Friday, June 19, 2020

The age of the Sociopath

An Active Centre | This swirling mass of celestial gas, dust… | Flickr

Imagine an egoist whose only mission in life is to be successful. Super successful. Lots of money and power. All his actions are taken to serve that very purpose. That is the sole reason of his existence. No right or wrong – everything that furthers his self-interest is right. People are resources and hence expendable in the journey. So are relationships. Moral choices are also easy to make using the same rules – whatever that helps you get closer to your goal. Everything is at stake to achieve the goal. Whosoever suffers in the process is collateral damage. He is the one who wants all the success at any cost without any thought about the society. It is a pretty disturbing personality and I would recommend such a person to take help to get over the condition. I am sure most of us will avoid such a person professionally, socially and any other ally (pun intended).    

Now replace the person in the above with a corporate.

Read the above again, for better effect.

As it turns out, the very personal traits that will put off most people even when reading about it seem to be totally acceptable if it were to be exhibited by a corporate. There is also an added advantage - The corporate can exist forever. What we humans can only dream of - immortality.

You want to use all resources to become bigger without caring for other stakeholders or society in general? Sure.

You want to pay your employees/vendors/suppliers less and less and keep everything for yourself? Sure.

You want to use the flimsiest excuse to inflict pain on the very people who support you every day? Yes of course.

You pay lip service to important causes and exhibit good corporate citizenship only on paper? Sure we in a polluting industry but we will reduce our emissions by half by 2050. Applause.

The bigger issue is how we as a society react to this behavior. Stock prices go up when layoffs and salary cuts are announced. What sort of behavior are we encouraging? The current ESG and other matrices fall way short of what is required to be done. It is important for us as a society and consumers to reward the correct corporate behavior.  Because we ultimately get what we deserve. We should try to deserve better.

Is this the age of the sociopath? I hope not.

PS – the image is a result of google search for “centre of the universe”

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