The Sopranos ended last night after eight years. There has always been a fascination in this country with outlaws: pirates in the Carribean, gunslingers in the wild west, bank robbers during the Depression, and of course Gangsters. They all have one thing in common: They are spoiled children -- self-centered. ruthless, greedy and violent.
Most people suffer lives of quiet desperation so they live vicariously by watching people capable of doing what inhibits them. They fantasize about being outlaws but are inhibited and socialized. They've grown up and started taking responsibiltiy for their actions.
Parents for many generations knew that their most important accompishment was to socialize and civilize their children. (Pre Doctor Spock and the self-esteem movement) Teaching them manners, to control their tempers, to obey authority, and to become productive members of their community. There is a word used to describe children that never grow-up -- SPOILED. Cases in point: Paris Hilton, twenty-six years old crying like a baby and begging Momma to make it right. Teenagers killing for a pair of shoes, internet spammers.
Outlaws and sociopaths are morally toddlers. After all what is a three-year-old? They are self-centered, ruthless, greedy and violent.
A three-year-old sees an object and grabs it yelling "Mine."
Tony Soprano sees some action and yells "Mine."
Hitler saw Europe and yelled "Mine."
We've had a President that has exibited most of a toddler's trait ever since the last election. For six years he had carte blance with a rubber stamp Congress, but now he doesn't so he throws temper tantrums -- Vetoing the funding budget until he gets what he wants regardless of the consequences for the men in the field, his words: "I'm the Decider" runs around his house in Crawford pounding on his chest saying, "I'm the President."
Self-centered? What about his signing statements where he states the law does not apply to him? Has there been a President more ruthless? Sending hundreds of thousands of Americans into combat then refusing to attend a single funeral. Underfunding the war effort saving money at the cost of lives. Vacationing while an entire coastal area of the country is destroyed, and refusing to rebuild it. Greedy-- can you spell T-A-X-C-U-T-S for the wealthy while cutting services and raising taxes on the poor. How much more violent can you get than fighting two wars at once while approving torture, assasinations, and throwing people into dungeons at whim.
Now to the point. So far I've talked about the actions of the spoiled. There is a guiding philosophy that backs up their actions. How they rationalize such barbaric behavior. Today it's called Objectivism. Based on the writings of Ayn Rand. Her two most famous works being The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Jim Hightower in his book Thieves in High Places mentions that corporate heads treat these books like the Bible. Rush Limbaugh quotes from it at length. I've even seen a bumper sticker that said "Who's John Galt? -- Ask Rush" (the question is the main focus of the story in Atlas Shrugged)
In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand basically writes a philosophical doctoral dissertation about two-thirds into the story. She sums up her belief by asking everyone to take this oath:
"I swear--on my life and my love for it--that I will never live for the sake of another man, or ask another man to live for me."
Truly a sociopath's motto. The attitude of I'm the center of the universe and nobody else exists but me.
Xpatriated Texan has an enlightening post listing how understanding Objectivism explains most of Bush's actions.
The Bible also explains this philosopy. In the book of Revelations it's known as the mark of the Beast: 666. In numerology 3 represents the number of God (the trinity), 6 is the number for Man (created on the sixth day), 666 represents Man becoming God.
Bush once said in an interview that the reason he decided to become President was because God told him to. Obviously he believes his thoughts are God's thoughts. It's only a delusion that there is a God outside of himself.