Political Ponerology - THE GENESIS OF EVIL
THE GENESIS OF EVIL
1. Ponerogenic Associations
The ultimate cause of evil lies in the interaction of two human factors: 1) normal human ignorance and weakness and 2) the existence and action of a statistically small (4-8% of the general population) but extremely active group of psychologically deviant individuals. The ignorance of the existence of such psychological differences is the first criterion of ponerogenesis. That is, such ignorance creates an opening whereby such individuals can act undetected.
The presence of such “disease” on the individual level is described in the Almost Human section of this website. However, depending on the type of activity of psychopathic and characteropathic individuals, evil can manifest on any societal level. The greater the scope of the psychopath’s influence, the greater harm done. Thus any group of humans can be infected or “ponerized” by their influence. From families, clubs, churches, businesses, and corporations, to entire nations. The most extreme form of such macrosocial evil is called “pathocracy”.
"In any society in this world, psychopathic individuals and some of the other deviant types create a ponerogenically active network of common collusions, partially estranged from the community of normal people... Their sense of honor bids them to cheat and revile that ‘other’ human world and its values at every opportunity." (Lobaczewski, 138)
“We could list various names ascribed to such organizations… gangs, criminal mobs, mafias… 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 societies in the name of a suitably prepared ideology, deriving advantages in the form of disproportionate prosperity and the satisfaction for their craving of power.” (Lobaczewski, 158, emphasis added)
"Gangs have always provided great opportunities for young psychopaths. Their impulsive, selfish, callous, egocentric, and aggressive tendencies easily blend in with - and may even se the tone for - many of the gang's activities. Indeed, there cannot be many other activities that produce so many rewards for violent psychopaths, with such impunity." (Hare, 176)
Living in a world whose morals and customs are meaningless to them and even seen as oppressive, psychopaths dream of a "happy" and "just" world where their depraved worldview is accepted as reality. They seek, by any means necessary, to achieve positions in government where their dreams can be brought to fruition. If injustice does exist in a society, their statements regarding the 'unfairness' of their situation can resonate with those who actually do experience such injustice. Thus, revolutionary doctrines can be accepted by both groups for diametrically opposed reasons.
Ponerogenic groups are those with a statistically high number of pathological individuals, to the point that the group as a whole exercises egotistical and pathological behavior. Deviants function as leaders and ideological spellbinders, and while normal people may act as members, they have typically accumulated various psychological deficiencies. Those not susceptible to such influence are excluded from the group. These groups can either infiltrate existing governments or exert their influence from "behind the scenes." Bribery, blackmail, murder and similar terror tactics are used to achieve these ends.
Structure: The command structure of ponerogenic associations is similar to that of normal groups: members specialize and complement each other's strengths. In this way different individuals with varying psychological defects will fill roles in which their particular ‘gift’ is applicable. “The earlier phase of a ponerogenic union’s activity is usually dominated by characteropathic, particularly paranoid individuals, who often play an inspirational or spellbinding role in the ponerization process. Recall here that the power of the paranoid characteropath lies in that they easily enslave less critical minds" (Lobaczewski, 162). Trauma victims, individuals with psychological deficiencies, and young people often fall into the category of ‘less critical minds’.
Ideological Mask: The group's stated goals are often at variance with its true nature. Colorful literature and humanitarian values often mask its true motivations. Take, for example, the disparity between the CIA's stated goals, such as "Creating special, multidisciplinary centers to address such high-priority issues such as nonproliferation, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, international organized crime and narcotics trafficking, environment, and arms control intelligence", and its widespread use of terrorism, torture, overthrowing democratically elected governments, installing foreign dictators, drug trafficking, arms smuggling, etc. Also, compare the public humanitarian front of the Anti-Defamation League with its sordid history of illegal domestic surveillance, character assassination, and collaboration with foreign spy organizations.
First Criterion of Ponerogenesis: “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 fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic ways” (Lobaczewski, 158). When a group has succumbed to pathological influence its members soon lose the ability to distinguish normal human behavior from pathological. This atrophy of critical faculties in relation to such individuals becomes an opening to their activities. It can also be used to identify potentially dangerous groups.
Characteropathy and Psychopathy: Groups dominated by characteropaths engage in fairly primitive activities, and are thus easily broken by normal society. Psychopathic leaders, however, are often more clever, and use characteropathic individuals as subservient tools. When arrested, such individuals accept the paramoral ideals of their leaders, acting as the group's scapegoat and accepting the majority of the blame. Psychopathic leaders, when in court, will correspondingly shift the blame to their underlings. A large-scale example of this dynamic is the scapegoating of low-ranking military officers for war crimes condoned and/or ordered by higher-ranking authorities.
Primary and Secondary Ponerogenic Unions: There are two types of ponerogenic associations. Primary ponerogenic associations are those that were originally formed and designed to benefit its founding members using illicit (evil) means. Lobaczewski describes them as unions "whose abnormal members were active from the very beginning, playing the role of crystallizing catalysts as early as the process of creation of the group occurred,” e.g. criminal gangs (160). Such groups' antisocial activities and blatant disregard for moral values naturally disgust normal people, and thus their influence does not spread far before they lose their battle with society.
The secondary ponerogenic associations are groups founded with an independent and attractive social ideal, but which later succumb to moral degeneration. This degeneration leaves an opening for "infection and activation of the pathological factors within, and later to a ponerization of the group as a whole, or often its fraction” (Lobaczewski, 160). Governments, ideologies, and religions are institutions founded by people whose lack of awareness of specific psychological realities and other moral failings leave them open to covert infection and subsequent take-over by those without conscience. The fact that these institutions have been in existence and have a long-standing tradition has allowed them to acquire a much greater membership and notoriety. When such an organization, working towards some social or political goal, is already accepted by a large number of normal people (e.g. American Republicanism or Evangelical Christianity), ponerization of the group provides the widespread influence that primary ponerogenic unions lack.
After its takeover by psychopathic elements within (e.g. the Neoconservative takeover of American Republicanism), the ponerogenic group is protected by a “mask” of the group's traditional values. This will happen in spite of the fact that these values are obviously distorted and disregarded. For example, such a group will pass legislation and behave solely to benefit those in control, often becoming violent and starting wars of aggression. Normal members of such a group naively protect such deviant behavior, not realizing it is the work of deviants. Its pathology remains hidden by those who do not wish to see it objectively. Justifications and prepared ideologies are promulgated; subconscious selection and substitution take place, and the pathology is effectively cloaked behind a mask of sanity. Those who belong to ‘the party’ will label the opposition as pacifists, socialists, liberals or terrorists, or whichever label is most effective in order to invalidate their criticism. Unfortunately the government will only become more pathological in its behavior and egotistical toward other nations until the deviant psychological aspects are either purged or destroy themselves.
The same dynamic plays out in interpersonal relations. Take, for example, Ted Bundy, who had a reputation as a kind, intelligent, respectable man. When he was first accused of murdering several young women, his acquaintances staunchly defended his character. This situation follows the same pattern as the macrosocial dynamic. Such individuals will often denigrate the victims and accusers of such a previously esteemed individual. This not only has a negative effect on the victim, but encourages further deviant behavior on behalf of the perpetrator.
Macrosocial Disease: Social disease may be called macrosocial under either of two conditions: 1) ponerogenic processes encompass a society’s entire ruling class, or 2) opposition from normal people is stifled, via the mass use of spellbinding, censorship, and physical compulsion. Two general stages of macrosocial disease seem to apply to all its forms and variations: hysteria and pathocracy.
Last edited by Jake Reason on Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total