Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes
by Andrew M. Lobaczewski
with commentary and additional quoted material
This article is a two-parter. I should notify the reader that the really good stuff is in the second part, so don't skip it!
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:
I was naïve, 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.
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. £obaczewski
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: 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”: (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 naïve, 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 generation’s 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.
Lobaczewski: 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.
Lobaczewski: 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.
Lobaczewski: 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.
Lobaczewski explains: 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.