Political Ponerology is available for Kindle!

Scottie

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We are pleased to announce that Political Ponerology is now available as an eBook for Amazon Kindle.

In the USA: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EGBZ64

In the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009EGBZ64

Availability in other countries should be coming within days as Amazon publishes the book to their various sites.

Note that you don't actually need to have a Kindle to read Kindle eBooks - there is free Kindle Reader Software available for:

- iPhone
- Windows
- Mac
- Blackberry
- Android
- iPad
- Windows Phone 7
 

mb

The Living Force
Re: Political Ponerology

At last -- thank you! Now I can read the entire thing.
 

Lisa Guliani

The Living Force
I do have this in paperback, but reading off the kindle is much easier on my eyes these days. I like to refer back to this book alot, so I'm really happy that it is now available for kindle. I just ordered the ebook....thank you so much for doing this.
 

Skyalmian

Jedi Master
https://www.amazon.com/Political-Ponerology-Science-Adjusted-Purposes/dp/1897244479 is apparently the latest version (May 2009), but out of print? with only "2 New from $172.35".

Where are the paperback versions of the latest edition? / Are they mainly on "Pilule Rouge"? -> Political Ponerology - Les Editions Pilule Rouge

(A consolidation project for Cassiopaea-related books, merchandise, etc. wouldn't be a bad idea, since things seem to be 'scattered'. (Lots of bad links in Political Ponerology: Order Information , for example.))
 

Ophiuchus

Padawan Learner
A consolidation project for Cassiopaea-related books, merchandise, etc. wouldn't be a bad idea, since things seem to be 'scattered'.

So many times I wondered why there still is no 'cassiopaea-shop'. All Laura's books at one trustworthy site, related books/items and an easy option to make a donation at the same time. Think a lot of people would love this.
 

genero81

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We had our discussion on P.P. Saturday night. Anthony (the group's owner) recognized how important of a work it is but has an issue with what he feels is Lobaczewski's seeming recommendation to let psychopaths of the hook for crimes they commit. I see it as Lobaczewski emphasizing the imperative for a radically new approach that looks at the phenomenon much more soberly without the emotion of moral outrage getting in the way of a clinically scientific view from which to recognize and treat the 'disease.' I tried my best to explain that during the meetup. Anthony took the time post meetup to detail his argument included below.


"I pulled these from my notes. I took out most of my own notes (with a few exceptions) so that you can focus on his own words. /,I will let Lobaczewski speak for himself.



No Contempt for “Evil”!
After inventing the term “ponerology” as the study of “evil,” Lobaczewski says that the doctor “ought never to feel any contempt for the patient or his disease.” (p.279) That is like saying humanity’s collective moral repugnance towards “evil” (e.g. Josef Mengele’s experiments on children in concentration camps during the Holocaust) is an error in nature. It’s one thing for a mob to lynch a Negro, which is an offense to human morality, but it’s quite another for a mob to lynch Mussolini out of moral outrage, which suggests that humanity’s moral makeup can never be permanently violated. Lobaczewski’s appeal to an impassioned, scientific approach is to avoid the former, but if he’s not careful, he’d be standing against the latter as well.


Attitude of Forgiveness: Lobaczewski thinks we should take an attitude of “forgiveness” (p.181).


Love Your Neighbor: “The basic position should be the intent to fulfill the commandment of loving one’s neighbor, including even those who have committed substantial evil, and even if this love indicates taking proplylactic action to protect others from that evil.” (p.281) [the right word here is “prophylactic”]


Abstain From Judging: “Judge not” (p.181). “If we consistently abstain from moral judgments of other people, we transfer our attention to tracking the causative processes that are responsible for conditioning the behavior of another person or society. This improves our prospects for proper mental hygiene and our capacity to apprehend psychological reality. Such restraint also enables us to avoid an error which poisons minds and souls all too effectively, namely superimposing a moralizing interpretation upon the activity of pathological factors. We also avoid emotional entanglements and better control our own egotism and egocentrism, thus facilitating objective analysis of phenomena.” (p.181)


Refrain From Punishing: “…our attitude must be defined by an acceptance of biological and psychological facts; renouncing any morally or emotionally charged interpretation of their psychological deviations…we must not abandon our psychotherapeutic attitude and refrain from punishing those whose guilt we are unable to evaluate...” (p.287-8)


Mitigation of Punishment: Lobaczewski seems to be saying that if one can’t entirely refrain from punishing, then one should at least mitigate it. “…if essential psychopathy is virtually 100% predictive concerning attraction to and inclusion in pathocratic activity, should a judgment recognize similar mitigation of punishment?” (p.289-90)


Don’t Fault Them: “We should not fault anyone for having inherited some psychological anomalies from his parents any more than we fault someone in the case of physical or physiological anomalies such as Daltonism.” (p.291) [Lohl: But the science is not clear on that!!] (I think this definitely plays into Anthony's objection. He's doesn't accept that psychopathy is genetically inherited)


Don’t Blame Them:
“…we should use force with regard to such people, sometimes including forced psychotherapy, supervision, prevention, and care. Any concept of blame or guilt would only make it more difficult to behave in a way which is not only humanitarian and purposeful, but more effective as well.” (p.291)


“Nuremberg Error”: “Legal retribution would be a repetition of the Nuremberg error. That judgment upon war criminals could have been a never-to-be repeated opportunity to show the world the entire psychopathology of the Hitlerian system, with the person of the “Fuhrer” at the head. That would have led to a faster and deeper disabusement of the Nazi tradition in Germany. Such conscious exposure of the operations of pathological factors on a macrosocial scale would have reinforced the process of psychological rehabilitation for Germans and the world as a whole by means of the naturalistic categories applicable to that state of affairs. That would also have constituted a healthy precedent for illuminating and stifling other pathocracies’ operations. What actually happened is that psychiatrists and psychologists succumbed all too easily to the pressures of their own emotions and political factors, their judgments giving short shrift to the actual pathological properties of both the majority of the defendants and of Nazism as a whole. Several famous individuals with psychopathic features or other deviations were hanged or sentenced to prison terms.” “We are not allowed to repeat such errors, since the results make it more difficult to comprehend the essence of macrosocial pathological phenomena…” (p.292)


Limit Their Responsibility: “In today’s real world situation, there is only one scientifically and morally justified solution which could remedy our current plight of nations and also furnish a proper beginning for solving the problem of societies’ genetic burden with a view to the future. That would be an appropriate law based upon the best possible understanding of macrosocial pathological phenomena and their causes, which would limit pathocrats’ responsibility to those cases alone (usually of a criminal sadistic nature) in which it is hard to accept the inability to discern the meaning of such an act.” (p.293)


They Do Not Have Free Choice/Will: “…the image of the phenomenon is so dominated by causality that there is not much room left for free choice. We shall in fact never be in the position to evaluate the scope of free choice with which an individual person has been endowed. In forgiving, we subordinate our minds to the laws of nature, to a basic extent. When we withhold judgment regarding the scope of the remainder unknown to us, we subject our mind to the discipline of refraining from entering a domain barely accessible to our mind.” “Forgiveness thus leads our reason into a state of intellectual discipline and order, thereby permitting us to discern life’s realia and their causative links more clearly. This makes it easier for us to control our instinct’s vindictive reflexes and protect our minds from the tendency to impose moralizing interpretations upon psychopathological phenomena.” (p.293)


“Acts of Mercy” & “Divine Plan”:
“Only such an act of mercy, unprecedented in history, can break the age-old chain of the ponerogenic cycles and open the door both to new solutions for perennial problems and to a new legislative method based on an understanding of the causes of evil.” (p.295) “The author believes that this precise kind of breakthrough in the methodology of thought and action is within the Divine Plan for this generation.” (p.296)


A New Law to Supersede Penal Law:
“What is now called “penal” law would be superseded by another kind of law with a completely modernized foundation based on an understanding of the genesis of evil and of the personalities of people who commit evil. Such law would be significantly more humanitarian…Of course…more dependent upon a better understanding of causation than could ever possibly be the case in a punitive system. A trend toward transformations in this direction is evident in the legislation of civilized nations.” (p.309; Chap.10, “Vision of the Future”)




I meant the praises that I heaped upon this book. I have learned tremendously from it. I am merely pointing out what I believe is the only major shortfall of the book. But it seems to be a serious one.


Like I said, the best explanation I can come up with is that Lobaczewski did not wish to burn his bridges with his home country, to which he still desired to return if he could, possibly even for high office (refer to “Council of Wise Men” on p.308 in the last conclusion of the book). Because of that, he did not want to alienate or unnecessarily antagonize those in power. ( This is his somewhat cynical explantion as to why he thinks Lobaczewski is recommending this approach)



Let me close with this quote from Lobaczewski himself. It comes also in the conclusion to the book.


“Are we, whose instincts and intelligence are normal and, according to the criteria of our moral world view, in the position to evaluate the guilt of these others for actions they performed within pathocracy’s collective madness? Judging them in accordance with traditional legal regulations would constitute reverting to the imposition of normal man’s force upon psychopathic individuals, i.e. to the initial position which engendered pathocracy to begin with. Is subjecting them to vindictive justice worth prolonging the duration of pathocracy for even a single year…? Would eliminating a certain number of psychopaths significantly diminish these anomalies’ burden upon society’s gene pool and contribute toward a solution to this problem? Unfortunately, the answer is no! People with various psychological deviations have always existed in every society on earth.” (p.291)


Again, by this logic no criminal should be punished, because there will always be criminals in society. Do regular (non-psychopathic) criminals not often have justifiable reasons for committing crime as well?


Since Lobaczewski himself admits that the science of ponerology does not solve the problem of psychopathy/pathocracy (p.180), and since it is under-developed, no one really is in a position to judge a pathocrat. “Even if armed with all the present and future accomplishments of ponerology, will we ever be in a position to abstract and evaluate the individual blame of another person?” (p.180)


Yet again, by that logic, we should just take it easy on the psychopaths, in or out of government, forever?



By the way, The Atlantic magazine has a series of articles on the question of free will in light of the latest developments in neuroscience. ISGN has done at least two sessions on that, so I will not re-visit it here.


As I said on Saturday, if you “forgive” a low-level psychopath, you’d have to forgive a high-level one like Hitler or Statin in principle. (According to Lobaczewski above, “even those who have committed substantial evil” deserve “love.”) In the absence of a universally agreed “scientific standard of ponerology,” who gets to decide? That question was settled after WWII with the creation of the International Criminal Court and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If even legal science is not universally accepted, would such a science of ponerology do? Will Third World countries ever agree to an essential Western science? Not to mention that psychology is not a hard science, or will ever be, given the unquantifiable variables of human psychology.


This, by the way, is why Collingwood’s critique of the Western, scientific approach to history is superior.



How many more centuries and even millennia before such a science can be fully developed and accepted by the international community? By then, even if we get there, untold millions would have been murdered by psychopaths in power. Yet by Lobaczewski’s own account, it will never get there! That is a flawed argument."

I made the argument at the time of the meetup that if Lobaczewski's approach worked, then we might very well prevent the atrocities from which to be morally outraged in the first place.

Any thoughts?



 

Approaching Infinity

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One issue is purely practical. Even non-pathocratic rulers are unlikely to give up their hold on power if losing it means they and their supporters will be punished. We're not talking about some street criminal, or even a gang or mob. (And speaking of mobs, think of how much power THEY have, and how hard it is hold them all accountable.) A ruling party - especially one that stretches from the top all the way down to the village or neighborhood, as is the case in pathocracies - is much harder to wipe out completely and remove from power.

I think I'm like most other people and would like to see all tyrants (petty or not) held accountable, but that's just not practical in our world. There's a reason warring parties have prisoner exchanges, amnesties, etc., and why non-violent regime changes often involve pacted transitions. Because it's that, or simply continuing the existing cycle.

For a practical example, just look at Syria. Assad has wisely offered full amnesty for militants who surrender. (Of course, there are probably exceptions, with some arrests and targeted assassinations.) Think of what would happen if he demanded full justice. The militants would dig themselves into their own entrenched position even deeper, more people would die, and the war would take longer.
 

Aeneas

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For a practical example, just look at Syria. Assad has wisely offered full amnesty for militants who surrender. (Of course, there are probably exceptions, with some arrests and targeted assassinations.) Think of what would happen if he demanded full justice. The militants would dig themselves into their own entrenched position even deeper, more people would die, and the war would take longer.
Syria is a good example and Russia has done a great deal to facilitate the reconciliation including in making safe passage possible from terrorist areas. As AI says there is very practical issue involved here. There are plenty of examples which shows that harsh punishment and revenge just prolong conflicts and create new scars which takes generations to heal. The Nurnberg trial was a big show and people have ever since repeated the motto "less we forget", but nothing seems to have been learned and history is repeating before our very eyes as if "forget" was all that was done.

Another part tied to the practical aspect is whether we are really in a position to pass judgement of others in ways of punishment. To me it looks as if we make better use of our time by observing and recognising patterns of evil and teaching others to learn and see the signs too. Then we can in the small spheres of our influence apply that knowledge and make sure that pathological deviants don't get into any positions of power. This limits the fertile ground for the development of ponerogenesis.
 
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