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Fri

09

Feb

2007

The Science of Evil and its use for Political Purposes
Friday, 09 February 2007 16:30
by Carolyn Baker

EVIL:  1 a: morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked<an evil impulse> b: arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>2 aarchaic: inferiorb: causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive<an evil odor> c:disagreeable<woke late and in an evil temper>3 a: causing harm : pernicious<the evil institution of slavery> b: marked by misfortune : unlucky [Merriam-Webster Online]

Canada’s Red Pill press has recently published psychologist Andrew M. Lobaczewski’s book Political Ponerology (Red Pill Press, Canada, 1998 and 2006)in which the author expounds on his observations that during his years of clinical work in Poland, he noticed a high correlation between acts that most people would label as “evil” and various pathologies. The most apt diagnostic labeling of these individuals in modern psychological jargon would be sociopathic, the most important characteristic of which is the seeming absence of a conscience or empathy in relation to other living beings. Lobaczewski and some of his Eastern European colleagues working under Soviet rule decided to take this study to a higher level and researched how sociopathy was playing out in government, in business, and in other social groups.

Political ponerology (originating from the Greek word for evil, poneros) is a science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes which ultimately on a larger scale results in a pathocracy. The research indicates that sociopaths are found in all races, ethnicities, and creeds, and that no group is immune to them. Sociopaths constitute, according to the author, about 6% of the population of any given group. Red Pill’s editor states that, “Political Ponerology is a book that offers a horrifying glimpse into the structure underlying our governments, our biggest corporations, and even our system of law.” After I read the book, a number of nagging questions about the policies and practices of government and corporate officials began to answer themselves in that Lobaczewski’s analysis goes to the heart of why the United States government has become a criminal enterprise hell bent on dominating the world and annihilating vast quantities of human beings globally and domestically.

When I first began the book I was more than a little put off by Lobaczewski’s European style of writing—his wordiness and his succinctness-challenged approach. Nevertheless, as I kept reading, and I must admit, struggling with his sentences, I grew increasingly grateful for the book and the friend who gave it to me. As a result, a few of the author’s fundamental concepts cry out to be shared, and this article is an attempt to do just that.

Lobaczewski first points out that societies are the most vulnerable to evil during good times. “During good times,” he writes, “people progressively lose sight of the need for profound reflection, introspection, knowledge of others, and an understanding of life’s complicated laws.” (P.85) Certainly, in my lifetime, I have not witnessed an American society willing to reflect and wrestle with the complexities of existence since the Vietnam War. Although much of the protest and activism of the sixties was naively myopic, the tension and angst of the era drove a majority of individuals in the United States to look deeper within themselves than they otherwise might have.

Following upon the heels of the war, of course, came Watergate, and further confirmation that governments always betray their own citizens and always lie about doing so. Then as the ME-generation seventies offered us the deceptions of peace and honest government, the groundwork for the current horrors domestically and internationally were being laid. America was war-weary, and smarting from the wounds of Watergate, acting out Lobaczewski’s assertion that “During good times, the search for truth becomes uncomfortable because it reveals inconvenient facts.” (85) On the other hand, he states, “Suffering, effort, and mental activity during times of imminent bitterness lead to progressive, generally heightened, regeneration of lost values, which results in human progress.” (P.87) Conversely, “The cycle of happy, peaceful times favors a narrowing of the world view and an increase in egotism….” Well, Jung said it long before Lobaczewski: Consciously analyzed suffering produces growth while letting nothing roll besides the good times produces stagnation and delusion.(87)

Perhaps no generation in American history has ever been so vulnerable to egotism as that of the seventies. It became known as the ME generation for a reason—not only because Americans became more personally narcissistic but also because internationally, in spite of losing our first war and weathering the Watergate scandal, we proceeded to demonstrate our superiority as we continued to stage various coups around the world and wage economic warfare on developing nations, setting the stage for Reagan’s ascent to power in the eighties and the polarization of ourselves as the savior in contrast to the “evil empire” of anyone else who dared to disagree.

It is exactly at those times of ego-delirium that nations render themselves deaf, dumb, and blind to conscience-less sociopaths who seduce them into policies and practices that are lethal for themselves and the rest of the world. Lack of reflection by definition produces human beings devoid of discernment.

One enormous problem I have with Lobaczewski’s elucidation of his theory is his use of “normal” to describe people who are not sociopaths. I wish he had used a different term since “normal” is so amorphous and laden with the naïve assumption that there is such a thing as a human being who is not dysfunctional in at least one aspect of his/her life. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that so-called “normal” individuals cannot comprehend the mind or behavior of the sociopath and are thus especially vulnerable to being harmed by them—hence the principal reason for writing a book on Ponerology, namely, to educate non-sociopaths about the pathology. The author uses the term “spellbinders” to describe psychological snake charmers who appear to be saviors, enlightened thinkers/politicians, even activists who present themselves as possessing insights based on research uniquely carried out by themselves or information gained through extraordinary channels to which no one else has access. This could also apply to cult leaders like Warren Jeffs and Jim Jones.

Yet, the author warns the reader that our own unconscious processes can cause us to block out the “red flags” that may arise in dealing with sociopaths. “Unconscious psychological processes outstrip conscious reasoning, both in time and in scope, which makes many psychological phenomena possible.” (152) Thus the denial that prohibits some individuals from seeing the darkest truths of what a sociopath is trying to promote, i.e., “Our government wouldn’t harm us; our government has our best interests at heart; no president could get away with that; the rule of law is still at work in America; fascism can’t happen here; the U.S. government couldn’t possibly have orchestrated the 9/11 attacks; if 9/11 were orchestrated by the U.S. government, too many people would have been involved for it to remain a secret”, and on and on ad infinitum.

Lobaczewski asserts that every society should teach its members proper thinking skills and how to detect the red flags of sociopathy. Teaching critical thinking skills in the educational process is one step in that direction, but in America’s No Child Left Behind gargantuan dumbing down project, even this first step is overwhelmingly absent.

The author states that “an ever-strengthening network of psychopathic and related individuals gradually starts to dominate, overshadowing the others.” (192) This situation rapidly devolves into a pathocracy or a system wherein a small pathological minority takes control over a society of normal people. (193) The book’s editor, Laura Knight-Jadczyk, in her footnotes does not hesitate to name Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, under the tutelage of Leo Strauss, as principal players in America’s twenty-first century pathocracy. Tragically, according to the author, “Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything [and]…progressively intrudes everywhere and dulls everything.”(195)

If this all sounds very grim, and it is, Lobaczewski encourages us by emphasizing that, “If the ponerogenic activity of pathological factors—deviant individuals and their activities—is subjectged to conscious controls of a scientific, individual, and societal nature, we can counteract evil as effectively as by means of persistent calls to respect moral values.” (180) In other words, the author insists, crusading for moral values alone, can neither prevent nor expose ponerogenic activity. In fact, he asserts, it can exacerbate such activity by distracting attention from the most ghastly forms of evil to that which is not evil at all or presents with a more complex and less blatant quality. We have only to witness the ideology and rhetoric of the religious right in this country to observe a stellar example of the latter. Professing to be a “culture of life” it is implacably obsessed with death, apocalyptic violence, hell fire and brimstone. It serves no purpose, essentially, in the current milieu but to foster and perpetuate pathocracy.

Political Ponerology is an invaluable work that every human being striving to become conscious, should read, not only for its expose of the pathology of the individuals currently in control of the United States government, but also the light it may shed on individuals closer to home, some of whom may be friends, fellow-activists, business or civic leaders. The book’s purpose is not to incite paranoia, but to cultivate discernment and buttress our trust of our innate intuition in order to navigate the daunting manifestations of evil that surround us in the twenty-first century.
 
Carolyn Blogs at http://carolynbaker.org/
 
 
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a guest said:

0
Invaluable book
I had the opportunity to read this book recently and it is difficult to overstate the impact it had. After years of frustration and literal shock at the behavior of our 'leaders' - the information in this book made sense of everything. Granted, it is an insidious problem that will not go away until everyone truly understands how and why 'ponerological' regimes take control - but this book takes the first step in laying out the details and the definitions. It's not a light read; it takes some effort - but it is beyond worth this effort. I actually think that if everyone on the planet understood the material in this book, the time of ruthless regimes ruling over normal people would be behind humanity once and for all.

 
February 09, 2007
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a guest said:

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...
Excellent review! One can only hope that people SEE the evil that is inherent in today's world, and the people who run it...
 
February 09, 2007
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a guest said:

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Sounds right to me!
I found this book at my local bookstore and have to say that I agree with Ms. Baker. It is an important book that perfectly describes the state of the world. We've been ruled by psychopaths for TOO long. Hopefully more people will read this book, and we can do something about the desperate condition of our planet.
 
February 09, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Timeless information
The book, borne from the scientific process and perilous environments under which Lobaczewski and his colleagues strove to conduct and catalog their research, reveals the psychology behind the minority in power and how it is used to dominate the majority of society. All of us would do well to read this book and learn to identify and counter those without conscience.

An excellent summary to a well-edited presentation of Mr. Lobaczewski's work.
 
February 09, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Eye opening
Finally, a book that provides all the necessary tools for understanding why politicians, our leaders, behave as they do. I used to be apathetic towards political affairs but woke-up big time with the GWB regime. I just couldn't understand how these individuals could be so callous, cold and calculating and would chalk it up to simplistic character flaws. Reading about ponerology was the missing link I was looking for and I'm positive you will also shout a mental "Ah-ha!" as puzzle pieces that were previously jumbled fit into place. Lobaczewski's message of vigilance has reinforced my will to keep my eyes open and to continue pressing on and also sharing information with my friends and family. If enough people see that the emperor has no clothes, psychopaths will no longer have power over us.
 
February 09, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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It's About Time
This book, Political Ponerology, is one of the best books out for those who want to find the truth about those who are ruling, not only our nation, but the world.

It's about time that the people wake up and see the pathocracy for what it is. Ms. Baker did a wonderful review of this book. Easy to read and understand, and to get a glimpse of what the government has become.
 
February 09, 2007
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a guest said:

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It's About Time
Political Ponerology is one of the best books out on what has become, of not only our government, but the governments of the whole world.

This is a book for everyone who wants to know exactly what is going on in our world. Why does it seem to be going downhill? This book has the answers.

And Ms. Baker did a wonderful job in her review, making it easy to read and understand.
 
February 09, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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It's About Time
Political Ponerology is one of the best books for those who want to know what is going on, not only in our government, but all the governments of the world.

It's about time that people wake up and see the controllers of the world for what they really are.

Ms. Baker's review is wonderful. It is easy to read and understand, and is to the point.
 
February 09, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Political Ponerology
It is hard to fully convey just how important Andrew Lobaczewski's book Political Ponerology really is. It furnishes the reader with a complete understanding of the true nature of psychopathy and in doing so answers the most troubling question of perhaps all ages: "why does war happen?". This is a book grounded in hard science that possesses the potential to free humanity from the suffering created by centuries of open-ended and needless war. While its premise may shock you, it will also leave you in no doubt about the real reason that we as a species seem to be perched on the edge of an abyss that threatens the future of all: Essential psychopathy and the deviant minds that have risen to positions of almost absolute power.
 
February 09, 2007
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a guest said:

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Essential Reading
An invaluable and timely book. Suddenly, the reasons behind the pathological minority's rise to power and why they make the decisions they do, becomes clear. If this information were to find its way into the hands of the majority of normal people, i.e. those with a conscience, there could be a profound change in the direction our lives are heading.
 
February 10, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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...
I’m glad to see a review of this book! It went a long way in helping me understand how “people” in power can do the things they do to the rest of humanity.
 
February 10, 2007
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a guest said:

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...
I haven't read the entire book yet but have read lots of excerpts. Learning about socio/pyschopathy has really helped me to understand individuals in my personal life and has been invaluable in helping me to understand what is going on in our governments, corporations and institutions. We really need to be shining a light into to those dark scary places - and POLITICAL PONEROLOGY can help us. It's great to see word about this book and the work of it's editor L. Knight-Jadczyk getting out to a wider audience.
 
February 10, 2007
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a guest said:

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...
I agree with Ms. Baker that it is a difficult book to begin. I attribute that more to the fact that such depth of discourse is no longer the norm. The "Dumbing down" of the populace has seen to that (remember when Treasure Island was a kid's book? Now they teach it in college . . . .) Once the grey matter acclimated to prose both complex and precise, it was an exhilarating, if disturbing read. The ideas are complex. They require pondering and deserve further research. Dr. L. himself contends that the surface has only been scratched regarding the implications of his life's work.

Not to be missed!!
 
February 10, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Gets to the root of the problem
This book addresses that one core issue that has always been downplayed, ignored and deemphasized by the cowards and sell outs in our so called ‘educational systems’ and media. And what is that core issue? It’s PSYCHOPATHY and those predatory power hungry psychopaths in our governments and institutions that rule our lives. THAT is the core issue. It’s the root of our problems and this book gets to the root causes.
 
February 10, 2007
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a guest said:

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WOW! Hits the nail right on the head
I have just finished reading this book. I'm still a bit speechless! I can see why the author had to fight for half a century to get it published. He exposes the goverments of our world for the different breed I have long suspected them to be, namely psychopaths, beings without conscience. It is evident now simply by looking at the likes of GW, Dick Cheney or Tony Blair and their current actions. After reading this book you can view and understand them much better.

Highly recommended & vital reading for 94% of the world population. And they need to read it now!
 
February 10, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Helps to Open Your Eyes
This is a book that not only helped me to answer questions and situations that I had from my own personal life, but was an invaluable tool, assisting me at my workplace, where I had an emotionless, psychopath-type on my case.

A most recommended read for anyone.
 
February 10, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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If you want to understand
I've read this book. I agree that it was somewhat challenging reading at times, but well worth the effort. If you've ever asked "what is going on?" then you need to read this book!!
 
February 10, 2007
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a guest said:

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Awesome Book, Must Read....
After reading ponerology one has a much needed understanding of psychological issues which everyone on earth should be given in their primary education.

The awareness of deviants and how they act allows one to develop an effective counter-measure and gives one the ability to prevent deformation of one's own personality by their psychological mind games.

All in all highly recommended.
 
February 11, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Kudos to Carolyn Baker for a great review of a powerful book
Thanks to Carolyn Baker for boiling this important book down to bytes that we can all understand. I'm about half-way through Political Ponerology, and I can't tell you how many insights I've gained about world politics as a result of what I've read so far. Everything makes sense now in terms of the pathocrats at the helms of the world's major governments. I, too, hope the "normal" people of the world will read this book, so that we can wake up before it's too late.
 
February 12, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

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Sociology is no longer a soft subject!
Political Ponerology is one of the most demanding books I have read because it is so hard hitting, so universal in its application and yet so careful in its analysis that it is impossible to ignore the issues that it brings up.

Extraordinary hypotheses need to be extraordinarily well backed up, and this book does it - with a comprehensive analysis of the present, and a seed of hope in the form of education as a recipe for building societies of the future. It is one hell of a subject, and very well synopsized here by Carolyn Baker
 
February 12, 2007
Votes: +0

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