The Study of Evil in the Political Realm - Part 2
If you missed the first part…
PONEROGENIC PHENOMENA AND PROCESSES
Egotism: We call egotism the attitude, subconsciously conditioned as a rule, to which we attribute excessive value to our instinctive reflexes, early acquired imaginings and habits, and individual world view. (Łobaczewski, 2013, p.100)
In the vernacular we’d say “He’s full of himself!”
Egotistical people believe their concepts and experience as the yardstick to measure others. They see themselves as the standard and would like others to bring themselves up to his or her standard or at least submit. This can happen on a national level as well, where the egotistical nation feels superior to teach or force another nation to think and act in a way that aligns with the egotists value and culture.
An interesting dynamic happens in the West (and probably most places but I only have experience of the West), whereby parents, psychologist, educators and the culture in general, both inflate a child’s ego (self-esteem) and punish egotism. This psychological push-pull to think of oneself highly, but to remain humble, can be confusing to say the least. Mostly it happens without conscious awareness as it’s so much part of the culture. Łobaczewski maintains that a certain measure of egotism is useful to gain mastery in life and yet too much hampers empathy and the capacity to understand others. He attributes the development of the excessively egotistical personality to psychological induction by others who are themselves egotistical, hysterical, or otherwise psychopathological. This either shapes the developing child along lines of increasing egotism or the older person to relapse into a childhood state of egotism. Excessive egotism is problematic.
The kind of excessive egotism which hampers the development of human values and leads to misjudgment and terrorising of others well deserves the title of “king of human faults”. Difficulties, disputes, serious problems, and neurotic reactions sprout up in everyone around such an egotist like mushrooms after a rainfall. 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 dissimilarities, derived from other cultural traditions, leads to conflict and war. (Łobaczewski, 2013, pp.100-101)
I believe what Łobaczewski is describing here is narcissism. Here’s a snapshot of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5):
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and with lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by at least five of the following:
Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without actually completing the achievements)
Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or perfect love.
Believes that they are "special" and can only be understood by or should only associate with other special people (or institutions).
Requires excessive admiration.
Has a sense of entitlement, such as an unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations).
Is exploitative and takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends.
Lacks empathy and is unwilling to identify with the needs of others.
Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes
Like so many of these personality disorders the origins are not clear. It looks like a combination of genetic predispositions toward the disorder and environmental factors. Developmental experiences of rejection as a child with a fragile ego, or maybe excessive praise of a child with a strong ego, could play a part. We simply don’t have a definitive answer yet, and maybe it’s different genetics and circumstances for each case.
Prevalence of NPD range from 0.5% to 5% of the US population according to various studies. Other personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder are also common in people with NPD. It is the antisocial-narcissistic personality with high IQ and social status that we commonly associate with tyrannical and genocidal leaders of the past.
When considering the evil behaviour of certain people with these personality disorders, Łobaczewski warns us not take a moralistic view of human behavior. He suggests that such moralising is usually overly emotional and causes us to miss the ‘real’ causal factors - underlying neural deviations from the norm (brain damage). I have to disagree with him on this point as I feel moral imperatives such as “you shall not murder” (from the Torah) provide a healthy benchmark for society that for most people is validated by their consciences. I think I can hold such moral imperatives and yet still appreciate that a genocidal antisocial personality might have a few screws loose in the old noggin (if you don’t mind me using such technical terms). Łobaczewski, if I’m understanding him correctly, doesn’t want moralising to cloud scientific discovery and reasoning and to distort reality. I tend to think that having a moral foundation (and a tendency to make moral judgments) from which to explore the nature of humanity with scientific methods is the way to go.
Spellbinders are generally the carriers of various pathological factors, some characteropathies, and some inherited anomalies. Individuals with malformations of their personalities frequently play similar roles, although the social scale of influence remains small (family or neighbourhood) and does not cross certain boundaries of decency.
Spellbinders are characterised by pathological egotism. Such a person is forced by some internal causes to make an early choice between two possibilites: 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. (Łobaczewski, 2013, p.106)
Now before we go any further into the analysis of personalities that perpetrate evil from high places, let me say that I believe there is a parallel phenomenon going on – a Marxist’s subversion of the West most notably today through a post-modern deconstructionist system of wokeness and all it’s myriad forms. A subversion that has been going on for a century (or more) in its pervasive demoralising of anything decent in (often successful) attempts to rouse the necessary revolution required for a new social order to dominate. For this multigenerational subversion to continue it has to give advantage to the psychopathic personality to rise to places that assure the continuation of the ‘revolution’. Like an emergent quality out of a complex system, it is the system that causes the ‘right’ people to rise to the top - now with so much momentum it appears on the surface to be a natural phenomenon.
Łobaczewski goes on to describe the spellbinder as not only one who is totally convinced of his or her exceptional, even messianic qualities, but able to attract and hypnotise others in the same delusion. Such magnetic personalities “fishes an environment or society for people amenable to his influence, deepening their psychological weakness until they finally join together in a ponerogenic union.”
“Ponerogenic associations” describe a group of influential, charismatic, yet pathological individuals that form a structure that ultimately hurt people. I would say that the individuals who form the web of Big Pharma, its promotion, protection, and enforcement could easily be categorised as a ponerogenic association. The psychopathology of the individuals involved in such an association have to do with deficits in conscience, empathy, morality, but not intelligence generally and the ability to scheme and manipulate. Actually the absence of a conscience opens a world of possibilities to manipulate without constraint (which most normal people with a conscience could not possibly pull off). Furthermore a collective of such people “with various psychological aberrations also complement each other’s talents and characteristics.”
Łobaczewski describes possible evolutions of these associations where leadership and talents jostle for places of influence. An influential narcissist may make way for a rising psychopath to take the helm - no different to the maturing organisation of any group of people. And then there is the glue that sticks the group together, the ideology.
It is a common phenomenon for a ponerogenic association or group to contain a particular ideology which always justifies its activities and furnishes motivational propaganda. Even a small-time gang of hoodlums has its own melodramatic ideology and pathological romanticism. Human nature demands that vile matters be haloed by an over-compensatory mystique in order to silence one’s own conscience and to deceive consciousness and critical faculties, whether one’s own or those of others. (Łobaczewski, 2013, p.112)
This reminds me of the recent whistleblower on Pfizer, Melissa McAtte, talking about the fact that workers in the production facilities noticing that the mRNA vaccines glowing in the dark. Never having seen such a thing before it nevertheless didn’t phase them, they just shrugged their shoulders and said ‘Well it must be OK or we wouldn’t be producing it,” in a silencing of conscience just as described above. But McAtte obviously didn’t have a deceived consciousness or critical faculties and was alerted to ‘something not right’.
The ideology always justifies the means, be it saving the world from a virus or from weapons of mass destruction, collateral damage becomes morally acceptable for the ‘greater good’. According to Nazi thinking it was for the greater good, not only for Germany but for the world, that the Jews should be exterminated, to give but one example. The fact that such ideologies are construed out of a paranoid perception of the world or completely fabricated, seems to be quickly masked by propaganda and the frenzied acceptance by the masses. Pretences become absolute truths that bind a revolutionary movement together - the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, the vaccine industry against the deadly pestilence.
The ideology may start out as altogether wholesome and moral, at least on the surface, but over time and with continued influence and warping by pathological leadership, the ideology departs from those beginnings toward a utility for evil. Equality movements initially looked like completely moral, and overdue, ideological positions to support. But when biological men are supplanting biological women on the sports field and ‘woman of the year’ awards, when ‘minorities’ have more rights and privileges than the average person, one wonders where the ‘equality’ has gone. When killing thousands to save a few is ethically justified, one wonders if the ideology is serving the people or corporate bank balances.
I can’t help but to also overlay the idea that we are increasingly becoming more left-hemisphere dominant - seeing things through a more paranoid, deconstructing, decontexualising lens. Devoid of the sense of the divine, the transcendent, the mystical, the flowing, living, organic nature of our humanity. The ideologies being formed by the psychopaths in positions of influence resemble the delusions of schizophrenics more than the voice of reason and wisdom (But sometimes it’s difficult to see, we are the proverbial frog in the heating water, the hypnotic effect has been over generations) When the left (near-communist if not outright) side of politics defend and praise neo-Nazi, black sunbranded, decedents of the SS in Ukraine, we know we’ve entered into some weird schizoid alternate reality. But that’s a whole other story that O’Brian and Ukraine experts are better at commenting than me.
Enough for now, I’ll revisit Łobaczewski again soon.
Andrzej Łobaczewski (2013). Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes (2nd Ed.), Quantum Future Group, Inc. Originally published in Poland as Ponerologia Polityczna (1984)
Ronningstam E. An update on narcissistic personality disorder. Current Opinions in Psychiatry. 2013 Jan; 26(1):102-6.
Ronningstam E. Narcissistic personality disorder in DSM-V--in support of retaining a significant diagnosis. Journal of Personality Disorders. 2011 Apr; 25(2):248-59.
The Black Sun (German: Schwarze Sonne) is a Nazi symbol, a type of sun wheel (German: Sonnenrad) employed in a post–Nazi Germany context by neo-Nazis also in some strains of Satanism.
"The ideology may start out as altogether wholesome and moral, at least on the surface, but over time and with continued influence and warping by pathological leadership, the ideology departs from those beginnings toward a utility for evil."
Well said. This is exactly what we have seen happen over the past 50 years or so. Think of the beliefs and values of the average person who identified as being a 'liberal' in the 1960's and compare them to those of the average person who currently identifies as 'liberal.' Way different.
As bad as things seem in the current historical era it may not be so much that totalitarianism will last way into the future. We may be witnessing death throes. Sort of like when a chicken has it's head cut off and runs about exerting great energy before it dies.
The establishment politicians et al seem to be in a state of hysterics over Ukraine. There must be a great deal more to it than even the most crazed tinfoil hats have suspected.