The US government shutdown of 2013 clearly illustrates that psychopathology is never far from the decision making process in government institutional think. Psychopaths cluster in bureaucracies because defined hierarchies give them a roadmap for climbing the ladder of power and control quickly and easily. Bureaucracies clearly define for psychopaths who they should ingratiate themselves to in order to get where they want to go and who in the hierarchy is disposable and can be targeted for total destruction when the need for a little rush arises or the psychopath would like to take a target’s position.
When making decisions that affect tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of people, psychopaths do not see those affected people as people but as things, pieces on a chessboard, if you will. The same is true regarding psychopaths in relationships. Their spouses and even children are simply things and can be used and abused in any way the psychopath sees fit and then blamed for being victims.
In any working environment where psychopaths are in charge, there is ample evidence that management employs a divide and conquer “management style.” Under the divide and conquer management style, workers are in constant fear of losing their jobs, not because they are all normally fearful people but because managers target various individuals for bullying, psychological torture and frequently, eventual removal in order to set an example of what happens when a worker thinks for themselves and does not display the proper amount of fear and distrust towards his or her peers. The targeted workers are usually, professional, well-educated and/or informed and passionate about co-creating a better government agency, company, school, non-profit etc… Targets are frequently chosen by management because they are far better suited to actually manage. Managers will target these workers because they are threatened by the targets’ real and natural leadership abilities, integrity and habit of keeping themselves well informed about company/agency policy and law. Targets are targeted for expertly doing their jobs as well as following policy, even when instructed not to.
Targets are constantly put into “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situations whereby any choice made is a losing choice. For instance, when a worker is instructed by his or her supervisor to take actions which go directly against well documented policy and/or break the law: if the worker chooses not to break policy or law, he or she has defied a direct order of a supervisor and if he or she does what he or she is told, he or she has broken the law and/or not followed prescribed policy. There are negative consequences for either action.
Under divide and conquer management, managers love to flaunt the fact that the rules do not apply to them, breaking policy and law at will with no consequence to them and with the consequence of a chaotic work environment to the non-management workers. Any healthy initiatives eventually crash and burn because there is no support for them by management. When they do crash and burn the non-management workers are blamed for the lack of success of the initiative while the failure is simultaneously held up as an example that the non-management workers really do not want the healthy work environment they have been complaining about not having.
The only sane response is non-compliance.