It's not often on TV that people name names and do so with strong evidence as to why those names apply. William K. Black referred last night to the "fraud" in the financial industry during an interview on Bill Moyers Journal. He also described the perpetrators of the latest financial meltdown as "sociopaths."
Words may lose their meaning as time passes -- the power shape-shifting into some convenient insult or bit of praise -- but some will remember the power they once held. A "fraud" is something that was against the law and subject to judicial punishment. And a sociopathic personality is defined by an on-line dictionary as:
▸ noun: a personality disorder characterized by amorality and lack of affect; capable of violent acts without guilt feelings (`psychopathic personality' was once widely used but was superseded by `sociopathic personality' to indicate the social aspects of the disorder, but now `antisocial personality disorder' is the preferred term)
A sociopath is a seriously dangerous person ... and increasingly common in the world of business.
In Zen Buddhism, there is less emphasis on the kind of 'moral outrage' that is most often exercised in conversation and more emphasis on "things to do and things not to do." It is a good distinction, but it takes some practice to wean ourselves from the "moral outrage" that is satisfying and popular and recognize what is "to do" and what is "not to do."