July 8, 2013 by Liberty
The free market is not kind to the sociopaths among us. Despite the image plastered all over the movies, sociopaths don’t usually do all that well in life. Life is difficult for a sociopath. Being a sociopath is a disability in most cases. It’s just like if they were born blind. Sociopaths lack a sense of emotional attachment that the average person takes for granted. While some are capable of faking their way through life, it takes a highly intelligent sociopath to succeed in looking normal consistently.
If there is one thing that the US government is good at, it’s protecting people with this particular disability at the expense of others.
Free Market Treatment of Sociopaths
Sociopath’s disability leads them to doing things for solely selfish reasons. If a sociopath is running out of a burning building, they might feel comfortable pushing a grandmother out of the way to get to the door. Without significant intellectual capacity, they do not understand why that it a bad thing to do. Similar activities happen everyday in life but with less obvious situations. Sociopaths are often caught in lies but continue to try to weave more webs of it. Eventually people realize this and stop trusting them.
Sociopaths daily activities lead them to one of the worst possible punishments in the free market. Sociopaths get ostracized. People that feel don’t like dealing with sociopaths because they can never be sure of the person. Some people would deal with them for their own benefit but most people avoid them as much as possible. That instantly decreases the sociopath’s options.
Most sociopaths today don’t get into politics (despite what you might think.) The vast majority of them end up in prison for violent activities. When a sociopath attempts to use brute force to get what they want (or anyone for that matter), people don’t respond kindly. Sociopaths, being unable to empathize, have much fewer options. Those options require intelligence to use.
How does the average person decide on the appropriate punishment for a killer when the death penalty is on the table?
Most people have a very simple mechanism (if they support the death penalty at all.) If a man sits through the whole trial without emotion then he’s viewed as cold. Sociopaths that don’t understand this concept are more likely to get the death penalty. If a killer cried and had real and obvious remorse, the odds of him getting the death penalty is virtually nil.
The free market is even more cruel to sociopaths.
The free market is based on motivations. All it takes to get a man killed is a single highly motivated individual. If one person believes that a killer has killed without remorse then that one person has the choice to give them the death penalty. If that one person is considered to have been excessive then it’s up to the community to decide and repeat that procedure. For someone that has trouble understanding emotions, this is a virtually impossible world to compete in.
(Naturally, we have more complex and powerful mechanisms in the free market (insurances, arbitrations but person to person decentralization is one of the easiest to understand quickly in my opinion.)
Honestly, it’s easy to see why this world would be considered cruel. The power only comes out when you consider the risks for everyone involved. No one can do anything excessive without risking something excessive happening to themselves. Everyone has liability in everything they do.
How The Government Protects Sociopaths
The free market is not predictable. If someone was to steal money from a company they worked for, no one could predict the thief’s punishment. This includes the thief. That makes stealing an awfully risky thing to do. The owner might give the thief a slap on the wrist. The owner might fire him. An irrational owner (that probably would lose all his employees out of fear soon after) might kill the thief.
With government, punishments are predictable. If you were to steal a certain amount of money then you might get x number of years in prison. Any more than that is considered cruel and unusual. Most societies have similar limitations of criminals. These make crimes with victims much more attractive for the person committing them. Instead of them being unpredictable, they become analyzable through the costs and benefits.
The Service That Government Provides
I believe that the free market will naturally eliminate the use of government in time. I believe the government currently provides a service that people can’t get anywhere else. When people can get better services in another place, they will abandon government and government (having less money to work with) will have no choice but to let the free market take over. They might try to fight it over the years but eventually the more theoretical free market (when it’s services are better and more cost effective) will run things.
With that in mind, government has to be providing a service that the “free market” can’t provide better. What is that service?
Most people instantly think of the roads but free market has significantly more incentive to make the roads.
Fire stations perhaps? Again, the incentives are clearly in favor of people’s homes not burning down.
Contract arbitration? This might be a little mushy but I believe the free market is capable of doing it better.
Sociopath Protection and Advancement?
The free market has very few ways to protect sociopaths. Naturally, no one wants to come out killing them openly without reason but people are more willing to kill the sociopath than the non-sociopath. The intelligent sociopath always knows that their own life is in danger.
Sociopaths are only a small percentage of the population but they’re a highly motivated and (virtually by definition) selfish minority. Their motivation, above all else, is their own advancement. The market adjusts to the motivations that people have. Sociopaths have more motivations in their own protection and advancement than virtually anyone else in the world.
Stupid sociopaths end up in prison fast. Intelligent sociopaths aim for positions of power without the risk of prison. Politics is one of the most obvious choices (for a million reasons. Virtually no punishments. Bribery from constituents is typical. Protection for life.)
Perhaps the existence of government, partially at least, comes from highly motivated sociopaths?
I haven’t found every connection needed but I think it’s an interesting thought to bring up.
That also leads to an interesting question: How could the free market provide a better protection and advancement for sociopaths?
Sociopaths don’t care about morality. It gives them a disadvantage in the free market but an advantage in politics.
This concept could use some depth of opinions. Does it make sense? Do you agree or disagree?