There is yet more scientific evidence indicating that power turns most people into a total twatwaffle. Overall, “people in positions of power tend to act in a self-interested manner and display reduced interpersonal sensitivity to their powerless counterparts.” That is scientific jargon for “powerful people are usually pricks”. The power doesn’t have to go up all that high, either. Your low-ranking boss can be just as much of a dick-cheese to you as the CEO of a company can be to the VP in charge of marketing.
Anyone else falling over from a lack of surprise?
This explains a lot, really. I have always wondered how a multi-millionaire politician can sleep at night after he or she has done their best to cut off food stamps to hungry children. Or how a president can order a drone strike and not seem to be bothered that little kids are going to get blown to bits.
It happens even in fields where people are theoretically the “good guys”. I’ve seen doctors be complete shits to nurses with my own eyes. You can see a video of a cop named Tony Bologna hitting a group of women who were not moving, let alone being a threat, with a face full of pepper spray. Or you can read about a cop who felt justified in tasering a man for (I am not making this shit up) walking while black.
Apparently, there is hope. One of the scientists in the aforementioned study in the first paragraph said “that it takes just a bit of coaching to get people in power to regain their empathy and compassion, thanks to a growing field of research.” I volunteer to be one of those coaches. I suggest that the empathy-retraining be done via cattle prod.
That would be so emotionally fulfilling for me that I would do all the coaching for free.