R.K.: Then tell me a little bit more about how the effects of corporations and the psychopathic character of them has affected individuals.
J.B.: Well, I mean, I think following from what I was just talking about, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for individuals to engage with social phenomenon that are driven by values and goals and ideas, not somehow linked to commercialism. So I think what that means is that in most individuals' lives the culture they're encountering on a daily basis is commercial culture and that commercial culture in turn is increasingly defined, as I said, by what will make a buck quickly.
So you have niche markets and niche groups that are interested in independent film or in independent theater, but increasingly it's more and more niche. And you have most youth, for example, are living their social lives on a marketing platform called Facebook.
Facebook is not there as a public good. It's there as a for-profit enterprise and increasingly kids are living their social lives on that platform and communicating with each other by together "liking" some Starbucks site, or Mountain Dew, or being involved in creating a video for some company and then sharing it. So that their communications are increasingly becoming commercial.
They're pitching things to each other almost without knowing it on these social media platforms. They're on these platforms that are primarily commercial and that are tracking everything they do and then feeding back to them individually tailored ads. So the world is becoming much more fundamentalist for kids, and for adults too, in the sense that one idea, the idea of making money, serving yourself as an individual, rapaciously consuming- this is more than one idea I guess- defining yourself in terms of what you own and what you buy, what brands you're attached to. That this sort of one idea of commercial is you is deepening and we're becoming as a result a fundamentalist culture because, by definition, a culture that is not fundamentalist is one where you have a plurality of different values and different ideas and different attachments in the culture of existence.
R.K.: So I've done a lot of writing and interviewing about psychopaths and sociopaths and there are all kinds of people, different angles, whether they're different or the same- I don't want to get into that. But it's been estimated that there are about one percent of the population in the US are psychopaths. That's three million people and, if you add the other related personality disorders, it can go up to eight percent, or ten percent. And if you look in certain different areas, like corporations and particularly big corporations, the numbers can go as high as twenty percent.
R.K.: That's huge. And, I guess, I keep coming back to the same question: is the corporation as an entity, as a part of our culture, producing more of them, or not? Because the other side of this is a lot of discussion about how there's a very strong genetic component to corporation"to, I mean, psychopathic behavior. That there could be literally" I recently spoke to a neuroscientist who figured out he's got all of the characteristics of a psychopath. There are something like fifty different genes that are identified that contribute to psychopathic behaviors and characteristics.
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