Tag Archives: bosses

You are four times more likely to find a psychopath among executives than among the general population.


Look crazy to you?

In the financial services, it has been estimated that 10% are psychos. (click here for article)

I don’t doubt that a survey of ordinary workers would yield a much higher estimate.

How to Spot One

I got this from Wikipedia (click here):

“The organizational psychopath craves a god-like feeling of power and control over other people. They prefer to work at the very highest levels of their organizations, allowing them to control the greatest number of people. Psychopaths who are political leaders, managers, and CEOs fall into this category.

Interestingly, all the on-line articles I found said that corporations want to avoid hiring psychopaths. But do they really?

Why Are They In Top Spots?

I received this in a recent email, “For me, I said screw it when I found out the personality tests administered when you apply for promotions were used to find psychopathic or near psychopathic individuals for the higher up corporate positions.  To me, if you have to have concienceless mentally ill people run a system then something is inherently wrong with that system.”

My friend’s next email explained, “Concerning the tests, I had a PhD professor and friend learn this the hard way.  … He was approached by a big firm and asked to develop a set of personality tests to keep the ‘ruthless sociopath and psychopathic types’ out of higher management….  Well, he makes the test and they go off and use it for the opposite reasons!”

Bosses Don’t Have to be Nuts to be Bosses

Whether or not a particular boss is a psychopath doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. He’s against you whether he’s sane or not. The Preamble to the constitution of the Industrial Workers of the World begins, “”The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.” Maybe it’s overstated, but you get the idea.

Even though we like to believe that we’re choosing our thoughts and prejudices, we don’t. Our ideas come basically from our actual situation. Employees think like employees and bosses think like bosses. You can see that easily any time somebody gets promoted into management. Their world view magically changes overnight!

While I was researching psychopaths, I came across a quote that reminded me that the bosses nearly always use religion and patriotism to confuse us. Here’s what George Bernard Shaw said, “Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.” Maybe that’s overstated, too, but you get the idea.

–Gene Lantz

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Listening to almost anybody talk about American politics today unavoidably leaves one with the impression that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Populist? Nationalist? What do all those terms mean, if anything?


Click here for a glossary and lesson on political words. Click here for my previous analysis.

What one considers good or bad in politics depends on how one understands the idea of progress. Everything is moving in one direction or another all the time. A positive trend in politics is one that strengthens our side in the lifelong battle with our employers, or one that weakens the employers’ side. That’s progress.

Progressive for Whom?

If ordinary working people are strengthened by being more unified, or better informed, or by attaining positions of power, that’s progress. Progressive people are those who strengthen workers against their employers. Organizing a new union, for example, would be a progressive thing to do. Helping workers make good electoral decisions by providing useful information would be progressive.

Causing an unnecessary split in a workers’ organization is a reactionary event, the opposite of progressive.

“Left” and “Right” are Fuzzy Concepts

During the capitalist revolution in France around 1789, one group sat to the speakers’ left in parliament and another group sat to the right. That’s where we got “left wing” and “right wing,” but it’s really hard to tell what they mean today. Besides, everything is moving so what’s left today is right tomorrow!

If “Left” is Good, Then Is “Ultraleft” Even Better?

Serious activists might think “left” means “favoring the workers,” but “ultraleft” is a special term that does not mean “even more favorable toward the workers.” An ultraleft is an egotist willing to do anything, progressive or reactionary, to draw attention to themselves. Ultraleftism is a real pain in the movement. It’s been called “the infantile disorder.”

“Liberal” and “Conservative” are Confusing

If a liberal is a nice person who cares for others, what’s a neoliberal and why do the South Americans seem to hate them so? Is a neoliberal the same thing as a neoconservative or neocon? Actually, yes.

If a politician is racist and misogynistic, but votes for a giant boondoggle for his/her home district, is she/he a liberal or a conservative? If another politician is really stingy on government spending but promotes abortion and gay marriage, what is he/she?

Who’s Middle Class?

It’s common now to confuse “middle class” with “middle income.” I think the unions distorted the definition because union people, it’s true, make more money than other workers and, especially with overtime pay, often get into the middle income range.

The only useful meaning of “middle class” is that they’re neither bosses nor employees. So small shop owners, professionals, preachers, policemen, union staffers, and all the people “caught in the middle” in the great fight between workers and bosses, they’re the middle class.

The French revolutionaries called them “petit-bourgeoisie” or “small capitalists.” Ultraleft supercilious nut cases use it as a derogatory term.

Everybody hates being called middle class and will argue with you until they’re blue in the face about it, but if you can’t understand “middle class,” you probably can’t understand “worker” or “employer” either. Without clarity on those concepts, I don’t see how anybody understands anything about politics.

What’s a Populist?

It’s gotten popular today to talk about “populism of the left” and “populism of the right.” Supposedly clever people refer to Senator Bernie Sanders and Presidential Candidate Donald Trump that way. But what does it mean?

The populist movement of old was made up of agricultural interests banded together politically to fight against the industrialists who were taking over the nation. The populists lost. That battle has been over for some time.

Google says a populist is “A member of a political party claiming to represent the common people.” But don’t all politicians do that? Click here for Wikipedia’s treatment.

I’m pretty sure that what the pundits mean nowadays by “populist” is a candidate that doesn’t directly represent the employing class. As no candidate ever says he/she directly represents the employing class, it’s a pretty meaningless term.

What’s a Nationalist?

There are books on this. Nationalism, dividing people’s interests more or less by their region of origin, is usually divisive and hence reactionary. Not always, though. Groups of people fighting imperialist domination may be using nationalism in a very progressive way. People that use it to split the overall progressive movement, though, need to be avoided.

Think of the Class

If one sticks to the idea that workers are the only ones who can really overcome their employers, and that strengthening our side or weakening the employers’ side is the definition of “progressive,” one can be more clear in their communicating and their own thinking. Always, think of the class!

–Gene Lantz

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We all hear about “drawing the line” and “crossing the line.” They say in Texas that it has something to do with the Alamo, but there’s a more universal line. It’s the class line.


The physical line between bosses and workers is the picket line

It’s not always simple to figure out who we’re talking about when we sing the great old union song, “Which Side Are You On?” Almost everybody pretends to be on our side.

One could pick around all day trying to sort out exactly who is in the capitalist class, the working class, and the middle class. We can categorize ourselves over and over again as we consider different issues such as gay marriage, global warming, gun control, art lovers, art haters, renters or owners, etc etc. But the important line is the one between workers and bosses. There’s a sure-fire way to know just who is on the workers’ side and who is on the other side.

It’s the issue of wages

Our side wants better wages. Their side wants worse wages.

A new organization has been formed to fight against the Obama Administration’s change in the overtime law. The new law gives considerably more wages to certain workers, and the new organization, “Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity,” (who do they pay to come up with these names?) is on the opposite side of the line that really matters. You can look at their list at On their side you will find the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, Jimmy John’s, and lots of  banks, insurers and  auto dealers.

Usually, when they are trying to influence legislation, they sneak around about it so we don’t know who they are. Read Dark Money. I guess the new organization is trying a new tactic by letting us know who (some of them) they are. Maybe they think it will intimidate us?


What they have in common is that they’re all for worse wages. They’re all bosses. They’re all against us. It’s good to know about them.

–Gene Lantz

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