Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes by Andrew M. Lobaczewski with commentary and additional quoted material by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Pathocracy is a disease of great social movements followed by entire societies, nations, and empires. In the course of human history, it has affected social, political, and religious movements as well as the accompanying ideologies and turned them into caricatures of themselves. This occurred as a result of the participation of pathological agents in a pathodynamically similar process. That explains why all the pathocracies of the world are, and have been, so similar in their essential properties.
Identifying these phenomena through history and properly qualifying them according to their true nature and contents – not according to the ideology in question, which succumbed to the process of caricaturization – is a job for historians.
The actions of [pathocracy] affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every town, business, and institution. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country creating a “new class” within that nation. This privileged class [of pathocrats] feels permanently threatened by the “others”, i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.
- Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes
The word “psychopath” generally evokes images of the barely restrained – yet surprisingly urbane – Dr. Hannibal Lecter of Silence of the Lambs fame. I will admit that this was the image that came to my mind whenever I heard the word. But I was wrong, and I was to learn this lesson quite painfully by direct experience. The exact details are chronicled elsewhere; what is important is that this experience was probably one of the most painful and instructive episodes of my life and it enabled me to overcome a block in my awareness of the world around me and those who inhabit it.
Regarding blocks to awareness, I need to state for the record that I have spent 30 years studying psychology, history, culture, religion, myth and the so-called paranormal. I also have worked for many years with hypnotherapy – which gave me a very good mechanical knowledge of how the mind/brain of the human being operates at very deep levels. But even so, I was still operating with certain beliefs firmly in place that were shattered by my research into psychopathy. I realized that there was a certain set of ideas that I held about human beings that were sacrosanct. I even wrote about this once in the following way:
“My work has shown me that the vast majority of people want to do good, to experience good things, think good thoughts, and make decisions with good results. And they try with all their might to do so! With the majority of people having this internal desire, why the Hell isn’t it happening?”
I was naive, I admit. There were many things I did not know that I have learned since I penned those words. But even at that time I was aware of how our own minds can be used to deceive us.
Now, what beliefs did I hold that made me a victim of a psychopath? The first and most obvious one is that I truly believed that deep inside, all people are basically ‘good’ and that they ‘want to do good, to experience good things, think good thoughts, and make decisions with good results. And they try with all their might to do so!’
As it happens, this is not true as I – and everyone involved in our working group – learned to our sorrow, as they say. But we also learned to our edification. In order to come to some understanding of exactly what kind of human being could do the things that were done to me (and others close to me), and why they might be motivated – even driven – to behave this way, we began to research the psychology literature for clues because we needed to understand for our own peace of mind.
If there is a psychological theory that can explain vicious and harmful behavior, it helps very much for the victim of such acts to have this information so that they do not have to spend all their time feeling hurt or angry. And certainly, if there is a psychological theory that helps a person to find what kind of words or deeds can bridge the chasm between people, to heal misunderstandings, that is also a worthy goal. It was from such a perspective that we began our extensive work on the subjects of narcissism which then led to the study of psychopathy.
Of course, we didn’t start out with such a ‘diagnosis’ or label for what we were witnessing. We started out with observations and searched the literature for clues, for profiles, for anything that would help us to understand the inner world of a human being – actually a group of human beings – who seemed to be utterly depraved and unlike anything we had ever encountered before.
Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.
And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.
Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.
You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.
In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.
You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.
How will you live your life?
What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)?
The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people – whether they have a conscience or not – favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. [...]
Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.
If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people’s hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. [...]
Crazy and frightening – and real, in about 4 percent of the population….
The prevalence rate for anorexic eating disorders is estimated a 3.43 percent, deemed to be nearly epidemic, and yet this figure is a fraction lower than the rate for antisocial personality. The high-profile disorders classed as schizophrenia occur in only about 1 percent of [the population] – a mere quarter of the rate of antisocial personality – and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the rate of colon cancer in the United States, considered “alarmingly high,” is about 40 per 100,000 – one hundred times lower than the rate of antisocial personality.
The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth.
Yet surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, or if they do, they think only in terms of violent psychopathy – murderers, serial killers, mass murderers – people who have conspicuously broken the law many times over, and who, if caught, will be imprisoned, maybe even put to death by our legal system.
We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.
Most of us would not imagine any correspondence between conceiving an ethnic genocide and, say, guiltlessly lying to one’s boss about a coworker. But the psychological correspondence is not only there; it is chilling. Simple and profound, the link is the absence of the inner mechanism that beats up on us, emotionally speaking, when we make a choice we view as immoral, unethical, neglectful, or selfish.
Most of us feel mildly guilty if we eat the last piece of cake in the kitchen, let alone what we would feel if we intentionally and methodically set about to hurt another person.
Those who have no conscience at all are a group unto themselves, whether they be homicidal tyrants or merely ruthless social snipers.
The presence or absence of conscience is a deep human division, arguably more significant than intelligence, race, or even gender.
What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenience stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber baron – or what makes the difference betwen an ordinary bully and a sociopathic murderer – is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity.
What distinguishes all of these people from the rest of us is an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanizing functions. [Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door] (highly recommended)
We did not have the advantage of Dr. Stout’s book at the beginning of our research project. We did, of course, have Hare and Cleckley and Guggenbuhl-Craig and others. There are still more that have appeared in the past couple of years in response to the questions being formulated by many psychologists and psychiatrists about the state of our world and the possibility that there is some essential difference between such individuals as George W. Bush and many so-called Neocons, and the rest of us.
Dr. Stout’s book has one of the longest explanations as to why none of her examples resemble any actual persons that I have ever read. And then, in a very early chapter, she describes a “composite” case where the subject spent his childhood blowing up frogs with fire-crackers. It is widely known that George W. Bush did this, so one naturally wonders…
In any event, even without Dr. Stout’s work, at the time we were studying the matter, we realized that what we were learning was very important to everyone because as the data was assembled, we saw that the clues, the profiles, revealed that the issues we were facing were faced by everyone at one time or another, to one extent or another. We also began to realize that the profiles that emerged also describe rather accurately many individuals who seek positions of power in fields of authority, most particularly politics and commerce. That’s really not so surprising an idea, but it honestly hadn’t occurred to us until we saw the patterns and recognized them in the behaviors of numerous historical figures, and lately including George W. Bush and members of his administration.
Current day statistics tell us that there are more psychologically sick people than healthy ones. If you take a sampling of individuals in any given field, you are likely to find that a significant number of them display pathological symptoms to one extent or another. Politics is no exception, and by its very nature, would tend to attract more of the pathological ‘dominator types’ than other fields. That is only logical, and we began to realize that it was not only logical, it was horrifyingly accurate; horrifying because pathology among people in power can have disastrous effects on all of the people under the control of such pathological individuals. And so, we decided to write about this subject and publish it on the Internet.
As the material went up, letters from our readers began to come in thanking us for putting a name to what was happening to them in their personal lives as well as helping them to understand what was happening in a world that seems to have gone completely mad. We began to think that it was an epidemic and in a certain sense, we were right; just not in the way we thought. If an individual with a highly contagious illness works in a job that puts them in contact with the public, an epidemic is the result. In the same way, if an individual in a position of political power is a psychopath, he or she can create an epidemic of psychopathology in people who are not, essentially, psychopathic. Our ideas along this line were soon to receive confirmation from an unexpected source. I received an email from a Polish psychologist who wrote as follows:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have got your Special Research Project on psychopathy by my computer. You are doing a most important and valuable work for the future of nations.
I am a very aged clinical psychologist. Forty years ago I took part in a secret investigation of the real nature and psychopathology of the macro-social phenomenon called ‘Communism’. The other researchers were the scientists of the previous generation who are now passed away.
The profound study of the nature psychopathy, which played the essential and inspirational part in this macro-social psychopathologic phenomenon, and distinguishing it from other mental anomalies, appeared to be the necessary preparation for understanding the entire nature of the phenomenon.
The large part of the work, you are doing now, was done in those times.
I am able to provide you with a most valuable scientific document, useful for your purposes. It is my book Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes. You may also find copy of this book in the Library of Congress and in some university and public libraries in the USA.
Be so kind and contact me so that I may mail a copy to you.
Very truly yours!
Andrew M. Lobaczewski
I promptly wrote a reply. A couple of weeks later the manuscript arrived in the mail.
As I read, I realized that what I was holding in my hand was essentially a chronicle of a descent into hell, transformation, and triumphant return to the world with knowledge of that hell that was priceless for the rest of us, particularly in this day and time when it seems evident that a similar hell is enveloping the planet. The risks that were taken by the group of scientists that did the research on which this book is based are beyond the comprehension of most of us. Many of them were young, just starting in their careers when the Nazis began to stride in their hundred league jackboots across Europe. These researchers lived through that, and then when the Nazis were driven out and replaced by the Communists under the heel of Stalin, they faced years of oppression the likes of which those of us today who are choosing to take a stand against the Bush Reich cannot even imagine. And so, since they were there, and they lived through it and brought back information to the rest of us, it may well save our lives to have a map to guide us in the falling darkness. It is in this context that I would like to bring up how Dr. Lobczewski discusses the value of the close and clinical study of evil in his book before we actually turn to the subject of Ponerology:
This new science is incalculably rich in casuist detail… It contains knowledge and a description of the phenomenon in the categories of the natural world-view, correspondingly modified in accordance with the need to understand [many] matters…
The development of this familiarity with the phenomenon is accompanied by development of communicative language, by means of which society can stay informed and issue warnings of danger. A third language thus appears alongside the ideological doubletalk … in part, it borrows names used by the official ideology in their transformed modified meanings. In part, this language operates with words borrowed from still more lively circulating jokes. In spite of its strangeness, this language becomes a useful means of communication and plays a part in regenerating societal links. … However, in spite of efforts on the part of literati and journalists, this language remains only communicative inside; it becomes hermetic outside the scope of the phenomenon, incomprehensible to people lacking the appropriate personal experience. [...]
This new science, expressed in language derived from a deviant reality, is something foreign to people who wish to understand this macro-social phenomenon but think in the categories of the countries of normal man. Attempts to understand this language produce a certain feeling of helplessness which gives rise to the tendency of creating ones own doctrines, built from concepts of one’s own world and a certain amount of appropriately co-opted pathocratic propaganda material. Such a doctrine – an example would be the American anti-Communist doctrine – makes it even more difficult to understand that other reality. May the objective description adduced herein enable them to overcome the impasse thus engendered. [...]
The specific role of certain individuals during such times is worth pointing out; they participated in the discovery of the nature of this new reality and helped others find the right path. They had a normal nature but an unfortunate childhood, being subjected very early to the domination of individuals with various psychological deviations, including pathological egotism and methods of terrorizing others. The new rulership system struck such people as a large-scale societal multiplication of what they knew from individual experience. From the very outset, they therefore saw this reality much more prosaically, immediately treating the ideology in accordance with the paralogistic stories well known to them, whose purpose was to cloak bitter reality of their youth experiences. They soon reached the truth, since the genesis and nature of evil are analogous irrespective of the social scale in which it appears.
Such people are rarely understood in happy societies, but there they became useful; their explanations and advice proved accurate and were transmitted to others joining the network of this apperceptive heritage. However, their own suffering was doubled, since this was too much of a similar kind of abuse for one life to handle. [...]
Finally, society sees the appearance of individuals who have collected exceptional intuitive perception and practical knowledge in the area of how pathocrats think and such a system of rule operates.
Some of them become so proficient in the deviant psychopath language and its idiomatics that they are able to use it, much like a foreign language they have learned well. Since they are to decipher the rulership’s intentions, such people thereupon offer advice to people who are having trouble with the authorities. These usually disinterested advocates of the society of normal people play a irreplaceable role in the life of society. The pathocrats, however, can never learn to think in normal human categories. At the same time, the ability to predict the ways of reaction of such an authority also leads to the conclusion that the system is rigidly causative and lacking in the natural freedom of choice. [...]
I was once referred a patient who had been an inmate in a Nazi concentration camp. She came back from that hell in such exceptionally good condition that she was still able to marry and bear three children. However, her child-rearing methods were so extremely iron-fisted as to be much too reminiscent of the concentration camp life so stubbornly per-severing in former prisoners. The children’s reaction was neurotic protest and aggressiveness against other children.
During the mother’s psychotherapy, we recalled the figures of male and female SS officers to her mind, pointing out their psychopathic characteristics (such people were primary recruits). In order to help her eliminate their pathological material from her person, I furnished her with approximate statistical data regarding the appearance of such individuals within the population as whole. This helped her reach a more objective view of that reality and reestablish trust in the society of normal people. [...]
Parallel to the development of practical knowledge and a language of insider communication, other psychological phenomena take form; they are truly significant in the transformation of social life under pathocratic rule, and discerning them is essential if one wishes to understand individuals and nations fated to live under such conditions and to evaluate the situation in the political sphere. They include people’s psychological immunization and their adaptation to life under such deviant conditions.
The methods of psychological terror (that specific pathocratic art), the techniques of pathological arrogance, and the striding roughshod into other people’s souls initially have such traumatic effects that people are deprived of their capacity for purposeful reaction; I have already adduced the psychophysiological aspects of such states. Ten or twenty years later, analogous behavior can be recognized as well-known buffoonery and does not deprive the victim of his ability to think and react purposefully. His answers are usually well-thought-out strategies, issued from the position of a normal person’s superiority and often laced with ridicule. Man can look suffering and even death in the eye with the required calm. A dangerous weapon falls out of ruler’s hands.
We have to understand that this process of immunization is not merely a result of the above described increase in practical knowledge of the macro-social phenomenon. It is the effect of a many-layered, gradual process of growth in knowledge, familiarization with the phenomenon, creation of the appropriate reactive habits, and self-control, with an overall conception and moral principles being worked out in the meantime. After several years, the same stimuli which formerly caused chilly spiritual impotence or mental paralysis now provoke the desire to gargle with something strong so as to get rid of this filth.
It was a time, when many people dreamed of finding some pill which would make it easier to endure dealing with the authorities or attending the forced indoctrination sessions generally chaired by a psychopathic character. Some antidepressants did in fact prove to have the desired effect. Twenty years later, this had been forgotten entirely.
When I was arrested for the first time in 1951, force, arrogance, and psychopathic methods of forcible confession deprived me almost entirely of my self-defense capabilities. My brain stopped functioning after only a few days’ arrest without water, to such a point that I couldn’t even properly remember the incident which resulted in my sudden arrest. I was not even aware that it had been purposely provoked and that conditions permitting self-defense did in fact exist. They did almost any-thing they wanted to me.
When I was arrested for the last time in 1968, I was interrogated by five fierce-looking security functionaries. At one particular moment, after thinking through their predicted reactions, I let my gaze take in each face sequentially with great attentiveness. The most important one asked me, “What’s on your mind, buster, staring at us like that?” I answered without any fear of consequences: “I’m just wondering why so many of you gentleman’s careers end up in a psychiatric hospital.” They were taken aback for a while, whereupon the same man exclaimed, “Because it’s such damned horrible work!” “I am of the opinion that it’s the other way round”, I calmly responded. Then I was taken back to my cell.
Three days later, I had the opportunity to talk to him again, but this time he was much more respectful. Then he ordered me to be taken away – outside, as it turned out. I rode the streetcar home past a large park, still unable to believe my eyes. Once in my room, I lay down on the bed; the world was not quite real yet, but exhausted people fall asleep quickly. When I awoke, I spoke out loud: Dear God, aren’t you supposed to be in charge here in this world!”
At that time, I knew not only that up to 1/4 of all secret police officials wind up in psychiatric hospitals. I also knew that their “occupational disease” is the congestive dementia formerly encountered only among old prostitutes. Man cannot violate the natural human feelings inside him with impunity, no matter what kind of profession he performs. From that view-point, Comrade Captain was partially right. At the same time, however, my reactions had become resistant, a far cry from what they had been seventeen years earlier.
All these transformations of human consciousness and unconsciousness result in individual and collective adaptations to living under such systems. Under altered conditions of both material and moral limitations, an existential resourcefulness emerges which is prepared to overcome many difficulties. A new network of the society of normal people is also created for self-help and mutual assistance.
This society acts in concert and is aware of the true state of affairs; it begins to develop ways of influencing various elements of authority and achieving goals which are socially useful. …The opinion that society is totally deprived of any influence upon government in such a country is thus inaccurate. In reality, society does co-govern to a certain extent, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing in its attempt to create more tolerable living conditions. This, however, occurs in a manner totally different from what happens in democratic countries.
These processes: cognitive, psychological immunization, and adaptation permit the creation of new interpersonal and societal links, which operate within the scope of the large majority we have already called the “society of normal people.” These links extend discretely into the world of the regime’s middle class, among people who can be trusted to a certain extent. [...]
Exchange of information, warnings, and assistance encompasses the entire society. Whoever is able to do so offers aid to anyone who finds himself in trouble, often in such a way that the person helped does not know who rendered the assistance. However, if he caused his misfortune by his own lack of circumspect caution with regard to the authorities, he meets with reproach, but not the withholding of assistance.
It is possible to create such links because this new division of society gives only limited consideration to factors such as the level of talent or education or traditions attached to the former social layers. Neither do reduced prosperity differences dissolve these links. One side of this division contains those of the highest mental culture, simple ordinary people, intellectuals, headwork specialists, factory workers, and peasants joined by the common protest of their human nature against the domination of a Para human experience and governmental methods. These links engender interpersonal understanding and fellow-feeling among people and social groups formerly divided by economic differences and social traditions. The thought processes serving these links are of more psychological character, able to comprehend someone else’s motivations. At the same time, the ordinary folk retain respect for people who have been educated and represent intellectual values. Certain social and moral values also appear, and may prove to be permanent.
The genesis, however, of this great interpersonal solidarity only becomes comprehensible once we already know the nature of the pathological macro-social phenomenon which brought about the liberation of such attitudes, complete with recognition of one’s own humanity and that of others. Another reflection suggests itself, namely how very different these great links are from America’s “competitive society…
This work is so important that I believe that every normal human being ought to read it for their own safety and mental hygiene. I am going to present here some important excerpts from the book soon to be made available in its entirety.
From the author’s foreword:
In presenting my honored readers with this volume, which I generally worked on during the early hours before leaving to make a difficult living, I would first like to apologize for the defects which are the result of anomalous circumstances such as the absence of a proper laboratory. I readily admit that these lacunae should be filled, time-consuming as that may be, because the facts on which this book are based are urgently needed. Through no fault of the author’s, these data have come too late.
The reader is entitled to an explanation of the long history and circumstances under which this work was compiled. This is the third time I have treated the same subject. I threw the first manuscript into a central-heating furnace, having been warned just in time about an official search, which took place minutes later. I sent the second draft to a Church dignitary at the Vatican by means of an American tourist and was absolutely unable to obtain any kind of information about the fate of the parcel once it left with him.
This ‘history’ made work on the third version even more laborious. Prior paragraphs and former phrases from one or both first drafts haunt the writer’s mind and make proper planning of the content more difficult.
The two first drafts were written in very convoluted language for the benefit of specialists with the necessary background, particularly in the field of psychopathology. The irretrievable disappearance of the second version also included the overwhelming majority of statistical data and facts which would have been so valuable and conclusive for specialists. Several analyses of individual cases were also lost.
The present version contains only such statistical data which had been memorized due to frequent use, or which could be reconstructed with satisfactory precision. [...] I also nurse the hope that this work may reach a wider audience and make available some useful scientific data which may serve as a basis for comprehension of the contemporary world and its history. It may also make it easier for readers to understand themselves, their neighbors, and other nations.
Who produced the knowledge and performed the work summarized within the pages of this book? It is a joint endeavor containing not only my efforts, but also representing the work of many researchers.
The author worked in Poland far away from active political and cultural centers for many years. That is where I undertook a series of detailed tests and observations which were to be combined within the resulting generalisations in order to produce an overall introduction for an understanding of the macro-social phenomenon surrounding us. The name of the person expected to effect this synthesis was a secret, as was understandable and necessary given the time and the situation. I would very occasionally receive anonymous summaries of the results of tests from Poland and Hungary. A few data were published, as it raised no suspicions that a specialized work was being compiled, and these data could still be located today.
The expected synthesis of this work did not occur. All my contacts became inoperative as a result of the secret arrests of researchers in the early sixties. The remaining scientific data in my possession were very incomplete, albeit priceless in value. It took many years of lonely work to weld these fragments into a coherent whole, filling the lacunae with my own experience and research.
My research on essential psychopathy and its exceptional role in the macro-social phenomenon was conducted concurrently with or shortly after that of others. Their conclusions reached me later and confirmed my own. The most characteristic item in my work is the general concept for a new scientific discipline named “ponerology.” [...]
As the author of the final work, I hereby express my deep respect for all those who initiated the research and continued to conduct it at the risk of their careers, health and lives. I pay homage to those who paid the price through suffering or death. May this work constitute some compensation for their sacrifices.
New York, N.Y. August 1984
Dr. Lobaczewski escaped to the United States where he reassembled and wrote down his research before Solidarity brought the downfall of communism in Poland. Lobaczewski added a few words to his introduction:
Fifteen years passed, fraught with political occurrences. The world changed essentially due to the natural laws of the phenomenon described in this book, and due to the efforts of people of good will. Nonetheless, the world as yet is not restored to good health; and the remainders of the great disease are still very active and threatening a reoccurrence of the illness. Such is the result of a great effort completed without the support of the objective knowledge about the very nature of the phenomenon. [...]
The author was recognised as the bearer of this ‘dangerous’ science only in Austria, by a ‘friendly’ physician who turned out to be a ‘red’ agent. The communist groups in New York were then set up to organize a ‘counter action.’ It was terrible to learn how the system of conscious and unconscious pawns worked. Worst were the people who credulously trusted their conscious ‘friends’ and performed the insinuated activities with patriotic zeal. The author was refused assistance and had to save his life by working as a welder. My health collapsed, and two years were lost. It appeared that I was not the first who came to America bringing similar knowledge and, once there, treated in a similar way.
In spite of all these circumstances, the book was written on time, but no one would publish it. The work was described as “very informative” but for psychological editors, it contained too much politics and for political editors, it contained too much psychology, or simply “the editorial deadline has just closed.” Gradually, it became clear that the book did not pass the insider’s inspection.[...]
The scientific value which may serve the future remains, and further investigations may yield a new understanding of human problems with progress toward universal peace. This was the reason I labored to retype, on my computer, the whole already fading manuscript. It is here presented as it was written in 1983-84 in New York, USA. So let it be a document of good science and dangerous labor. The author’s desire is to hand this work into the hands of scholars in the hope they will take his burden over and progress with the theoretical research in ponerology – and put it in praxis for the good of people and nations.
Poland – June, 1998
Dr. Lobaczewski left the United States and returned to Poland before September 11, 2001. But his remarks were prophetic:
Nonetheless, the world as yet is not restored to good health; and the remainders of the great disease are still very active and threatening a reoccurrence of the illness.
What “dangerous science” was Dr. Lobaczewski carrying with him when he escaped from communist Poland?
He calls it “Ponerology” which the dictionary defines as:
n. division of theology dealing with evil; theological doctrine of wickedness or evil; from the Greek: poneros -> ‘evil’.
But Dr. Lobaczewski was not proposing a ‘theological’ study, but rather a scientific study of what we can plainly call Evil. The problem is, our materialist scientific culture does not readily admit that evil actually exists, per se. Yes, ‘evil’ plays a part in religious discourse, but even there it is given short shrift as an ‘error’ or a ‘rebellion’ that will be corrected at some point in the future, which is discussed in another theological division: eschatology, which is concerned with the final events in history of the world, the ultimate fate of humanity.
There are quite a number of modern psychologists who are actually beginning to move in the direction of what Dr. Lobaczewski said had already been done behind the Iron Curtain many years ago. I have a stack of their books on my desk. Some of them seem to be falling back into the religious perspective simply because they have no other scientific ground on which to stand. I think that is counterproductive. As George K. Simon, Jr., writes in his book, In Sheep’s Clothing: (also HIGHLY recommended)
[W]e’ve been pre-programmed to believe that people only exhibit problem behaviors when they’re ‘troubled’ inside or anxious about something. We’ve also been taught that people aggress only when they’re attacked in some way. So, even when our gut tells us that somebody is attacking us and for no good reason, we don’t readily accept the notion. We usually start to wonder what’s bothering the person so badly ‘underneath it all’ that’s making them act in such a disturbing way. We may even wonder what we may have said or done that ‘threatened’ them. We almost never think that they might be fighting simply to get something, have their way, or gain the upper hand. So, instead of seeing them as merely fighting, we view them as primarily hurting in some way.
Not only do we often have trouble recognizing the ways people aggress us, but we also have difficulty discerning the distinctly aggressive character of some personalities. The legacy of Sigmund Freud’s work has a lot to do with this. Freud’s theories (and the theories of others who built upon his work) heavily influenced the psychology of personality for a long time. Elements of the classical theories of personality found their way into many disciplines other than psychology as well as into many of our social institutions and enterprises. The basic tenets of these theories and their hallmark construct, neurosis, have become fairly well etched in the public consciousness.
Psychodynamic theories of personality tend to view everyone, at least to some degree, as neurotic. Neurotic individuals are overly inhibited people who suffer unreasonable fear (anxiety), guilt and shame when it comes to securing their basic wants and needs. The malignant impact of overgeneralizing Freud’s observations about a small group of overly inhibited individuals into a broad set of assumptions about the causes of psychological ill-health in everyone cannot be overstated.[...]
Therapists whose training overly indoctrinated them in the theory of neurosis, may ‘frame’ problems presented them incorrectly. They may, for example, assume that a person, who all their life has aggressively pursued independence and demonstrated little affinity for others, must necessarily be ‘compensating’ for a ‘fear’ of intimacy. In other words, they will view a hardened fighter as a terrified runner, thus misperceiving the core reality of the situation.[...]
We need a completely different theoretical framework if we are to truly understand, deal with, and treat the kinds of people who fight too much as opposed to those who cower or ‘run’ too much.
The problem is, of course, that when you read all the books about such people as Dr. Simon is describing, you discover that ‘treatment’ really means treating the victims because such aggressors almost never seek help.
Getting back to Dr. Lobaczewski: I wrote to ask for more details as to why this important work was generally unknown. What was the meaning of his remark: “It appeared that I was not the first who came to America bringing similar knowledge and, once there, treated in a similar way.” He replied by mail:
[...] Years ago the publication of the book in the US was killed by Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski in a very cunning way. What was his motivation, I may only guess. Was it his own private strategy, or did he act as an insider of the ‘great system’ as he surely is? How many billions of dollars and how many human lives the lack of this science has cost the world. [...].
As for who else was involved in this work: in those times, such work could only be done in full secrecy. During the German occupation, we learned to never ask for names though it was well known among us that this was an international communication among some scientists. I can tell you that one Hungarian scientist was killed because of his work on this project, and in Poland, professor Stephan Blachowski died mysteriously while working on these investigations. It is a certainty that professor Kasimir Dabrowski was active in the study, being an expert on psychopathy. He escaped to the US and in New York, became an object of harassment as I had been. He went to Canada and worked at the university in Edmonton.
After reading Lobaczewski’s work, it is easy to understand why Brzezinski suppressed it. It exposes the Neocons and Pathocrats so completely that they could not allow it to be propagated! It also may be that they used it as a handbook to better “pull the wool” over the eyes of the masses.
Continuing with Lobaczewski’s book:
As a youth, I read a book about a naturalist wandering through the Amazon-basin wilderness. At some moment a small animal fell from a tree onto the nape of his neck, clawing his skin painfully and sucking his blood. The biologist cautiously removed it – without anger, since that was its form of feeding – and proceeded to study it carefully. This story stubbornly stuck in my mind during those very difficult times when a vampire fell onto our necks, sucking the blood of an unhappy nation.
The attitude of a naturalist – who attempts to track the nature of macro-social phenomena in spite of all adversity – insured a certain intellectual distance and better psychological hygiene, also slightly increasing the feeling of safety and furnishing a premonition that this very method may help find a certain creative solution. This required controlling the natural, moralizing reflexes of revulsion and other painful emotions this phenomenon provokes in any normal person when it deprives him of his joy of life and personal safety, ruining his own future and that of his nation. Scientific curiosity becomes a loyal ally during such times.
May the reader please imagine a very large hall in some old Gothic university building. Many of us gathered there early in our studies in order to listen to the lectures of outstanding philosophers. We were herded back there the year before graduation in order to listen to the indoctrination lectures which recently have been introduced. Someone nobody knew appeared behind the lectern and informed us that he would now be the professor. His speech was fluent, but there was nothing scientific about it: he failed to distinguish between scientific and everyday concepts and treated borderline imaginings as though it were wisdom that could not be doubted. For ninety minutes each week, he flooded us with naive, presumptuous paralogistics and a pathological view of human reality. We were treated with contempt and poorly controlled hatred. Since fun poking could entail dreadful consequences, we had to listen attentively and with the utmost gravity.
The grapevine soon discovered this person’s origins. He had come from a Cracow suburb and attended high school, although no one knew if he graduated. Anyway, this was the first time he had crossed university portals – as a professor, at that! [...]
After such mind-torture, it took a long time for someone to break the silence. We studied ourselves, since we felt something strange had taken over our minds and something valuable was leaking away irretrievably. The world of psychological reality and moral values seemed suspended like in a chilly fog. Our human feeling and student solidarity lost their meaning, as did patriotism and our old established criteria. So we asked each other: “Are you going through this too?” Each of us experienced this worry about his own personality and future in his own way. Some of us answered the questions with silence. The depth of these experiences turned out to be different for each individual.
We thus wondered how to protect ourselves from the results of this ‘indoctrination.’ Teresa D. made the first suggestion: Let’s spend a weekend in the mountains. It worked. Pleasant company, a bit of joking, then exhaustion followed by deep sleep in a shelter, and our human personalities returned, albeit with a certain remnant. Time also proved to create a kind of psychological immunity, although not with everyone. Analysing the psychopathic characteristics of the ‘professor’s’ personality proved another excellent way of protecting one’s own psychological hygiene.
You can just imagine our worry, disappointment, and surprise when some colleagues we knew well suddenly began to change their world-view; their thought-patterns furthermore reminded us of the ‘professor’s’ chatter. Their feelings, which had just recently been friendly, became noticeably cooler, although not yet hostile. Benevolent or critical student arguments bounced right off of them. They gave the impression of possessing some secret knowledge; we were only their former colleagues, still believing what those professors of old had taught us. We had to be careful of what we said to them.
Our former colleagues soon joined the Party. Who were they? What social groups did they come from? What kind of students and people were they? How and why did they change so much in less than a year? Why did neither I nor a majority of my fellow students succumb to this phenomenon and process? Many such questions fluttered through our heads then. Those times, questions, and attitudes gave rise to the idea that this phenomenon could be objectively understood, an idea whose greater meaning crystallized with time. Many of us participated in the initial observations and reflections, but most crumbled away in the face of material or academic problems. Only a few remained; so the author of this book may be the last of the Mohicans.
It was relatively easy to determine the environments and origin of the people who succumbed to this process, which I then called ‘transpersonification’. They came from all social groups, including aristocratic and fervently religious families, and caused a break in our student solidarity in the order of some 6 %. The remaining majority suffered varying degrees of personality disintegration which gave rise to individual efforts in searching for the values necessary to find ourselves again; the results were varied and sometimes creative.
Even then, we had no doubts as to the pathological nature of this ‘transpersonification’ process, which ran similar but not identical in all cases. The duration of the results of this phenomenon also varied. Some of these people later became zealots. Others later took advantage of various circumstances to withdraw and reestablish their lost links to the society of normal people. They were replaced. The only constant value of the new social system was the magic number of 6 %.
We tried to evaluate the talent level of those colleagues who had succumbed to this personality-transformation process, and reached the conclusion that on average, it was slightly lower than the average of the student population. Their lesser resistance obviously resided in other bio-psychological features which were most probably qualitatively heterogeneous.
I had to study subjects bordering on psychology and psychopathology in order to answer the questions arising from our observations; scientific neglect in these areas proved an obstacle difficult to overcome. At the same time, someone guided by special knowledge apparently vacated the libraries of anything we could have found on the topic.
Is it any wonder why, nowadays, any group seeking to provide this very knowledge to others would be labeled a “cult?”
Analysing these occurrences now in hindsight, we could say that the ‘professor’ was dangling bait over our heads, based on psychopaths’ specific psychological knowledge. He knew in advance that he would fish out amenable individuals, but the limited numbers disappointed him. The transpersonification process generally took hold whenever an individual’s instinctive substratum was marked by pallor or some deficits. To a lesser extent, it also worked among people who manifested other deficiencies, also the state provoked within them was partially impermanent, being largely the result of psychopathological induction.
This knowledge about the existence of susceptible individuals and how to work on them will continue being a tool for world conquest as long as it remains the secret of such ‘professors.’ When it becomes skillfully popularized science, it will help nations develop immunity. But none of us knew this at the time.
Nevertheless, we must admit that in demonstrating the properties of pathocracy in such a way as to force us into in-depth experience, the professor helped us understand the nature of the phenomenon in a larger scope than many a true scientific researcher participating in this work in one way or another. [...]
The natural psychological, societal, and moral world-view is a product of man’s developmental process within a society, under the constant influence of his innate traits. No person can develop without being influenced by other people and their personalities, or by the values imbued by his civilization and his moral and religious traditions. That is why his world-view can be neither universal nor true.
It is thus significant that the main values of this human world-view of nature indicate basic similarities in spite of great spans of time, race, and civilization. It is thus suggested that the ‘human world view’ derives from the nature of our species and the natural experience of human societies which have achieved a certain necessary level of civilization. Refinements based on literary values or philosophical and moral reflections do indicate some differences, but generally speaking, they tend to bring together the natural conceptual language of various civilizations and eras.
People with a ‘humanistic’ education may have the impression that they have achieved wisdom, but here we approach a problem; we must ask the following question: Even if the natural world-view has been refined, does it mirror reality with sufficient reliability? Or does it only mirror our species’ perception? To what extent can we depend upon it as a basis for decision making in the individual, societal, and political spheres of life?
Experience teaches us, first of all, that this natural world-view has permanent and characteristic tendencies toward deformation dictated by our instinctive and emotional features. Secondly, our work exposes us to many phenomena that cannot be understood and described by natural language alone.
Considering the most important reality deforming tendency, we notice that those emotional features which are a natural component of the human personality are never completely appropriate to the reality being experienced. This results both from our instinct and from our conditioning of upbringing. This is why the best traditions of philosophical and religious thought have counseled subduing the emotions in order to achieve a more accurate view of reality.
Another problem is the fact that our natural world-view is generally characterized by a tendency to endow our opinions with moral judgments, often so negative as to represent outrage. This appeals to tendencies which are deeply rooted in human nature and social customs.
We often meet with sensible people endowed with a well-developed natural world-view as regards psychological, societal, and moral aspects, frequently refined via literary influences, religious deliberations, and philosophical reflections. Such persons have a pronounced tendency to overrate the values of their world-view. They do not take into account the fact that their system can be also erroneous since it is insufficiently objective.
Let us call such an attitude the egotism of the natural world-view. To date, it has been the least pernicious type of egotism, being merely an overestimation of that method of comprehension containing the eternal values of human experience.
Today, however, the world is being jeopardized by a phenomenon that cannot be understood and described by means of such a natural conceptual language; this kind of egotism thus becomes a dangerous factor stifling the possibility of some counteractive measures. Developing and popularizing the objective psychological world-view could thus significantly expand the scope of dealing with evil via sensible action and pinpointed countermeasures.
Ever since ancient times, philosophers and religious thinkers representing various attitudes in different cultures have been searching for the truth as regards moral values, attempting to find criteria for what is right, what constitutes good advice. They described the virtues of human character and suggested these be acquired. They created a heritage which contains centuries of experience and reflections. In spite of the obvious differences among attitudes, the similarity or complementarity of the conclusions reached by famous ancients are striking, even though they worked in widely divergent times and places. After all, whatever is valuable is conditioned and caused by the laws of nature acting upon the personalities of both individual human beings and collective societies.
It is equally thought-provoking, however, to see how relatively little has been said about the opposite side of the coin; the nature, causes, and genesis of evil. These matters are usually cloaked behind the above generalized conclusions with a certain amount of secrecy. Such a state of affairs can be partially ascribed to the social conditions and historical circumstances under which these thinkers worked. Their modus operandi may have been dictated at least in part by personal fate, inherited traditions, or even prudishness. After all, justice and virtue are the opposites of force and perversity, the same applies to truthfulness vs. lies, similarly like health is the opposite of an illness.
The character and genesis of evil thus remained hidden in discreet shadows, leaving it to playwrights to deal with the subject in their highly expressive language, but that did not reach the primeval source of the phenomena. A certain cognitive space thus remains uninvestigated, a thicket of moral questions which resists understanding and philosophical generalizations. [...]
From time immemorial, man has dreamed of a life in which his efforts to accumulate benefits can be punctuated by rest during which time he enjoys those benefits. He learned how to domesticate animals in order to accumulate more benefits, and when that no longer met his needs, he learned to enslave other human beings simply because he was more powerful and could do it.
Dreams of a happy life of ‘more accumulated benefits’ to be enjoyed, and more leisure time in which to enjoy them, thus gave rise to force over others, a force which depraves the mind of its user. That is why man’s dreams of happiness have not come true throughout history: the hedonistic view of ‘happiness’ contains the seeds of misery. Hedonism, the pursuit of the accumulation of benefits for the sole purpose of self-enjoyment, feeds the eternal cycle where good times lead to bad times.
During good times, people lose sight of the need for thinking, introspection, knowledge of others, and an understanding of life. When things are ‘good,’ people ask themselves whether it is worth it to ponder human nature and flaws in the personality (one’s own, or that of another). In good times, entire generations can grow up with no understanding of the creative meaning of suffering since they have never experienced it themselves. When all the joys of life are there for the taking, mental effort to understand science and the laws of nature – to acquire knowledge that may not be directly related to accumulating stuff – seems like pointless labor. Being ‘healthy minded,’ and positive – a good sport with never a discouraging word – is seen as a good thing, and anyone who predicts dire consequences as the result of such insouciance is labeled a wet-blanket or a killjoy.
Perception of the truth about reality, especially a real understanding of human nature in all it’s ranges and permutations, ceases to be a virtue to be acquired. Thoughtful doubters are ‘meddlers’ who can’t leave well enough alone. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” This attitude leads to an impoverishment of psychological knowledge including the capacity to differentiate the properties of human nature and personality, and the ability to mold healthy minds creatively.
The cult of power thus supplants the mental and moral values so essential for maintaining peace by peaceful means. A nation’s enrichment or involution as regards its psychological world-view could be considered an indicator of whether its future be good or bad.
During good times, the search for the meaning of life, the truth of our reality, becomes uncomfortable because it reveals inconvenient factors. Unconscious elimination of data which are, or appear to be, inexpedient, begins to be habitual, a custom accepted by entire societies. The result is that any thought processes based on such truncated information cannot bring correct conclusions. This then leads to substitution of convenient lies to the self to replace uncomfortable truths thereby approaching the boundaries of phenomena which should be viewed as psychopathological.
The facts are that ‘good times’ for one group of people have been historically rooted in some injustice to other groups of people. In such a society, where all the hidden truths lurk below the surface like an iceberg, disaster is just around the corner.
It is clear that America has experienced a long period of ‘good times’ for most of its existence, (no matter how many people they had to oppress or kill to do so), but particularly so during the 50 years preceding September 11, 2001. During that 50 years, several generations of children were born, and the ones that were born at the beginning of that time, who have never known ‘bad times,’ are now at an age where they want to ‘enjoy’ the benefits they have accumulated. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen; 9/11 has changed everything so profoundly that it looks like there will be no enjoyment by anyone for a very, very long time.
How could this happen?
The answer is that a few generations’ worth of ‘good times’ results in the above described societal deficits regarding psychological skills and moral criticism. Long periods of preoccupation with the self and ‘accumulating benefits’ for the self, diminish the ability to accurately read the environment and other people. But the situation is more serious than just a generalized weakness of a society that could be ‘toughened up’ with a little ‘hard times’.
The psychological features of each such crisis are unique to the culture and the time, but one common denominator that exists at the beginning of all such ‘bad times’ is an exacerbation of society’s hysterical condition. The emotionalism dominating in individual, collective, and political life, combined with the subconscious selection and substitution of data in reasoning, lead to individual and national egotism. The mania for taking offense at the drop of a hat provokes constant retaliation, taking advantage of hyperirritability and hypocriticality on the part of others. It is this feature, this hystericization of society, that enables pathological plotters, snake charmers, and other primitive deviants to act as essential factors in the processes of the origination of evil on a macro-social scale.
Who, exactly, are the ‘pathological plotters,’ and what can motivate such individuals during times that are generally understood by others as ‘good?’ If times are ‘good,’ why does anyone want to plot and generate evil?
Well, certainly, the current US administration has come up with an answer: “They hate us because of our freedoms.” This is a prime example of “selection and substitution of data in reasoning” which is willingly and gladly accepted as an explanation by the public because of their deficits of psychological skills and moral criticism.
Present-day philosophers developing meta-ethics are trying to press forward in their understanding, and as they slip and slide along the elastic space leading to an analysis of the language of ethics, they contribute toward eliminating some imperfections and habits of natural conceptual language. Penetrating this ever-mysterious nucleus, however, is highly tempting to a scientist. [...]
If physicians behaved like ethicists and failed to study diseases because they were only interested in studying questions of health, there would be no such thing as modern medicine. [...] Physicians were correct in their emphasis on studying disease above all in order to discover the causes and biological properties of illnesses, and then to understand the pathodynamics of their courses. A comprehension of the nature of a disease, and the course it runs, after all, enables the proper curative means to be elaborated and employed. [...]
The question thus arises: could some analogous modus operandi not be used to study the causes and genesis of other kinds of evil scourging human individuals, families, societies? Experience has taught the author that evil is similar to disease in nature, although possibly more complex and elusive to our understanding. [...]
Parallel to the traditional approach, problems commonly perceived to be moral may also be treated on the basis of data provided by biology, medicine, and psychology, as the factors of this kind are simultaneously present in the question as a whole. Experience teaches us that a comprehension of the essence and genesis of evil generally make use of data from these areas. [...]
Philosophical thought may have engendered all the scientific disciplines, but the latter did not mature until they became independent, based on detailed data and a relationship to other disciplines supplying such data.
Encouraged by the often ‘coincidental’ discovery of these naturalistic aspects of evil, the author initiated the methodology of medicine; a clinical psychologist and medical co-worker by profession, he had such tendencies anyway. As is the case with physicians and disease, he took the risks of close contact with evil and suffered the consequences. His purpose was to ascertain the possibilities of understanding the nature of evil, its etiological factors and to track its pathodynamics. [...]
A new discipline thus arose: Ponerology. The process of the genesis of evil was called, correspondingly, ‘ponerogenesis.’ [...]
Considerable moral, intellectual, and practical advantages can be gleaned from an understanding of the genesis of Evil thanks to the objectivity required to study it dispassionately. The human heritage of ethics is not destroyed by taking such an approach: it is actually strengthened because the scientific method can be utilized to confirm the basic values of moral teachings.
Understanding the nature of macro-social pathology helps us to find a healthy attitude and thus protects our minds from being controlled or poisoned by the diseased contents and influence of their propaganda.
We can only conquer this huge, contagious social cancer if we comprehend its essence and its etiological causes.
Such an understanding of the nature of the phenomena leads to the logical conclusion that the measures for healing and reordering the world today should be completely different from the ones heretofore used for solving international conflicts. It is also true that, merely having the knowledge and awareness of the phenomena of the genesis of macro-social Evil can begin healing individual humans and help their minds regain harmony. [...]
Lobaczewski discusses the fact that ‘bad times,’ seem to have a historical ‘purpose.’ It seems that suffering during times of crisis lead to mental activity aimed at solving or ending the suffering. The bitterness of loss invariably leads to a regeneration of values and empathy.
When bad times arrive and people are overwhelmed by an excess of evil, they must gather all their physical and mental strength to fight for existence and protect human reason. The search for some way out of difficulties and dangers rekindles long-buried powers or discretion. Such people have the initial tendency to rely on force in order to counteract the threat; they may, for instance, become ‘trigger happy’ or dependent upon armies. Slowly and laboriously, however, they discover the advantages conferred by mental effort; improved understanding of psychological situations in particular, better differentiation of human characters and personalities, and finally, comprehension of one’s adversaries. During such times, virtues which former generations relegated to literary motifs regain their real and useful substance and become prized for their value. A wise person capable of furnishing sound advice is highly respected.
It seems that there have been many such bad times in the course of human history, and it was during such times that the great systems of ethics were developed. Unfortunately, during ‘good times’, nobody wants to hear about it. They want to ‘enjoy’ things, to have pleasure and pleasant experiences, and so any literature that relates to such times is lost, forgotten, suppressed, or otherwise ignored. This leads to further debasing of the intellectual currency and opens the gap for bad times to come once again.
If a collection were to be made of all the books that describe the horrors of wars, the cruelties of revolutions, and the bloody deeds of political leaders and systems, most people would avoid such a library. In such a library, ancient works would be found alongside books by contemporary historians and reporters. The documentary evidence on German extermination and concentration camps, complete with dry statistical data, describing the well-organized ‘labor’ of the destruction of human life, would be seen to use a properly calm language, and would provide the basis for acknowledging the nature of Evil.
The autobiography of Rudolf Hess, the commander of camps in Osweicim (Auschwitz) and Brzezinka, (Birkenau) is a classic example of how an intelligent psychopath thinks and feels.
Our library of death would include works on philosophy discussing the social and moral aspects of the genesis of Evil, while using history to partially justify the blood-drenched ‘solutions’.
The library would show to the alert reader a sort of evolution from primitive attitudes, that it is alright to enslave and murder vanquished peoples, to the present day moralizing which declares that such behavior is barbaric and worthy of condemnation.
However, such a library would be missing one crucial tome: there would not be a single work offering a sufficient explanation of the causes and processes whereby such historical dramas originate, of how and why human beings periodically degenerate into bloodthirsty madness.
The old questions would remain unanswered: what made this happen? Does everyone carry the seeds of crime within, or only some of us? No matter how faithful to the events, nor how psychologically accurate the books that are available may be, they cannot answer those questions nor can they fully explain the origin of Evil.
Thus, humanity is at a great disadvantage because without a fully scientific explanation of the origins of Evil, there is no possibility of the development of sufficiently effective principles for counteracting Evil.
The best literary description of a disease cannot produce an understanding of its essential etiology, and can thus furnish no principles for treatment. In the same way, descriptions of historical tragedies are incapable of elaborating effective measures for counteracting the genesis, existence, or spread of Evil.
In using natural language to discuss psychological, social and moral concepts, we find that we can only produce an approximation, which leads to a nagging suspicion of helplessness.
Our ordinary system of concepts are not invested with the necessary factual content – scientific observations about Evil – which would permit comprehension of the quality of the many factors (particularly the psychological ones) which are active before and during the birth of inhumanly cruel times.
Nevertheless, the authors of some of the books that we would find in our Library of Evil took great care to infuse their words with the proper precision as though they were hoping that someone, at some time, would use their records to explain what they, themselves, could not explain even in the best literary language.
Most human beings are horrified by such literature. Hedonistic societies have the strong tendency to encourage escape into ignorance or naive doctrines. Some people even feel contempt for the suffering of others.
It is true that, in tracking the behavioral mechanisms of the genesis of Evil, one must keep both abhorrence and fear under control, submit to a passion for science, and develop the calm outlook needed in natural history.
This book aims to take the reader by the hand into a world beyond the concepts and imaginings he has trusted and used since childhood. This is necessary due to the problems our world presently faces, things we can no longer ignore, or ignore only at the peril of all humanity. We must realize that we cannot possibly distinguish the path to nuclear catastrophe from the path to creative dedication unless we step beyond the subjective world of well-known concepts, and we must also realize that this subjective world was chosen for us by powerful forces against which our nostalgia for homey, human ideas about warmth and safety is no match.
Moral evil and psychobiological evil are interlinked via so many causal relationships and mutual influences that they can only be separated by means of abstraction. However, the ability to distinguish them qualitatively protects us from moralizing interpretations that so easily can poison the human mind in an insidious way.
Macro-social phenomena of Evil, which constitute the most important object of this book, appear to be subjected to the same laws of nature operating within human beings on individual or small-group levels. The role of persons with various psychological defects and anomalies of a clinically low level appear to be a perennial characteristic of such phenomena.
In the macro-social phenomenon where Evil runs rampant, ‘Pathocracy,’ a certain hereditary anomaly isolated as ‘essential psychopathy’ is catalytically and causatively essential for the genesis and survival of such a State. [...]
This last remark is the key to ‘grand conspiracies’ that many are convinced cannot exist. Dr. Lobaczewski discusses the kinds of individuals that form a ‘Pathocracy,’ or ‘psychopathic government,’ and further, he elaborates details about psychopaths based on his studies and the studies of those with whom he was associated, that have never been openly discussed as far as I can tell after reading many thousands of pages of material on the subject generated in the West. Dr. Lobaczewski, on the other hand, undertook his studies ‘in the belly of the beast,’ so to say, with live ‘specimens’. The value of such a study cannot be overstated.
Pathological processes have historically had a profound influence upon human society at large due to the fact that many individuals with deformed characters have played outstanding roles in the formation of social constructs. It is helpful to have some background on this. Dr. Lobaczewski writes:
Brain tissue is very limited in its regenerative ability. If it is damaged and the change subsequently heals, a process of rehabilitation takes place thanks to which the neighboring healthy tissue takes over the function of the damaged portion. This substitution is never quite perfect thus some deficits as regards skill and proper psychological processes can be detected, even in cases of very small damage, by using the appropriate tests. [...]
As regards pathological factors of ponerogenic processes, perinatal or early-infant damages have more active results than damages which occur later.
In societies with highly developed medical care, we find among the lower grades of elementary schools that 5 to 7 percent of the children have suffered brain tissue lesions which cause certain academic or behavioral difficulties. [...]15
This is actually a frightening figure. If we realize that an even higher percentage of the previous generations have suffered brain tissue lesions during a time when there was no highly developed perinatal and neonatal medical care, not to mention the damage that may be suffered among those populations today where such care is still primitive, we can understand that much of our own culture has been shaped by people with brain damage and we are faced with dealing with a world in which brain damaged individuals have an important influence on the social constructs! Keep in mind that if your grandfather suffered perinatal or neonatal brain damage, it affected how he raised one of your parents, which affects how that parent raised you!
Epilepsy constitutes the oldest known results of such lesions; it is observed in relatively small numbers of persons suffering such damage. Researchers in these matters are more or less unanimous in believing that Julius Caesar and then later Napoleon Bonaparte had epileptic seizures. The extent to which these ailments had a negative effect upon their characters and historical decision making, or played a ponerogenic role, can be the subject of a separate study. In most cases, however, epilepsy is an evident ailment, which limits its role as a ponerogenic factor.16
In a much larger part of the bearers of brain tissue damage, the negative deformation of their characters grows in the course of time. It takes on various mental pictures depending on the properties and localizations of the damage, their time of origin, and also the life conditions of the individual after their occurrence. We will call character disorders resulting from such pathology “Characteropathies.”
Some characteropathies play an outstanding role as pathological agents in the processes of the genesis of evil on a large social scale. [...]
A relatively well-documented example of such an influence of a characteropathic personality on a macro-social scale is the last German emperor, Wilhelm II. He was subjected to brain trauma at birth. During and after his entire reign, his physical and psychological handicap was hidden from public knowledge. The motor abilities of the upper left portion of his body were handicapped. As a boy, he had difficulty learning grammar, geometry, and drawing, which constitutes the typical triad of academic difficulties caused by minor brain lesions. He developed a personality with infantilistic features and insufficient control over his emotions, and also a somewhat paranoid way of thinking which easily sidestepped the heart of some important issues in the process of dodging problems.
Militaristic poses and a general’s uniform overcompensated for his feelings of inferiority and effectively cloaked his shortcomings. Politically, his insufficient control of emotions and factors of personal rancor came into view. The old Iron Chancellor had to go, that cunning and ruthless politician who had been loyal to the monarchy and built up Prussian power. After all, he was too knowledgeable about the prince’s defects and had worked against his coronation. A similar fate met other overly critical people, who were replaced by persons with lesser brains, more subservience, and sometimes, discreet psychological deviations. Negative selection took place.
Notice this last term: “negative selection took place.” That is to say, a defective head of state selected his staff, his government, based on his own pathologically damaged worldview. I’m sure the reader can perceive how dangerous such a situation can be to the people governed by such a ‘negatively selected’ cabal. The important thing to consider here is what effect this had on the social constructs under the rule of such individuals.
The experience of people with such anomalies grows out of the normal human world to which they belong by nature. Thus, their different way of thinking, their emotional violence, and their egotism find relatively easy entry into other people’s minds and are perceived within the categories of the natural world-view. Such behavior on the part of persons with such character disorders traumatizes the minds and feelings of normal people, gradually diminishing their ability to use their common sense. In spite of their resistance, people become used to the rigid habits of pathological thinking and experiencing. In young people, as a result, the personality suffers abnormal development leading to its malformation. They thus represent pathological ponerogenic factors which, by their covert activity, easily engenders new phases in the eternal genesis of evil, opening the door to a later activation of other factors which thereupon take over the main role. [...]
[In the case of the effect of Wilhelm II], many Germans were progressively deprived of their ability to use their common sense because of the impingement of psychological material of the characteropathic type, as the common people are prone to identify with the emperor [...]
A new generation grew up with deformities as regards feeling and understanding moral, psychological, social and political realities. It is extremely typical that in many German families containing a member who was psychologically not quite normal, it became a matter of honor (even excusing nefarious conduct) to hide this fact from public opinion – and even the awareness of close friends and relatives. Large portions of society ingested psychopathological material, together with that unrealistic way of thinking wherein slogans take on the power of arguments and real data are subjected to subconscious selection.
This occurred during a time when a wave of hysteria was growing throughout Europe, including a tendency for emotions to dominate and for human behavior to contain an element of histrionics. [...] This progressively took over three empires and other countries on the mainland.
To what extent did Wilhelm II contribute to this, along with two other emperors whose minds also did not take in the actual facts of history and government? To what extent were they themselves influenced by an intensification of hysteria during their reigns? That would make an interesting topic of discussion among historians and ponerologists.
International tensions increased; Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. However, neither the Kaiser nor any other governmental authority in his country possessed reason. (Due to the aforementioned negative selection process.) What came into play was Wilhelm’s emotional attitude and the stereotypes of thought and action inherited from the past. War broke out. General war plans prepared earlier, which had lost their topicality under the new conditions, unfolded more like military maneuvers. Even those historians familiar with the genesis and character of the Prussian state, including its ideological tradition of bloody expansionism, intuit that these situations contained some activity of an uncomprehended fatality which eludes an analysis in terms of historical causality.
Many thoughtful persons keep asking the same anxious question: how could the German nation have chosen for a Fuehrer a clownish psychopath who made no bones about his pathological vision of superman rule? Under his leadership, Germany then unleashed a second war, criminal and politically absurd. During the second half of this war, highly trained army officers honorably performed the inhuman orders, senseless from the political and military point of view, issued by a man whose psychological state corresponded to the routine criteria for being forcibly committed to psychiatric hospitalization.
Any attempt to explain the things that occurred during the first half of our century by means of categories generally accepted in historical thought leaves behind a nagging feeling of inadequacy. Only a ponerological approach can compensate for this deficit in our comprehension, as it does justice to the role of various pathological factors in the genesis of evil at every social level.
Fed for generations on pathologically altered psychological material, the German nation fell into a state comparable to what we see in certain individuals raised by persons who are both characteropathic and hysterical. Psychologists know from experience how often such people then let themselves commit acts which seriously hurt others. [...]
The Germans inflicted and suffered enormous pain during the first World War; they thus felt no substantial guilt and even thought they had been wronged, as they were behaving in accordance with their customary habit without being aware of its pathological causes. The need for this state to be clothed in heroic garb after a war in order to avoid bitter disintegration became all too common. A mysterious craving arose, as if the social organism had become addicted to some drug. That was the hunger of pathologically modified psychological material, a phenomenon known to psychotherapeutic experience. This hunger could only be satisfied by another personality and system of government, both similarly pathological.
A characteropathic personality opened the door for leadership by a psychopathic individual.
What is interesting at this point in Lobaczewski’s discourse is his indication that this pattern repeats itself again and again in history: a pathologically brain-damaged individual creates circumstances that condition the public in a certain way, and this, then, opens the door for the psychopath to come to power. As I read this, I thought back to the last 45 or 50 years of history in America and realized that the ‘cold war,’ the nuclear threat, the assassination of JFK, the antics of Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, Clinton, the manipulation of Americans via the media, were just such characteropathic conditionings that opened the door for the Neocons and their nominal puppet, George W. Bush, who can certainly be described as “a clownish psychopath who makes no bones about his pathological vision” of super-American rule. We can even see in the cabal that is assembled around George W. Bush, the same “negative selection” of advisors and cabinet officials as Lobaczewski described were assembled around Kaiser Wilhelm.
So, we begin to understand just how important this “science of evil adjusted for political purposes” may be and how much understanding we, as a society, lack. In order to understand exactly how an entire society, even an entire nation, can become a Pathocracy, we need to understand a little bit about the types of individuals that make up the core of such a ‘conspiracy.’ Lobaczewski discusses the most frequent characteropathies and their relation to brain lesions, giving examples:
Paranoidal character disorders
It is characteristic of paranoid behavior for people to be capable of relatively correct reasoning and discussion as long as the conversation involves minor differences of opinions. This stops abruptly when the partner’s arguments begin to undermine their overvalued ideas, crush their long-held stereotypes of reasoning, or force them to accept a conclusion they had subconsciously rejected before. Such a stimulus unleashes upon the partner a torrent of pseudo-logical, largely para-moralistic, often insulting utterances which always contain some degree of suggestion.
Utterances like these inspire aversion among cultivated and logical people, but they enslave less critical minds, e.g. people with other kinds of psychological deficiencies, who were earlier the objects of the egotistical influence of individuals with character disorders, and in particular a large part of the young. [...]
We know today that the psychological mechanism of paranoid phenomena is twofold: one is caused by damage to the brain tissue, the other is functional or behavioral. [...]
In persons free of brain-tissue lesions, such phenomena most frequently occur as a result of being reared by people with paranoidal characteropathia, along with the psychological terror of their childhood. Such psychological material is then assimilated creating the rigid stereotypes of abnormal experiencing. This makes it difficult for thought and world-view to develop normally, and the terror-blocked contents become transformed into permanent functional congestive centers. [...]
Frontal characteropathy: The frontal areas of the cerebral cortex (10A and B acc. to the Brodmann division) are virtually present in no creature except man; they are composed of the phylogenetically youngest nervous tissue. Their cyto-architecture is similar to the much older visual projection areas on the opposite pole of the brain. This suggests some functional similarity. [...] As described by researchers (Luria et al.), the functions of these areas – thought-process acceleration and coordination – seem to result from this basic function.
Damage to this area has been significantly reduced due to improved medical care for pregnant women and newborns. The spectacular ponerogenic role which results from character disorders caused by this can thus be considered somewhat characteristic of past generations and primitive cultures.
Brain cortex damage in these areas selectively impairs the above mentioned function without impairing memory, associative capacity, or in particular such instinct-based feelings and functions as for instance the ability to intuit a psychological situation. The general intelligence of an individual is thus not greatly reduced. [...]
The pathological character of such people, generally containing a component of hysteria, develops through the years. The non-damaged psychological functions become overdeveloped to compensate, which means that instinctive and affective reactions predominate. Relatively vital people become belligerent, risk-happy, and brutal in both word and deed. Persons with an innate talent for intuiting psychological situations tend to take advantage of this gift in an egotistical and ruthless fashion. In the thought process of such people, a short cut way develops which bypasses the handicapped function, thus leading from associations directly to words, deeds, and decisions which are not subject to any dissuasion. Such individuals interpret their talent for intuiting situations and making split-second oversimplified decisions as a sign of their superiority compared to normal people, who need to think for a long time, experiencing self-doubt and conflicting motivations. The fate of such creatures does not deserve to be pondered long.
Such “Stalinistic characters” traumatize and actively spellbind others, and their influence finds it exceptionally easy to bypass the controls of common sense. A large proportion of people tend to credit such individuals with special powers, thereby succumbing to their egotistic beliefs. If a parent manifests such a defect, no matter how minimal, all the children in the family evidence anomalies in personality development.
The author studied an entire generation of older, educated, people wherein the source of such influence was the eldest sister who suffered perinatal damage of frontal centers. From early childhood, her four younger brothers assimilated pathologically altered psychological material, including their sister’s growing component of hysteria. They retained well into their sixties the deformities of personality and world-view, as well as hysterical features thus caused, whose intensity diminished in proportion to the greater difference in age. Subconscious selection of information made it impossible for them to apprehend any critical comments regarding their sister’s character, also these were capable of offending family honor. The brothers accepted as real their sister’s pathological delusions and complaints about her “bad” husband (who was actually a decent person) and her son, in whom she found a scapegoat to avenge her failures. They thereby participated in a world of vengeful emotions, considering their sister a completely normal person whom they were prepared to defend – by the most unsavory methods, if need be – against any suggestions of her abnormality. They thought normal women were insipid and naive, good for nothing but sexual conquest. Not one among the brothers ever created a healthy family or developed even average wisdom of life.
The character development of these people also included many other factors dependent upon the time and place in which they were reared: the turn of the century, with a patriotic Polish father and German mother who obeyed contemporary custom by formally accepting her husband’s nationality, but who still remained an advocate of the militarism and accepting of the intensified hysteria which covered Europe at the time. That was the Europe of the three Emperors: The concept of “honor” sanctified triumph. Staring at someone too long was sufficient pretext for a duel. These brothers were thus raised to be valiant duelists full of saber-scars; however, the slashes they inflicted upon their opponents were more frequent and much worse. [...]
[All other considerations of time and place aside] if the sister had not suffered brain damage and the pathological factors had not existed the evil [these men] sowed too liberally during their lives would either not have existed at all, or else been reduced to a scope conditioned by more remote pathological factors. [...]
Comparative considerations also led the author to conclude that Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Stalin, should be included in the list of this particular ponerogenic characteropathy, which developed against the backdrop of perinatal damage to his brain’s prefrontal fields. Literature and news about him abounds in indications: brutal, charismatic snake-charming; issuing of irrevocable decisions; inhuman ruthlessness, pathologic vengefulness directed at anyone who got in his way; and egotistical belief in his own genius on the part of a person whose mind was, in fact, average. This state explains as well his psychological dependence on a psychopath like Beria. Some photographs reveal the typical deformation of his forehead which appears in people who suffered very early damage to the areas mentioned above. [...]
Drug induced characteropathies: During the last few decades, medicine has begun using a series of drugs with serious side effects: they attack the nervous system, leaving permanent damage behind. These generally discreet handicaps sometimes give rise to personality changes which are often very harmful socially. Streptomycin proved a very dangerous drug; as a result, some countries have limited its use, whereas others have taken it off the list of drugs whose use is permitted.
The cytostatic [cancer treatment] drugs used in treating neoplastic diseases often attack the phylogenetically oldest brain tissue, the primary carrier of our instinctive substratum and basic feelings. Persons treated with such drugs progressively tend to lose their emotional color and their ability to intuit a psychological situation. They retain their intellectual functions but become praise-craving egocentrics, easily ruled by people who know how to take advantage of this. They become indifferent to other people’s feelings and the harm they are inflicting upon them; any criticism of their own person or behavior is repaid with a vengeance. Such a change of character in a person who until recently enjoyed respect on the part of his environment or community, which perseveres in human minds, becomes a pathological phenomenon causing often tragic results. [...]
Similar to the above in psychological picture, such results may be caused by endogenous toxins or viruses. When sometimes the mumps proceeds with a brain reaction, it leaves in its wake a discrete pallor or flatness of feelings and a slight decrease in mental efficiency. Similar phenomena are witnessed after a difficult bout with diphtheria. Finally polio also attacks the brain [..] People with leg paresis rarely manifest these effects, but those with paresis of the neck and/or shoulders must count themselves lucky if they do not. In addition to affective pallor, persons manifesting these effects usually evidence an inability to comprehend the crux of a matter and naivete. [...]
Character anomalies developing as a result of brain-tissue damage behave like insidious ponerogenic factors. As a result of the above-described features, [ponerogenic influences] easily anchor in human minds, traumatizing our psyches, impoverishing and deforming our thoughts and feelings, and limiting individuals’ and societies’ ability to use common sense and recognize a psychological or moral situation.
This opens the door to other pathological characters who most frequently carry some inherited psychological deviations. They then push the characteropathic individuals into the shadows and proceed with their ponerogenic work. That is why various types of characteropathies participate in the initial periods of the genesis of evil, both on the macro-social scale and on the individual scale of human families.
An improved social system of the future should thus protect individuals and societies by preventing persons with the above deviations, or the characteristics to be discussed below, from any social functions wherein the fate of other people would depend upon their behavior. This of course applies primarily to top governmental positions. Such questions should be decided by an appropriate institution composed of people with a reputation for wisdom and with medical and psychological training. The features of brain-tissue lesions and their character disorder results are much easier to detect than some inherited anomalies. Thus, stifling ponerogenic process by removing these factors from the process of the synthesis of evil is effective during the early phases of such genesis, and much easier in practice.
Science already protects societies from the results of some physiological anomalies which are accompanied by certain psychological weaknesses. The tragic role played by hereditary hemophilia among European royalty is well known. Responsible people nowadays are anxious not to allow a carrier of such a gene to become queen. Any society lavishing so much care upon individuals with blood-coagulation insufficiency would protest if a man with this anomaly were appointed to a high office. This behavior model should be extended to many other inherited anomalies.
Daltonists, men with an impaired ability to distinguish red and green colors from grey are now barred from professions in which this impairment might cause a catastrophe. We also know that this anomaly is accompanied by a decrease in esthetic experience, emotions, and the feeling of being linked to a society of people who can see colors normally. Industrial psychologists are thus cautious whether such a person should be entrusted with work involving a dependence upon man’s autonomic sense of responsibility, as workers’ safety is contingent upon this sense.
It was discovered long ago that this anomaly is inherited by means of a gene located on the X chromosome and tracking the transmission through many generations does not meet with difficulty. Genetics have similarly studied inheritance of many other features of human organisms, but they paid scant attention to the anomalies interesting us. Many features of human character have a hereditary basis in genes located in the same X chromosome; although it is not a rule. Something similar could apply to the majority of psychological anomalies discussed below. [...]
Severe problems are caused by the XYY karyotype which produces men who are tall, strong, and emotionally violent but their number and role in ponerogenic processes is very small.
Much more numerous are those psychological deviations which play a correspondingly greater role as pathological factors involving ponerological processes; they are most probably transmitted through normal hereditary ways. However, this realm of genetics is faced with manifold biological and psychological difficulties.
Lobaczewski next describes a number of inherited psychological pathologies such as Schizoidal psychopathy – now referred to as ‘schizotypal personality disorder’ – about which he says:
Carriers of this anomaly are hypersensitive and distrustful, but they pay little attention to the feelings of others, tend to assume extreme positions, and are eager to retaliate for minor offenses. Sometimes they are eccentric and odd. Their poor sense of psychological situation and reality leads them to superimpose erroneous, pejorative interpretations upon other people’s intentions. They easily become involved in activities which are ostensibly moral, but which actually inflict damage upon themselves and others. Their impoverished psychological world-view makes them typically pessimistic. [...] When they become wrapped up in situations of serious stress, their failings cause them to collapse easily. The schizoids frequently fall into reactive psychotic states so similar in appearance to schizophrenia that they lead to misdiagnoses.
If the emotional pressure on them is minimized, they are able to develop proper speculative reasoning, but they tend to consider themselves intellectually superior to ‘ordinary’ people.
The quantitative frequency of this anomaly varies among races. It is low among Blacks, and highest among Jews. Observation suggests that it is autosomally hereditary.
A schizoid’s ponerological activity should be evaluated in two aspects. On the small scale, such people cause their families trouble, easily turn into tools of intrigue in the hands of clever individuals, and generally do a poor job of raising the younger generation. [...]
However, their ponerogenic role can take on macro-social proportions if their attitude toward human reality and their tendency to invent great doctrines are put to paper and duplicated in large editions.
In spite of their typical deficits, or even an openly Schizoidal declaration, their readers do not realize what the authors’ characters are like, and tend to interpret such works in a way that corresponds to their own nature. The minds of normal people tend toward corrective interpretation thanks to the participation of their own richer psychological world-view. However, many readers reject such works with moral disgust but without being aware of the specific cause. An analysis of the role played by Karl Marx’s works easily reveals all the above mentioned types of apperception and the social reactions which engendered separations among people.
We now come to the most important pathology: psychopathy. Psychopathy is not, as many people think, so easy to recognize. The problem is that the term ‘psychopath’ has come to be usually applied by the public (due to the influence of the media) to overtly and obviously mad-dog murderers. There is also some confusion regarding psychopathy vis a vis ‘antisocial personality disorder.’
Nice words, aren’t they? They sound so clean and clinical; just a person who is ‘anti-social.’ It almost suggests a hermit who never bothers anybody. But nothing could be further from the truth. Robert Hare, the current American guru on psychopathy writes about this problem of terminology as follows:
Traditionally, affective and interpersonal traits such as egocentricity, deceit, shallow affect, manipulativeness, selfishness, and lack of empathy, guilt or remorse, have played a central role in the conceptualization and diagnosis of psychopathy (Cleckley; Hare 1993; in press); Widiger and Corbitt). In 1980 this tradition was broken with the publication of DSM-III. Psychopathy- renamed antisocial personality disorder- was now defined by persistent violations of social norms, including lying, stealing, truancy, inconsistent work behavior and traffic arrests.
Among the reasons given for this dramatic shift away from the use of clinical inferences were that personality traits are difficult to measure reliably, and that it is easier to agree on the behaviors that typify a disorder than on the reasons why they occur. The result was a diagnostic category with good reliability but dubious validity, a category that lacked congruence with other, well-established conceptions of psychopathy. [...]
The problems with DSM-III and its 1987 revision (DSM-III-R) were widely discussed in the clinical and research literature (Widiger and Corbitt). Much of the debate concerned the absence of personality traits in the diagnosis of ASPD, an omission that allowed antisocial individuals with completely different personalities, attitudes and motivations to share the same diagnosis. At the same time, there was mounting evidence that the criteria for ASPD defined a disorder that was more artifactual than “real” (Livesley and Schroeder). [...]
Most psychopaths (with the exception of those who somehow manage to plow their way through life without coming into formal or prolonged contact with the criminal justice system) meet the criteria for ASPD, but most individuals with ASPD are not psychopaths. [...]
The differences between psychopathy and ASPD are further highlighted by recent laboratory research involving the processing and use of linguistic and emotional information. Psychopaths differ dramatically from non-psychopaths in their performance of a variety of cognitive and affective tasks. Compared with normal individuals, for example, psychopaths are less able to process or use the deep semantic meanings of language and to appreciate the emotional significance of events or experiences (Larbig and others; Patrick; Williamson and others). [...]
Things become even more problematic when we consider that the DSM-IV text description of ASPD (which it says is also known as psychopathy) contains many references to traditional features of psychopathy. [...]
The failure to differentiate between psychopathy and ASPD can have serious consequences for clinicians and for society. For example, most jurisdictions consider psychopathy to be an aggravating rather than a mitigating factor in determining criminal responsibility. In some states an offender convicted of first-degree murder and diagnosed as a psychopath is likely to receive the death penalty on the grounds that psychopaths are cold-blooded, remorseless, untreatable and almost certain to re-offend. But many of the killers on death row were, and continue to be, mistakenly referred to as psychopaths on the basis of DSM-III, DSM-III-R or DSM-IV criteria for ASPD (Meloy). We don’t know how many of these inhabitants of death row actually exhibit the personality structure of the psychopath, or how many merely meet the criteria for ASPD, a disorder that applies to the majority of criminals and that has only tenuous implications for treatability and the likelihood of violent reoffending. If a diagnosis of psychopathy has consequences for the death penalty- or for any other severe disposition, such as an indeterminate sentence or a civil commitment- clinicians making the diagnosis should make certain they do not confuse ASPD with psychopathy. [...]
Diagnostic confusion about the two disorders has the potential for harming psychiatric patients and society as well.
In my book, Without Conscience, I argued that we live in a “camouflage society,” a society in which some psychopathic traits- egocentricity, lack of concern for others, superficiality, style over substance, being “cool,” manipulativeness, and so forth- increasingly are tolerated and even valued. With respect to the topic of this article, it is easy to see how both psychopaths and those with ASPD could blend in readily with groups holding antisocial or criminal values. It is more difficult to envisage how those with ASPD could hide out among more prosocial segments of society. Yet psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of business, politics, law enforcement, government, academia and other social structures (Babiak). It is the egocentric, cold-blooded and remorseless psychopaths who blend into all aspects of society and have such devastating impacts on people around them who send chills down the spines of law enforcement officers. [Hare, Robert D. 'Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Case of Diagnostic Confusion', Psychiatric Times, February 1996: Vol. XIII Issue 2]
Regarding essential psychopathy, Lobaczewski tells us:
Let us characterise another heredity-transmitted anomaly whose role in ponerogenic processes on any social scale appears exceptionally great. We should underscore that the need to isolate this phenomenon and examine it in detail became most evident to those researchers who were interested in the macro social scale of genesis of evil because they have witnessed it. I acknowledge my debt to Kasimir Dabrowski in doing this and calling this anomaly an ‘essential psychopathy.’
Biologically speaking, the phenomenon is similar to color-blindness and occurs with similar frequency,(slightly above .5 percent) except that, unlike color-blindness, it affects both sexes.
Here, Lobaczewski suggests a particular low frequency of occurrence of essential psychopathy. However, in his book, he also mentions a 1.15 percent of his total population of 5000 subjects that did not demonstrate any overtly identifiable pathology except that they performed actions that bring harm to other people for no explainable reason. If we consider what Dr. Hare has written above, that psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of business, politics, law enforcement, government, academia and other social structures and can blend into all aspects of society, we must ask the question: is it possible that Lobaczewski’s 1.15 percent of unidentified ‘evildoers’ were this type of psychopath? As he points out, it could very well have been the diagnostic criteria that was lacking, and had he utilized Hare’s psychopathy check-list, this group might very well have been identified as psychopaths. The point I wish to make is the number of psychopathic individuals likely to be found in any given cross-section sampling of society may be much higher than we suspect. Lobaczewski suggests that the occurrence of psychopathy is about the same as color-blindness: .5 percent. But if you add that figure to the 1.15 percent that he couldn’t identify, the actual number in his population may be closer to 1.65 percent.
Let’s recall that Harvard psychologist Martha Stout claims that 4 percent of ‘ordinary people’ (one in 25) often have an “undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that the person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse.” They can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.
That just happens to fit right in with Hare’s description of psychopathy, though we are obviously dealing with an entire spectrum of manifestation, as Dr. Stout emphasizes, not to mention the difference between pathologies that are mechanical, i.e. brain damage, and pathologies that are inherited. If we add Stout’s figure of 4 percent of undetected, ‘ordinary’ people, to Lobaczewski’s 0.5 percent, and include the 1.5 percent of people who had done harm to others with no evident pathology, we then have a figure of 5.65 percent – almost 6 percent of the population. My math may be off, but I am reminded of what Lobaczewski wrote about the influence of ‘indoctrination’ on his peers.
It was relatively easy to determine the environments and origin of the people who succumbed to this process, which I then called ‘transpersonification’. They came from all social groups, including aristocratic and fervently religious families, and caused a break in our student solidarity in the order of some 6 %. [...]
Even then, we had no doubts as to the pathological nature of this ‘transpersonification’ process, which ran similar but not identical in all cases. The duration of the results of this phenomenon also varied. Some of these people later became zealots. Others later took advantage of various circumstances to withdraw and reestablish their lost links to the society of normal people. They were replaced. The only constant value of the new social system was the magic number of 6 %.
This is an interesting thing, this number. I have no explanation for it because we are certainly talking about many factors and not a single pathology. Perhaps there is more to the problem than anyone has yet discovered?
Continuing with Lobaczewski’s ponerological view of psychopathy:
Its intensity also varies in scope from a level barely perceptive to an experienced observer to obvious pathological deficiency. Like color-blindness, this anomaly also appears to represent a deficit in stimulus transformation, albeit occurring not on the sensory but on instinctive level. Psychiatrists of the old school used to call such individuals ‘Daltonists of human feelings and socio-moral values.’
The psychological picture shows clear deficits among men only; among women it is generally toned down, as by the effect of the second normal allele. This suggests that the anomaly is also inherited via the X chromosome but through a semi-dominating gene. However, the author was unable to confirm this by excluding inheritance from father to son.
Here, it is interesting to speculate that George Bush inherited his psychopathy from his mother, Barbara.
Analysis of the different experiential manner demonstrated by these individuals caused us to conclude that their instinctive substratum is also defective, containing certain gaps and lacking the natural syntonic responses commonly evidenced by members of the species Homo sapiens. [...]
Our natural world of concepts then strikes such persons as a nearly incomprehensible convention with no justification in their own psychological experience. They think that normal human customs and principles of decency are a foreign convention invented and imposed by someone else (“probably by priests”) silly, onerous, sometimes even ridiculous. At the same time, however, they easily perceive the deficiencies and weaknesses of our natural language of psychological and moral concepts in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the attitude of a contemporary psychologist – except in caricature.
The average intelligence of individuals with the above mentioned deviation, especially if measured via commonly used tests, is somewhat lower than that of normal people, albeit similarly variegated. However, this group does not contain instances of the highest intelligence, nor do we find technical or craftsmanship talents among them. The most gifted members of this kind may thus achieve accomplishments in those sciences which do not require humanistic worldview or practical skills. Whenever we attempt to construct special tests to measure life wisdom’ or ‘socio-moral imagination’, even if the difficulties of psychometric evaluation are taken into account, individuals of this type indicate a deficit disproportionate to their personal IQ.
In spite of their deficiencies as regards normal psychological and moral knowledge, they develop and then have at their disposal a knowledge of their own, something lacked by people with a natural worldview.
They learn to recognize each other in a crowd as early as childhood, and they develop an awareness of the existence of other individuals similar to them.
They also become conscious of being different from the world of those other people surrounding them. They view us from a certain distance, take a paraspecific variety.
Natural human reactions – which often fail to elicit interest because they are considered self-evident – strike psychopaths as strange and therefore interesting, even comical. They therefore observe us, deriving conclusions, forming their different world of concepts.
They become experts in our weaknesses and sometimes effect heartless experiments upon us. Neither a normal person nor our natural worldview can perceive or properly evaluate the existence of this world of different concepts.
A researcher into such phenomena can glean a similar deviant knowledge through long-term studies of the personalities of such people, using it with some difficulty, like a foreign language. [The psychopath] will never be able to incorporate the worldview of a normal person, although they often try to do so all their lives. The product of their efforts is only a role and a mask behind which they hide their deviant reality.
Another myth and role – albeit containing a grain of truth – would be the psychopath’s brilliant mind or psychological genius; some of them actually believe in this and attempt to insinuate this belief to others. In speaking of the mask of psychological normality worn by such individuals (and by similar deviants to a lesser extent), we should mention the book The Mask of Sanity; the author, Hervey Cleckley, made this very phenomenon the crux of his reflections:
Let us remember that his typical behavior defeats what appear to be his own aims. Is it not he himself who is most deeply deceived by his apparent normality? Although he deliberately cheats others and is quite conscious of his lies, he appears unable to distinguish adequately between his own pseudointentions, pseudoremorse, pseudolove, and the genuine responses of a normal person. His monumental lack of insight indicates how little he appreciates the nature of his disorder. When others fail to accept immediately his “word of honor as a gentleman,” his amazement, I believe, is often genuine. The term genuine is used here not to qualify the psychopath’s intentions but to qualify his amazement. His subjective experience is so bleached of deep emotion that he is invincibly ignorant of what life means to others.
His awareness of hypocrisy’s opposite is so insubstantially theoretical that it becomes questionable if what we chiefly mean by hypocrisy should be attributed to him. Having no major values himself, can he be said to realize adequately the nature and quality of the outrages his conduct inflicts upon others? A young child who has no impressive memory of severe pain may have been told by his mother it is wrong to cut off the dog’s tail. Knowing it is wrong he may proceed with the operation. We need not totally absolve him of responsibility if we say he realized less what he did than an adult who, in full appreciation of physical agony, so uses a knife. Can a person experience the deeper levels of sorrow without considerable knowledge of happiness? Can he achieve evil intention in the full sense without real awareness of evil’s opposite? I have no final answer to these questions. [Cleckley]
All researchers into psychopathy underline three qualities primarily with regard to this most typical variety: The absence of a sense of guilt for antisocial actions, the inability to love truly, and the tendency to be garrulous in a way which easily deviates from reality.
A neurotic patient is generally taciturn and has trouble explaining what hurts him most. [...] These patients are capable of decent and enduring love, although they have difficulty expressing it or achieving their dreams. A psychopath’s behavior constitutes the antipode of such phenomena and difficulties.
Our first contact [with the psychopath] is characterized by a talkative stream which flows with ease and avoids truly important matters with equal ease if they are uncomfortable for the talker. His train of thought also avoids those matters of human feelings and values whose representation is absent in the psychopathic world view. [...] From the logical point of view, the flow of thought is ostensibly correct.
[Psychopaths] are virtually unfamiliar with the enduring emotions of love for another person – it constitutes a fairy-tale from that ‘other’ human world. [For the psychopath] love is an ephemeral phenomenon aimed at sexual adventure. However [the psychopath] is able to play the lover’s role well enough for their partners to accept it in good faith. [Moral teachings] also strike them as a similar fairy-tale good only for children and those different ‘others.’ [...]
The world of normal people whom they hurt is incomprehensible and hostile to them. [...] [Life to the psychopath] is the pursuit of its immediate attractions, pleasure and power. They meet with failure along this road, along with force and condemnation from the society of those other incomprehensible people.
It should be emphasized that psychopaths are quite often interesting – even exciting! They exude a captivating energy that keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. Even if some part of the normal person is shocked or repelled by what the psychopath says, they are like the mouse hypnotized by the torturing cat. Even if they have the chance to run away, they don’t. Many Psychopaths ‘make their living’ by using charm, deceit, and manipulation to gain the confidence of their victims. Many of them can be found in white collar professions where they are aided in their evil by the fact that most people expect certain classes of people to be trustworthy because of their social or professional credentials. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, psychiatrists and psychologists, generally do not have to earn our trust because they have it by virtue of their positions. But the fact is: psychopaths are found in such lofty spheres also!
At the same time, psychopaths are good impostors. They have absolutely no hesitation about forging and brazenly using impressive credentials to adopt professional roles that bring prestige and power. They pick professions in which the requisite skills are easy to fake, the jargon is easy to learn, and the credentials are unlikely to be thoroughly checked. Psychopaths find it extremely easy to pose as financial consultants, ministers, psychological counselors and psychologists. And that’s a scary thought.
Psychopaths make their way by conning people into doing things for them; obtaining money for them, prestige, power, or even standing up for them when others try to expose them. But that is their claim to fame. That’s what they do. And they do it very well. What’s more, the job is very easy because most people are gullible with an unshakable belief in the inherent goodness of man which, I should add, has been programmed into normal people by psychopaths.
Returning to the work of Lobaczewski, he next gives us the most important clues as to how and why a truly global conspiracy can and does exist on our planet though it certainly isn’t a conspiracy in the normally accepted sense of the word. You could even say that such conspiracies arise simply as a natural result of the un-bridgeable divide between normal people and deviants. In a certain sense, understanding the view the psychopath has of ‘normal people,’ that they are ‘other’ and even ‘foreign,’ helps us to realize how such conspiracies can be so ‘secret’ – though that is not the precise word we would like to use. Even if different ponerological groups are opposed to each other, they will still exclude “normal people” from their confidences. It is only the “normal” people who have been induced into their webs that provide the “leaks.” Lobaczewski describes it in the following way:
In any society in this world, psychopathic individuals and some of the other deviants create a ponerogenically active network of common collusions, partially estranged from the community of normal people. Some inspirational role of the essential psychopathy in this network also appears to be a common phenomenon.
They are aware of being different as they obtain their life experience and become familiar with different ways of fighting for their goals. Their world is forever divided into ‘us and them’ – their world with its own laws and customs and that other foreign world full of presumptuous ideas and customs in light of which they are condemned morally.
Their ‘sense of honor’ bids them cheat and revile that other human world and its values. In contradiction to the customs of normal people, they feel non-fulfillment of their promises or obligations is customary behavior.
They also learn how their personalities can have traumatizing effects on the personalities of those normal people, and how to take advantage of this root of terror for purposes of reaching their goals.
This dichotomy of worlds is permanent and does not disappear even if they succeed in realizing their dreams of gaining power over the society of normal people. This proves that the separation is biologically conditioned.
In such people a dream emerges like some youthful Utopia of a ‘happy’ world and a social system which would not reject them or force them to submit to laws and customs whose meaning is incomprehensible to them. They dream of a world in which their simple and radical way of experiencing and perceiving reality [i.e. lying, cheating, destroying, using others, etc] would dominate, where they would, of course, be assured safety and prosperity. Those ‘others’ – different, but also more technically skillful – should be put to work to achieve this goal. ‘We,’ after all, will create a new government, one of justice [for psychopaths]. They are prepared to fight and suffer for the sake of such a brave new world, and also of course, to inflict suffering upon others. Such a vision justifies killing people whose suffering does not move them to compassion because ‘they’ are not quite conspecific.
And there it is. Lobaczewski has said outright that psychopaths – from a certain perspective – are a different type of human being, a type that is aware of its difference from childhood. Put this together with his statement that such individuals recognize their own kind, and consider normal people as completely ‘other,’ and we can begin to understand why and how conspiracies can and do exist among such individuals. They collect together, with similar worldviews, like fat floating on a bowl of soup. When one of them begins to rant, others like them – or those with brain damage that makes them susceptible – ‘rally round the flag,’ so to say. And what’s more, they know this and know how it works.
Speaking of networks, we need to take a closer look at how psychopaths affect other human beings whom they use to create the basis for their rule in macro-social dynamics. This highlights the fact that the lack of psychological knowledge among the general public, not to mention the general neurosis of most people, make them vulnerable to such predators.
Subordinating a normal person to psychologically abnormal individuals has a deforming effect on his personality: it engenders trauma and neurosis. This is accomplished in a manner which generally evades sufficient conscious controls. [Wolves in Sheep's Clothing] Such a situation then deprives the person of his natural rights to practice his own mental hygiene, develop a sufficiently autonomous personality, and utilize his common sense. In the light of natural law, it thus constitutes a kind of illegality which can appear in any social scale although it is not mentioned in any code of law.
Psychologist George Simon, quoted above, discusses what he refers to as ‘Covert-aggressive personalities’ which, upon reading his book, reveal themselves to be members of the psychopathy spectrum. He writes:
Aggressive personalities don’t like anyone pushing them to do what they don’t want to do or stopping them from doing what they want to do. ‘No’ is never an answer they accept.
[In some cases], if they can see some benefit in self-restraint, they may internalize inhibitions [and become covertly aggressive].
By refraining from any overt acts of hostility towards others, they manage to convince themselves and others they’re not the ruthless people they are. They may observe the letter of a law but violate its spirit with ease. They may exhibit behavioral constraint when it’s in their best interest, but they resist truly submitting themselves to any higher authority or set of principles. [They are] striving primarily to conceal their true intentions and aggressive agendas from others. They may behave with civility and propriety when they’re closely scrutinized or vulnerable. But when they believe they’re immune to detection, [they will do anything they want.]
Dealing with covert-aggressive personalities is like getting whiplash. Often, you really don’t know what’s hit you until long after the damage is done.
Covert-aggressives are often so expert at exploiting the weaknesses and emotional insecurities of others that almost anyone can be duped
Covert-aggressives exploit situations in which they are well aware of the vulnerability of their prey. They are often very selective about the kinds of people with whom they will associate or work. They are particularly adept at finding and keeping others in a one-down position. They relish being in positions of power over others. It’s my experience that how a person uses power is the most reliable test of their character. [Simon, op. cit.]
Now, just imagine that the almost 1 in 25 people mentioned by Martha stout in The Sociopath Next Door, being the very ones who seek and achieve positions of power and authority in just about any field of endeavour where power can be had, and you begin to understand how truly damaging this can be to an entire society. Imagine school teachers with power over your children who are ‘covert-aggressives.’ Imagine doctors, psychologists, ‘ministers of the faith’ and politicians in such positions.
With this understanding, we begin to get an even better idea of how psychopaths can conspire and actually pull it off: in a society where evil is not studied or understood, they easily ‘rise to the top’ and proceed to condition normal people to accept their dominance, to accept their lies without question. As noted at the beginning of this section, Lobaczewski noted:
Long periods of preoccupation with the self and ‘accumulating benefits’ for the self, diminish the ability to accurately read the environment and other people. [...] It is this feature, this hystericization of society, that enables pathological plotters, snake charmers, and other primitive deviants to act as essential factors in the processes of the origination of evil on a macro-social scale.
We see exactly this pattern of social development in the United States over the past 50 to 60 years or even more. The fact is, many people who may have been born ‘normal’ have become what might be termed ‘secondary psychopaths’ or characteropaths due to the influence of psychopathy on American culture from many fields – including science, medicine, psychology, law, etc – where they are conscious of what they are doing to ‘normal’ people!
We have already discussed the nature of some pathological personalities – characteropathies – that may be ‘created’ by an individual’s exposure to a person with a severe character deformation. Essential psychopathy has exceptionally intense effects in this manner. Something mysterious gnaws into the personality of an individual at the mercy of the psychopath, and it is fought like a demon. His emotions become chilled, his sense of psychological reality is stifled. This leads to decriterialization of thought and a feeling of helplessness culminating in depressive reactions which can be so severe that psychiatrists sometimes misdiagnose them as a manic-depressive psychosis. Many people evidently also rebel much earlier and start searching for some way to liberate themselves from such an influence.
A social structure dominated by normal people and their conceptual world easily appears to the psychopath as a system of force and oppression. If it happens that true injustice does, in fact, exist in that given society, pathological feelings of unfairness and suggestive statements can resonate among those who have truly been treated unfairly. Revolutionary doctrines may then find approval among both groups although their motivations will actually be quite different.
The presence of pathogenic bacteria in our environment is a common phenomenon; however, it is not the single decisive factor as regards whether an individual or a society becomes ill. Similarly, psychopathological factors alone do not decide about the spread of evil. ['...]
We can also include within psychopathic categories a somewhat indeterminate number of anomalies with a hereditary substratum.
We also meet difficult individuals with a tendency to behave in a manner hurtful to other people, for whom tests do not indicate existing damage to brain tissue and there is no indication of abnormal child-rearing background. The fact that such cases are repeated within families would suggest a hereditary substratum. [...]
Such people also attempt to mask their different world of experience and play a role of normal people to varying degrees. These people participate in the genesis of evil in very different ways, whether taking part openly or, to a lesser extent, when they have managed to adapt to proper ways of living. These psychopathies and related phenomena may, quantitatively speaking, be summarily estimated at two or three times the number of cases of essential psychopathy, i.e. at less than two per cent of the population.
Here I want to comment that, if we speculate the actual number of psychopaths to be around 6 percent – or even just 4 percent as Stout claims – then these other “people” Lobaczewski is talking about could be as frequent as 12 to 18 percent of the population. That would mean that the total number of psychopaths plus “almost psychopaths” would be 16 to 24 percent of the total population. However, it is obvious that the statistical spread can be different in different countries at different times. We will look at that issue further on.
This type of person finds it easier to adjust to social life. The lesser cases in particular adapt to the demands of the society of normal people, taking advantage of its understanding for the arts and other areas with similar traditions. Their literary creativity is often disturbing if conceived in ideational categories alone; they insinuate to their readers that their world of concepts and experiences is self-evident, also it actually contains characteristic deformities.
The most frequently indicated and known type is the asthenic psychopath which appears in every conceivable intensity, from barely perceptible to an obvious pathologic deficiency. These people, asthenic and hypersensitive, do not indicate the same glaring deficit in moral feeling and ability to sense a psychological situation as it appears in essential psychopathy. They are somewhat idealistic and tend to have superficial pangs of conscience as a result of their faulty behavior. On the average, they are also less intelligent than normal people, and their mind avoids consistency and accuracy in reasoning. Their psychological worldview is clearly falsified, so their options about people can never be trusted. A kind of mask cloaks the world of their personal aspirations which is at variance with the official ones demanded by a situation. Their behavior towards people who do not notice their faults is urbane, even friendly. However, the same people manifest a pre-emptive hostility and aggression against persons with a talent for psychology or proper knowledge in this area.
They are relatively less vital sexually and therefore amenable to accept celibacy; that is why some Catholic monks and priests often represent lesser or minor cases of this anomaly. They are the chief factor which inspired the anti-psychological attitude traditional in Church thinking.
The more severe cases are more brutally anti-psychological and contemptuous of normal people; they tend to be active in the processes of the genesis of evil on a larger scale. Their dreams do not lack a certain idealism similar to the ideas of normal people. They would like to reform the world to their liking but are unable to foresee more far-reaching implications and results. Spiced by deviance, their visions may influence naive rebels of people who have in fact suffered injustice. Existing social injustice may look like a justification for a radicalized world-view and the assimilation of such visions.
The following is an example, given by Lobaczewski, of the thought-pattern of a person who seems a typical and severe case of asthenic psychopathy:
If I had to start life all over again, I’d do exactly the same: it’s organic necessity, nor the dictates of duty. I have one thing which keeps me going and bids me be serene even when things are so very sad. That is an unshakable faith in people. Conditions will change and evil will cease to reign, and man will be a brother to man, not a wolf as is the case today. My forbearance derives not from my fancy, but rather from my clear vision of the cause which give rise to evil.
Those words were written in prison on December 15, 1913 by Felix Dzierzhynski, (1877-1926), who is best known as the first head of the Soviet “Cheka,” or Soviet security police, the forerunner of the KGB. Spreading fear in a time of chaos, the Cheka was the perfect instrument for Stalin’s ruthless consolidation of power and extermination of opposition. Dzierzhynski made Robespierre look like a pansy, being responsible for the murder of literally millions of people.
If the time ever comes when “conditions will change” and “evil will no longer rule,” it could be because progress in the study of pathological phenomena and their ponerogenic role will make it possible for societies to quietly accept the existence of these phenomena and comprehend them as categories of nature. The vision of a new, just structure of society can then be realized within the framework and under the control of normal people. Having reconciled ourselves to the fact that psychopaths are different and have a limited capacity for social adjustment, we should create a system of permanent protection for them within the framework of reason and proper knowledge.
Here it should be noted that psychologically normal people constitute both the great statistical majority of human type beings and thus, as Lobaczewski points out, according to natural law, should be the ones to set the pace; moral law is derived from their nature. Power should be in the hands of normal people.
For our purposes, we should also draw attention to psychopathic types with deviant features: these were isolated relatively long ago by Brzezicki and accepted by E. Kretschmer as characteristic of Eastern Europe in particular.
Skirtoids are vital, egotistical, and thick-skinned individuals who make good soldiers because of their endurance and psychological resistance. In peacetime, however, they are incapable of understanding life’s subtler matters or rearing the younger generation prudently. They are happy in primitive surroundings; a comfortable environment easily causes hysterization for them. They prove rigidly conservative in all areas and supportive of governments that rule with a heavy hand.
Kretschmer was of the opinion that this anomaly was a biodynamic phenomenon caused by the crossing of two widely removed ethnic groups which is frequent in that area of Europe. If that were the case, North America should be full of skirtoids. This anomaly should be taken into consideration if we wish to understand the history of Russia, as well as Poland to a lesser extent. [...]
The above characterizations are selected examples of pathological factors which participate in ponerogenic processes. [...] The current state of knowledge in this area is nevertheless still insufficient to produce practical solutions to many human problems, particularly those on an individual and family scale. [...]
Some outstanding psychopathologists, convinced that developing a calm and sufficient view of human reality is impossible without psychopathological findings, are therefore unfortunately right, a conclusion difficult to accept by people who believe they attained a mature world-view without such burdensome studies. The defenders of the natural world-view have tradition, belles-lettres, even philosophy on their side. They do not realize that during present times, their manner of comprehending life’s questions renders the battle with evil more problematic. [...]
In attempting closer observation of these psychological processes and phenomena which lead one man or one nation to hurt another, let us select phenomena as characteristic as possible. We shall again become convinced that the participation of various pathological factors in these processes is the rule, not the exception. [...]
[O]ur social, psychological, and moral concepts, as well as our natural forms of reaction, are not adequate for every situation with which life confronts us. We generally wind up hurting someone if we engage our natural concepts and reactive archetypes in situations which seem to be appropriate to our imaginings although they are, in fact, essentially different. As a rule, such different situation occur because some pathological factor difficult to understand has entered the picture. The practical value of our natural world-view generally ends where psychopathology begins.
Familiarity with this common weakness of human nature and the normal person’s ‘naivete’ is part of the specific knowledge we find in many psychopathic individuals. Spellbinders of various schools attempt to provoke such para-appropriate reactions from other people in the name of their specific goals, or in the service of their reigning ideologies. That hard-to-understand pathological factor is located within the spellbinder himself.
We call egotism the attitude, subconsciously conditioned as a rule, thanks to which we attribute excessive value to our instinctive reflex, early acquired imaginings and habits, and individual world-view. An egotist measures other people by his own yardstick, treating his concepts and experiential manner as objective criteria. He would like to force other people to feel and think very much the same way he does. Egotist nations have the subconscious goal of teaching or forcing other nations to think in their own categories, which makes them incapable of understanding other people and nations or becoming familiar with the values of their cultures.
Proper child rearing (and self-rearing) always aims at de-egotizing thereby opening the mind. [...]
The kind of excessive egotism which hampers the development of human values and leads to misjudgment and terrorization of others well deserves the title ‘King of human faults.’ Difficulties, disputes, serious problems, and neurotic reactions sprout up around such an egotist like mushrooms after a rain. Egotist nations start wasting money and effort in order to achieve goals derived from their erroneous reasoning and overly emotional reactions. Their inability to acknowledge other nations’ values and dissimilitudes, derived from other cultural traditions, leads to conflict and war. [...]
If we analyze development of excessively egotistical personalities, we find some non-pathological causes, such as having been raised in a constricted and overly routine environment or by the persons less intelligent than the child. However, the main reason is contamination, through psychological induction, by excessively egotistical or hysterical persons who developed this characteristic under the influence of various pathological causes.
Many people with various hereditary deviations and acquired defects develop pathological egotism. For such people, forcing others in their environment, whole social groups, and, if possible, entire nations to feel and think like themselves becomes an internal necessity, a ruling concept. Some issue a normal person would not take seriously becomes an often lifelong goal for them, the object of effort, sacrifices, and cunning psychological strategy. Pathological egotism derives from repressing from one’s field of consciousness any objectionable self-critical associations referring to one’s own nature or normality. Dramatic questions such as “who is abnormal here, me or this world of people who feel and think differently?” are answered in the world’s disfavor. Such egotism is always linked to a dissimulative attitude, with a Cleckley mask or some other pathological quality being hidden from consciousness, both one’s own and that of other people. [...]
The importance of the contribution of this kind of egotism to the genesis of evil thus hardly needs elaboration. It is a primarily societal resource, egotizing or traumatizing others, which in turn causes further difficulties. Pathological egotism is a constant component of variegated states wherein someone who appears to be normal (although he is in fact not quite so) is driven by motivations or battles for goals a normal person considers unrealistic or unlikely. The average person asks: “What could he expect to gain by that?” Environmental opinion, however, interprets such a situation in accordance with ‘common sense’ and is prone to accept a ‘more likely’ version of occurrence. Such interpretation often results in human tragedy. We should thus always remember that the law principle of cui prodest36 becomes illusory whenever some pathological factor enters the picture. [...]
In order to comprehend ponerogenic paths, especially those acting in a wider social context, let us observe the roles and personalities of individuals we shall call ‘spellbinders’ who are highly active in this area in spite of their statistically negligible number. They are generally the carriers of various pathological factors, some characteropathies, and some inherited anomalies.
Spellbinders are characterized by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilities: the first is forcing other people to think and experience things in a manner similar to his own; the second is a feeling of being lonely and different, a pathological misfit in social life. Sometimes the choice is either snake-charming or suicide.
Triumphant repression of self-critical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to [conversive thinking. i.e. paramoralism.]
The conviction that moral values exist but that some actions violate moral rules is so common and ancient a phenomenon that it seems to have some substratum at man’s instinctive endowment level, and is not just a representation of centuries of experience, culture, religions, and socialization. Thus, any insinuation enclosed in a ‘moral slogan’ is always suggestive even if the ‘moral’ criteria used are just an ad hoc invention. Any act can thus be proved to be immoral or moral by means of using ‘paramoralisms’ through active suggestion and people who will succumb to this manipulation are plentiful.
In searching for an example of an evil act whose negative value would not elicit doubt in any social situation, ethics scholars frequently mention child abuse. However, psychologists often meet with paramoral affirmations of such behavior in their practice.
Lobaczewski earlier gave the example of the woman with prefrontal-field damage who was sadistically abusive to her child, but was supported in her abuse of the child by her brothers who were totally under her influence and convinced of her “exceptionally high moral qualifications.” Particularly heinous examples of this type of thing often occur in a religious context where children have been beaten to death to ‘get the devil out.’ It is always done to ‘save their souls,’ and that is an example of ‘paramoralism’ used in a conversive way. We have certainly been subjected to this type of use of “paramoralisms,” but that’s another story.
Paramoralistic statements and suggestions so often accompany various kinds of evil that they seem quite irreplaceable. Unfortunately, it has become a frequent phenomenon for individuals, oppressive groups, or patho-political systems to invent ever-new moral criteria for someone’s convenience. Such suggestions deprive people of their moral reasoning and deform its development in children. Paramoralism factories have been founded worldwide, and a ponerologist finds it hard to believe that they are managed by psychologically normal people.
The conversive features in the genesis of paramoralisms seem to prove they are derived from mostly subconscious rejection (and repression from the field of consciousness) of something completely different which we call the ‘voice of conscience.’ Like all conversive phenomena, the tendency to use paramoralisms is psychologically contagious.
Lobaczewski points out that ‘paramoralisms’ stream profusely from such individuals so that they flood the average person’s mind.
To the spellbinder, everything becomes subordinated to their conviction that they are exceptional, sometimes even messianic. An ideology can emerge from such individuals that is certainly partly true, and the value of which is claimed to be superior to all other ideologies. They believe they will find many converts to their ideology and when they discover that this is not the case, they are shocked and fume with ‘paramoral indignation.’ The attitude of most normal people to such spellbinders is generally critical, pained and disturbed.
The spellbinder places on a high moral plane anyone who succumbs to his influence, and he will shower such people with attention and property and perks of all kinds. Critics are met with ‘moral’ outrage and it will be claimed by the spellbinder that the compliant minority is actually a majority.
Such activity is always characterized by the inability to foresee its final results, something obvious from the psychological point of view, because its substratum contains pathological phenomena, and both spellbinding and self-charming make it impossible to perceive reality accurately enough to foresee results logically.
In a healthy society, the activities of spellbinders meet with criticism effective enough to stifle them quickly. However, when they are preceded by conditions operating destructively on common sense and social order – such as social injustice, cultural backwardness, or intellectually limited rulers manifesting pathological traits – spellbinders activities have led entire societies into large-scale human tragedy.
Such an individual fishes an environment or society for people amenable to his influence, deepening their psychological weaknesses until they finally become a ponerogenic union.
On the other hand, people who have maintained their healthy critical faculties intact, attempt to counteract the spellbinders’ activities and their results, based on their own common sense and moral criteria. In the resulting polarization of social attitudes, each side justifies itself by means of moral categories.
The awareness that a spellbinder is always a pathological individual should protect us from the known results of a moralizing interpretation of pathological phenomena, ensuring us of objective criteria for more effective action.
[A high IQ] generally helps in immunity to spellbinders, but only moderately. Actual differences in the formation of human attitudes under the influence of such activities should be attributed to other properties of human nature. The factor most decisive as regards assuming a critical attitude is good basic intelligence, which conditions our perception of psychological reality. We can also observe how a spellbinder’s activities ‘husk out’ amenable individuals with an astonishing regularity.
We shall give the name ‘ponerogenic association’ to any group of people characterized by ponerogenic processes of above-average social intensity, wherein the carriers of various pathological factors function as inspirers, spellbinders, and leaders, and where a proper pathological social structure generates. Smaller, less permanent associations may be called ‘groups’ or ‘unions’. Such an association gives birth to evil which hurts the other people as well as its own members.
We could list various names ascribed to such organizations by linguistic tradition: gangs, criminal mobs, mafias, cliques, and coteries, which cunningly avoid collision with the law while seeking to gain their own advantage. Such unions frequently aspire to political power in order to impose their expedient legislation upon society in the name of a suitably prepared ideology, deriving advantages in the form of disproportionate prosperity and satisfaction of their craving for power. [...]
One phenomenon all ponerogenic groups and associations have in common is the fact that their members lose (or have already lost) the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such, interpreting their behavior in a fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic way. The opinions, ideas, and judgments of people carrying various psychological deficits are endowed with an importance at least equal to that of outstanding individuals among normal people. The atrophy of natural critical faculties with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and at the same time a criterion for recognizing the association in concert as ponerogenic. Let us call this the first criterion of ponerogenesis.
Another phenomenon all ponerogenic associations have in common is their statistically high concentration of individuals with various psychological anomalies. Their qualitative composition is crucially important in the formation of the entire union’s character, activities, development, or extinction. Groups dominated by various kinds of characteropathic individuals will develop relatively primitive activities, proving rather easy for a society of normal people to break. Things are different when such unions are inspired by psychopathic individuals. Let us adduce the following example illustrating the roles of two different anomalies selected from among events studied by the author.
In felonious youth gangs a specific role is played by boys (and occasionally girls) carrying the characteristic results sometimes left behind by an inflammation of parotid glands (the mumps). As mentioned, this disease entails brain reactions in some cases, leaving behind a discreet but permanent bleaching of feelings and a slight decrease in general mental skills. Similar results are sometimes left behind after diphtheria. As a result, such people easily succumb to more clever individuals’ suggestions. When sucked into a felonious group, they become faint-critical helpers and executors of the latter’s intentions, tools in the hands of more treacherous, usually psychopathic, leaders. Once arrested, they submit to their leaders’ insinuated explanations that the higher (paramoral) group idea demands they become scapegoats, taking the majority of blame upon themselves.
Individuals with the above mentioned post-mumps and post-diphtheria traits constitute less than 1.0% of the population as a whole, but their share reaches 25 percent of juvenile delinquent groups. This represents an inspissation37 of the order of 30-fold, requiring no further methods of statistical analysis. When studying the contents of ponerogenic unions skillfully enough, we often meet with an inspissation of other psychological anomalies which also speak for themselves.
Two basic types of the above mentioned unions should be differentiated: Primary ponerogenic and secondary ponerogenic. Let us describe as primarily ponerogenic a union whose abnormal members were active since the very beginning, playing the role of crystallizing catalysts as early as a process for creation of the group occurred. We shall call secondarily ponerogenic a union which was founded in the name of some idea with an independent social meaning generally comprehensible within the categories of the natural world-view, but which later succumbed to a certain moral degeneration. This in turn opened the door to infection and activation of the pathological factors within, and later to a ponerization of the group as a whole, or often of its fraction.
From the very outset, a primarily ponerogenic union is a foreign body within the organism of society, its character colliding with the moral values respected by the majority. The activities of such groups provoke opposition and disgust and are considered immoral; as a rule, therefore, such groups do not spread large, nor do not metastasize into numerous unions. They finally lose their battle with society.
In order to have a chance to develop into a large ponerogenic association, however, it suffices that some human organization, characterized by social or political goals and an ideology with some creative valued, be accepted by a larger number of normal people before it succumbs to a process of ponerogenic malignancy. The primary tradition and ideological values may then for a long time protect a union which has succumbed to ponerization process from the healthy common sense of society, especially its less critical components.
When the ponerogenic process touches such a human organization, which emerged and acted in the name of political or social goals whose causes were conditioned in history and the social situation, the original group’s primary values will nourish and protect such a union – in spite of the fact that those primary values succumb to characteristic degeneration, their practical function becoming completely different from the primary one – because the names and symbols are retained. Individual and social ‘common sense’ thereby uncovers its weakest spot. [...]
Within each ponerogenic union, a psychological structure is created which can be considered a counterpart or caricature of the normal structure of society or a societal organization. Individuals with various psychological aberrations complement each other’s talents and characteristics. Earlier phases of the union’s activity are usually dominated by characteropathic, particularly paranoidal, individuals, who often play an inspirational or spellbinding role in the ponerization process. At this point in time, the union still indicates a certain romantic feature and is not yet characterized by excessively brutal behavior. Soon, however, the more normal members are pushed into fringe functions and excluded.
Individuals with inherited deviations then progressively take over the inspirational and leadership positions. The role of essential psychopaths gradually grows.
A spellbinder at first simultaneously plays the leader in a ponerogenic group. Later there appears another kind of ‘leadership talent,’ a more vital individual who often joined the organization later, once it has already succumbed to ponerization. The spellbinding individual, being weaker, is forced to come to terms with being shunted into the shadows and recognizing the new leader’s ‘genius’ unless he accepts the threat of total failure. Roles are parceled out. The spellbinder needs support from the primitive but decisive leader, who in turn needs the spellbinder to uphold the association’s ideology, so essential to maintain the proper attitude on the part of those members of the rank and file who betray a tendency to criticism and doubt of the moral variety. The spellbinder must repackage the ideology appropriately, sliding new contents under old titles, so that it can continue fulfilling its propaganda function under ever-changing conditions. He has also to uphold the leader’s mystique inside and outside the association. Complete trust cannot exist between the two, however, since the leader secretly has contempt for the spellbinder and his ideology, whereas the latter despises the leader for being such a coarse individual. The showdown is always probable; whoever is weaker becomes the loser.
The structure of such a union undergoes further variegation and specialization. A chasm opens between the more normal masses and the elite initiates, who are as a rule more pathological. This later subgroup becomes ever more dominated by hereditary pathological factors, the former by the after-effects of various diseases affecting the brain, less typically psychopathic individuals, and people whose malformed personalities were caused by early deprivation or brutal child-rearing methods on the part of pathological individuals. There is less and less room for normal people in the group. The leaders’ secrets and intentions are kept hidden from the union’s proletariat; the products of the spellbinders’ work must suffice for this segment.
An observer watching such a union’s activities from the outside and using the natural psychological world-view will always tend to overestimate the role of the leader and his allegedly autocratic function. The spellbinders and the propaganda apparatus are mobilized to maintain this erroneous outside opinion. The leader, however, is dependent upon the interests of the union, especially the elite initiates, to an extent greater than he himself knows. He wages a constant position-jockeying battle; he is an actor with a director. In macro-social unions, this position is generally occupied by a more representative individual not deprived of certain critical faculties; initiating him into all those plans and criminal calculations would be counterproductive. In conjunction with part of the elite, a group of psychopathic individuals hiding behind the scene steers the leader like Borman and his clique steered Hitler. If the leader does not fulfill his assigned role, he generally knows that the clique representing the elite of the union is in a position to kill or otherwise remove him. [...]
The Ponerization Process
Observation of the ponerization processes of various human unions throughout history easily leads to the conclusion that the initial step is a moral warping of the group’s ideational contents. [...]
Lobczewski discusses at length how ideology is twisted and distorted by the infiltration of pathological persons into any group that might be going in a positive direction. A very good example is Communism which is, in fact, according to the New Testament, a Christian ideology. However, once Communist groups had been infiltrated, the Ponerization process began, and Communism became merely a type of Fascist Corporatocracy with the corporation being “the state.”
When a ponerogenic process encompasses a society’s entire ruling class, or nation, or when opposition on the part of normal people’s societies is stifled – as a result of the mass character of the phenomenon, or by using spellbinding means and physical compulsion – we are dealing with macro-social ponerologic phenomenon.
At that time, however, a society’s tragedy, often coupled with that of the researcher’s own suffering, are opening before him an entire volume of ponerologic knowledge, where he can read all about the laws governing such processes if he is only able to familiarize himself in time with its naturalistic language and its different grammar. Studies in the genesis of evil which are based on observing small groups of people can indicate the details of these laws to us. [...]
I shall accept the denomination of ‘pathocracy’ for a system of government thus created, wherein a small pathological minority takes control over a society of normal people. The name thus selected above all underscores the basic quality of the macro social psychopathological phenomenon, which differentiates it from the many possible social systems dominated by normal people’s structure, custom, and law. I think this name is consistent with the demands of semantics, since no concise term can adequately characterize such a complex phenomenon.
Political Implications of the Pathocracy
Pathocrats’ achievement of absolute domination in the government of a country would not be permanent, since large sectors of the society would become disaffected by such rule and find some way of toppling it.
Pathocracy at the summit of governmental organization also does not constitute the entire picture of the ‘mature phenomenon’. Such a system of government has nowhere to go but down.
Any leadership position – down to village headman and community cooperative mangers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special-services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party – must be filled by individuals whose feeling of linkage to such a regime is conditioned by corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule. However, such people become more valuable because they constitute a very small percentage of the population. Their intellectual level or professional skills cannot be taken into account, since people representing superior abilities with the requisite psychological deviations – are even harder to find. After such a system has lasted several years, one hundred percent of all the cases of essential psychopathy are involved in pathocratic activity; they are considered the most loyal, even though some of them were formerly involved on the other side in some way.
Under such conditions, no area of social life can develop normally, whether in economics, culture, science, technology, administration, etc.
Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything.
Reasonable people must develop a level of patience beyond the ken of anyone living in a normal man’s system, just to explain what to do and how to do it to some obtuse mediocre psychological deviant. This special pedagogy requires a great deal of time and effort, but it would otherwise not be possible to maintain tolerable living conditions and necessary achievements in the economic area or intellectual life of a society. However, pathocracy progressively intrudes everywhere and dulls everything.
Those people who initially found the original ideology attractive eventually come to the realization that they are in fact dealing with something else.
The disillusionment experienced by such former ideological adherents is bitter in the extreme.
The pathological minority’s attempts to retain power will thus always be threatened by the society of normal people whose criticism keeps growing. On the other hand, any and all methods of terror and exterminatory policies must therefore be used against individuals known for the patriotic feelings and military training; on the other, specific ‘indoctrination’ activities such as those we have presented are also utilized. Individuals lacking natural feeling of being linked to society become irreplaceable in either of these activities. The foreground must again be occupied by cases of essential psychopathy, followed by those with similar anomalies, and finally by people alienated from the society in question as a result of racial or national differences.
The phenomenon of pathocracy matures during this period: an extensive and active indoctrination system is built, with a suitably refurbished ideology constituting the vehicle of Trojan horse for the process of pathologizing the thought of individuals and society. The goal is never admitted: forcing human minds to incorporate pathological experiential methods and thought patterns, and consequently accepting such rule. [...]
During the initial shock, the feeling of social links are fading; after that has been survived, however, the overwhelming majority of people manifests its own phenomenon of psychological immunization. Society simultaneously starts collecting practical knowledge on the subject of this new reality and its psychological properties. Normal people slowly learn to perceive the weak spots of such a system and utilize the possibilities of more expedient arrangement of their lives. They begin to give each other advice in these matters, thus slowly regenerating the feelings of social links and reciprocal trust. A new phenomenon occurs: separation between the pathocrats and the society of normal people. The latter have an advantage as regards talent, professional skills, and healthy common sense. They therefore hold certain cards. The pathocracy finally realizes that it must find some ‘modus vivendi’ or relations with the majority of society: “After all, somebody’s got to do the work for us.”
There are other needs and pressures, especially from outside. The pathological face must be hidden from the world somehow, since recognition by world opinion would be a catastrophe. Primarily in the interests of the new elite and its expansionary plans, a pathocratic state must maintain commercial relations with the countries of normal man. Such a state aims to achieve international recognition as a certain kind of political structural; it fears recognition in terms of clinical diagnosis.
All this makes pathocrats tend to limit their measures of terror, subjecting propaganda and indoctrination methods to certain cosmetology and to accord the society they control some margin of autonomous activity, especially as regards cultural life. The more liberal pathocrats would not be averse to giving such a society a certain minimum of economic prosperity in order to reduce the irritation level, but their own corruption and inability to administer the economy prevents them from doing so.
This great societal disease runs its course through a new phase: methods of activity become milder, and there is coexistence with countries whose structure is that of normal man. Anyone studying this phenomenon is reminded rather of the dissimulative state of phase of a patient attempting to play the role of a normal person, hiding the pathological reality although he continues to be sick or abnormal. Let us therefore use the term ‘the dissimulative phase of pathocracy’ for the state of affairs wherein a pathocratic system ever more skillfully plays the role of a normal sociopolitical system. In this state, people become resistant and adapt themselves to the situation within a country affected by this phenomenon; outside, however, this phase is marked by outstanding ponerogenic activity. The pathological material of this system rather easily infiltrates into other societies, particularly if they are more primitive, and all the avenues of pathocratic expansion are facilitated because of the decrease of common sense criticism on the part of the nations constituting the territory of expansionism.
Meanwhile, in the pathocratic country, the active structure of government rests in the hands of psychopathic individuals, and essential psychopathy plays a starring role. Especially during the dissimulative phase. However, individuals with obvious pathological traits must be removed from certain areas of activity: namely, political posts with international exposure where such personalities could betray the pathological contents of the phenomenon. [...]
Similar needs apply to other areas as well. The building director for a new factory is often someone barely connected with the pathocratic system but whose skills are essential. Once the plant is operational, further administration is taken over by pathocrats which often leads to technical ruin. The army similarly needs people endowed with perspicacity and essential qualifications, especially in the area of modern weapons.
In such a state of affairs, many people are forced to adapt, accepting the ruling system as a status quo but also criticizing it. They fulfill their duties amid doubts and conflicts of conscience, always searching for a more sensible way out which they discuss within trusted circles.
The following question thus suggests itself: what happens if the network of understandings among psychopaths achieves power in leadership positions with international exposure? This can happen, especially during the later phases of the phenomenon. Goaded by their character, such people thirst for just that even though it would conflict with their own life interest. They do not understand that a catastrophe would ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.
If the many managerial positions of a government are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand most other people and who also have deficiencies as regards technical imagination and practical skills – faculties indispensable for governing economic and political matters – this must result in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas, both within the country in question and with regard to international relations. Within, the situation shall become unbearable even for those citizens who were able to feather their nest into a relatively comfortable ‘modus vivendi’. Outside, other societies start to feel the pathological quality of the phenomenon quite distinctly. Such a state of affairs cannot last long. One must then be prepared for ever more rapid changes, and also behave with great circumspection.
Pathocracy is a disease of great social movements followed by entire societies, nations, and empires. In the course of human history, it has affected social, political, and religious movements as well as the accompanying ideologies and turned them into caricatures of themselves. This occurred as a result of the participation of pathological agents in a pathodynamically similar process. That explains why all the pathocracies of the world are, and have been, so similar in their essential properties.
Identifying these phenomena through history and properly qualifying them according to their true nature and contents – not according to the ideology in question, which succumbed to the process of caricaturization – is a job for historians. [...]
The actions of [pathocracy] affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every town, business, and institution. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country creating a ‘new class’ within that nation. This privileged class feels permanently threatened by the ‘others’, i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.
A normal person deprived of privilege or high position goes about performing some work which would earn him a living; but pathocrats never possessed any practical talent, and the time frame of their rule has eliminated any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the law of normal man were to be reinstalled, they and their kind could be subjected to judgments, including a moralizing interpretation of their psychological deviations; they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of this kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral idea. Such a threat must be battled by means of psychological and political cunning and a lack of scruples with regard to those others ‘inferior-quality’ people.
In general, this new class is in the position to purge its leaders should their behavior jeopardize the existence of such a system. Pathocracy survives thanks to the feeling of being threatened by the society of normal people, as well by other countries wherein various forms of the system of normal man persist. For the rulers, staying on the top is therefore the classic problem of “to be or not to be”.
We can thus formulate a more cautious question: can such a system ever waive territorial and political expansion abroad and settle for its present possessions?
What would happen if a state of affairs ensued which conferred internal peace, corresponding order, and relative prosperity within the nation?
The overwhelming majority of the country’s population -being normal – would make skillful use of all the emerging possibilities, taking advantage of their superior qualifications to fight for an ever-increasing scope of activities. Thanks to their higher numbers, there would be a higher birth rate of their kind, and their power would increase. This majority would be joined by some sons from the privileged class who did not inherit the psychopathic genes. The pathocracy’s dominance would weaken steadily, finally leading to a situation wherein the society of normal people take back the power. To the pathocrats, this is a known and nightmarish vision.
Thus, the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority of normal people is a ‘biological’ necessity to the pathocrats. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule. Once safely dead, the soldiers will thereupon be decreed heroes to be revered, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy.
Any war waged by a pathocratic nation has two fronts, the internal and the external. The internal front is more important for the leaders and the governing elite, and the internal threat is the deciding factor where unleashing war is concerned. In pondering whether to start a war against the pathocratic country, one must therefore give primary consideration to the fact that one can be used as an executioner of the common people whose increasing power represents incipient jeopardy for the pathocracy. After all, pathocrats give short shrift to blood and suffering of people they consider to be not quite conspecific. [...']
Pathocracy has other internal reasons for pursuing expansionism through the use of all means possible. As long as that ‘other’ world governed by the systems of normal man exists, it inducts into and within the strivings of the non-pathological majority, thereby creating a certain sense of direction. The non-pathological majority of the country’s population will never stop dreaming of the reinstatement of normal man’s system in any possible form. This majority will never stop watching other countries, waiting for the opportune moment; its attention and power must therefore be distracted from this purpose, and the masses must be educated and channeled in the direction of imperialist strivings. Such goals must be pursued doggedly so that everyone knows what is being fought for and in whose name a harsh discipline and poverty must be endured. This latter factor effectively limits the possibility of ‘subversive’ activities on the part of the society of normal people.
The ideology must of course furnish a corresponding justification for this alleged right to conquer the world, and must therefore be properly elaborated. Expansionism is derived from the very nature of pathocracy, not from ideology, but this fact must be masked by ideology. [...]
On the other hand, there are countries with normal man’s governments wherein the overwhelming majority of societies shudder to think a similar system could be imposed on them. The governments of such nations thereupon do everything they can within the framework of their possibilities and their understanding of the phenomenon in order to contain its expansion. The citizens of those countries would sigh with relief if some upheaval were to replace this malevolent and incomprehensible system with a more human, more easily understood governmental method with whom peaceful coexistence would be possible
Such countries thus undertake various means of action for this purpose, their quality depending on the possibility of understanding that other reality. [...]
Economic factors constitute a non-negligible part of the motivation for this expansionist tendency. Since the managerial functions have been taken over by individuals with mediocre intelligence and pathological character traits, the pathocracy becomes incapable of properly administering anything at all. [...] The collected prosperity of conquered nations can be exploited for a time, the citizens forced to work harder for paltry remuneration. For the moment, no thought is given to the fact that a pathocratic system within a conquered country will eventually cause similar unproductive conditions; after all corresponding self-knowledge in this area is nonresistant in the psychopath. [...]
As has been the case for centuries, military power is of course, the primary means for achieving these ends. Throughout the centuries, whenever history registered the appearance of the phenomenon described heron, specific measures of influence have also become apparent – something in the order of specific intelligence in the service of international intrigue facilitating conquest. This quality is derived from the personality characteristics inspiring the overall phenomenon; it should constitute data for historians to identify this type of phenomenon throughout history.
Psychopaths exist everywhere in the world; even a faraway pathocracy evokes a resonating response in them, working on their underlying feeling that “there is a place for people like us there”. Uncritical, frustrated, and abused people also exist everywhere and they can be reached by appropriately elaborated propaganda. The future of a nation is greatly dependent on how many such people it contains. Thanks to its specific psychological knowledge and its conviction that normal people are naive, a pathocracy is able to improve its ‘anti-psychotherapeutic’ techniques, and pathologically egotistical as usual, to insinuate its deviant world of concepts to others. [...]
The law furnishes insufficient support for counteracting a phenomenon whose character lies outside the possibilities of the legislators imagination. Pathocracy knows how to take advantage of the weaknesses of such a legalistic manner of thinking. [...]
Whenever a nation experiences a ‘system crisis’ or a hyperactivity of ponerogenic processes within, it becomes the object of a pathocratic penetration whose purpose is to serve up the country as booty. It will then become easy to take advantage of its internal weaknesses and revolutionary movements in order to impose rule on the basis of a limited use of force. After forcible imposition of such a system, the course of pathologization of life becomes different; and such a pathocracy will be less stable, depending for its very existence upon the factor of never-ending outside force.
Brute force must first stifle the resistance of an exhausted nation; people possessing military or leadership skills must be disposed of, and anyone appealing to moral values and legal principles must be silenced. The new principles are never explicitly enunciated. People must learn the new unwritten law via painful experience. The stultifying influence of this deviant world of concepts finishes the job, and common sense demands caution and endurance.
This is followed by a shock which appears as tragic as it is frightening. Some people from every social group – whether abused paupers, aristocrats officials, literati, students, scientists, priests,, atheists, or nobodies known to no one – suddenly start changing their personality and world-view. Decent Christian and patriots just yesterday, they now expose the new ideology and behave contemptuously to anyone still adhering to the old values. Only later does it become evident that this ostensibly avalanche like process has it s natural limits.
Pathocracy imposed by force arrives in a finished form – we could even call it ripe. People observing it up close were unable to distinguish the earlier phases of its development; when the schizoidals and characteropaths were in charge.
In an imposed system, psychopathic material is already dominant. [...]
The first conclusion which suggested itself soon after meeting with the ‘professor’ [discussed earlier] was that the phenomenon’s development is limited by nature in terms of the participation of susceptible individuals within a given society. The initial evaluation of approximately 6 % proved realistic. Progressively collected detailed statistical data assembled later did not contradict this assessment. This value varies from country to country in the magnitude of about one percentage point up or down. Essential psychopathy plays a disproportionate role compared to the numbers by saturating the phenomenon as a whole with its own quality of thought and experience. Other psychopathies – asthenic, schizoidal, anankastic, hysterical, et al – definitely play second fiddle although in sum they are much more numerous. Relatively primitive skirtoidal individuals become fellow travelers, goaded by their lust for life, but their activities are limited by considerations of their own advantage.
In non-Semitic nations, schizoidals are somewhat more numerous than essential psychopaths; although highly active in the early phases of the genesis of the phenomenon, they betray an attraction to pathocracy as well the rational distance of efficient thinking. Thus, they are torn between such a system and the society of normal people.
There are persons less distinctly inclined in the pathocratic direction. These include states caused by the toxic activities of certain substances such as ether, carbon monoxide, and possibly some endotoxins. [Such as nicotine? Perhaps we have now found the reason that the current pathocracy and the former one - Nazi Germany - were so Fascist in their imposition of anti-smoking legislation?]
Paranoidal individuals expect uncritical support within such a system. In general, however, the carriers of various kinds of brain tissue damage lean clearly to the society of normal people and, as a result of their psychological problems, under a pathocracy, suffer even more than healthy people.
It also turned out that the carriers of some physiological anomalies known to physicians and sometimes to psychologists, and which are primarily hereditary in nature, manifest split tendencies similar to schizoids. In a similar manner, people whom nature has unfortunately saddled with a short life and an early cancer-related death frequency indicate a characteristic and irrational attraction for this phenomenon. An individual’s decreased resistance to the effects of pathocracy and his attraction to it appears to be a holistic response of the person’s organism, not merely of his psychological makeup alone.
Approximately 6 % of the population constitute the active structure of the pathocracy, which carries its own peculiar consciousness of its own goals. Twice as many people constitute a second group: those who have managed to warp their personalities to meet the demands of the new reality.
This second group consists of individuals who are, on the average, weaker, more sickly, and less vital. The frequency of known mental diseases in this group is at twice the rate of the national average. We can thus assume that the genesis of their submissive attitude toward the regime, their greater susceptibility to pathological effects, and their skittish opportunism includes various relatively impalpable anomalies.
The 6 % group constitute the new nobility; the 12 % group forms the new bourgeoisie, whose economic situation is the most advantageous. Only 18 % of the country’s population is thus in favor of the new system of government.
The great majority of the population forms the society of normal people, creating an informal communications network. It behooves us to wonder why these people reject the advantages conformity affords, consciously preferring the opposing role: poverty, harassment, and curtailment of human freedoms. What ideals motivate them? Is this merely a kind of romanticism?
A person with a normal human instinctive substratum, good basic intelligence, and full faculties of critical thought would have a difficult time accepting such a compromise; it would devastate his personality and engender neurosis. AT the same time, such a system easily distinguishes and separates him from its own kind regardless of his sporadic hesitations. No method of propaganda can change the nature of this macro social phenomenon or the nature of a normal human being. They remain forever foreign to each other.
After a typical pathocratic structure has been formed, the population is effectively divided according to completely different lines from what someone raised outside the purview of this phenomenon might imagine, and in a manner whose actual conditions are also impossible to comprehend. Pathocracy corrodes the entire social organism, wasting its skills and power. Typical pathocrats take over all the managerial functions in a totally destroyed structure of a nation. Such a state must be short-term, since no ideology can vivify it. The time comes when the common masses of people want to live like human beings and the system can no longer resist.
Pathocracy is even less of a socioeconomic system than a social structure or political system. It is a macro social disease process affecting entire nations and running the course of its characteristic pathodynamic properties. As long as we keep using methods of comprehending this pathological phenomenon which attempt to use political doctrines to define it, (even if those doctrines are heterogeneous to it) we will not be able to identify the causes and properties of the disease. A correspondingly prepared ideology will be able to cloak the essential qualities from the minds of scientists, politicians, and common people.
Normal People Under Pathocratic Rule
As adduced above, the anomaly distinguished as essential psychopathy inspires the overall phenomenon in a well-developed pathocracy The pathocratic world – the world of pathological egotism and terror – is so difficult to understand for people raised outside the scope of this phenomenon that they often manifest childlike naiveté, even if they studied psychopathology and are psychologists by profession.
If a person with a normal instinctive substratum and basic intelligence has already heard and read about such a system of ruthless autocratic rule based on fanatical ideology, he feels he has already formed an opinion on the subject. However, direct confrontation with the phenomenon causes him to feel intellectually helpless. All his prior imaginings prove to be virtually useless; they explain next to nothing. This provokes a nagging sensation that he and the society in which he was educated were quite naïve.
One of the differences observed between a normally resistant person and somebody who has undergone a transpersonification is that the former is better able to survive this disintegrating cognitive void, whereas the latter fills the void with the pathologic propaganda material, and without sufficient controls.
When the human mind comes into contact with this new reality so different from any experiences encountered by a person raised in a society dominated by normal people, it releases psychophysiological shock symptoms in the human brain with a higher tonus of cortex inhibition and a stifling of feelings, which then sometimes gush forth uncontrollably. Human minds work more slowly and less keenly, since the associative mechanisms have become inefficient. Especially when a person has direct contact with psychopathic representatives of the new rule, who use their specific experience so as to traumatize the minds of the ‘others’ with their own personalities, his mind succumbs to a state of short-term catatonia. Their humiliating and arrogant techniques, brutal paramoralizations, deaden his thought processes and his self-defense capabilities, and their divergent experiential method anchors in his mind.
Only after these unbelievably unpleasant psychological states have passed, thanks to rest in benevolent company, is it possible to reflect – always a difficult and painful process – or to become aware that one’s mind and common senses have been fooled by something which cannot fit into the normal human imagination.
Man and society stands at the beginning of a long road of unknown experiences which, after much trial and error, finally leads to a certain hermetic knowledge of what the qualities of the phenomenon are and how best to build up psychological resistance thereto. Especially during the dissimulative phase, this makes it possible to adapt to life in this different world and thus arrange more tolerable living conditions. We shall thereupon observe psychological phenomena, knowledge, immunization, and adaptation such as could not have been predicted before and which cannot be understood in the world remaining under the rule of normal man’s systems. A normal person, however, can never completely adapt to a pathological system; it is easy to be pessimistic about the final results of this.
Such experiences are exchanged during evening discussions among a circle of friends, thereby creating within people’s minds a kind of cognitive conglomeration which is initially incoherent and contains factual deficiencies. [...] The ideology officially preached by the pathocracy continues to retain its ever-diminishing suggestive powers until such time as human reason manages to localize it as something subordinate, which is not descriptive of the essence of phenomenon. [...]
Under such conditions, both instinct and feelings and the resulting basic intelligence play instrumental roles, stimulating man to make selections which are to a great extent subconscious.
Under the conditions created by imposed pathocratic rule … our natural human instinctive substratum is an instrumental factor in joining the opposition. Similarly, the environmental, economic, and ideological motivations which influenced the formation of an individual personality, including those political attitudes which were assumed earlier… disappear within the statistical approach and diminish through the years of pathocratic rule. The decisions and the way-selections made back to the society of normal people are finally decided by factors usually inherited by biological means, and thus not the product of the person’s option, and predominantly in subconscious processes.
Man’s general intelligence, especially its intellectual level, play a relatively limited role in this process of selecting a path of action, as expressed by statistically significant but low correlation (-0.16). The higher a person’s general level of talent, the harder it usually is for him to reconcile himself with this different reality and find a modus vivendi within it.
At the same time, gifted and talented people do join the pathocracy, and harsh words of contempt for the system can be heard on the part of simple, uneducated people.
Only those people with the highest degree of intelligence–which, as mentioned, does not accompany psychopathies–are unable to find the meaning of life within such a system. They are sometimes able to take advantage of their superior mentality in order to find exceptional ways in which to be useful to others.
Wasting the best talents spells eventual catastrophe for any social system.
Since those factors subject to the laws of genetics have proven decisive, society becomes divided into the adherents of the new rule, the new middle class mentioned above, and the majority opposition by means of criteria not known before.
Since the properties which cause this new division appear in more or less equal proportions within any old social group or level, this new division cuts right through these traditional layers of society. If we treat the former stratification, whose formation was decisively influenced by the talent factor, as horizontal, the new one should be referred to as vertical. The most instrumental factor in the latter is good basic intelligence which, as we already know, is widely distributed throughout all social groups.
Even those people who were the object of social injustice in the former system and then bestowed with another system which allegedly protected them slowly start criticizing the latter. [...]
One of the first discoveries made by a society of normal people is that it is superior to the new rulers in intelligence and practical skills, no matter what geniuses they appear to be [via spellbinding]. The knots stultifying reason are gradually loosened, and fascination with the new rulership’s secret knowledge and plan of action begins to diminish, followed by familiarization with the knowledge about this new reality.
The world of normal people is always superior to the other one whenever constructive activity is needed, whether it be the reconstruction of a devastated country, the area of technology, the organization of economic life, or scientific and medical work. [...]
As we have already pointed out, every psychological anomaly is in fact a kind of deficiency. Psychopathies are based primarily upon deficiencies in the instinctive substratum; however, their influence exerted upon mental development also leads to deficiencies in general intelligence, as discussed above.
This deficiency is not compensated by the creation of the special psychological knowledge we observe among some psychopaths.
Such knowledge loses its mesmerizing power when normal people learn to understand these phenomena as well. The psychopathologist was thus not surprised by the fact that the world of normal people is dominant as regards skill and talent. For that society, however, this represented a discovery which engendered hope and psychological relaxation.
Since our intelligence is superior to theirs, we can recognize them and understand how they think and act. This is what a person learns in such a system on his own initiative, forced by everyday needs. He learns it while working in his office, school, or factory, whether he needs to deal with the authorities, and when he is arrested–something only a few people manage to avoid. The author and many others learned a good deal about the psychology of this macro social phenomenon during compulsory indoctrinational schooling. The organizers and lecturers cannot have intended such a result. Practical knowledge of this new reality thus grows, thanks to which the society gains a resourcefulness of action which enables it to take ever better advantage of the weak spots of the rulership system. This permits gradual reorganization of societal links, which bears fruit with time….
Capitalism and Psychopathy
The members of the Quantum Future School have been engaged in studying psychopathy and pseudo-psychopathy for several years. This has certainly prepared most of us to be able to see the man behind the curtain, or, in this case, behind the ‘mask of sanity’. These studies led to the question: why does psychopathic behavior seem to be so widespread in the US. (That is not to say that it doesn’t exist everywhere – that’s a given.)
Linda Mealey of the Department of Psychology at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, has recently proposed certain ideas in her paper: The Sociobiology of Sociopathy: An Integrated Evolutionary Model’. These ideas address the increase in psychopathy in American culture by suggesting that in a competitive society – capitalistic by definition – psychopathy is adaptive and likely to increase. She writes:
I have thus far argued that some individuals seem to have a genotype that disposes them to [psychopathy].
[Psychopathy describes] frequency-dependent, genetically based, individual differences in employment of life strategies. [Psychopaths] always appear in every culture, no matter what the socio-cultural conditions. [...]
Competition increases the use of antisocial and Machiavellian strategies and can counteract pro-social behavior.
Some cultures encourage competitiveness more than others and these differences in social values vary both temporally and cross-culturally. [...] Across both dimensions, high levels of competitiveness are associated with high crime rates and Machiavellianism.
High population density, an indirect form of competition, is also associated with reduced pro-social behavior and increased anti-social behavior. [Mealey, op. cit.]
The conclusion is that the capitalistic way of life associated in the United States with ‘democracy,’ has optimized the survival of psychopaths with the consequence that it is an adaptive ‘life strategy’ that is extremely successful in U.S. society, and thus has increased in the population in genetic terms as well as acting as an attractor to psychopathic individuals in other countries for quite some time. The fact is, America is probably flooded with psychopaths and Skirtoids, as Lobaczewski mentions. What is more, as a consequence of a society that is adaptive for psychopathy, many individuals who are NOT genetic psychopaths have similarly adapted, becoming ‘effective’ psychopaths, or ‘characteropaths’ in the ways Lobaczewski has described.
Of course, because they are not intellectually handicapped, these individuals [psychopaths] will progress normally in terms of cognitive development and will acquire a theory of mind. Their theories, however, will be formulated purely in instrumental terms [what can claiming this or that GET for me?], without access to the empathic understanding that most of us rely on so much of the time.
They may become excellent predictors of others’ behavior, unhandicapped by the ‘intrusiveness’ of emotion, acting, as do professional gamblers, solely on nomothetic laws and actuarial data rather than on hunches and feelings.
In determining how to ‘play’ in the social encounters of everyday life, they will use a pure cost-benefit approach based on immediate personal outcomes, with no ‘accountingn for the emotional reactions of the others with whom they are dealing.
Without any real love to ‘commit’ them to cooperation, without any anxiety to prevent fear of ‘defection’, without guilt to inspire repentance, they are free to continually play for the short-term benefit.
At the same time, because changes in gene frequencies in the population would not be able to keep pace with the fast-changing parameters of social interactions, an additional fluctuating proportion of sociopathy should result because, in a society of [psychopathy], the environmental circumstances make an antisocial strategy of life more profitable than a pro-social one. [Mealey, op. cit.]
In other words, in a world of psychopaths, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society ‘adaptive’ to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone.
What makes the psychopath so frightening and dangerous is that he or she wears a completely convincing ‘Mask of Sanity’. This may at first make such a person utterly persuasive and compellingly healthy, according to psychiatrist Harvey Cleckley. Cleckley was first to describe the key symptoms of the disorder.
In general, the successful psychopath ‘computes’ how much they can get away with in a cost-benefit ratio of the alternatives. Among the factors that they consider as most important are money, power, and gratification of negative desires. They are not motivated by such social reinforcement as praise or future benefits or the well-being of others – even including those one would suspect them to care about, such as their own families. Studies have been done that show locking up a psychopath has absolutely no effect on them in terms of modifying their life strategies. In fact, it is shown to make them worse. Effectively, when locked up, psychopaths just simply learn how to be better psychopaths.
The psychopath is obsessed with control even if they give the impression of being helpless. Their pretense to emotional sensitivity is really part of their control function: The higher the level of belief in the psychopath that can be induced in their victim through their dramas, the more ‘control’ the psychopath believes they have. And in fact, this is true. They do have control when others believe their lies. Sadly, the degree of belief, the degree of ‘submission’ to this control via false representation, generally produces so much pain when the truth is glimpsed that the victim would prefer to continue in the lie than face the fact that they have been duped. The psychopath counts on this. It is part of their ‘actuarial calculations’. It gives them a feeling of power.
The past behavior of a society will be used by the psychopath (or ponerological network) to predict the future behavior of that society. Like an individual player, a society will have a certain probability of detecting deception and a more or less accurate memory of who has cheated them in the past. The society will also have a developed, or not developed, proclivity to retaliate against a liar and cheater. Since the psychopath is using an actuarial approach to assess the costs and benefits of different behaviors, (just how much can he get away with), it is the actual past behavior of the society which will go into his calculations rather than any risk assessments based on any ‘fears or anxieties’ of being caught and punished that empathic people would feel in anticipation of doing something illegal.
Thus, in order to reduce psychopathic behavior in society and in government, a society must establish and enforce a reputation for high rates of detection of deception and identification of liars, and a willingness to retaliate. In other words, it must establish a successful strategy of deterrence.
Since the psychopath is particularly unable to make decisions based on future consequences, only able to focus attention on immediate gratification – short-term goals – it is possible that such individuals can be dealt with by establishing a history of dealing out swift social retaliation. That is, identifying and punishing liars and cheaters must be both immediate and flawlessly consistent, thus predictable in it’s occurrence.
And here we come to the issue concerning real-world human social interactions on a large scale: reducing psychopathy in our leaders depends upon expanding society’s collective memory of individual players’ past behavior. Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.
Any reasonable scan of the news will reveal that lies and cheating are not ‘covered up’ as thoroughly as American apologists would like to think.
Even the less well-informed Americans have some idea that there was certainly something fishy about the investigation into the assassination of JFK. In recent years, the man in charge of the Warren Commission, Gerald Ford, also a former President, admitted to ‘cheating’ on the report when he admitted to changing the placement of one of the bullet wounds in the final report.
Then, there was Watergate followed by the Iran-Contra affair, not to mention ‘Monica-gate’. Those seem almost naïve compared to the lies of the current people in power. The lies of the Bush gang, from stolen elections, to the 9/11 attacks, and through the infamous weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, have taken the art of lying to heights that would impress Hitler himself. And here we are just hitting some highlights, most familiar to all Americans.
What consequences did the cheaters of society suffer?
None to speak of. In fact, in nearly every case, they were rewarded handsomely with those things of value to the psychopath: money and material goods. If anyone thinks they were shamed by public exposure, think again!
But what is of crucial interest here is the fact that the American people have simply not responded to the revelations of lies in government with any outrage that could be considered more than token. At the present time, there isn’t even ‘token outrage’.
Don’t you find that odd?
But we have already noted the reason: the American way of life has optimized the survival of psychopathy and in a world of psychopaths, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths simply to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society ‘adaptive’ to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone. As a consequence, a very large number of Americans are effective sociopaths. (Here we use ‘sociopath’ as a designation of those individuals who are not genetic psychopaths.)
And so, we have George Bush and the Fourth Reich calculating how much they can get away with by looking at the history of the reactions of the American people to cheating.
There aren’t any because the system is adaptive to psychopathy. In other words, Americans support Bush and his agenda because most of them are effectively like him. But that is not because they are all born that way. It is because psychopathy is required to survive in the competitive, capitalist U.S. Society.
As a society gets larger and more competitive, individuals become more anonymous and more Machiavellian. Social stratification and segregation leads to feelings of inferiority, pessimism and depression among the have-nots, promoting the use of ‘cheating strategies’ in life that then make the environment more adaptive for psychopathy in general because those who are suffering will respond positively to any sign of change, even if they don’t realize that the change is being proposed by those who will actually make their lives worse.
Psychopathic behavior among non-genetic psychopaths could be viewed as a functional method of obtaining desirable resources, increasing an individual’s status in a local group, and even a means of providing stimulation that socially and financially successful people find in acceptable physical and intellectual challenges.
In America, a great many households are affected by the fact that work, divorce, or both, have removed one or both parents from interaction with their children for much of the day. This is a consequence of Capitalistic economics.
When the parents are absent, or even when one is present but not in possession of sufficient knowledge or information, children are left to the mercies of their peers, a culture shaped by the media. Armed with joysticks and TV remotes, children are guided from South Park and Jerry Springer to Mortal Kombat on Nintendo. Normal kids become desensitized to violence. More-susceptible kids – children with a genetic inheritance of psychopathy – are pushed toward a dangerous mental precipice. Meanwhile, the government is regularly passing laws, on the demand of parents and the psychological community, designed to avoid imposing consequences on junior’s violent behavior.
As for media violence, few researchers continue to try to dispute that bloodshed on TV and in the movies has an effect on the kids who witness it. Added to the mix now are video games structured around models of hunting and killing. Engaged by graphics, children learn to associate spurts of ‘blood’ with the primal gratification of scoring a ‘win’.
Again, economics – capitalism disguised as ‘democracy’ – controls the reality.
The fact is, it is almost a mechanical system that operates based on the psychological nature of human beings, most of whom like to live in denial or need to live in denial to please their parents, their peers, their religious leaders, and their political leaders. All they want to do is have some relaxation to enjoy the “American Dream.” After all, “if ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise”. This is most especially true when we consider the survival instinct of the ego. If the official culture – created by psychopaths – says that there is no “man behind the curtain”, working through the inculcated belief systems, there is little possibility that most people will be able to see the source of the ponerological phenomena in our world.
Consider all of the foregoing information now in relation to the 9/11 attacks and the fact that so many Americans find it almost impossible to believe that their government officials would wantonly sacrifice the lives of its citizens to further their personal agendas. More importantly, consider the fact that your government knows how you think only too well. In fact, they have CREATED your thinking processes!