of one who is consumed with self pity.He likes to ignite the fuse in powder kegs in his target/victims ,thats the sociopaths game. He loves the thrill. The cup cake comment.

But when he's alone with his thoughts he is a scared little coward filled with self pity. And he knows he is not in control of his game, in fact he knows it got him.

Zimmerman is that powder keg waiting to go boom.

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Response to Wash. state Desk Jet (Reply #23)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 01:43 PM

26. OMG I don't have enough eyewash for that image

Ugh

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 08:37 AM

24. I totally agree

And while these are some pretty good examples, I think that it's quite easy to develop a template in order to identify whenever these sociopathic instances occur.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 10:11 AM

25. THIS. And not "the terrible Zimmerman jury."

Our culture and our laws have been dragged in this direction for decades. What people are in denial about is that there was not a clear legal path to convict Zimmerman of anything. Feeling really strongly that he's asshole doesn't work in the jury room, and it's not supposed to.

1. He had a gun he was permitted to carry and conceal.

2. No one was present to say how the conflict began.

3. At some point Zimmerman was tackled and / or punched, which he said put him in fear of his life.

That's all that's needed for a "lawful" killing these days.

That's all the present law requires to give someone the right to shoot to kill. And it is precisely what the modern NRA gun fetish ideology is pushing for. Their mythology is that America is a teeming battleground, full of illegitimate sub-humans of various descriptions, and that a certain demographic of "law-abiding citizens" is all that stands between us and some fanciful version of The Walking Dead.

And it's not even the terrible "Stand Your Ground Laws" that are the problem. As it stands today, in nearly every state and municipality, people can carry a weapon, start a fight, and then simply kill with the flick of a trigger if it isn't going their way.

That's not going to work well for someone who isn't plugged into the system fairly well, of course, or for anyone not near the top of the cultural pecking order.

And make no mistake, Zimmerman is an unbalanced individual. But he's also the embodiment of a culture of personal power carefully nurtured and given free reign through a deliberate, malevolent twisting of the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment.

This is the fantasy of a fearful, threatened segment of our population, and it dovetails with the species of rightwing politics we saw at the Bundy Ranch as well. "Piss off conservative men, and we'll just shoot you. Take the guns we're using to shoot you, and we'll shoot you. Look at us wrong, have the stereo up too loud, and we'll SHOOT YOU."

People are making a large mistake getting wound up about the outcome of Zimmerman's case, or even the idea that he is a particularly evil or racist person. He is living out a fantasy carefully cultivated and feverishly maintained, and if we don't do anything about that, his story will be one we hear every day.

Zimmerman is not the exception. He's the new rule.

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 01:44 PM

27. Excellent OP

Thank you!

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 06:07 PM

28. Yes.

I have thought for a long time that a large number of people in the U.S. exhibit some degree of sociopathy. I've attributed it to cultural dysfunction: a society valuing excessive nationalism, competition, fear, and hate, and devaluing empathy.

We can find examples everywhere we look.

I haven't thought to much about it being systemic in terms of the systems we use to organize and run our society, but that, too.

As a teacher, I'd like to talk further about scaremongering embedded in lessons. The truth is that every state, and every district within a state, and every school within a district, is a reflection of the communities they serve. We like to think of education as a tool to evolve communities, and it can be; it can also be a tool to further cultural dysfunctions.

I know that there is, in varying degrees, an effort on the part of states and districts to address the most obvious abuses. Except, of course, when the elected officials are working for populations with a larger degree of sociopathy.

I know that I'm a pretty good guardian of what happens in my classroom, to the degree that I'm able. I can't, obviously, reject mandated tests.

What are some examples that might be embedded into lessons? Are they things that teachers can modify, or are they embedded in mandates?



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Response to LWolf (Reply #28)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 01:14 AM

29. Good question, but is starts with the basics:

 

Textbooks.

Textbooks that BY LAW are not allowed to talk about the existence of LGBT until the children are 13 / 14 years old.
Textbooks that introduce the notion that all sex, ANY sex is wrong until you are married
Textbooks that obfuscate the misery of slavery, and textbooks that claim the Civil War was started over freedom(TM)!
Textbooks of basic economic theory that contain a hidden message of "immigrants are coming for low wage jobs".
Textbooks that harden the notion that hard work will get you out of poverty (basic reality: it won't. The American Dream is dead or at least comatose right now.)

Combine those with the standardised tests where a child's answer is tick-a-box right or wrong, not a degree of hand-written right, and a teacher who wants to correct textbooks errors and symplifications is left to saying:

'When we do the test, please tick the box where it says abstinence prevents pregnancy. When you are studying this subject with your special buddy, please consider the use of a preservative. Now let me demonstrate with a foot and a sock how that might work, because this school doesn't want me to demonstrate an actual preservative. Also, if you want to pass the test just tick any answer that makes abortion sound evil. And pay no attention to the overabundance of African-American sounding names in the questions about abortion."

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Response to Betty Karlson (Reply #29)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:10 AM

30. Then that starts at least partially, at the state level.

It's the state boards who decide what texts are on the approved list to buy.

Texas and California carry more weight with publishers, having the biggest populations, and publishers write materials catering to those two states. Specifically, writing to their state standards. Texas is pointedly a problem in this area.

With the CCSS, for history the manipulation shifts a bit. The CCSS covers process, not history content. National groups work to influence that content. Here's one battle we just lost:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/07/30/3686060/conservatives-get-major-win-fight-ap-history-classes/

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Response to Betty Karlson (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 07:24 AM

31. A society that does not care for its members cannot expect to retain their loyalty.

I think that is what you are seeing. It's always been there as far back as I can remember, but it became much more prevalent and accepted when Raygun came in, that lack of team spirit.

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