Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes II
by Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Ph.D.
with commentary and additional quoted
Paranoidal character disorders: It is characteristic of paranoid behavior for people to be capable of relatively correct reasoning and discussion as long as the conversation involves minor differences of opinions. This stops abruptly when the partner's arguments begin to undermine their overvalued ideas, crush their long-held stereotypes of reasoning, or force them to accept a conclusion they had subconsciously rejected before. Such a stimulus unleashes upon the partner a torrent of pseudo-logical, largely para-moralistic, often insulting utterances which always contain some degree of suggestion.
Utterances like these inspire aversion among cultivated and logical people, but they enslave less critical minds, e.g. people with other kinds of psychological deficiencies, who were earlier the objects of the egotistical influence of individuals with character disorders, and in particular a large part of the young. […]
We know today that the psychological mechanism of paranoid phenomena is twofold: one is caused by damage to the brain tissue, the other is functional or behavioral.[…]
In persons free of brain-tissue lesions, such phenomena most frequently occur as a result of being reared by people with paranoidal characteropathia, along with the psychological terror of their childhood. Such psychological material is then assimilated creating the rigid stereotypes of abnormal experiencing. This makes it difficult for thought and world-view to develop normally, and the terror-blocked contents become transformed into permanent functional congestive centers.[…]
Frontal characteropathy: The frontal areas of the cerebral cortex (10A and B acc. to the Brodmann division) are virtually present in no creature except man; they are composed of the phylogenetically youngest nervous tissue. Their cyto-architecture is similar to the much older visual projection areas on the opposite pole of the brain. This suggests some functional similarity. […] As described by researchers (Luria et al.), the functions of these areas - thought-process acceleration and coordination - seem to result from this basic function.
Damage to this area … has been significantly reduced due to improved medical care for pregnant women and newborns. The spectacular ponerogenic role which results from character disorders caused by this can thus be considered somewhat characteristic of past generations and primitive cultures.
Brain cortex damage in these areas selectively impairs the above mentioned function without impairing memory, associative capacity, or in particular such instinct-based feelings and functions as for instance the ability to intuit a psychological situation. The general intelligence of an individual is thus not greatly reduced. […]
The pathological character of such people, generally containing a component of hysteria, develops through the years. The non-damaged psychological functions become overdeveloped to compensate, which means that instinctive and affective reactions predominate. Relatively vital people become belligerent, risk-happy, and brutal in both word and deed. Persons with an innate talent for intuiting psychological situations tend to take advantage of this gift in an egotistical and ruthless fashion. In the thought process of such people, a short cut way develops which bypasses the handicapped function, thus leading from associations directly to words, deeds, and decisions which are not subject to any dissuasion. Such individuals interpret their talent for intuiting situations and making split-second oversimplified decisions as a sign of their superiority compared to normal people, who need to think for a long time, experiencing self-doubt and conflicting motivations. The fate of such creatures does not deserve to be pondered long.
Such "Stalinistic characters" traumatize and actively spellbind others, and their influence finds it exceptionally easy to bypass the controls of common sense. A large proportion of people tend to credit such individuals with special powers, thereby succumbing to their egotistic beliefs. If a parent manifests such a defect, no matter how minimal, all the children in the family evidence anomalies in personality development.
The author studied an entire generation of older, educated, people wherein the source of such influence was the eldest sister who suffered perinatal damage of frontal centers. From early childhood, her four younger brothers assimilated pathologically altered psychological material, including their sister's growing component of hysteria. They retained well into their sixties the deformities of personality and world-view, as well as hysterical features thus caused, whose intensity diminished in proportion to the greater difference in age. Subconscious selection of information made it impossible for them to apprehend any critical comments regarding their sister's character, also these were capable of offending family honor. The brothers accepted as real their sister's pathological delusions and complaints about her "bad" husband (who was actually a decent person) and her son, in whom she found a scapegoat to avenge her failures. They thereby participated in a world of vengeful emotions, considering their sister a completely normal person whom they were prepared to defend - by the most unsavory methods, if need be - against any suggestions of her abnormality. They thought normal women were insipid and naive, good for nothing but sexual conquest. Not one among the brothers ever created a healthy family or developed even average wisdom of life.
The character development of these people also included many other factors dependent upon the time and place in which they were reared: the turn of the century, with a patriotic Polish father and German mother who obeyed contemporary custom by formally accepting her husband's nationality, but who still remained an advocate of the militarism and accepting of the intensified hysteria which covered Europe at the time. That was the Europe of the three Emperors: The concept of "honor" sanctified triumph. Staring at someone too long was sufficient pretext for a duel. These brothers were thus raised to be valiant duelists full of saber-scars; however, the slashes they inflicted upon their opponents were more frequent and much worse.[…]
[All other considerations of time and place aside] if the sister had not suffered brain damage and the pathological factors had not existed the evil [these men] sowed too liberally during their lives would either not have existed at all, or else been reduced to a scope conditioned by more remote pathological factors. […]
Comparative considerations also led the author to conclude that Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Stalin, should be included in the list of this particular ponerogenic characteropathy, which developed against the backdrop of perinatal damage to his brain's prefrontal fields. Literature and news about him abounds in indications: brutal, charismatic snake-charming; issuing of irrevocable decisions; inhuman ruthlessness, pathologic vengefulness directed at anyone who got in his way; and egotistical belief in his own genius on the part of a person whose mind was, in fact, average. This state explains as well his psychological dependence on a psychopath like Beria. Some photographs reveal the typical deformation of his forehead which appears in people who suffered very early damage to the areas mentioned above. […]
Drug induced characteropathies: During the last few decades, medicine has begun using a series of drugs with serious side effects: they attack the nervous system, leaving permanent damage behind. These generally discreet handicaps sometimes give rise to personality changes which are often very harmful socially. Streptomycin proved a very dangerous drug; as a result, some countries have limited its use, whereas others have taken it off the list of drugs whose use is permitted.
The cytostatic [cancer treatment] drugs used in treating neoplastic diseases often attack the phylogenetically oldest brain tissue, the primary carrier of our instinctive substratum and basic feelings. Persons treated with such drugs progressively tend to lose their emotional color and their ability to intuit a psychological situation. They retain their intellectual functions but become praise-craving egocentrics, easily ruled by people who know how to take advantage of this. They become indifferent to other people's feelings and the harm they are inflicting upon them; any criticism of their own person or behavior is repaid with a vengeance. Such a change of character in a person who until recently enjoyed respect on the part of his environment or community, which perseveres in human minds, becomes a pathological phenomenon causing often tragic results.[…]
Similar to the above in psychological picture, such results may be caused by endogenous toxins or viruses. When sometimes the mumps proceeds with a brain reaction, it leaves in its wake a discrete pallor or flatness of feelings and a slight decrease in mental efficiency. Similar phenomena are witnessed after a difficult bout with diphtheria. Finally polio also attacks the brain [..] People with leg paresis rarely manifest these effects, but those with paresis of the neck and/or shoulders must count themselves lucky if they do not. In addition to affective pallor, persons manifesting these effects usually evidence an inability to comprehend the crux of a matter and naïveté. […]
Character anomalies developing as a result of brain-tissue damage behave like insidious ponerogenic factors. As a result of the above-described features, [ponerogenic influences] easily anchor in human minds, traumatizing our psyches, impoverishing and deforming our thoughts and feelings, and limiting individuals' and societies' ability to use common sense and recognize a psychological or moral situation.
This opens the door to other pathological characters who most frequently carry some inherited psychological deviations. They then push the characteropathic individuals into the shadows and proceed with their ponerogenic work. That is why various types of characteropathies participate in the initial periods of the genesis of evil, both on the macro-social scale and on the individual scale of human families.
An improved social system of the future should thus protect individuals and societies by preventing persons with the above deviations, or the characteristics to be discussed below, from any social functions wherein the fate of other people would depend upon their behavior. This of course applies primarily to top governmental positions. Such questions should be decided by an appropriate institution composed of people with a reputation for wisdom and with medical and psychological training. The features of brain-tissue lesions and their character disorder results are much easier to detect than some inherited anomalies. Thus, stifling ponerogenic process by removing these factors from the process of the synthesis of evil is effective during the early phases of such genesis, and much easier in practice.
Science already protects societies from the results of some physiological anomalies which are accompanied by certain psychological weaknesses. The tragic role played by hereditary hemophilia among European royalty is well known. Responsible people nowadays are anxious not to allow a carrier of such a gene to become queen. Any society lavishing so much care upon individuals with blood-coagulation insufficiency would protest if a man with this anomaly were appointed to a high office. This behavior model should be extended to many other inherited anomalies.
Daltonists, men with an impaired ability to distinguish red and green colors from grey are now barred from professions in which this impairment might cause a catastrophe. We also know that this anomaly is accompanied by a decrease in esthetic experience, emotions, and the feeling of being linked to a society of people who can see colors normally. Industrial psychologists are thus cautious whether such a person should be entrusted with work involving a dependence upon man’s autonomic sense of responsibility, as workers’ safety is contingent upon this sense.
It was discovered long ago that this anomaly is inherited by means of a gene located on the X chromosome and tracking the transmission through many generations does not meet with difficulty. Genetics have similarly studied inheritance of many other features of human organisms, but they paid scant attention to the anomalies interesting us. Many features of human character have a hereditary basis in genes located in the same X chromosome; although it is not a rule. Something similar could apply to the majority of psychological anomalies discussed below. […]
Severe problems are caused by the XYY karyotype which produces men who are tall, strong, and emotionally violent… but their number and role in ponerogenic processes is very small.
Much more numerous are those psychological deviations which play a correspondingly greater role as pathological factors involving ponerological processes; they are most probably transmitted through normal hereditary ways. However, this realm of genetics is faced with manifold biological and psychological difficulties.
Lobaczewski next describes a number of inherited psychological pathologies such as Schizoidal psychopathy - now referred to as “schizotypal personality disorder” - about which he says:
Carriers of this anomaly are hypersensitive and distrustful, but they pay little attention to the feelings of others, tend to assume extreme positions, and are eager to retaliate for minor offenses. Sometimes they are eccentric and odd. Their poor sense of psychological situation and reality leads them to superimpose erroneous, pejorative interpretations upon other people’s intentions. They easily become involved in activities which are ostensibly moral, but which actually inflict damage upon themselves and others. Their impoverished psychological world-view makes them typically pessimistic. […] When they become wrapped up in situations of serious stress, their failings cause them to collapse easily. …The schizoids frequently fall into reactive psychotic states so similar in appearance to schizophrenia that they lead to misdiagnoses.
If the emotional pressure on them is minimized, they are able to develop proper speculative reasoning, but they tend to consider themselves intellectually superior to “ordinary” people.
The quantitative frequency of this anomaly varies among races. It is low among Blacks, and highest among Jews. Observation suggests that it is autosomally hereditary.
A schizoid’s ponerological activity should be evaluated in two aspects. On the small scale, such people cause their families trouble, easily turn into tools of intrigue in the hands of clever individuals, and generally do a poor job of raising the younger generation. […]
However, their ponerogenic role can take on macro-social proportions if their attitude toward human reality and their tendency to invent great doctrines are put to paper and duplicated in large editions.
In spite of their typical deficits, or even an openly Schizoidal declaration, their readers do not realize what the authors’ characters are like, and tend to interpret such works in a way that corresponds to their own nature. The minds of normal people tend toward corrective interpretation thanks to the participation of their own richer psychological world-view. However, many readers reject such works with moral disgust but without being aware of the specific cause. An analysis of the role played by Karl Marx’s works easily reveals all the above mentioned types of apperception and the social reactions which engendered separations among people.
We now come to the most important pathology: psychopathy. Psychopathy is not, as many people think, so easy to recognize. The problem is that the term “psychopath” has come to be usually applied by the public (due to the influence of the media) to overtly and obviously mad-dog murderers. There is also some confusion regarding psychopathy vis a vis “antisocial personality disorder.”
Nice words, aren’t they? They sound so clean and clinical; just a person who is “anti-social.” It almost suggests a hermit who never bothers anybody. But nothing could be further from the truth. Robert Hare, the current American guru on psychopathy writes about this problem of terminology as follows:
Let us characterise another heredity-transmitted anomaly whose role in ponerogenic processes on any social scale appears exceptionally great. We should underscore that the need to isolate this phenomenon and examine it in detail became most evident to those researchers who were interested in the macro social scale of genesis of evil because they have witnessed it. I acknowledge my debt to Kasimir Dabrowski in doing this and calling this anomaly an “essential psychopathy.”
Biologically speaking, the phenomenon is similar to color-blindness and occurs with similar frequency,(slightly above .5 percent) except that, unlike color-blindness, it affects both sexes.
Here, Lobaczewski suggests a particular low frequency of occurrence of essential psychopathy. However, in his book, he also mentions a 1.15 percent of his total population of 5000 subjects that did not demonstrate any overtly identifiable pathology except that they performed actions that bring harm to other people for no explainable reason. If we consider what Dr. Hare has written above, that psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of business, politics, law enforcement, government, academia and other social structures and can blend into all aspects of society, we must ask the question: is it possible that Lobaczewski’s 1.15 percent of unidentified “evildoers” were this type of psychopath? As he points out, it could very well have been the diagnostic criteria that was lacking, and had he utilized Hare’s psychopathy check-list, this group might very well have been identified as psychopaths. The point I wish to make is the number of psychopathic individuals likely to be found in any given cross-section sampling of society may be much higher than we suspect. Lobaczewski suggests that the occurrence of psychopathy is about the same as color-blindness: .5 percent. But if you add that figure to the 1.15 percent that he couldn’t identify, the actual number in his population may be closer to 1.65 percent.
Let's recall that Harvard psychologist Martha Stout claims that 4 percent of “ordinary people” (one in 25) often have an “undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that the person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse… They can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.”
That just happens to fit right in with Hare’s description of psychopathy, though we are obviously dealing with an entire spectrum of manifestation, as Dr. Stout emphasizes, not to mention the difference between pathologies that are mechanical, i.e. brain damage, and pathologies that are inherited. If we add Stout’s figure of 4 percent of undetected, “ordinary” people, to Lobaczewski’s .5 percent, and include the 1.5 percent of people who had done harm to others with no evident pathology, we then have a figure of 5.65 percent - almost 6 percent of the population. My math may be off, but I am reminded of what Lobaczewski wrote about the influence of “indoctrination” on his peers.
This is an interesting thing, this number. I have no explanation for it because we are certainly talking about many factors and not a single pathology. Perhaps there is more to the problem than anyone has yet discovered?
Continuing with Lobaczewski’s ponerological view of psychopathy:
Its intensity also varies in scope from a level barely perceptive to an experienced observer to obvious pathological deficiency. Like color-blindness, this anomaly also appears to represent a deficit in stimulus transformation, albeit occurring not on the sensory but on instinctive level. Psychiatrists of the old school used to call such individuals “Daltonists of human feelings and socio-moral values.”
The psychological picture shows clear deficits among men only; among women it is generally toned down, as by the effect of the second normal allele. This suggests that the anomaly is also inherited via the X chromosome but through a semi-dominating gene. However, the author was unable to confirm this by excluding inheritance from father to son.
Here, it is interesting to speculate that George Bush inherited his psychopathy from his mother, Barbara.
Analysis of the different experiential manner demonstrated by these individuals caused us to conclude that their instinctive substratum is also defective, containing certain gaps and lacking the natural syntonic responses commonly evidenced by members of the species Homo sapiens. […]
Our natural world of concepts then strikes such persons as a nearly incomprehensible convention with no justification in their own psychological experience. They think that normal human customs and principles of decency are a foreign convention invented and imposed by someone else (“probably by priests”) silly, onerous, sometimes even ridiculous. At the same time, however, they easily perceive the deficiencies and weaknesses of our natural language of psychological and moral concepts in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the attitude of a contemporary psychologist - except in caricature.
The average intelligence of individuals with the above mentioned deviation, especially if measured via commonly used tests, is somewhat lower than that of normal people, albeit similarly variegated. However, this group does not contain instances of the highest intelligence, nor do we find technical or craftsmanship talents among them. The most gifted members of this kind may thus achieve accomplishments in those sciences which do not require humanistic worldview or practical skills. Whenever we attempt to construct special tests to measure “life wisdom” or “socio-moral imagination”, even if the difficulties of psychometric evaluation are taken into account, individuals of this type indicate a deficit disproportionate to their personal IQ.
In spite of their deficiencies as regards normal psychological and moral knowledge, they develop and then have at their disposal a knowledge of their own, something lacked by people with a natural worldview.
They learn to recognize each other in a crowd as early as childhood, and they develop an awareness of the existence of other individuals similar to them.
They also become conscious of being different from the world of those other people surrounding them. They view us from a certain distance, take a paraspecific variety.
Natural human reactions - which often fail to elicit interest because they are considered self-evident - strike psychopaths as strange and therefore interesting, even comical. They therefore observe us, deriving conclusions, forming their different world of concepts.
They become experts in our weaknesses and sometimes effect heartless experiments upon us. … Neither a normal person nor our natural worldview can perceive or properly evaluate the existence of this world of different concepts.
A researcher into such phenomena can glean a similar deviant knowledge through long-term studies of the personalities of such people, using it with some difficulty, like a foreign language. … [The psychopath] will never be able to incorporate the worldview of a normal person, although they often try to do so all their lives. The product of their efforts is only a role and a mask behind which they hide their deviant reality.
Another myth and role - albeit containing a grain of truth - would be the psychopath’s brilliant mind or psychological genius; some of them actually believe in this and attempt to insinuate this belief to others. In speaking of the mask of psychological normality worn by such individuals (and by similar deviants to a lesser extent), we should mention the book The Mask of Sanity; the author, Hervey Cleckley, made this very phenomenon the crux of his reflections:
All researchers into psychopathy underline three qualities primarily with regard to this most typical variety: The absence of a sense of guilt for antisocial actions, the inability to love truly, and the tendency to be garrulous in a way which easily deviates from reality.
A neurotic patient is generally taciturn and has trouble explaining what hurts him most. […] These patients are capable of decent and enduring love, although they have difficulty expressing it or achieving their dreams. A psychopath’s behavior constitutes the antipode of such phenomena and difficulties.
Our first contact [with the psychopath] is characterized by a talkative stream which flows with ease and avoids truly important matters with equal ease if they are uncomfortable for the talker. His train of thought also avoids those matters of human feelings and values whose representation is absent in the psychopathic world view. […] From the logical point of view, the flow of thought is ostensibly correct…
[Psychopaths] are virtually unfamiliar with the enduring emotions of love for another person… it constitutes a fairy-tale from that “other” human world. [For the psychopath] love is an ephemeral phenomenon aimed at sexual adventure. However [the psychopath] is able to play the lover’s role well enough for their partners to accept it in good faith. [Moral teachings] also strike them as a similar fairy-tale good only for children and those different “others.”[…]
The world of normal people whom they hurt is incomprehensible and hostile to them. […] [Life to the psychopath] is the pursuit of its immediate attractions, pleasure and power. They meet with failure along this road, along with force and condemnation from the society of those other incomprehensible people.
It should be emphasized that psychopaths are quite often interesting - even exciting! They exude a captivating energy that keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. Even if some part of the normal person is shocked or repelled by what the psychopath says, they are like the mouse hypnotized by the torturing cat. Even if they have the chance to run away, they don’t. Many Psychopaths “make their living” by using charm, deceit, and manipulation to gain the confidence of their victims. Many of them can be found in white collar professions where they are aided in their evil by the fact that most people expect certain classes of people to be trustworthy because of their social or professional credentials. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, psychiatrists and psychologists, generally do not have to earn our trust because they have it by virtue of their positions. But the fact is: psychopaths are found in such lofty spheres also!
At the same time, psychopaths are good impostors. They have absolutely no hesitation about forging and brazenly using impressive credentials to adopt professional roles that bring prestige and power. They pick professions in which the requisite skills are easy to fake, the jargon is easy to learn, and the credentials are unlikely to be thoroughly checked. Psychopaths find it extremely easy to pose as financial consultants, ministers, psychological counselors and psychologists. And that’s a scary thought.
Psychopaths make their way by conning people into doing things for them; obtaining money for them, prestige, power, or even standing up for them when others try to expose them. But that is their claim to fame. That’s what they do. And they do it very well. What’s more, the job is very easy because most people are gullible with an unshakable belief in the inherent goodness of man which, I should add, has been programmed into normal people by psychopaths.
Returning to the work of Lobaczewski, he next gives us the most important clues as to how and why a truly global conspiracy can and does exist on our planet though it certainly isn’t a conspiracy in the normally accepted sense of the word. You could even say that such conspiracies arise simply as a natural result of the un-bridgeable divide between normal people and deviants. In a certain sense, understanding the view the psychopath has of “normal people,” that they are “other” and even “foreign,” helps us to realize how such conspiracies can be so “secret” - though that is not the precise word we would like to use. Even if different ponerological groups are opposed to each other, they will still exclude "normal people" from their confidences. It is only the "normal" people who have been induced into their webs that provide the "leaks." Lobaczewski describes it in the following way:
In any society in this world, psychopathic individuals and some of the other deviants create a ponerogenically active network of common collusions, partially estranged from the community of normal people. Some inspirational role of the essential psychopathy in this network also appears to be a common phenomenon.
They are aware of being different as they obtain their life experience and become familiar with different ways of fighting for their goals. Their world is forever divided into “us and them” - their world with its own laws and customs and that other foreign world full of presumptuous ideas and customs in light of which they are condemned morally.
Their “sense of honor” bids them cheat and revile that other human world and its values. In contradiction to the customs of normal people, they feel non-fulfillment of their promises or obligations is customary behavior.
They also learn how their personalities can have traumatizing effects on the personalities of those normal people, and how to take advantage of this root of terror for purposes of reaching their goals.
This dichotomy of worlds is permanent and does not disappear even if they succeed in realizing their dreams of gaining power over the society of normal people. This proves that the separation is biologically conditioned.
In such people a dream emerges like some youthful Utopia of a “happy” world and a social system which would not reject them or force them to submit to laws and customs whose meaning is incomprehensible to them. They dream of a world in which their simple and radical way of experiencing and perceiving reality [i.e. lying, cheating, destroying, using others, etc] would dominate, where they would, of course, be assured safety and prosperity. Those “others” - different, but also more technically skillful - should be put to work to achieve this goal. “We,” after all, will create a new government, one of justice [for psychopaths]. They are prepared to fight and suffer for the sake of such a brave new world, and also of course, to inflict suffering upon others. Such a vision justifies killing people whose suffering does not move them to compassion because “they” are not quite conspecific.
And there it is. Lobaczewski has said outright that psychopaths - from a certain perspective - are a different type of human being, a type that is aware of its difference from childhood. Put this together with his statement that such individuals recognize their own kind, and consider normal people as completely “other,” and we can begin to understand why and how conspiracies can and do exist among such individuals. They collect together, with similar worldviews, like fat floating on a bowl of soup. When one of them begins to rant, others like them - or those with brain damage that makes them susceptible - “rally round the flag,” so to say. And what's more, they know this and know how it works.
Speaking of networks, we need to take a closer look at how psychopaths affect other human beings whom they use to create the basis for their rule in macro-social dynamics. This highlights the fact that the lack of psychological knowledge among the general public, not to mention the general neurosis of most people, make them vulnerable to such predators.
Lobaczewski: Subordinating a normal person to psychologically abnormal individuals has a deforming effect on his personality: it engenders trauma and neurosis. This is accomplished in a manner which generally evades sufficient conscious controls. [Wolves in Sheep's Clothing] Such a situation then deprives the person of his natural rights to practice his own mental hygiene, develop a sufficiently autonomous personality, and utilize his common sense. In the light of natural law, it thus constitutes a kind of illegality which can appear in any social scale although it is not mentioned in any code of law.
Psychologist George Simon, quoted above, discusses what he refers to as “Covert-aggressive personalities” which, upon reading his book, reveal themselves to be members of the psychopathy spectrum. He writes:
Now, just imagine that the almost 1 in 25 people mentioned by Martha stout: “The Sociopath Next Door,” being the very ones who seek and achieve positions of power and authority in just about any field of endeavour where power can be had, and you begin to understand how truly damaging this can be to an entire society. Imagine school teachers with power over your children who are “covert-aggressives.” Imagine doctors, psychologists, “ministers of the faith” and politicians in such positions.
With this understanding, we begin to get an even better idea of how psychopaths can conspire and actually pull it off: in a society where evil is not studied or understood, they easily “rise to the top” and proceed to condition normal people to accept their dominance, to accept their lies without question. As noted at the beginning of this section, Lobaczewski noted:
We see exactly this pattern of social development in the United States over the past 50 to 60 years or even more. The fact is, many people who may have been born “normal” have become what might be termed “secondary psychopaths” or characteropaths due to the influence of psychopathy on American culture from many fields - including science, medicine, psychology, law, etc - where they are conscious of what they are doing to “normal” people!
Lobaczewski: We have already discussed the nature of some pathological personalities - characteropathies - that may be “created” by an individual’s exposure to a person with a severe character deformation. Essential psychopathy has exceptionally intense effects in this manner. Something mysterious gnaws into the personality of an individual at the mercy of the psychopath, and it is fought like a demon. His emotions become chilled, his sense of psychological reality is stifled. This leads to decriterialization of thought and a feeling of helplessness culminating in depressive reactions which can be so severe that psychiatrists sometimes misdiagnose them as a manic-depressive psychosis. Many people evidently also rebel much earlier and start searching for some way to liberate themselves from such an influence.
A social structure dominated by normal people and their conceptual world easily appears to the psychopath as a “system of force and oppression. If it happens that true injustice does, in fact, exist in that given society, pathological feelings of unfairness and suggestive statements can resonate among those who have truly been treated unfairly. Revolutionary doctrines may then find approval among both groups although their motivations will actually be quite different.
The presence of pathogenic bacteria in our environment is a common phenomenon; however, it is not the single decisive factor as regards whether an individual or a society becomes ill. Similarly, psychopathological factors alone do not decide about the spread of evil. […]34
We can also include within psychopathic categories a somewhat indeterminate number of anomalies with a hereditary substratum…
We also meet difficult individuals with a tendency to behave in a manner hurtful to other people, for whom tests do not indicate existing damage to brain tissue and there is no indication of abnormal child-rearing background. The fact that such cases are repeated within families would suggest a hereditary substratum.[…]
Such people also attempt to mask their different world of experience and play a role of normal people to varying degrees… These people participate in the genesis of evil in very different ways, whether taking part openly or, to a lesser extent, when they have managed to adapt to proper ways of living. These psychopathies and related phenomena may, quantitatively speaking, be summarily estimated at two or three times the number of cases of essential psychopathy, i.e. at less than two per cent of the population.
Here I want to comment that, if we speculate the actual number of psychopaths to be around 6 percent - or even just 4 percent as Stout claims - then these other "people" Lobaczewski is talking about could be as frequent as 12 to 18 percent of the population. That would mean that the total number of psychopaths plus "almost psychopaths" would be 16 to 24 percent of the total population. However, it is obvious that the statistical spread can be different in different countries at different times. We will look at that issue further on.
Lobaczewski: This type of person finds it easier to adjust to social life. The lesser cases in particular adapt to the demands of the society of normal people, taking advantage of its understanding for the arts and other areas with similar traditions. Their literary creativity is often disturbing if conceived in ideational categories alone; they insinuate to their readers that their world of concepts and experiences is self-evident, also it actually contains characteristic deformities.
The most frequently indicated and known type is the asthenic psychopath which appears in every conceivable intensity, from barely perceptible to an obvious pathologic deficiency. These people, asthenic and hypersensitive, do not indicate the same glaring deficit in moral feeling and ability to sense a psychological situation as it appears in essential psychopathy. They are somewhat idealistic and tend to have superficial pangs of conscience as a result of their faulty behavior. On the average, they are also less intelligent than normal people, and their mind avoids consistency and accuracy in reasoning. Their psychological worldview is clearly falsified, so their options about people can never be trusted. A kind of mask cloaks the world of their personal aspirations which is at variance with the official ones demanded by a situation. Their behavior towards people who do not notice their faults is urbane, even friendly. However, the same people manifest a pre-emptive hostility and aggression against persons with a talent for psychology or proper knowledge in this area.
They are relatively less vital sexually and therefore amenable to accept celibacy; that is why some Catholic monks and priests often represent lesser or minor cases of this anomaly. They are the chief factor which inspired the anti-psychological attitude traditional in Church thinking.
The more severe cases are more brutally anti-psychological and contemptuous of normal people; they tend to be active in the processes of the genesis of evil on a larger scale. Their dreams do not lack a certain idealism similar to the ideas of normal people. They would like to reform the world to their liking but are unable to foresee more far-reaching implications and results. Spiced by deviance, their visions may influence naïve rebels of people who have in fact suffered injustice. Existing social injustice may look like a justification for a radicalized world-view and the assimilation of such visions.
The following is an example, given by Lobaczewski, of the thought-pattern of a person who seems a typical and severe case of asthenic psychopathy:
Those words were written in prison on December 15, 1913 by Felix Dzierzhynski, (1877-1926), who is best known as the first head of the Soviet "Cheka," or Soviet security police, the forerunner of the KGB. Spreading fear in a time of chaos, the Cheka was the perfect instrument for Stalin's ruthless consolidation of power and extermination of opposition. Dzierzhynski made Robespierre look like a pansy, being responsible for the murder of literally millions of people.
If the time ever comes when “conditions will change” and “evil will no longer rule,” it could be because progress in the study of pathological phenomena and their ponerogenic role will make it possible for societies to quietly accept the existence of these phenomena and comprehend them as categories of nature. The vision of a new, just structure of society can then be realized within the framework and under the control of normal people. Having reconciled ourselves to the fact that psychopaths are different and have a limited capacity for social adjustment, we should create a system of permanent protection for them within the framework of reason and proper knowledge.
Here it should be noted that psychologically normal people constitute both the great statistical majority of human type beings and thus, as Lobaczewski points out, according to natural law, should be the ones to set the pace; moral law is derived from their nature. Power should be in the hands of normal people.
For our purposes, we should also draw attention to psychopathic types with deviant features: these were isolated relatively long ago by Brzezicki and accepted by E. Kretschmer as characteristic of Eastern Europe in particular.
Skirtoids are vital, egotistical, and thick-skinned individuals who make good soldiers because of their endurance and psychological resistance. In peacetime, however, they are incapable of understanding life’s subtler matters or rearing the younger generation prudently. They are happy in primitive surroundings; a comfortable environment easily causes hysterization for them. They prove rigidly conservative in all areas and supportive of governments that rule with a heavy hand.
Kretschmer was of the opinion that this anomaly was a biodynamic phenomenon caused by the crossing of two widely removed ethnic groups which is frequent in that area of Europe. If that were the case, North America should be full of skirtoids. This anomaly should be taken into consideration if we wish to understand the history of Russia, as well as Poland to a lesser extent.[…]
The above characterizations are selected examples of pathological factors which participate in ponerogenic processes. […] The current state of knowledge in this area is nevertheless still insufficient to produce practical solutions to many human problems, particularly those on an individual and family scale. […]
Some outstanding psychopathologists, convinced that developing a calm and sufficient view of human reality is impossible without psychopathological findings, are therefore unfortunately right, a conclusion difficult to accept by people who believe they attained a mature world-view without such burdensome studies. The defenders of the natural world-view have tradition, belles-lettres, even philosophy on their side. They do not realize that during present times, their manner of comprehending life’s questions renders the battle with evil more problematic. […]
In attempting closer observation of these psychological processes and phenomena which lead one man or one nation to hurt another, let us select phenomena as characteristic as possible. We shall again become convinced that the participation of various pathological factors in these processes is the rule, not the exception.[…]
[O]ur social, psychological, and moral concepts, as well as our natural forms of reaction, are not adequate for every situation with which life confronts us. We generally wind up hurting someone if we engage our natural concepts and reactive archetypes in situations which seem to be appropriate to our imaginings although they are, in fact, essentially different. As a rule, such different situations … occur because some pathological factor difficult to understand has entered the picture. The practical value of our natural world-view generally ends where psychopathology begins.
Familiarity with this common weakness of human nature and the normal person’s “naiveté” is part of the specific knowledge we find in many psychopathic individuals. Spellbinders of various schools attempt to provoke such para-appropriate reactions from other people in the name of their specific goals, or in the service of their reigning ideologies. That hard-to-understand pathological factor is located within the spellbinder himself.
We call egotism the attitude, subconsciously conditioned as a rule, thanks to which we attribute excessive value to our instinctive reflex, early acquired imaginings and habits, and individual world-view. …An egotist measures other people by his own yardstick, treating his concepts and experiential manner as objective criteria. He would like to force other people to feel and think very much the same way he does. Egotist nations have the subconscious goal of teaching or forcing other nations to think in their own categories, which makes them incapable of understanding other people and nations or becoming familiar with the values of their cultures.
Proper child rearing (and self-rearing) always aims at de-egotizing thereby opening the mind. […]
The kind of excessive egotism which hampers the development of human values and leads to misjudgment and terrorization of others well deserves the title “King of human faults.” Difficulties, disputes, serious problems, and neurotic reactions sprout up around such an egotist like mushrooms after a rain. Egotist nations start wasting money and effort in order to achieve goals derived from their erroneous reasoning and overly emotional reactions. Their inability to acknowledge other nations’ values and dissimilitudes, derived from other cultural traditions, leads to conflict and war. […]
If we analyze development of excessively egotistical personalities, we find some non-pathological causes, such as having been raised in a constricted and overly routine environment or by the persons less intelligent than the child. However, the main reason is contamination, through psychological induction, by excessively egotistical or hysterical persons who developed this characteristic under the influence of various pathological causes. …
Many people with various hereditary deviations and acquired defects develop pathological egotism. For such people, forcing others in their environment, whole social groups, and, if possible, entire nations to feel and think like themselves becomes an internal necessity, a ruling concept. Some issue a normal person would not take seriously becomes an often lifelong goal for them, the object of effort, sacrifices, and cunning psychological strategy. Pathological egotism derives from repressing from one’s field of consciousness any objectionable self-critical associations referring to one’s own nature or normality. Dramatic questions such as “who is abnormal here, me or this world of people who feel and think differently?” are answered in the world’s disfavor. Such egotism is always linked to a dissimulative attitude, with a Cleckley mask or some other pathological quality being hidden from consciousness, both one’s own and that of other people. […]
The importance of the contribution of this kind of egotism to the genesis of evil thus hardly needs elaboration. It is a primarily societal resource, egotizing or traumatizing others, which in turn causes further difficulties. Pathological egotism is a constant component of variegated states wherein someone who appears to be normal (although he is in fact not quite so) is driven by motivations or battles for goals a normal person considers unrealistic or unlikely. The average person asks: “What could he expect to gain by that?” Environmental opinion, however, interprets such a situation in accordance with “common sense” and is prone to accept a “more likely” version of occurrence. Such interpretation often results in human tragedy. We should thus always remember that the law principle of cui prodest36 becomes illusory whenever some pathological factor enters the picture. […]
In order to comprehend ponerogenic paths, especially those acting in a wider social context, let us observe the roles and personalities of individuals we shall call “spellbinders” who are highly active in this area in spite of their statistically negligible number. They are generally the carriers of various pathological factors, some characteropathies, and some inherited anomalies….
Spellbinders are characterized by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilities: the first is forcing other people to think and experience things in a manner similar to his own; the second is a feeling of being lonely and different, a pathological misfit in social life. Sometimes the choice is either snake-charming or suicide.
Triumphant repression of self-critical or unpleasant concepts from the field of consciousness gradually gives rise to [conversive thinking. i.e. paramoralism.]
The conviction that moral values exist but that some actions violate moral rules is so common and ancient a phenomenon that it seems to have some substratum at man’s instinctive endowment level, and is not just a representation of centuries of experience, culture, religions, and socialization. Thus, any insinuation enclosed in a “moral slogan” is always suggestive even if the “moral” criteria used are just an ad hoc invention. Any act can thus be proved to be immoral or moral by means of using “paramoralisms” through active suggestion and people who will succumb to this manipulation are plentiful.
In searching for an example of an evil act whose negative value would not elicit doubt in any social situation, ethics scholars frequently mention child abuse. However, psychologists often meet with paramoral affirmations of such behavior in their practice.
Lobaczewski earlier gave the example of the woman with prefrontal-field damage who was sadistically abusive to her child, but was supported in her abuse of the child by her brothers who were totally under her influence and convinced of her “exceptionally high moral qualifications." Particularly heinous examples of this type of thing often occur in a religious context where children have been beaten to death to “get the devil out.” It is always done to “save their souls,” and that is an example of “paramoralism” used in a conversive way. We have certainly been subjected to this type of use of "paramoralisms," but that's another story.
Paramoralistic statements and suggestions so often accompany various kinds of evil that they seem quite irreplaceable. Unfortunately, it has become a frequent phenomenon for individuals, oppressive groups, or patho-political systems to invent ever-new moral criteria for someone’s convenience. Such suggestions deprive people of their moral reasoning and deform its development in children. Paramoralism factories have been founded worldwide, and a ponerologist finds it hard to believe that they are managed by psychologically normal people.
The conversive features in the genesis of paramoralisms seem to prove they are derived from mostly subconscious rejection (and repression from the field of consciousness) of something completely different which we call the “voice of conscience.” … Like all conversive phenomena, the tendency to use paramoralisms is psychologically contagious.
Lobaczewski points out that “paramoralisms” stream profusely from such individuals so that they flood the average person’s mind.
To the spellbinder, everything becomes subordinated to their conviction that they are exceptional, sometimes even messianic. An ideology can emerge from such individuals that is certainly partly true, and the value of which is claimed to be superior to all other ideologies. They believe they will find many converts to their ideology and when they discover that this is not the case, they are shocked and fume with “paramoral indignation.” The attitude of most normal people to such spellbinders is generally critical, pained and disturbed.
The spellbinder places on a high moral plane anyone who succumbs to his influence, and he will shower such people with attention and property and perks of all kinds. Critics are met with “moral” outrage and it will be claimed by the spellbinder that the compliant minority is actually a majority.
Such activity is always characterized by the inability to foresee its final results, something obvious from the psychological point of view, because its substratum contains pathological phenomena, and both spellbinding and self-charming make it impossible to perceive reality accurately enough to foresee results logically.
In a healthy society, the activities of spellbinders meet with criticism effective enough to stifle them quickly. However, when they are preceded by conditions operating destructively on common sense and social order - such as social injustice, cultural backwardness, or intellectually limited rulers manifesting pathological traits - spellbinders activities have led entire societies into large-scale human tragedy.
Such an individual fishes an environment or society for people amenable to his influence, deepening their psychological weaknesses until they finally become a ponerogenic union.
On the other hand, people who have maintained their healthy critical faculties intact, attempt to counteract the spellbinders’ activities and their results, based on their own common sense and moral criteria. In the resulting polarization of social attitudes, each side justifies itself by means of moral categories.
The awareness that a spellbinder is always a pathological individual should protect us from the known results of a moralizing interpretation of pathological phenomena, ensuring us of objective criteria for more effective action.
[A high IQ] generally helps in immunity to spellbinders, but only moderately. Actual differences in the formation of human attitudes under the influence of such activities should be attributed to other properties of human nature. The factor most decisive as regards assuming a critical attitude is good basic intelligence, which conditions our perception of psychological reality. We can also observe how a spellbinder’s activities “husk out” amenable individuals with an astonishing regularity.
We shall give the name “ponerogenic association” to any group of people characterized by ponerogenic processes of above-average social intensity, wherein the carriers of various pathological factors function as inspirers, spellbinders, and leaders, and where a proper pathological social structure generates. Smaller, less permanent associations may be called “groups” or “unions”. Such an association gives birth to evil which hurts the other people as well as its own members.
We could list various names ascribed to such organizations by linguistic tradition: gangs, criminal mobs, mafias, cliques, and coteries, which cunningly avoid collision with the law while seeking to gain their own advantage. Such unions frequently aspire to political power in order to impose their expedient legislation upon society in the name of a suitably prepared ideology, deriving advantages in the form of disproportionate prosperity and satisfaction of their craving for power.[…]
One phenomenon all ponerogenic groups and associations have in common is the fact that their members lose (or have already lost) the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such, interpreting their behavior in a fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic way. The opinions, ideas, and judgments of people carrying various psychological deficits are endowed with an importance at least equal to that of outstanding individuals among normal people. The atrophy of natural critical faculties with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and at the same time a criterion for recognizing the association in concert as ponerogenic. Let us call this the first criterion of ponerogenesis
Another phenomenon all ponerogenic associations have in common is their statistically high concentration of individuals with various psychological anomalies. Their qualitative composition is crucially important in the formation of the entire union’s character, activities, development, or extinction. Groups dominated by various kinds of characteropathic individuals will develop relatively primitive activities, proving rather easy for a society of normal people to break. Things are different when such unions are inspired by psychopathic individuals. Let us adduce the following example illustrating the roles of two different anomalies selected from among events studied by the author.
In felonious youth gangs a specific role is played by boys (and occasionally girls) carrying the characteristic results sometimes left behind by an inflammation of parotid glands (the mumps). As mentioned, this disease entails brain reactions in some cases, leaving behind a discreet but permanent bleaching of feelings and a slight decrease in general mental skills. Similar results are sometimes left behind after diphtheria. As a result, such people easily succumb to more clever individuals’ suggestions. When sucked into a felonious group, they become faint-critical helpers and executors of the latter’s’ intentions, tools in the hands of more treacherous, usually psychopathic, leaders. Once arrested, they submit to their leaders’ insinuated explanations that the higher (paramoral) group idea demands they become scapegoats, taking the majority of blame upon themselves. …
Individuals with the above mentioned post-mumps and post-diphtheria traits constitute less than 1.0% of the population as a whole, but their share reaches 25 percent of juvenile delinquent groups. This represents an inspissation37 of the order of 30-fold, requiring no further methods of statistical analysis. When studying the contents of ponerogenic unions skillfully enough, we often meet with an inspissation of other psychological anomalies which also speak for themselves.
Two basic types of the above mentioned unions should be differentiated: Primary ponerogenic and secondary ponerogenic. Let us describe as primarily ponerogenic a union whose abnormal members were active since the very beginning, playing the role of crystallizing catalysts as early as a process for creation of the group occurred. We shall call secondarily ponerogenic a union which was founded in the name of some idea with an independent social meaning generally comprehensible within the categories of the natural world-view, but which later succumbed to a certain moral degeneration. This in turn opened the door to infection and activation of the pathological factors within, and later to a ponerization of the group as a whole, or often of its fraction.
From the very outset, a primarily ponerogenic union is a foreign body within the organism of society, its character colliding with the moral values respected by the majority. The activities of such groups provoke opposition and disgust and are considered immoral; as a rule, therefore, such groups do not spread large, nor do not metastasize into numerous unions. They finally lose their battle with society.
In order to have a chance to develop into a large ponerogenic association, however, it suffices that some human organization, characterized by social or political goals and an ideology with some creative valued, be accepted by a larger number of normal people before it succumbs to a process of ponerogenic malignancy. The primary tradition and ideological values may then for a long time protect a union which has succumbed to ponerization process from the healthy common sense of society, especially its less critical components.
When the ponerogenic process touches such a human organization, which emerged and acted in the name of political or social goals whose causes were conditioned in history and the social situation, the original group’s primary values will nourish and protect such a union - in spite of the fact that those primary values succumb to characteristic degeneration, their practical function becoming completely different from the primary one - because the names and symbols are retained. Individual and social “common sense” thereby uncovers its weakest spot. […]
Within each ponerogenic union, a psychological structure is created which can be considered a counterpart or caricature of the normal structure of society or a societal organization. Individuals with various psychological aberrations complement each other’s talents and characteristics. … Earlier phases of the union’s activity are usually dominated by characteropathic, particularly paranoidal, individuals, who often play an inspirational or spellbinding role in the ponerization process. At this point in time, the union still indicates a certain romantic feature and is not yet characterized by excessively brutal behavior. Soon, however, the more normal members are pushed into fringe functions and excluded…
Individuals with inherited deviations then progressively take over the inspirational and leadership positions. The role of essential psychopaths gradually grows…
A spellbinder at first simultaneously plays the leader in a ponerogenic group. Later there appears another kind of “leadership talent,” a more vital individual who often joined the organization later, once it has already succumbed to ponerization. The spellbinding individual, being weaker, is forced to come to terms with being shunted into the shadows and recognizing the new leader’s “genius” unless he accepts the threat of total failure. Roles are parceled out. The spellbinder needs support from the primitive but decisive leader, who in turn needs the spellbinder to uphold the association’s ideology, so essential to maintain the proper attitude on the part of those members of the rank and file who betray a tendency to criticism and doubt of the moral variety. The spellbinder must repackage the ideology appropriately, sliding new contents under old titles, so that it can continue fulfilling its propaganda function under ever-changing conditions. He has also to uphold the leader’s mystique inside and outside the association. Complete trust cannot exist between the two, however, since the leader secretly has contempt for the spellbinder and his ideology, whereas the latter despises the leader for being such a coarse individual. The showdown is always probable; whoever is weaker becomes the loser.
The structure of such a union undergoes further variegation and specialization. A chasm opens between the more normal masses and the elite initiates, who are as a rule more pathological. This later subgroup becomes ever more dominated by hereditary pathological factors, the former by the after-effects of various diseases affecting the brain, less typically psychopathic individuals, and people whose malformed personalities were caused by early deprivation or brutal child-rearing methods on the part of pathological individuals. There is less and less room for normal people in the group. The leaders’ secrets and intentions are kept hidden from the union’s proletariat; the products of the spellbinders’ work must suffice for this segment.
An observer watching such a union’s activities from the outside and using the natural psychological world-view will always tend to overestimate the role of the leader and his allegedly autocratic function. The spellbinders and the propaganda apparatus are mobilized to maintain this erroneous outside opinion. The leader, however, is dependent upon the interests of the union, especially the elite initiates, to an extent greater than he himself knows. He wages a constant position-jockeying battle; he is an actor with a director. In macro-social unions, this position is generally occupied by a more representative individual not deprived of certain critical faculties; initiating him into all those plans and criminal calculations would be counterproductive. In conjunction with part of the elite, a group of psychopathic individuals hiding behind the scene steers the leader like Borman and his clique steered Hitler. If the leader does not fulfill his assigned role, he generally knows that the clique representing the elite of the union is in a position to kill or otherwise remove him.[…]
The Ponerization Process
Observation of the ponerization processes of various human unions throughout history easily leads to the conclusion that the initial step is a moral warping of the group’s ideational contents. […]
Lobczewski discusses at length how ideology is twisted and distorted by the infiltration of pathological persons into any group that might be going in a positive direction. A very good example is Communism which is, in fact, according to the New Testament, a Christian ideology. However, once Communist groups had been infiltrated, the Ponerization process began, and Communism became merely a type of Fascist Corporatocracy with the corporation being "the state."
When a ponerogenic process encompasses a society’s entire ruling class, or nation, or when opposition on the part of normal people’s societies is stifled - as a result of the mass character of the phenomenon, or by using spellbinding means and physical compulsion - we are dealing with macro-social ponerologic phenomenon.
At that time, however, a society’s tragedy, often coupled with that of the researcher’s own suffering, are opening before him an entire volume of ponerologic knowledge, where he can read all about the laws governing such processes if he is only able to familiarize himself in time with its naturalistic language and its different grammar. Studies in the genesis of evil which are based on observing small groups of people can indicate the details of these laws to us. […]
I shall accept the denomination of “pathocracy” for a system of government thus created, wherein a small pathological minority takes control over a society of normal people. The name thus selected above all underscores the basic quality of the macro social psychopathological phenomenon, which differentiates it from the many possible social systems dominated by normal people’s structure, custom, and law. … I think this name is consistent with the demands of semantics, since no concise term can adequately characterize such a complex phenomenon.
Political Implications of the Pathocracy
Pathocrats’ achievement of absolute domination in the government of a country would not be permanent, since large sectors of the society would become disaffected by such rule and find some way of toppling it.
Pathocracy at the summit of governmental organization also does not constitute the entire picture of the “mature phenomenon”. Such a system of government has nowhere to go but down.
Any leadership position - down to village headman and community cooperative mangers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special-services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party - must be filled by individuals whose feeling of linkage to such a regime is conditioned by corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule. However, such people become more valuable because they constitute a very small percentage of the population. Their intellectual level or professional skills cannot be taken into account, since people representing superior abilities with the requisite psychological deviations - are even harder to find. After such a system has lasted several years, one hundred percent of all the cases of essential psychopathy are involved in pathocratic activity; they are considered the most loyal, even though some of them were formerly involved on the other side in some way.
Under such conditions, no area of social life can develop normally, whether in economics, culture, science, technology, administration, etc.
Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything.
Reasonable people must develop a level of patience beyond the ken of anyone living in a normal man’s system, just to explain what to do and how to do it to some obtuse mediocre psychological deviant. This special pedagogy requires a great deal of time and effort, but it would otherwise not be possible to maintain tolerable living conditions and necessary achievements in the economic area or intellectual life of a society. However, pathocracy progressively intrudes everywhere and dulls everything.
Those people who initially found the original ideology attractive eventually come to the realization that they are in fact dealing with something else.
The disillusionment experienced by such former ideological adherents is bitter in the extreme.
The pathological minority’s attempts to retain power will thus always be threatened by the society of normal people whose criticism keeps growing. On the other hand, any and all methods of terror and exterminatory policies must therefore be used against individuals known for the patriotic feelings and military training; on the other, specific “indoctrination” activities such as those we have presented are also utilized. Individuals lacking natural feeling of being linked to society become irreplaceable in either of these activities. The foreground must again be occupied by cases of essential psychopathy, followed by those with similar anomalies, and finally by people alienated from the society in question as a result of racial or national differences.
The phenomenon of pathocracy matures during this period: an extensive and active indoctrination system is built, with a suitably refurbished ideology constituting the vehicle of Trojan horse for the process of pathologizing the thought of individuals and society. The goal is never admitted: forcing human minds to incorporate pathological experiential methods and thought patterns, and consequently accepting such rule. […]
During the initial shock, the feeling of social links are fading; after that has been survived, however, the overwhelming majority of people manifests its own phenomenon of psychological immunization. Society simultaneously starts collecting practical knowledge on the subject of this new reality and its psychological properties. Normal people slowly learn to perceive the weak spots of such a system and utilize the possibilities of more expedient arrangement of their lives. They begin to give each other advice in these matters, thus slowly regenerating the feelings of social links and reciprocal trust. A new phenomenon occurs: separation between the pathocrats and the society of normal people. The latter have an advantage as regards talent, professional skills, and healthy common sense. They therefore hold certain cards. The pathocracy finally realizes that it must find some “modus vivendi” or relations with the majority of society: “After all, somebody’s got to do the work for us.”
There are other needs and pressures, especially from outside. The pathological face must be hidden from the world somehow, since recognition by world opinion would be a catastrophe. … Primarily in the interests of the new elite and its expansionary plans, a pathocratic state must maintain commercial relations with the countries of normal man. Such a state aims to achieve international recognition as a certain kind of political structural; it fears recognition in terms of clinical diagnosis.
All this makes pathocrats tend to limit their measures of terror, subjecting propaganda and indoctrination methods to certain cosmetology and to accord the society they control some margin of autonomous activity, especially as regards cultural life. The more liberal pathocrats would not be averse to giving such a society a certain minimum of economic prosperity in order to reduce the irritation level, but their own corruption and inability to administer the economy prevents them from doing so.
This great societal disease runs its course through a new phase: methods of activity become milder, and there is coexistence with countries whose structure is that of normal man. Anyone studying this phenomenon… is reminded rather of the dissimulative state of phase of a patient attempting to play the role of a normal person, hiding the pathological reality although he continues to be sick or abnormal. Let us therefore use the term “the dissimulative phase of pathocracy” for the state of affairs wherein a pathocratic system ever more skillfully plays the role of a normal sociopolitical system. In this state, people become resistant and adapt themselves to the situation within a country affected by this phenomenon; outside, however, this phase is marked by outstanding ponerogenic activity. The pathological material of this system rather easily infiltrates into other societies, particularly if they are more primitive, and all the avenues of pathocratic expansion are facilitated because of the decrease of common sense criticism on the part of the nations constituting the territory of expansionism.
Meanwhile, in the pathocratic country, the active structure of government rests in the hands of psychopathic individuals, and essential psychopathy plays a starring role. Especially during the dissimulative phase. However, individuals with obvious pathological traits must be removed from certain areas of activity: namely, political posts with international exposure where such personalities could betray the pathological contents of the phenomenon. […]
Similar needs apply to other areas as well. The building director for a new factory is often someone barely connected with the pathocratic system but whose skills are essential. Once the plant is operational, further administration is taken over by pathocrats which often leads to technical ruin. The army similarly needs people endowed with perspicacity and essential qualifications, especially in the area of modern weapons. …
In such a state of affairs, many people are forced to adapt, accepting the ruling system as a status quo but also criticizing it. They fulfill their duties amid doubts and conflicts of conscience, always searching for a more sensible way out which they discuss within trusted circles. …
The following question thus suggests itself: what happens if the network of understandings among psychopaths achieves power in leadership positions with international exposure? This can happen, especially during the later phases of the phenomenon. Goaded by their character, such people thirst for just that even though it would conflict with their own life interest… They do not understand that a catastrophe would ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.
If the many managerial positions of a government are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand most other people and who also have deficiencies as regards technical imagination and practical skills - faculties indispensable for governing economic and political matters - this must result in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas, both within the country in question and with regard to international relations. Within, the situation shall become unbearable even for those citizens who were able to feather their nest into a relatively comfortable “modus vivendi”. Outside, other societies start to feel the pathological quality of the phenomenon quite distinctly. Such a state of affairs cannot last long. One must then be prepared for ever more rapid changes, and also behave with great circumspection.
Pathocracy is a disease of great social movements followed by entire societies, nations, and empires. In the course of human history, it has affected social, political, and religious movements as well as the accompanying ideologies… and turned them into caricatures of themselves…. This occurred as a result of the … participation of pathological agents in a pathodynamically similar process. That explains why all the pathocracies of the world are, and have been, so similar in their essential properties. …
Identifying these phenomena through history and properly qualifying them according to their true nature and contents - not according to the ideology in question, which succumbed to the process of caricaturization - is a job for historians. […]
The actions of [pathocracy] affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every town, business, and institution. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country creating a “new class” within that nation. This privileged class feels permanently threatened by the “others”, i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.
A normal person deprived of privilege or high position goes about performing some work which would earn him a living; but pathocrats never possessed any practical talent, and the time frame of their rule has eliminated any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the law of normal man were to be reinstalled, they and their kind could be subjected to judgments, including a moralizing interpretation of their psychological deviations; they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of this kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral idea. Such a threat must be battled by means of psychological and political cunning and a lack of scruples with regard to those others “inferior- quality” people.
In general, this new class is in the position to purge its leaders should their behavior jeopardize the existence of such a system. …Pathocracy survives thanks to the feeling of being threatened by the society of normal people, as well by other countries wherein various forms of the system of normal man persist. For the rulers, staying on the top is therefore the classic problem of “to be or not to be”.
We can thus formulate a more cautious question: can such a system ever waive territorial and political expansion abroad and settle for its present possessions?
What would happen if a state of affairs ensued which conferred internal peace, corresponding order, and relative prosperity within the nation?
The overwhelming majority of the country’s population -being normal - would make skillful use of all the emerging possibilities, taking advantage of their superior qualifications to fight for an ever-increasing scope of activities. Thanks to their higher numbers, there would be a higher birth rate of their kind, and their power would increase. This majority would be joined by some sons from the privileged class who did not inherit the psychopathic genes. The pathocracy’s dominance would weaken steadily, finally leading to a situation wherein the society of normal people take back the power. To the pathocrats, this is a known and nightmarish vision.
Thus, the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority of normal people is a “biological” necessity to the pathocrats. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule. Once safely dead, the soldiers will thereupon be decreed heroes to be revered, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy.
Any war waged by a pathocratic nation has two fronts, the internal and the external. The internal front is more important for the leaders and the governing elite, and the internal threat is the deciding factor where unleashing war is concerned. In pondering whether to start a war against the pathocratic country, one must therefore give primary consideration to the fact that one can be used as an executioner of the common people whose increasing power represents incipient jeopardy for the pathocracy. After all, pathocrats give short shrift to blood and suffering of people they consider to be not quite conspecific. […]
Pathocracy has other internal reasons for pursuing expansionism through the use of all means possible. As long as that “other” world governed by the systems of normal man exists, it inducts into and within the strivings of the non-pathological majority, thereby creating a certain sense of direction. The non-pathological majority of the country’s population will never stop dreaming of the reinstatement of normal man’s system in any possible form. This majority will never stop watching other countries, waiting for the opportune moment; its attention and power must therefore be distracted from this purpose, and the masses must be educated and channeled in the direction of imperialist strivings. Such goals must be pursued doggedly so that everyone knows what is being fought for and in whose name a harsh discipline and poverty must be endured. This latter factor effectively limits the possibility of “subversive” activities on the part of the society of normal people.
The ideology must of course furnish a corresponding justification for this alleged right to conquer the world, and must therefore be properly elaborated. Expansionism is derived from the very nature of pathocracy, not from ideology, but this fact must be masked by ideology. […]
On the other hand, there are countries with normal man’s governments wherein the overwhelming majority of societies shudder to think a similar system could be imposed on them. The governments of such nations thereupon do everything they can within the framework of their possibilities and their understanding of the phenomenon in order to contain its expansion. The citizens of those countries would sigh with relief if some upheaval were to replace this malevolent and incomprehensible system with a more human, more easily understood governmental method with whom peaceful coexistence would be possible
Such countries thus undertake various means of action for this purpose, their quality depending on the possibility of understanding that other reality. […]
Economic factors constitute a non-negligible part of the motivation for this expansionist tendency. Since the managerial functions have been taken over by individuals with mediocre intelligence and pathological character traits, the pathocracy becomes incapable of properly administering anything at all. […] The collected prosperity of conquered nations can be exploited for a time, the citizens forced to work harder for paltry remuneration. For the moment, no thought is given to the fact that a pathocratic system within a conquered country will eventually cause similar unproductive conditions; after all corresponding self-knowledge in this area is nonresistant in the psychopath. […]
As has been the case for centuries, military power is of course, the primary means for achieving these ends. Throughout the centuries, whenever history registered the appearance of the phenomenon described heron, specific measures of influence have also become apparent - something in the order of specific intelligence in the service of international intrigue facilitating conquest. This quality is derived from the personality characteristics inspiring the overall phenomenon; it should constitute data for historians to identify this type of phenomenon throughout history.
Psychopaths exist everywhere in the world; even a faraway pathocracy evokes a resonating response in them, working on their underlying feeling that “there is a place for people like us there”. Uncritical, frustrated, and abused people also exist everywhere and they can be reached by appropriately elaborated propaganda. The future of a nation is greatly dependent on how many such people it contains. Thanks to its specific psychological knowledge and its conviction that normal people are naïve, a pathocracy is able to improve its “anti-psychotherapeutic” techniques, and pathologically egotistical as usual, to insinuate its deviant world of concepts to others. […]
The law furnishes insufficient support for counteracting a phenomenon whose character lies outside the possibilities of the legislators imagination. Pathocracy knows how to take advantage of the weaknesses of such a legalistic manner of thinking. […]
Whenever a nation experiences a “system crisis” or a hyperactivity of ponerogenic processes within, it becomes the object of a pathocratic penetration whose purpose is to serve up the country as booty. It will then become easy to take advantage of its internal weaknesses and revolutionary movements in order to impose rule on the basis of a limited use of force. … After forcible imposition of such a system, the course of pathologization of life becomes different; and such a pathocracy will be less stable, depending for its very existence upon the factor of never-ending outside force….
Brute force must first stifle the resistance of an exhausted nation; people possessing military or leadership skills must be disposed of, and anyone appealing to moral values and legal principles must be silenced. The new principles are never explicitly enunciated. People must learn the new unwritten law via painful experience. The stultifying influence of this deviant world of concepts finishes the job, and common sense demands caution and endurance.
This is followed by a shock which appears as tragic as it is frightening. Some people from every social group - whether abused paupers, aristocrats officials, literati, students, scientists, priests,, atheists, or nobodies known to no one - suddenly start changing their personality and world-view. Decent Christian and patriots just yesterday, they now expose the new ideology and behave contemptuously to anyone still adhering to the old values. Only later does it become evident that this ostensibly avalanche like process has it s natural limits. …
Pathocracy imposed by force arrives in a finished form - we could even call it ripe. People observing it up close were unable to distinguish the earlier phases of its development; when the schizoidals and characteropaths were in charge. …
In an imposed system, psychopathic material is already dominant…[…]
The first conclusion which suggested itself soon after meeting with the “professor” [discussed earlier] was that the phenomenon’s development is limited by nature in terms of the participation of susceptible individuals within a given society. The initial evaluation of approximately 6 % proved realistic. Progressively collected detailed statistical data assembled later did not contradict this assessment. This value varies from country to country in the magnitude of about one percentage point up or down. …Essential psychopathy plays a disproportionate role compared to the numbers by saturating the phenomenon as a whole with its own quality of thought and experience. Other psychopathies - asthenic, schizoidal, anankastic, hysterical, et al - definitely play second fiddle although in sum they are much more numerous. Relatively primitive skirtoidal individuals become fellow travelers, goaded by their lust for life, but their activities are limited by considerations of their own advantage.
In non-Semitic nations, schizoidals are somewhat more numerous than essential psychopaths; although highly active in the early phases of the genesis of the phenomenon, they betray an attraction to pathocracy as well the rational distance of efficient thinking. Thus, they are torn between such a system and the society of normal people.
There are persons less distinctly inclined in the pathocratic direction. These include states caused by the toxic activities of certain substances such as ether, carbon monoxide, and possibly some endotoxins. [Such as nicotine? Perhaps we have now found the reason that the current pathocracy and the former one - Nazi Germany - were so Fascist in their imposition of anti-smoking legislation?]
Paranoidal individuals expect uncritical support within such a system. In general, however, the carriers of various kinds of brain tissue damage lean clearly to the society of normal people and, as a result of their psychological problems, under a pathocracy, suffer even more than healthy people.
It also turned out that the carriers of some physiological anomalies known to physicians and sometimes to psychologists, and which are primarily hereditary in nature, manifest split tendencies similar to schizoids. In a similar manner, people whom nature has unfortunately saddled with a short life and an early cancer-related death frequency indicate a characteristic and irrational attraction for this phenomenon. … An individuals’ decreased resistance to the effects of pathocracy and his attraction to it appears to be a holistic response of the person’s organism, not merely of his psychological makeup alone.
Approximately 6 % of the population constitute the active structure of the pathocracy, which carries its own peculiar consciousness of its own goals. Twice as many people constitute a second group: those who have managed to warp their personalities to meet the demands of the new reality. …
This second group consists of individuals who are, on the average, weaker, more sickly, and less vital. The frequency of known mental diseases in this group is at twice the rate of the national average. We can thus assume that the genesis of their submissive attitude toward the regime, their greater susceptibility to pathological effects, and their skittish opportunism includes various relatively impalpable anomalies. …
The 6 % group constitute the new nobility; the 12 % group forms the new bourgeoisie, whose economic situation is the most advantageous. …Only 18 % of the country’s population is thus in favor of the new system of government.
The great majority of the population forms the society of normal people, creating an informal communications network. It behooves us to wonder why these people reject the advantages conformity affords, consciously preferring the opposing role: poverty, harassment, and curtailment of human freedoms. What ideals motivate them? Is this merely a kind of romanticism?
A person with a normal human instinctive substratum, good basic intelligence, and full faculties of critical thought would have a difficult time accepting such a compromise; it would devastate his personality and engender neurosis. AT the same time, such a system easily distinguishes and separates him from its own kind regardless of his sporadic hesitations. No method of propaganda can change the nature of this macro social phenomenon or the nature of a normal human being. They remain forever foreign to each other.
After a typical pathocratic structure has been formed, the population is effectively divided according to completely different lines from what someone raised outside the purview of this phenomenon might imagine, and in a manner whose actual conditions are also impossible to comprehend…. Pathocracy corrodes the entire social organism, wasting its skills and power. … Typical pathocrats take over all the managerial functions in a totally destroyed structure of a nation. Such a state must be short-term, since no ideology can vivify it. The time comes when the common masses of people want to live like human beings and the system can no longer resist.
Pathocracy is even less of a socioeconomic system than a social structure or political system. It is a macro social disease process affecting entire nations and running the course of its characteristic pathodynamic properties. … As long as we keep using methods of comprehending this pathological phenomenon which attempt to use political doctrines to define it, (even if those doctrines are heterogeneous to it) we will not be able to identify the causes and properties of the disease. A correspondingly prepared ideology will be able to cloak the essential qualities from the minds of scientists, politicians, and common people.
Normal People Under Pathocratic Rule
As adduced above, the anomaly distinguished as essential psychopathy inspires the overall phenomenon in a well-developed pathocracy… The pathocratic world - the world of pathological egotism and terror - is so difficult to understand for people raised outside the scope of this phenomenon that they often manifest childlike naïveté, even if they studied psychopathology and are psychologists by profession. …
If a person with a normal instinctive substratum and basic intelligence has already heard and read about such a system of ruthless autocratic rule “based on fanatical ideology,” he feels he has already formed an opinion on the subject. However, direct confrontation with the phenomenon causes him to feel intellectually helpless. All his prior imaginings prove to be virtually useless; they explain next to nothing. This provokes a nagging sensation that he and the society in which he was educated were quite naïve…
One of the differences observed between a normally resistant person and somebody who has undergone a transpersonification is that the former is better able to survive this disintegrating cognitive void, whereas the latter fills the void with the pathologic propaganda material, and without sufficient controls.
When the human mind comes into contact with this new reality so different from any experiences encountered by a person raised in a society dominated by normal people, it releases psychophysiological shock symptoms in the human brain with a higher tonus of cortex inhibition and a stifling of feelings, which then sometimes gush forth uncontrollably. Human minds work more slowly and less keenly, since the associative mechanisms have become inefficient. Especially when a person has direct contact with psychopathic representatives of the new rule, who use their specific experience so as to traumatize the minds of the “others” with their own personalities, his mind succumbs to a state of short-term catatonia. Their humiliating and arrogant techniques, brutal paramoralizations, deaden his thought processes and his self-defense capabilities, and their divergent experiential method anchors in his mind. …
Only after these unbelievably unpleasant psychological states have passed, thanks to rest in benevolent company, is it possible to reflect - always a difficult and painful process - or to become aware that one’s mind and common senses have been fooled by something which cannot fit into the normal human imagination.
Man and society stands at the beginning of a long road of unknown experiences which, after much trial and error, finally leads to a certain hermetic knowledge of what the qualities of the phenomenon are and how best to build up psychological resistance thereto. Especially during the dissimulative phase, this makes it possible to adapt to life in this different world and thus arrange more tolerable living conditions. We shall thereupon observe psychological phenomena, knowledge, immunization, and adaptation such as could not have been predicted before and which cannot be understood in the world remaining under the rule of normal man's systems. A normal person, however, can never completely adapt to a pathological system; it is easy to be pessimistic about the final results of this.
Such experiences are exchanged during evening discussions among a circle of friends, thereby creating within people's minds a kind of cognitive conglomeration which is initially incoherent and contains factual deficiencies. [...]The ideology officially preached by the pathocracy continues to retain its ever-diminishing suggestive powers until such time as human reason manages to localize it as something subordinate, which is not descriptive of the essence of phenomenon. [...]
Under such conditions, both instinct and feelings and the resulting basic intelligence play instrumental roles, stimulating man to make selections which are to a great extent subconscious.
Under the conditions created by imposed pathocratic rule ... our natural human instinctive substratum is an instrumental factor in joining the opposition. Similarly, the environmental, economic, and ideological motivations which influenced the formation of an individual personality, including those political attitudes which were assumed earlier... disappear within the statistical approach and diminish through the years of pathocratic rule. The decisions and the way-selections made back to the society of normal people are finally decided by factors usually inherited by biological means, and thus not the product of the person's option, and predominantly in subconscious processes.
Man's general intelligence, especially its intellectual level, play a relatively limited role in this process of selecting a path of action, as expressed by statistically significant but low correlation (-0.16). The higher a person's general level of talent, the harder it usually is for him to reconcile himself with this different reality and find a modus vivendi within it.
At the same time, gifted and talented people do join the pathocracy, and harsh words of contempt for the system can be heard on the part of simple, uneducated people.
Only those people with the highest degree of intelligence--which, as mentioned, does not accompany psychopathies--are unable to find the meaning of life within such a system. They are sometimes able to take advantage of their superior mentality in order to find exceptional ways in which to be useful to others.
Wasting the best talents spells eventual catastrophe for any social system.
Since those factors subject to the laws of genetics have proven decisive, society becomes divided into the adherents of the new rule, the new middle class mentioned above, and the majority opposition by means of criteria not known before.
Since the properties which cause this new division appear in more or less equal proportions within any old social group or level, this new division cuts right through these traditional layers of society. If we treat the former stratification, whose formation was decisively influenced by the talent factor, as horizontal, the new one should be referred to as vertical. The most instrumental factor in the latter is good basic intelligence which, as we already know, is widely distributed throughout all social groups.
Even those people who were the object of social injustice in the former system and then bestowed with another system which allegedly protected them slowly start criticizing the latter. [...]
One of the first discoveries made by a society of normal people is that it is superior to the new rulers in intelligence and practical skills, no matter what geniuses they appear to be [via spellbinding]. The knots stultifying reason are gradually loosened, and fascination with the new rulership's secret knowledge and plan of action begins to diminish, followed by familiarization with the knowledge about this new reality.
The world of normal people is always superior to the other one whenever constructive activity is needed, whether it be the reconstruction of a devastated country, the area of technology, the organization of economic life, or scientific and medical work. [...]
As we have already pointed out, every psychological anomaly is in fact a kind of deficiency. Psychopathies are based primarily upon deficiencies in the instinctive substratum; however, their influence exerted upon mental development also leads to deficiencies in general intelligence, as discussed above.
This deficiency is not compensated by the creation of the special psychological knowledge we observe among some psychopaths.
Such knowledge loses its mesmerizing power when normal people learn to understand these phenomena as well. The psychopathologist was thus not surprised by the fact that the world of normal people is dominant as regards skill and talent. For that society, however, this represented a discovery which engendered hope and psychological relaxation.
Since our intelligence is superior to theirs, we can recognize them and understand how they think and act. This is what a person learns in such a system on his own initiative, forced by everyday needs. He learns it while working in his office, school, or factory, whether he needs to deal with the authorities, and when he is arrested--something only a few people manage to avoid. The author and many others learned a good deal about the psychology of this macro social phenomenon during compulsory indoctrinational schooling. The organizers and lecturers cannot have intended such a result. Practical knowledge of this new reality thus grows, thanks to which the society gains a resourcefulness of action which enables it to take ever better advantage of the weak spots of the rulership system. This permits gradual reorganization of societal links, which bears fruit with time....
Capitalism and Psychopathy
The members of the Quantum Future School have been engaged in studying psychopathy and pseudo-psychopathy for several years. This has certainly prepared most of us to be able to see the man behind the curtain, or, in this case, behind the “mask of sanity”. These studies led to the question: why does psychopathic behavior seem to be so widespread in the US. (That is not to say that it doesn’t exist everywhere - that’s a given.)
Linda Mealey of the Department of Psychology at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, has recently proposed certain ideas in her paper: The Sociobiology of Sociopathy: An Integrated Evolutionary Model.40 These ideas address the increase in psychopathy in American culture by suggesting that in a competitive society - capitalistic by definition - psychopathy is adaptive and likely to increase. She writes:
“I have thus far argued that some individuals seem to have a genotype that disposes them to [psychopathy].
[Psychopathy describes] frequency-dependent, genetically based, individual differences in employment of life strategies. [Psychopaths] always appear in every culture, no matter what the socio-cultural conditions. [...]
Competition increases the use of antisocial and Machiavellian strategies and can counteract pro-social behavior…
Some cultures encourage competitiveness more than others and these differences in social values vary both temporally and cross-culturally. [...] Across both dimensions, high levels of competitiveness are associated with high crime rates and Machiavellianism.
High population density, an indirect form of competition, is also associated with reduced pro-social behavior and increased anti-social behavior.” [Mealey, op. cit.]
The conclusion is that the capitalistic way of life associated in the United States with “democracy,” has optimized the survival of psychopaths with the consequence that it is an adaptive “life strategy” that is extremely successful in U.S. society, and thus has increased in the population in genetic terms as well as acting as an attractor to psychopathic individuals in other countries for quite some time. The fact is, America is probably flooded with psychopaths and Skirtoids, as Lobaczewski mentions. What is more, as a consequence of a society that is adaptive for psychopathy, many individuals who are NOT genetic psychopaths have similarly adapted, becoming “effective” psychopaths, or “characteropaths” in the ways Lobaczewski has described.
Mealey: “Of course, because they are not intellectually handicapped, these individuals [psychopaths] will progress normally in terms of cognitive development and will acquire a theory of mind. Their theories, however, will be formulated purely in instrumental terms [what can claiming this or that GET for me?], without access to the empathic understanding that most of us rely on so much of the time.
They may become excellent predictors of others’ behavior, unhandicapped by the ‘intrusiveness’ of emotion, acting, as do professional gamblers, solely on nomothetic laws and actuarial data rather than on hunches and feelings.
In determining how to ‘play’ in the social encounters of everyday life, they will use a pure cost-benefit approach based on immediate personal outcomes, with no ‘accounting’ for the emotional reactions of the others with whom they are dealing.
Without any real love to ‘commit’ them to cooperation, without any anxiety to prevent fear of ‘defection’, without guilt to inspire repentance, they are free to continually play for the short-term benefit.
At the same time, because changes in gene frequencies in the population would not be able to keep pace with the fast-changing parameters of social interactions, an additional fluctuating proportion of sociopathy should result because, in a society of [psychopathy], the environmental circumstances make an antisocial strategy of life more profitable than a pro-social one.” [Mealey, op. cit.]
In other words, in a world of psychopaths, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society “adaptive” to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone.
What makes the psychopath so frightening and dangerous is that he or she wears a completely convincing “Mask of Sanity”. This may at first make such a person utterly persuasive and compellingly healthy, according to psychiatrist Harvey Cleckley. Cleckley was first to describe the key symptoms of the disorder.
In general, the successful psychopath “computes” how much they can get away with in a cost-benefit ratio of the alternatives. Among the factors that they consider as most important are money, power, and gratification of negative desires. They are not motivated by such social reinforcement as praise or future benefits or the well-being of others - even including those one would suspect them to care about, such as their own families. Studies have been done that show locking up a psychopath has absolutely no effect on them in terms of modifying their life strategies. In fact, it is shown to make them worse. Effectively, when locked up, psychopaths just simply learn how to be better psychopaths.
The psychopath is obsessed with control even if they give the impression of being helpless. Their pretense to emotional sensitivity is really part of their control function: The higher the level of belief in the psychopath that can be induced in their victim through their dramas, the more “control” the psychopath believes they have. And in fact, this is true. They do have control when others believe their lies. Sadly, the degree of belief, the degree of “submission” to this control via false representation, generally produces so much pain when the truth is glimpsed that the victim would prefer to continue in the lie than face the fact that they have been duped. The psychopath counts on this. It is part of their “actuarial calculations”. It gives them a feeling of power.
The past behavior of a society will be used by the psychopath (or ponerological network) to predict the future behavior of that society. Like an individual player, a society will have a certain probability of detecting deception and a more or less accurate memory of who has cheated them in the past. The society will also have a developed, or not developed, proclivity to retaliate against a liar and cheater. Since the psychopath is using an actuarial approach to assess the costs and benefits of different behaviors, (just how much can he get away with), it is the actual past behavior of the society which will go into his calculations rather than any risk assessments based on any “fears or anxieties” of being caught and punished that empathic people would feel in anticipation of doing something illegal.
Thus, in order to reduce psychopathic behavior in society and in government, a society must establish and enforce a reputation for high rates of detection of deception and identification of liars, and a willingness to retaliate. In other words, it must establish a successful strategy of deterrence.
Since the psychopath is particularly unable to make decisions based on future consequences, only able to focus attention on immediate gratification - short-term goals - it is possible that such individuals can be dealt with by establishing a history of dealing out swift social retaliation. That is, identifying and punishing liars and cheaters must be both immediate and flawlessly consistent, thus predictable in it’s occurrence.
And here we come to the issue concerning real-world human social interactions on a large scale: reducing psychopathy in our leaders depends upon expanding society’s collective memory of individual players’ past behavior. Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.
Any reasonable scan of the news will reveal that lies and cheating are not “covered up” as thoroughly as American apologists would like to think.
Even the less well-informed Americans have some idea that there was certainly something fishy about the investigation into the assassination of JFK. In recent years, the man in charge of the Warren Commission, Gerald Ford, also a former President, admitted to “cheating” on the report when he admitted to changing the placement of one of the bullet wounds in the final report.
Then, there was Watergate followed by the Iran-Contra affair, not to mention “Monica-gate”. Those seem almost naïve compared to the lies of the current people in power. The lies of the Bush gang, from stolen elections, to the 9/11 attacks, and through the infamous weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, have taken the art of lying to heights that would impress Hitler himself. And here we are just hitting some highlights, most familiar to all Americans.
What consequences did the cheaters of society suffer?
None to speak of. In fact, in nearly every case, they were rewarded handsomely with those things of value to the psychopath: money and material goods. If anyone thinks they were shamed by public exposure, think again!
But what is of crucial interest here is the fact that the American people have simply not responded to the revelations of lies in government with any outrage that could be considered more than token. At the present time, there isn’t even “token outrage”.
Don’t you find that odd?
But we have already noted the reason: the American way of life has optimized the survival of psychopathy and in a world of psychopaths, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths simply to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society “adaptive” to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone. As a consequence, a very large number of Americans are effective sociopaths. (Here we use “sociopath” as a designation of those individuals who are not genetic psychopaths.)
And so, we have George Bush and the Fourth Reich calculating how much they can get away with by looking at the history of the reactions of the American people to cheating.
There aren’t any because the system is adaptive to psychopathy. In other words, Americans support Bush and his agenda because most of them are effectively like him. But that is not because they are all born that way. It is because psychopathy is required to survive in the competitive, capitalist U.S. Society.
As a society gets larger and more competitive, individuals become more anonymous and more Machiavellian. Social stratification and segregation leads to feelings of inferiority, pessimism and depression among the have-nots, promoting the use of “cheating strategies” in life that then make the environment more adaptive for psychopathy in general because those who are suffering will respond positively to any sign of change, even if they don’t realize that the change is being proposed by those who will actually make their lives worse.
Psychopathic behavior among non-genetic psychopaths could be viewed as a functional method of obtaining desirable resources, increasing an individual’s status in a local group, and even a means of providing stimulation that socially and financially successful people find in acceptable physical and intellectual challenges.
In America, a great many households are affected by the fact that work, divorce, or both, have removed one or both parents from interaction with their children for much of the day. This is a consequence of Capitalistic economics.
When the parents are absent, or even when one is present but not in possession of sufficient knowledge or information, children are left to the mercies of their peers, a culture shaped by the media. Armed with joysticks and TV remotes, children are guided from South Park and Jerry Springer to Mortal Kombat on Nintendo. Normal kids become desensitized to violence. More-susceptible kids - children with a genetic inheritance of psychopathy - are pushed toward a dangerous mental precipice. Meanwhile, the government is regularly passing laws, on the demand of parents and the psychological community, designed to avoid imposing consequences on junior’s violent behavior.
As for media violence, few researchers continue to try to dispute that bloodshed on TV and in the movies has an effect on the kids who witness it. Added to the mix now are video games structured around models of hunting and killing. Engaged by graphics, children learn to associate spurts of “blood” with the primal gratification of scoring a “win”.
Again, economics - capitalism disguised as “democracy” - controls the reality.
The fact is, it is almost a mechanical system that operates based on the psychological nature of human beings, most of whom like to live in denial or need to live in denial to please their parents, their peers, their religious leaders, and their political leaders. All they want to do is have some relaxation to enjoy the “American Dream.” After all, “if ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise”. This is most especially true when we consider the survival instinct of the ego. If the official culture - created by psychopaths - says that there is no "man behind the curtain", working through the inculcated belief systems, there is little possibility that most people will be able to see the source of the ponerological phenomena in our world.
Consider all of the foregoing information now in relation to the 9/11 attacks and the fact that so many Americans find it almost impossible to believe that their government officials would wantonly sacrifice the lives of its citizens to further their personal agendas. More importantly, consider the fact that your government knows how you think only too well. In fact, they have CREATED your thinking processes!
November 28, 2005
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