Here is the book:
"Ponerology" is the study of evil, from the greek word for evil, Poneros. Evil can be studied outside of theology, in the same way ethics can. Author Michael Shermer discusses this in his book "The Science of Good and Evil". The basic premise is that the desire to help others is hard-wired into the species, in order to help preserve it. However, Shermer misses the fact that 0.8% of the population, the psychopaths, do not have this desire.
Political Ponerology studies how psychopaths take over political systems, which is then called a Pathocracy. (The term psychopath has a more specific meaning than sociopath, which is a more colloquial term.) The Polish author, Andrew Lobaczewski, was part of a group of psychologists in Poland who were secretly studying pathocracies while under Soviet rule. They were doing this research in fear of discovery and harsh punishment. Psychopaths don't like being studied and are afraid of being discovered. He escaped to the U.S.A. and showed a manuscript to an influential fellow Pole, who praised the work, but somehow got the book suppressed for many years. This Pole is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama's Foreign Policy Secretary, whom I've written about before. He authored a book about the U.S. strategy for controlling the oil in Eurasia.
In the book "Without Remorse: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among us", psychologist Robert Hare explains that born psychopaths comprise about 0.8% of the population and are not "insane" - they understand what society considers "right" and "wrong", understand the consequences of their actions, but have no conscience, remorse, guilt, nor empathy. They are completely callous and self serving, but they have free will and make conscious choices.
They consider themselves superior to the rest of us, who are "weak" because we are subservient to our emotions, and thus "deserve" to be taken advantage of. They consider people around them as objects, including spouses and children, if they have them. At the same time they feel oppressed, because they desire some things which "normal" people find reprehensible and would punish them for. As an example, an Austrian man was arrested for imprisoning his daughter for over 20 years in the basement. In his mind, all he wanted was to keep his daughter in the basement, nothing wrong with that, but normal people came and took her away and jailed him. A psychopathic convict in jail for nearly killing someone in a bar fight, said, "It's not fair, he only spent 2 months in the hospital, while I'm in jail for 2 years!".
Many psychopaths become con artists, or go to jail, but many stay just below the radar, moving through society, taking advantage of everyone around them. Only about 1 in 25,000 become serial killers. Not all of them particularly enjoy killing people. Some of them become priests, lawyers, doctors, managers, or politicians. These are the "successful psychopaths". They become master manipulators, using their skill at feigning emotions. They are fascinated by psychology, which many study in order to improve their manipulation skills. Many prison psychiatrists have been fooled by their psychopathic subjects. They are glib and are expert, smooth liars. They are obsessed with manipulation and power over others. They move like predators among us.
At a young age, they realize they are very different, and practice making the proper emotional expressions in the mirror. They become actors on the stage of life. (They sometimes invoke the wrong, puzzlingly inappropriate emotional expression due to the lack of real emotions other than "proto emotions" such as rage and pleasure.) This is what psychologist Hervey Cleckley called "The Mask of Sanity", in his downloadable book of the same name. This Mask of Sanity can be turned into the Mask of Ideology - psychopathic politicians can say and do the "right" things in the public light to attract voters, things which they do not care about in the slightest. Think of the caricature "god-fearing" politician who in his private life, hires homosexual prostitutes, snorts cocaine, and accepts bribes. Think of the caricature "progressive" politician who preaches saving the environment and helping the poor, while jetting in a private plane and screwing people over by voting for the Mother of All Bailouts.
Communist and "cult of personality" totalitarian regimes, the Nazis, and historic baddies such as Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and Mao Tse Tung, are some very obvious psychopaths and pathocracies. However, remember that not all psychopaths would be as extreme as those, and there are probably many more "moderate" ones. Remember they are obsessed about power and manipulation, and not necessarily about killing (however they may find the death of one, or of thousands,"necessary" for their personal aims, and will have no qualms about it).
Here are a few things some politicians have done which suggest psychopathy
- Bush's wars of aggression, which have killed 10s or 100's of thousands.
- Clinton lying smoothly under oath (no I don't care that he got a blowjob from an intern), and his and Hillary's Whitewater scam
- Madeleine Albright saying that the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children was "worth it"
- Margaret Thatcher saying that her dream was to lead the nation into war and win (we are like pawns to psychopaths)
And then here are 2 articles about Obama's narcissism (many narcissists are psychopaths and other narcissists can be considered as mild psychopaths):
In Political Ponerology, Lobaczewski describes the structure in a Pathocracy. It is like a pyramid, like most hierarchical stuctures. Psychopaths are capable of functioning in hierarchies as long as they think it lets them achieve their goals. At the top are the true psychopaths. Below them are the "new bourgeoisie" - those that benefit from the Pathocracy - many are probably the borderline psychopaths. Then below them are whom Lobaczewski calls the "Right wing Authoritarians" (an unfortunate choice of words). I prefer calling them the "Authoritarian Ideologues", because authoritarians can be either right wing or left wing (as per today's nomenclature). Ideologues are those who strongly believe in ideology, such as those Lenin referred to as "useful idiots", those that spread ideology to help you gain power.
Lobaczewski says that these "authoritarians" comprise 15% of the population, who have the personality type which have a need to follow and to exert authority. They are the types who believe very strongly in ideology, such as the caricature "liberals" and the caricature "conservatives", and want to tell everybody how to live their lives; they are the busybody judgmental types, the little-Nazi HOA types, and the TSA types - the bossy types who order you around and are obsequious in the face of authority above them.
The rest of the population, or about 80%, are along for the ride, living their lives, oblivious to the wholesale manipulation they are subject to.
I have seen discussions of Lobaczewski's book on "liberal" or "progressive" forums - they make the predictable mistake of calling Bush a psychopath then being blind to the psychopaths who spew "progressive" ideology. They do not understand the philosophy of the Fabian Socialists (who are members of the elite of society), who latched onto the idea of spreading Welfarism as a means of gaining more power, because the elite control government, Welfarism requires more government power, and "helping the less fortunate" tugs at your heartstrings and is thus difficult to argue against because the desire to help others is hardwired into the species. e.g. "You don't like welfare, you must be heartless!"
The Progressives do not realize that all Progressivism requires Authoritarianism and Centralization of Power, which attracts psychopaths. They do not realize that the Progressives of the 1930s were admirers of the National Socialist party of Germany (Nazi party) for their desire to shape society in the collectivist mold (but distanced themselves when the Nazis started killing Jews). They do not realize that Progressivism was fueled by PR campaigns of Big Business, in order to enable "regulation" which was actually Corporatism and Cartelization. (See page 82 of this PDF: The Case Against the FED) They do not see that while Bush is an obvious war-monger, the Democrats supported the war with votes and that Obama is the same, and is a Fabian Socialist. (This is not to say that the Neoconservatives don't promote Socialism - their voting supports it).
The "liberals" do not understand that the mass media controls the debates and feeds a false left-right paradigm which is meant to control thought and distract from the real issues of erosion of liberties. They do not understand that any attempt to shape society from the top-down is a form of Elitism and Utopianism. Those that believe in it do so because they feel superior and better than the rest (elitism), and that everyone else should be forced to act the same way (authoritarianism), in order to make society better by force (Utopianism), led by the most moral members of society. And there is the conundrum - the psychopaths will rise to power, not the virtuous. If two people run for the same office, and one is a good person and the other is evil and doesn't play by the rules, who would win? How can you expect that the ruling elite will be comprised of individuals that are more morally upright than the masses they rule?
Picture the bible-thumping "right wingers" who want government to force everyone to their way of thinking, and their nemesis, the "liberals" or "left wingers", who want government to force everyone to *their* way of thinking. They think their enemy is each other, but they are played against each other. (And most of the 80% along for the ride think the truth is between the two sides, not realizing that the answer is neither). The "wingers" are all from the 15% portion who are Authoritarians. They are an important tool for the psychopaths to exert their control over society.
The science of psychopathy as researched by Lobaczewski and Hare shows that positions of power attract the psychopaths, and thus any top-down method of shaping society, regardless of good intentions, by means of centralization and use of power, is doomed. The correct solution is self-rule and de-centralization or dismantling of power - and the only significant power is that which is backed by violence or threat of violence. Remember that in any government system, only government has the legal monopoly on violence. (e.g. you break its laws, and men with guns and badges arrest you.)
This pervasive thinking is the Myth of the Benevolent Dictator - the belief that "if only the right person gets into power, everything will be better". The "liberals" believe that "if only those true to the progressive ideology" get into power, everything will be better. Even if you could get a "good"person into office there wielding power righteously for a while, the next one will likely be a psychopath and will use that exact same power for evil.
This reviewer of Lobaczewski's book had this to say:
In this book I have learned that most, if not all of the governments of the world, have been taken over by a pathological infection from just a small group of psychopaths who understand the psychology of normal people to a very high degree and they have corrupted these governmental structures to the very core. These psychopaths have silently, but with mind boggling persistence and stealth moved in and taken over and hollowed out the very soul of humanity using lies and deception as their weapons of choice. These psychopaths, this inhuman race of pathological deviants, who do not have the capacity to feel conscience and feel the pain of another, now literally rule the world.
One psychopath can terrorize an entire town, even an entire city. The majority of normal people are now ruled by a minority of psychopaths and they have basically made our governments criminal networks. Criminal governments. Those working for these governments are now working for what basically is a criminal enterprise and they don't see it because they are in it and profit by it, yet it is these people who are determining our future and the future of our children.
Mankind is becoming a willing slave to the pathocratic structures created by the inhuman obsessive greed of this small percentage of humanity that cannot feel conscience. This book is a MUST READ. Only by knowing what we are dealing with can we do anything about it without going in circles. We are dealing with an intelligent predator that feeds on the soul of humanity. It seems to me that there are only a very few who are now speaking of psychopathy and (macrosocial) Evil in the way Lobaczewski speaks of it, since it has been suppressed for so long, but knowledge of the behavior of these deviants, these snakes in suits, is essential so we can recognize this "predator within our midst" and then do something about it with any real and lasting results
History has been disproportionately shaped by psychopaths - it makes sense that wars happen because of psychopaths. However, not only overt war-mongers had to have been psychopaths, but every stinking empire-hungry conqueror and power-hungry leader in history had to have been one - including the first caveman who convinced his fellow cavemen to take over the next cave by force. The sorry state of today's world with the seemingly intractable poverty and hunger despite our technological prowess is most easily explained by the fact that governments are pathocracies.
One may argue that psychopaths are produced by a recessive gene which the human species needs in order to progress, that the large-scale organization required by the rise of the early great civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Sumeria, and Egypt would not have happened without psychopaths. This may be so, but given today's technology and telecommunications, such large-scale organizations are possible without the power backed by violence that governments (and their psychopaths) have. Just look at Sony, Apple, or Toyota. They are large scale organizations capable of organizing tens or hundreds of thousands of people through mutually agreed voluntary contracts, in order to achieve a common goal - create products which customers voluntarily purchase. This, by the way, is the essence of the free market, which is based on freedom to trade and to enter into voluntary contracts. In the absence of violence or coercion, all agreements are reached voluntarily, through persuasion and reason.
Freedom and Free Markets produce the best possible outcomes for the majority. Freedom and Free Markets are not perfect and do not produce a Utopia - it is not about shaping society - and it cannot produce the ideal result for everyone at any given time. But given the science of psychopathy there is nothing better.