I read the book, Political Ponerology, by Andrew Lobaczewski about 10 years ago. Even though I try to keep my focus on the positive and doing what I can do in my little bubble of reality, and I am very aware of the need to put thoughts and energy into life affirming activities, I also felt it was important to know just how such evil and deadly regimes come to power and achieve their goals. It doesn’t just happen. The psychological weapons used to make us complicit in our own undoing are well known and extensively applied. The trajectory does tend to follow an even predictable course that has been studied as best it can be, under circumstances less than ideal for such scientific endeavors.
I am finally going to make the effort to summarize for anyone interested, and I guess my own easy reference guide, some terminologies that were introduced to me through this book. I’m basically going to read it again and take notes as I go. It was a lot to take in, so this will be a good exercise for me.
I will give a little intro about the circumstances the author experienced that led to the eventual writing and publication of this book. First, a little from the preface about psychopathy:
“Hervey Cleckey (The Mask of Sanity) actually comes very close to suggesting that psychopaths are human in every respect - but that they lack a soul. This lack of soul quality makes them very efficient machines. They can write scholarly works, imitate the words of emotion, but over time, it becomes clear that their words do not match their actions. They are the type of person who can claim that they are devastated by grief who then attend a party to forget. The problem is: they really do forget.”
“Being very efficient machines, like a computer, they are able to execute very complex routines designed to elicit from others support for what they want. In this way, many psychopaths are able to reach very high positions in life. It is only over time that their associates become aware of the fact that their climb up the ladder of success is predicated on violating the rights of others. Even when they are indifferent to the rights of their associates, they are often able to inspire feelings of trust and confidence.”
“The psychopaths recognizes no flaw in his psyche, no need for change.”
“Andrew Lobaczewski addresses the problem of the psychopath and their extremely significant contribution to our macrosocial evils, their ability to act as the eminence grise behind the very structure of our society. It is very important to keep in mind that this influence comes from a relatively small segment of humanity. The other 90 some percent of human beings are not psychopaths.”
“But that other 90 some percent of normal people know that something is wrong! They just can’t quite identify it; can’t quite put their finger on it; and because they can’t, they tend to think that there is nothing they can do about it, or maybe it is just God punishing people.”
“What is actually the case is that when that 90 some percent of human beings fall into a certain state, as Lobaczewski will describe, the psychopaths, like a virulent pathogen in a body, strike at the weaknesses, and the entire society is plunged into conditions that always lead to horror and tragedy on a very large scale.”
A couple more quotes:
(And I have seen this particular one happen many times) “The truth, when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad, especially if the innocent person is honest and admits his mistakes.”
“The psychopath is a predator.” (Yes!)
(Another key point) “.... it seems to be that the psychopath enjoys making others suffer. Just as normal humans enjoy seeing other people happy, or doing things that make other people smile, the psychopath enjoys the exact opposite.”
The following is a very brief summary, as it’s a hard story to tell. For various reasons much of the original story and actual researchers involved are simply unknown and unavailable. Just getting this information into print at all is a story in itself. The author was amongst a group of individuals in Poland who were students, researchers, budding scientists, at a time when a regime change of the sort mentioned above was actually taking place. People just don’t realize how fast things can change, especially when the foundation for such a change has been sneakily laid out and prepared in advance amongst an unsuspecting population.
Once again, I will quote some from the introduction:
“May the reader please imagine a very large hall in an old Gothic university building. Many of us gathered there early in our studies in order to listen to the lectures of outstanding philosophers and scientists. We were herded back there - under threat - the year before graduation in order to listen to the indoctrination lectures which recently had been introduced.”
“Someone nobody knew appeared behind the lectern and informed us that he would now be the professor. His speech was fluent, but there was nothing scientific about it: he failed to distinguish between scientific and ordinary concepts and treated borderline imaginings as though it were wisdom that could not be doubted. For ninety minutes each week, he flooded us with naive, presumptuous paralogistics and a pathological view of human reality. We were treated with contempt and poorly controlled hatred. Since fun-poking could entail dreadful consequences, we had to listen attentively and with the utmost gravity.”
“...after such mind torture, it took a long time for someone to break the silence.”
“We studied ourselves, since we felt something strange had taken over our minds and something valuable was leaking away irretrievably. The world of psychological reality and moral values seemed suspended as if in a chilly fog. Our human feeling and student solidarity lost their meaning, as did patriotism and our old established criteria. So we asked each other, are you going through this too? Each of us experienced this worry about his own personality and future in his own way. Some of us answered the questions with silence. The depth of these experiences turned out to be different for each individual.”
“We thus wondered how to protect ourselves from the results of this indoctrination. Teresa D. made the first suggestion: Let’s spend a weekend in the mountains. It worked. Pleasant company, a bit of joking, then exhaustion followed by deep sleep in a shelter, and our human personalities returned, albeit with a certain remnant. Time also proved to create a kind of psychological immunity, although not with everyone. Analyzing the psychopathic characteristics of the professor’s personality proved another excellent way of protecting one’s own psychological hygiene.”
“You can just imagine our worry, disappointment, and surprise when some of our colleagues we knew well suddenly began to change their world view: their thought patterns furthermore reminded us of the professor’s chatter. Their feelings, which had just recently been friendly, became noticeably cooler, although not yet hostile. Benevolent or critical student arguments bounced right off them... We had to be careful what we said to them. These former colleagues soon joined the Party.”
“How and why did they change so much in less than a year? Why did neither I nor a majority of my fellow students succumb to this phenomenon and process?”
This is when he and some of his fellow students hatched the idea that this phenomena could be objectively studied. The above quotes from the introduction capture very well how this process actually does happen, and is worthy of reading more than once. I think this lays a fairly good foundation for the new terminology they came up with to describe what they discovered about how so many otherwise good people can be rendered unable to respond to this process of what amounts to a type of virulent mind disease. For it does act like a pathogen, and attacks the weakest cells first. All else follows from there. It’s no wonder that it took such a long time to actually get this information available to the public. Knowing what you are up against helps one develop the survival skills to counteract this whole process, and keep one’s mental/spiritual/emotional immune system from succumbing.
As I have time I will take each of these terms and give my abbreviated rendition of how they came up with them, and what they each mean. You will begin to recognize a great deal of these terms as they are playing themselves out across the world screen of life. At least I’ve finally made a start on this topic, as it’s not one I see talked about very often. Knowledge is power.