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This blog used to be about politics. Not so much anymore as I have worked through my fascination with that subject. It now seems appropriate that with a new president and the end of the Bush nightmare that I move on to new subjects that are more in line with my current interests. I may still occasionally express an opinion about political matters but for the most part I will be commenting on music, photography and personal observations. Thank you for reading.

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Deviance and Dominance in Society

Great post up at Orcinus - Referencing High Social Dominance Orientation:

High-SDO people are drawn to power, and will seek it ruthlessly and relentlessly, regardless of the consequences to others. Many cultures (including ours, up until a few decades ago) have found these people so dangerous that they've evolved counterweights and backstops that conspire to either keep them away from the levers of power, or mitigate the damage they can do (and I'll discuss some of those in the last installment). However, modern America seems to have lost all vestiges of this awareness. Now, we celebrate our most powerful social dominants, pay them obscene salaries, turn them into media stars, and hand over the keys to the empire to them almost gratefully. They have free rein to pursue their ambitions unchecked, with no cultural brakes on their rapacity. They will do whatever they can get away with; and we'll not only let them, but often cheer them on.

We’re now at the point where these sleek Machivellian manipulators are recognized around the world as the face of American business and governmental authority. While the bulk of "Conservatives Without Conscience" goes on to explain the ways in which various members of the Bush administration have demonstrated classic high-SDO behavior, I'd also argue that our willingness to accept high-SDO leadership also accounts for toxic bosses, incompetent business planning, crooked accounting, political graft, and many of the other dysfunctions that afflict American corporate life as well.

I find this personally frustrating because the business world not only seems designed to cater to these SDO types, I've actually been subjected to manager pep talks encouraging such behaviors. I sit there and I hear people telling us that deviant behavior is what they look for in a good employee. I call it deviant because in other situations these actions would result in dysfunctional relationships: bullying people, seeking confrontation. I've realized long ago that what most people consider success is simply meeting the demands of the social environment. If the social environment rewards deviant behavior then we will reward those that express those particular traits. In today's corporate world there is a heavy demand for people that lack a social conscience and can rationalize destructive behaviors simply to gain more material comfort. There is this mistaken belief that everyone can work towards their own selfish ends and the best results will come from that. This is a ludicris notion. While this might lead towards creating riches for many it will ultimately lead towards a society without conscience. Individuals have no reason to take responsibility when there is no need.

As someone who has a certain amount of pride in the efforts I have put towards creating greater self awareness and developing a social awareness I find this trend in the opposite direction very depressing. I quite often feel that I have moved in a direction that has made me a better person but has also made fitting into the corporate world very difficult. I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way. I think we just find ways to cope on a daily basis.

Maybe its time to stop coping and realize what's going on?


About Me

35 yr old
Highlands Ranch
Recording Engineer
Voted for Kerry
Voted for Obama
Philosophical Type
Omicron Male
Feminist Friendly
22.3% Less Smart

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