New Show: MindMatters (RIP Truth Perspective)

Thanks guys for the new format and the Youtube versions. Adds so much to be able to see you when listening.

With some help from the YouTube transcript, I've transcribed the most recent show below (a fantastic listen). Edited for grammar etc. Looking forward to (as Harrison so lightly put it) finding out what happens next in the story of ‘Pathocracy’. Some bedside Grimm fairy tale!

Inside Ponerology: What Is A Pathocracy?


Published on May 4, 2019
On Chapter 5 of Andrew Lobaczewski's "Political Ponerology".

Harrison Koehli
Corey Schink

Elan Martin


Harrison Koehli

Hi everyone welcome back.

Today we are going to return to discuss one of our favourite books. We've discussed this book many times on our previous show ‘The Truth Perspective, which is ‘Political Ponerology’ by Andrew Lobaczewski written originally over a period of many years but in its final form in 1984-1985 (but only published in 2006).

So for those of our new viewers who may not have previously listened to the ‘Truth Perspective’, I'll just give it a short introduction. Just a note that eventually sometime in the near future we will be putting up all of our old shows on Ponerology (though they don't have video so we'll just be throwing them up on YouTube with some background images so they're all in one place) so you can check those out after the fact.

So we've discussed several of the chapters in the book covering various topics that Lobaczewski covers. Today we're going to look at CHAPTER 5 which deals with what Lobaczewski calls ‘Pathocracy’.

Just to give a little bit of background; ‘Ponerology’ was what Lobaczewski attempts to describe from what he specifically experienced in communist Poland, with also some reference to Nazi Germany and World War II, with the rise of communism and the effect that had on not only the Soviet Union but all the countries that were, as he might say, infected by the communist ideology and system of government. He chooses not to call such a system of government either communist or totalitarian but to come up with a new word ‘Pathocracy’ because he argues that the most important feature, the most important way of understanding and explaining such a system of government, is through psychology. In that approach he has something in common with Jordan Peterson who, if you listen to any of his lectures on these topics, doesn't regard political analysis as the be-all-end-all of coming to terms with phenomena as the world saw in the Soviet Union as well as in several other kinds of totalitarian systems of government in the 20th century (and also in the past).

When look back at history and try to understand what was going on and why things happened, Lobaczewski (?) said political analysis will only get you so far; the same with economic analysis. For if you look at everything through an economic lens you're going to have an impoverished view of what's actually happening, because to understand human movements, human organizations, social structures, etc, you need to have as good and accurate understanding as possible of the human individual, of human psychology, and that means in all variations of human psychology, because if you just assume all humans are correct and you take just one or two parameters and you say all humans are like this, you're going to get a really inadequate framework with which to look at these phenomena.

So as a clinical psychologists himself - as a psychotherapist - he would argue that thanks to the education system in Europe prior to the communist takeover that he had a pretty good grasp of human nature, at least better than the Communists did and arguably better than Western psychologists today have for numerous reasons.

Luckily at that time - the 1930s and 1940s - there had been a lot of good Eastern European psychologists and psychiatrists who had looked at psychopathology in a particular way – at personality disorders in a particular way - and when the Communists took over those were some of the first books and ideas that were essentially banned from the Universities and couldn't be taught. Luckily Lobaczewski graduated the year after the communist party took over in Poland and so he was in the last generation of psychologists there who had been instructed in that old school, and right away when that happened this academic community - the community of psychologists, sociologists and related fields - had an inkling that something was going on in the country (5:00), that at its root it was psychopathological, that what they were seeing was like a macro-social phenomenon - a widespread social phenomenon - that could be explained and understood in terms of the things that they were teaching, the things that they knew about psychopathology.

So for decades Lobaczewski and numerous other colleagues, most of whom remain unnamed as Lobaczewski didn't even know their names as they operated in secret and he called it a ‘scientific conspiracy’, like an underground research community that were psychoanalyzing… they weren't psychoanalysts but analyzing the system, the people in charge, through the lens of psychopathology. And so over the decades there were numerous run-ins with the law; I think most people in the Eastern Bloc knew someone who was arrested at one point or another, and Lobaczewski himself was arrested numerous times and tortured on several occasions and eventually exiled from Poland and lived for years in the United States before moving back to Poland where he eventually died.

So he wrote this book in New York in the 1980s after having lost previous manuscripts - having to destroy them because of secret police raids and things like that - and so this is the chapter that we're going to be looking at today… it would be good to search out our ‘Truth Perspective’ episodes on the other chapters to get some background because some of what he says in here is dependent on those earlier ideas, but I think any new viewers will be able to follow what's going on regardless and we'll try to give some background to.

So as I said, this chapter is Chapter 5 on ‘Ponerology’, a form of social government system in its final form, because in previous chapters he described stages in history and how history seems to ebb and flow - there's highs and lows - and one of the lows that some societies fall into is this one he calls ‘Pathocracy’ which is a totalitarian system of government that effects everything from the lowest level of social organization to the highest; from the top leadership positions down to village functionaries and police chiefs and indeed any system in which there's a hierarchy… any mini-hierarchy within a larger hierarchy is like a fractal of the whole – you find the same dynamic at every level. If you've read Solzhenitsyn for example, then you have some idea of what life is like.

You could describe it as a system of terror coercion, censorship, the search for complete control over people's lives, and in a sense that touches their lives and touches everyone's life. No one can remain outside the system and Lobaczewski would argue no one can even escape the reality of the system; no one can be deceived, for it touches the vast majority of people and the vast majority of people will have some inkling of what's going on.

Skipping ahead a bit - so this is a spoiler alert - there's a point in a ‘Pathocracy’ that Lobaczewski describes where it reaches a societal polarization – and here he’s not talking about the polarization as we see in the United States for instance between the left and the right or where we see polarizations and dynamics like that in many other countries where we have division within the populace – no; what he's talking about is a division between the populace itself and the leadership. So you actually have a uniting of the people of a nation in opposition to the tiny group of people who, as in the communist system, constituted the party, the people affiliated with the party and the people doing the parties dirty work. So actually one of the perhaps positives of a ‘Pathocracy’ is that its does actually does unify the people against the Pathocrats.

So in this first section of the chapter (10:00) we're going to be looking at what he attempts to lay out as the three phases of a ‘Pathocracy’, so we'll be getting into those, but before we’ll give a bit of background on how Lobaczewski argues that a ‘Pathocracy’ first comes about, that is the main way in which it comes about is out of what he calls ‘a period of maximal hysteria in a society’. In a previous chapter he described what he called like the hysterical or the ‘hysteroidal cycle’ - that there's first a cycle where people have relatively good common sense for a period of time and then suddenly societal hysteria just increases to the point where, for instance, psychotherapists or psychoanalysts in the late 1800s-early 1900s saw a rise in the instances of actual cases of hysteria. Today we don't seem to have the same kind of hysteria that they had back then, so hysteria seems to take on different forms depending on the culture and the times we're living in. Back then there were a lot of hysterical illnesses such as hysterical blindness or loss of the use of a limb and these were not actual physical problems with individuals rather it was some form of a psychogenic illness. So for some emotional reason or other someone might lose their eyesight and that's the way that hysteria was characterized back then. Basically a physical symptom caused by an emotional disturbance.

We appear to see similar things in the United States today for instance… and there have been several kind of outbreaks of hysteria in the last 30 years as in the 1980s with satanic ritual abuse and in the 1990s there was bulimia (I think it was in the 1990s) and multiple personality disorder, and if you compare the numbers for multiple personality disorder now compared to back then you'll see that there were way more cases back then. We did a show on social contagions actually on the ‘Truth Perspective’ and how a lot of these things are spread by social contagion, emotional contagion, so the actual manifestation of it might change from time to time… and so those are just some of the examples of things that have kind of cropped up in the last 30 years… and just recently I’d argue that there are at least a few indicators of the level of growing hysteria in Western culture today, particularly in the US. For instance there's the anti-Russian hysteria that has infected the educated elite class of media personalities and what you might call like the establishment class, but I don't think the majority of just regular people are really hysterical about the Russian Menace. Only to the degree that it filters down from the media.

But something that is filtering down to the level of teenage life for instance, is certain forms of gender dysphoria where some researchers have argued that there are different types of gender dysphoria. One of them is a form of social contagion that happens, for example, when you have a group of young female friends that all together are showing signs of gender dysphoria - I think they call it ‘Rapid onset gender dysphoria’ - but it's something that comes on quickly and because of social influences, because of peer influences, and also on…. what's that website where there's a lot of stuff that kids go on…? I think it's Tumblr … but a lot of teens are on those, especially young girls, and there are a lot groomers on there that are really influencing primarily young girls but also young boys too - and it seems to be similar to another outbreak of social contagion.

Another example that we talked about on the show that we did on that subject was suicides, because suicides tend to spread in a form of social contagion. We gave the example of this one high school in Palo Alto I think and how there are suicide epidemics where one kid will commit suicide and all of a sudden you'll get a cluster. That's the way suicides tend to happen; that one person commits suicide and it influences (15:00) a whole bunch of other people to commit suicide and you get these clusters that pop up, especially if the person well-known. There are some cases of relatively well-known celebrity figures who commit suicide and that brings about just a huge cluster of suicides.

So there are various things that spread by social contagion, hysteria being perhaps a catch-all for a lot of these phenomena. In these periods of maximal social hysteria, that's the point at which Lobaczewski says that a Pathocracy could come about. It's not that it always comes about; it's not that all periods of hysteria lead to a totalitarian system of government but it can. So there are other features that need to be taking place concurrently with the period of hysteria to lead to this social breakdown and the formation of an entirely new social structure.

So according to Lobaczewski one of the prerequisites that needs to be there is that the overall level of reason and the ties that make up a stable social structure need to have degenerated to a certain extent and in a situation of social hysteria they do. For instance the period leading up to the Nazi takeover in Germany or leading to the Russian Revolution, a period of societal chaos of a certain type with a system breaking down but still there - like the Czarist system in Russia - then that hysteria naturally leads to a lack of reason, a lack of reasoning ability and the actual practice of reasoning in the population. The combination of those several different features creates the kind of perfect breeding ground for a totalitarian takeover.

The way that actually happens in its pure form is primarily through a revolution of some sort, because revolutions are what tear down an existing system and replace them with a new one. It's just that in this case there are particular features of the movement that is doing the tearing down and the piecing back together and this leads to what Lobaczewski calls the ‘Spontaneous generation of Pathocracy’, and he uses those words deliberately because it seems when you're observing these type of phenomena it seems to be this thing that just takes place organically… it seems to be like a disease process but on a social level, that's why calls it a societal disease. What he does in the book is try to explain the features and how and why it comes about.

Before we get into the phases, I'll just read one quote from the first bit of this chapter just to set the stage. He writes:

‘…a psychologically normal highly intelligent person called to high office normally experiences doubts as to whether he can meet the demands expected of him and seeks the assistance of others whose opinions he values. At the same time he feels nostalgia for his old life, freer and less burdensome, to which he would like to return after fulfilling his social obligations.’

I'll read another paragraph after that, but first I'll just a short commentary on the above.

I think that's probably the way most normal people feel even if they're put into a position of leadership in their regular lives. Like at work or on a non-profit board or something - some kind of volunteer work that they do that feels like a burden - for when we look in terms of politics it seems as if most of the people that go into politics are there because they want to go into politics for some odd reason; it's as if it's not thrust upon them and they have to just cope with it and would rather be doing something else - it's as if the chances are in our systems at least (and probably throughout all of history) people seeking power are seeking it for a particular reason and seem to be fine with it once they get it.

Of course there are a lot of people who are still relatively decent and responsible and do view their own political life as a service, a responsibility, a burden, especially the best leaders like Dag Hammarskjöld at the UN who viewed it as the gravest responsibility and didn't particularly like it. I think he liked the work and he liked putting everything he had into the work but it was a great burden on him and he was looking forward to retiring and finally writing (20:00) books and enjoying a regular life. But he devoted himself a hundred percent and, unfortunately in his case, as is the case too often with individuals like him, was assassinated before he got a chance to retire.

Then you've Bashar al-Assad in Syria who, though he's demonized in the Western press, never sought power. He wasn't even ever supposed to be the president of Syria – it was supposed to be his brother who died in a car accident or something - and it was basically ‘okay Bashar, it's up to you now’ and he was fine living his life as an ophthalmologist or whatever he was and he never had any pretensions to power and so got placed into it. State Senator Richard Black who’s met with Assad a couple times and did a recent interview about a month ago - or maybe it's just a couple of weeks ago - where he was talking about his impressions of Bashar al-Assad, basically said that anyone who listens to the media receives a total misrepresentation of the guy; that when you actually meet him in person, like Senator Black did, that he's almost shy… you can tell by watching the videos of him he’s a very soft personality… he's a soft-spoken eye doctor who's been placed in this wartime scenario… though the wartime scenario has paradoxically brought out some of his best qualities… again you can't believe everything you hear about him… and that in Senator Black’s opinion, Assad isn't like a normal wartime president, and he doesn't like war; he would much rather be leading over a peaceful country and if it were not for Assad the Syrian army, and whoever else would have been leading it, would have been much more brutal. Because of Assad the Syrian army is actually really reserved compared to a lot a lot of other nations engaging in warfare such as Saudi Arabia for instance.

That’s just to give a couple examples of their approach to leadership and the personal response to being placed in that position, but from their Lobaczewski goes on:

‘…every society worldwide contains individuals whose dreams of power arise very early, as we've already discussed in previous chapters. They are generally discriminated against in some way by society which uses a moralizing interpretation with regard to their failings and difficulties although these individuals are rarely guilty of them in the precise terms of morality. They would like to change this unfriendly world into something else. Dreams of power also represent over compensation for feelings of humiliation. A significant and active proportion of this group is composed of individuals with various deviations who imagine this better world in their own way, of which we were already familiar.’

There he's referring to people with certain types of personality disorders and we've had previous shows on those. In the inner life of individuals like this they do feel different because there is something fundamentally different about them… they don't experience the world in the same way that the vast majority of people do. This is most relevant in the emotional response that Psychopaths have; they don't have a regular emotional response to anything, at least not ‘normal’ in terms of the way people experience emotions, and because of that they feel oppressed by society and that society's out to get them. It's unfair, they're mistreated and they can't do what they want to do, they can't do what seems to come naturally to them and what they feel should be their right to act out, which is basically to live off of other people, be parasites with the worst of them wanting to torture and kill. This is where you get sadistic personalities and serial killers etc. (the most sensational stories that you read in the news). So from a young age they realize that there's something different about them, they don't really fit in, and they would much rather be the people in charge to create a society where they can essentially get whatever they want and have the masses of people as slaves for them. That is essentially what they seek to achieve and what they end up achieving if the processes that lead to a ‘Pathocracy’ happen together and manage to take place.

I'll end this short introduction there before we get into the three phases, so maybe before we go on (25:00) do either of you want to say anything or maybe just go straight into the first phase?

Corey Schink
I just wanted to touch on what you were discussing about hysteria and you gave a number of really good examples of hysteria and how it spreads through our society like a contagion.

I just wanted to talk about the common denominator that unifies all those different examples, and that's the possessive nature of the mental illness that causes all these people to behave in ways that are irrational… and yet at the same time its as if ones been imbibing a load of alcohol and you don't realize it until you wake up from it, don't realize how irrational and self-destructive your behaviour is until you it's too late… Lobaczewski says that's just a part of the historical cycle but one that still generates various forms of evils itself. It's not exactly the same as the phenomenon of ‘Pathocracy’ but it contributes quite a bit to the rise of pathology because you have to look at society in at least two different camps; one in terms of just normal people with all the normal human moral failings, and then a second with this ‘incompetence hierarchy’, this evil hierarchy that actually develops from an incompetence hierarchy of people who view the world as radically different.

When people live on cheap emotions and fetishes for so long and they see everything from an emotional point of view, moralizing about everything, they weaken their defences … I guess you could say their moral and spiritual defences… so that the things that are said by others who are, for all intents and purposes, snake oil salesmen or just pure consciously evil, they end up open to that influence, they open themselves up to not only believing but acting upon the orders and the advice of people who, in any other era of more healthy common sense, would be viewed as irrelevant at best - just like the local drunk who whines about how life is horrible for him and he's violent and he's always getting into fights… well when there's a huge crisis in society, somebody like that who is decisive and has a quick answer for everything, all of a sudden gets an elevated position in the eyes of ordinary people who don't know exactly who to turn to, they don't know what's going on. If there's famine, there are wars, there’s strife - all of these things that contribute to maximum hysteria, the hysteria in society - they leave the opening for all of these pathological individuals to make their way into forming a ‘Pathocracy’. It’s like you said, they spontaneously just join up; they all search each other out, because they know what they want in some way.

We’ll get into the actual differences between the different phases, but there are different types of individuals: there are useful idiots; there's people who really do believe in whatever ideology or simple belief, simple answers that they've been told or that they've heard from people who really do believe in them; then you get people in the evil hierarchy who are just good at brutalizing, they're just sadistic… when you need somebody to turn to in order to shape up a village and so you turn to them and they're just ‘good’ serial killers really and they're useful in that sense; and then you have individuals who are good at spellbinding others and in rallying people, spreading the contagion; and you have, as you said, just the purely evil psychopaths.

At every phase they all play different roles and it's really fascinating when you read this chapter to get an idea of kind of the sociological evolution of a ‘Pathocracy’ and an explanation really for why it is that we saw several develop - in Stalinist Soviet Union and the Nazis - you see how these pathocracies formed and it explains (30:00) also why they acted the way that they did.

You can see very different pathological leadership personalities of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and when you can see there are different forms of pathology you get an idea why things turned out differently for each group. You really need to factor in that dimension of how they were crazy. You look at Stalin and he was crazy, he was a absolute dictator, an absolute workaholic, who had absolutely no heart and murdered millions of people, but you also see you how he learned lessons from Lenin and Trotsky and all the others and was a political snake and able to craft a system that survived for decades based on terror –

Harrison Koehli
He was arguably a genius at it too!

Corey Schink
- That’s right. So where you get this hierarchy of evils you see different competencies. I guess you could say that these individuals need this whole system as a whole, in order to last for that amount of time (short though it was) before it basically implodes from its own incompetence.

Elan Martin
Well Corey you mentioned one of the roles in this ‘Pathocracy’ as being that of a Spellbinder. I couldn't help but reflect on what we've been seeing in the rise of Alexandria Acasio-Cortez (AAC) and her Green New Deal movement when reading this chapter on ‘Pathocracy’. She's young, attractive, charming and seemingly out of nowhere takes centre stage to put in the minds of many people that the grand social solution to everyone's ills - in terms of equality and environmental concerns among many other things - and if you look into how this is based on Agenda 21, in this global range of policies that seeks to regulate and transform society on every level, it seems as if this form of (on the surface of it anyway) soft power legislation of a ‘Pathocracy’ is where the oppression would be coming about in… well these things are always presented as good for the people and for the greater amount of people who are suffering in one way or another… but on every level if you pick apart these policies that she's been advocating, that she's been the new spokesperson for and showman of, you'll very much see that she fulfils this spellbinder role among many on the Left who are looking to her as this new figurehead.

It's very interesting that she has this whole cult of personality thing - that she's buttressed by. Behind the scenes there's an individual called Saikat Chakrabarti who's the silent partner in the wings of the whole movement behind the Green New Deal and who has been creating these brand new congress based and various other new Democratic organizations, that are decidedly meant to thrust forward into power people who subscribe to this ideology - into Congress, into the Senate.

They have a whole plan for this and she was really one of these people who was hand-picked by Chakrabarti and his entire little cadre of political apparatchiks. He's a Silicon Valley millionaire who made his career designing software and so he's self-made. Not six or eight months into forming some of these organizations he's already being accused of funnelling money out of the packs – the donations - so there's already this gray area of intention (35:00).

It's interesting that in one of his interviews he's wearing a t-shirt of an individual named Subhas Chandra Bose, an interesting figure (or was) in the 1930s and 1940s. Bose was an Indian nationalist who ostensibly was trying to fight British colonialism in India but made alliances with the Nazis and had sympathies with Stalin's Russia. Finally he had a group of three or four thousand nationals in Germany who were working with him and, as the biography goes, he turned his back on them and ultimately slipped away aboard a submarine to go to Japan where he thought he'd get more political support. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralized in Germany.

I think that this is a very interesting person for Chakrabarti to hold up as an ideological hero, as someone who inspires him to be a proponent of ‘Agenda 21’ and other of these socialist policies that AAC is a ‘front man’ for. The fact that he would leave his people high and dry and his point of inspiration reminds me of a quote from Lobaczewski that describes this whole phenomena. There's something called ‘schizoidal psychopathy’ and what Lobaczewski says is that:

‘…schizoids are hypersensitive and distrustful while, at the same time, pay little attention to the feelings of others. They tend to assume extreme positions and are eager to retaliate for minor offenses. Sometimes they are eccentric and odd. Their poor sense of psychological situations 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 worldview makes them typically pessimistic regarding human nature…’

I think the key here - or one of the keys here - is ‘they easily become involved in activities which are ostensibly moral but which actually inflict damage upon themselves and others’; so they become part of or lead organizations which on the superficial surface of things seems designed to help others, to be of benefit to society at large, yet ultimately - because they lack this fuller psychological understanding of people and of the depth of their policies and how they will affect things - they tend to screw up things more. So that's exactly what I see, at least in potential, with ACC and her Green New Deal. Even if
she's not meaning to - even if she's well-meaning - she has become a part of something which I think, if allowed to follow its natural course to its end without opposition, without people speaking up further on how these policies can be destructive, I think it'll be a pure disaster for the U.S.

Corey Schink
Just with regard to the Green New Deal, you do see this phenomenon in the impoverished worldview that went into creating it and pushing for it as legislation. But I also see positive signs in that it was laughed out of Congress by so many people, that we still are at that point where there's still enough common sense that sees through the schizoidal idea and it's not just taken as legal tender.

I'm thinking of Russia before the Russian Revolution where, okay Marxism, the Communist Manifesto, etc… but everybody's on board... even if it's illegal, let's all do this - why not? It can't get any worse, right?! (40:00) but in terms of schizoid individuals that you were talking about, it reminds me of the agrarian socialist revolutions that were carried out in Russia in the 19th century before Marx even was a thing, there was this large push to reform Russia and to make life better for everyone by arming the peasants and educating them. All these socialists thought the best way to do this and to bring down the evil empire was to assassinate thousands and thousands of Czarist officials and that's what they did. But the backlash against that was the imposition of a police state that then left Stalin with all of the recruits and the infrastructure that he needed to effectively impose his own police state.

So you see how the schizoidal world view of how we can save the world, with ‘oh let's kill the evil empire’, fed directly into a situation that was incomparable in terms of the suffering that was impacted on the Russian people, suffering that they're still reeling from today as a culture.

Elan Martin
One last point on that Green New Deal; you said that it was actually voted down in congress, that it hasn't been taken as legal tender, but what's so maniacal about this plan is that in anticipating such a rejection, the people behind this whole movement have actually gone directly to the expression ‘Think local’ or ‘Think global, act local,’, and have gone directly to the mayor's and the towns across the US creating these action plans, these community action plans, that are supposed to get people involved at a local level, so that they can ultimately overturn any kind of federal oversight on this. So whoever's thinking about how to push all this stuff through is absolutely Machiavellian in what they're attempting to do and how they're attempting to do it.

And on that note we can get into the three stages of Pathocarcy…

Harrison Koehli
Maybe just a couple comments on that discussion first.

Well it actually it’s a good lead-in to the first phase - because you brought up a couple of points such as the idea of spellbinders and schizoidals - so I just want to give a little background on that.

In the Truth Perspective show ‘What MAGA-hat Kid Can Teach Us About The Corruption of Ideology’, we talked about the section in ‘Political Ponerology’ about spellbinders. I’d just say I think that ACC has the potential to be a Spellbinder. I don't think she is one now though; I think she's just a smoke-spokesman who happens to not be very smart, like the guy that we were talking about - the black Hebrew nationalist. That guy was a Spellbinder. Spellbinders in the context that Lobaczewski is describing them have to have a bit more brutality to their spell-binding. It's as if there's a suggestiveness in the way they put their ideology into action; that in the case of a ‘Pathocracy’ it’s essentially a call to violent revolution. There's just a hint of - and not even necessarily a hint often but more an explicit call for - something extreme, whereas in any kind of politics you're going to get PR people, spokesmen, people pushing policies good or bad (and who can do it relatively well). So there's an extra thing on top of that when it comes to Spellbinder level stuff… so that's why I say she has the potential to be one because if the seeds of this ‘Ponorogenesis’ - the genesis of political evil - are allowed to progress further, could you imagine ACC being in the vanguard of calling for taking off the heads of the rich? Maybe. By then they'll probably find someone else….
That's the lead-in to the first phase of ‘Pathocracy’, because you mentioned the idea of schizoids. Lobaczewski calls it ‘schizoid psychopathy’ (45:00). Today in the West we'd call it ‘schizoid personality disorder’. In a show we did on personality disorders, if we look at it in terms of the ‘Big Five’, I think that schizoids would be a introverted and unemotional; basically that's the way I figured out how to how to say it. So because of their lack of ‘affect’ to the degree that most people have it and they're introversion, the way Lobaczewski describes it is that they come up with these grand doctrines.

Last week for instance we were talking about Marx and the hints of his own schizoidal ideas. (It’s individuals like him) who come up with the theory of how to fix everything. They can see what's wrong with the world and they have that link with the majority of people, with a more normal affect, more normal emotionality, so they do see problems with the world and they do want solutions. The problem is that because of that lack of affect and that lack of a deeper understanding of human nature, they come up with bad theories - theories that can't be implemented because of the lack of understanding of the way humanity actually works. So they come up with grand theories often with a simplistic narrative and a simplistic idea of what it is that can fix the world.

Communism is a great example. If you read Marx himself - and there's a lot to it - but the ideas themselves come down to something very simplistic, such as viewing people as primarily economic animals (or at least that's how a lot of people that try to implement Marxist ideas see it). That’s what contributes to the first phase of ‘Pathocracy’ where you've got these psychologically impoverished and eccentric individuals who come up with the theories which form the seed of the ideology which will then be used by the entire movement. And because they're identifying real problems and presenting what appear to be real solutions, they can get massive popular support.

That's why there were a lot - and there still are a lot of communists for instance - but especially before the Russian Revolution, there were a lot of socialists and communist like groups that were all supportive of the idea of a revolution. They might not have been happy with what they got but there was popular support for movements of these sorts. But what Lobaczewski points out is that it's this ideology that allows the first phase to take place because - as we said in a previous show - he distinguishes between ‘Primary and Secondary Ponerogenic unions’ which is essentially a group of pathological people.

A Primary Ponerogenic union is a group of pathologically criminal people, as you find with the mob, an organized network of criminality. Lobaczewski points out if you have someone that's officially running on the mob ticket in an election, he's (making it clear he’s) on the mob party and engaged in all kinds of shady business transactions and will kill a lot of people and try to get away with it. No one would vote for that guy - people won't resonate with that kind of in-your-face pathology.

But if you get a politician who is being secretly paid by the mob, who is pretending to be a great guy and he's looking for all these policies to help certain businesses and he appears like a normal guy, then people will vote for him. So a Secondary Ponerogenic union is basically a political group which appears to be aboveboard, that normal people can get behind. Normal people can say ‘those people are just like me; they won't want what I don’t want and I'll give them my support, because I believe in their ideals’, when actually that movement is essentially just a front; what they really want is something completely different.

So it's the schizoidal ideology that allows that to happen because that is the mask that is worn by a political movement as in the communist revolutions, and so people could get behind the revolution because there were real problems that people wanted solutions to - they wanted a change; and it seemed as if these communist revolutions were a good idea and they would give people what they wanted (50:00) and got massive public support. But the actual people behind and steering the movement have different goals entirely; they don't want what their supporters want and they don't want what their own ideology says it wants; they don't actually want, as in a true communist revolution, to give power to the people; they just want a vehicle by which they can take power and then further exploit the people, the very people that were supporting them in the first place.

So the first phase is really the development of this ideology and the support it gains from the people and actually the formation of a political and social movement. Some of the points that Lobaczewski makes about it is that the first mistake people make when seeing or reading the output of individuals of this sort - or engaging with this sort of ideology - the first a mistake is to take their ideas seriously because there will always be like a fatal flaw in that ideology. There will be something about it, as a result of that lack of understanding of human nature, which will inevitably lead to disaster. As we see with Marx for instance; I mentioned this in the show last week. There are three reactions to an ideology of this sort. First there's the rejection of the ideology and the reasons for that rejection - and he lists examples, personal reasons, such as you might not like the people, you might have intellectual reasons for rejecting it, you don't agree with the ideology for some reason, you're part of a different camp, part of a different school. So it's off limits or you might just be morally repulsed by it and reject it on those grounds.

But as I said last week for any of these rejections, (the danger lies in) not understanding the most basic reasons why these ideologies are bad or will lead to failure because they lack that human understanding… there will always be a moralizing interpretation in these, so there will be an irrational element in the rejection of the ideology as opposed to having good, solid reasons at every stage and for every point - and primarily on the psychological reason.

Then there's the people that accept the ideology; these would be the popular support that a social movement gains and he called that ‘critically corrective’ because it's the people that say ‘oh well, I can agree with these points in the system and that's kind of good. I don't really like those other things but we can ignore the bad stuff and just focus on the good stuff’, often to their peril. Because the bad stuff (in the ideology) is often what leads to the bad stuff that ends up happening or contributing to things that are unintended consequences basically.
So Lobaczewski gives examples of the people that will get behind a movement of this sort – e.g. it appeals to people who are downwardly adjusted. We talked about this in a previous show; so this is someone who's overqualified for their job and they're not in a position whereby they can fulfil their potential and who feel as if they should be doing better things but they’re just stuck in a bad job with a bad wage and they can't like raise themselves up. So that leads to a feeling of resentment especially towards the people who are upward adjusted. These are the incompetent people who are in charge, and that’s a breeding ground for this politics of resentment which a movement like a communist revolutionary movement appeals to; it's like ‘oh well, we can tear down the old order and I'll get what I deserve’.

A lot of young people to will get behind an ideology of this sort and also people who are socially neglected, which can be for example minority populations, especially if you're in a country that has a lot of religious and ethnic divisions. Last week I think I talked about various regions in Russia for instance where there could be 20 ethnic groups in the one region and a minority group might have control of that region and so the others feel neglected.

So wherever there is a fracture between society, wherever there's an internal polarization that can be exploited by a revolutionary movement of this sort, by a social (55:00) movement that wants change, wants to redress wrongs and make things more equitable and make everything good. So wherever there's a problem you can get the people that are experiencing that problem as supporters because the ideology identifies the problem, says ‘yes something's wrong and we know how to fix it’ – ‘Well great, so what else do you need!?’

The third one is what he calls ‘pathological acceptance’. These would be the people that essentially have personality disorders, who look at the ideology and say ‘oh well that's a great way to get power!’ There are degrees in there which also come into play in Phase 2 & 3. So this would be someone who joins say the Communist Party for instance because they know if it's successful, it's a great ticket to power which they can just ride the movement up to the very top and they'll be the ones on top now. So this is where we first see people joining the movement who take the original idea - as pathological as it is and as inadequate as it is – with still relatively normal people in that movement - just using and adopting a bad idea.

So you can see this in movements everywhere in every country and particularly in Western democracies - and wherever there are socialist movements and communist movements and others too. At the beginning when the majority of the people in the movement are just normal people, they're just maybe misguided, they've been duped by a false dream of a utopia that can be brought about.

But then you get people slowly joining the movement who are a bit more pathological. Lobaczewski would say this is when you start to get people with paranoid personality disorder and some people with frontal brain damage who lack self control and the ability to self reflect. So more of the kind of antisocial personality types start joining the movement and these would be the ones that end up acting as Spellbinders and what he calls ‘brutalizing the concepts’ – such as taking Marx and making a bit more of a brutal version of Marx - and they're the ones out in the streets using the ideology to call for a bit more violence, call for a bit more radical means of taking power, starting to make some hard decisions, making some hard choices that need to be taken and need to be made in order for the success of the movement.

For instance you can see a version of this taking place in resistance movements to foreign occupation; it's really easy for this to happen in the type of scenario that happened in Iraq after the American invasion. You have a ton of Iraqis who are rightfully resisting a foreign occupation and who are already engaging in guerrilla warfare and have already left the realm of normal society (because they’d been forced to in a sense) and so the restrictions on what is acceptable starts to break down. At that point it's very easy for more pathological individuals to start influencing a resistance movement and to say ‘you know if we really want to make our point we're going to have to kill all those people. They might be innocent but you know we're doing it for a good cause.’

Elan Martin
…and we'll rebrand ourselves Isis or ISIL…

Harrison Koehli
Yes, that eventually happens and happened - and that would from a bottom up that's how that's how the raw material is there for manipulation by even more pathological actors and even by foreign governments with their own agenda. ‘Here's something that we can use now’ (they say) and so you get all of these external factors influencing what was originally just a popular liberation movement. Look at the history of 20th century popular liberation movements - it's so easy for a movement of that sort that has a real wrong that (60:00) they want to fix - has a real grievance - it's so easy to pervert that into just another form of oppression.

Corey Schink
I've been reading a lot on the Russian Revolution (recently) and what followed after, and it reminds me of what was taking place when Russia set up the provisional government after the Tsar abdicated.

In 1917-18 they were (thinking) we don't have a Tsar anymore so now what are we going to do? Stalin and other prominent Marxist/Bolshevik politicians were grasping for power but they didn't quite know what to do with it so they were thinking that they had to create a coalition with other socialists and other Marxists because one of the things that anybody who had any sense of love for their homeland wanted to avoid at all cost was a civil war. That was the general idea, the general political will; we have all these soldiers returning, we have all of these problems, we have famine, we have disease, we have ethnic strife, and with this powder keg we have to form a coalition and just do whatever we can to avoid Civil War.

But then on the other hand Lenin had a completely different idea of what needed to take place, and so rather than writing to Stalin and to the others to say this is how we can form a plan with the other socialists etc or to gain power, he said we need to take the absolute revolutionary tack and we need to initiate that Civil War. Because Lenin was the archetype - that evil genius with that will to power who knew how to pull the strings in order to get what they wanted. He knew what they wanted and he knew that what they wanted above all was power, absolute power, and so then the only way to get that was not to share power with any of the other socialists, not to create coalition's - because then they would be divided and would have to make concessions to other political parties. So instead he hammered it home that it was time to increase the strife and increase the risk of civil war and then take power as soon as he could and that's what they did. They began arming themselves and I think a lot of people were disillusioned at that point. For at these stages in the rise of a ‘Pathocracy’, there's a breakdown between the adherence to the ideology and the natural human desire for well-being and the pathological mastermind, this archetypal evil that desires just pure power just to glorify the self and to dominate.

Harrison Koehli
We've already gone to the hour for today so maybe we'll just quickly cover ‘Phase Two’ and then next week we were planning on doing another show on this, so we'll then get into ‘Phase Three’ and then some of the next section in this chapter which is just some more features of a ‘Pathocracy’.

So just briefly getting into ‘Phase Two’, this would be where the dominance over the social/political movement starts to change over to what Lobaczewski calls ‘characterpaths’. These would be personality disorders of a certain type such as the ones I mentioned previously such as paranoiacs and those with frontal brain damage as well as more antisocial types.

This is where you get more of the spellbinding activity and the first time where the original ideology starts getting transformed bit by bit into what Lobaczewski calls it's ‘pathological counterpart’. This would be the point where the ideology is just a total mask, that there is nothing genuine about the ideology and there is a secondary purpose behind it. The ideology becomes just a Trojan horse for completely different motives and completely different purposes.

This has often been for me the tricky part; to see that the ideology itself, which for all this time leading up to this point has been genuine to a certain degree with people who believed in it… you've even have a lot (65:00) of the people espousing it as actually true believers and they're not even necessarily pathological to any great degree; they just have a bad idea. But as the movement becomes more Ponerized, as it becomes more saturated by individuals with personality disorders, the actual content and aims of the movement radically shift away from the original motivations.

As pathological as you might think Marxism is or indeed any kind of ideology… even right sector, or the alt-right or far right and neo-fascist ideologies, they're still ideologies; they still have things to believe in, as far out as they might seem to a lot of people. They can still get popular support because they appeal to emotions, to problems that normal people can get behind. But this is where you see that even that starts to be subverted, even these motivations which can have elements of violence and power seeking and of resentment and all the negative things that we might associate with ideology - there's something else even worse than all that behind the surface. That's what starts coming to the forefront in the Phase 2. So the way Lobaczewski would describe matters at this point is there may still not be any mass criminal acts… there still hasn't yet been any mass murders for instance (that's to come in the third stage)….

With that we will end it for today and come back next week where you'll find out what happens next in the story of ‘Pathocracy’.

So thanks Corey, thanks Elan for joining me and talking about this today. Take care everyone. Thank you.
With some help from the YouTube transcript, I've transcribed the most recent show below (a fantastic listen). Edited for grammar etc. Looking forward to (as Harrison so lightly put it) finding out what happens next in the story of ‘Pathocracy’. Some bedside Grimm fairy tale!

Good job Michael! I'm wondering, have you seen this thread?

We're always in need of people to transcribe and/or proofread. You can post a message there and @Gandalf can you get you set up if you're interested. There's a spread sheet the team uses to keep track of what's left to do (transcribe, proofread, post etc).

In the meantime I've added your initial transcription to the list as a google doc so others can edit, if needed. You can take a look there to see the preferred format for the transcriptions.

I also see that someone (was it you perhaps?) had already marked it as "done" in the "published on SoTT" column. However it still needs a proofread before we add it to the show article. As soon as someone gets to it it will be posted.

Thanks again for your help!
Just discovered MindMatters. Have watched/listened to three already and looking forward to every single upload. Thank you isn't a strong enough term to express my gratitude. (Needing more words for snow) Thank you!
Good job Michael! I'm wondering, have you seen this thread?

We're always in need of people to transcribe and/or proofread. You can post a message there and @Gandalf can you get you set up if you're interested. There's a spread sheet the team uses to keep track of what's left to do (transcribe, proofread, post etc).

In the meantime I've added your initial transcription to the list as a google doc so others can edit, if needed. You can take a look there to see the preferred format for the transcriptions.

I also see that someone (was it you perhaps?) had already marked it as "done" in the "published on SoTT" column. However it still needs a proofread before we add it to the show article. As soon as someone gets to it it will be posted.

Thanks again for your help!

A pleasure fabric and Hesper. Glad it was helpful. I will take on some of the other Mind Matters transcripts in the next while when I get the time as these shows are so important in giving context and additional ways into thinking about what is a dense and perhaps intimidating text. Thanks as ever to the great team of Harrison, Coey and Elan who are the ones who really give so much. I'm always a bit shocked at how - considering how many visitors there are (let alone members) to the forum and SOTT - that viewing and listening figures are not higher. Having been an avid ear all these years to all the radio shows I can't tell you how much they given - and on so many vital subjects. Thank you all. Radio stars!

I did sign up to do transcripts many moons ago but I've changed email and also misplaced log in details etc so long ago now that I'd better start from scratch. I'll be in touch with Gandalf and make sure I get back in sync with the way things need to be done.
Thank you, Michael! Your work and kind words are appreciated. And who knows - maybe SOTT, the shows and all the important content coming from this forum will find its way to larger audiences at some point in the future.
I've been watching the shows on my 4K TV. I can do that now with the new format. Heck, I'm learning allot and I thought I was pretty well versed in the material. So thanks guys, and yes Ennio I see no reason why it couldn't reach lager audiences, eventually. I hope it does because you guys do a really great job of explaining stuff. Two thumbs up. :thup:
I'd like to express my appreciation for this show. You guys have been doing an amazing job! Without absolutely any disregard to Harrison's brainy style or Corey's rock-solid discourse, I've really been enjoying Elan's contributions. As Corey once said, keep preaching, Elan!

Really, you guys make a great team.

And I haven't forgotten Carolyn, great participations!

Maybe do some more Whitehead, what about those eternal forms? Or maybe a theological bent towards Engberg-Pedersen?

Anyway, keep rocking!
Thanks as ever to the great team of Harrison, Coey and Elan who are the ones who really give so much. I'm always a bit shocked at how - considering how many visitors there are (let alone members) to the forum and SOTT - that viewing and listening figures are not higher. Having been an avid ear all these years to all the radio shows I can't tell you how much they given - and on so many vital subjects. Thank you all. Radio stars!

When I read the last part I thought: "Video did not kill the radio stars!" :lol:

Yes, thank you all for these shows! I often listen while getting ready for bed or while doing housework, and they are always phenomenal and thought-provoking. You guys have a wonderful way of approaching and breaking down the contents, and with such light and humour! :thup:
Thank you for the feedback everyone, we're glad you're enjoying the show!

Maybe do some more Whitehead, what about those eternal forms? Or maybe a theological bent towards Engberg-Pedersen?

Good suggestions - we don't have any definite plans for covering Whitehead or Engberg-Pedersen in the immediate future but I'm sure we'll be getting back to them soon. There's just so much interesting material to cover, but it helps to know what our audience is interested in. :-)Thanks CIS!
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