August 27, 2011
“Ponerology was born in the crucible of attempts to understand, scientifically, a macro-social phenomenon of what can only be called extreme and excessive evil: Fascism and Soviet Communism.” – Andrew M. Lobaczewski, a Polish psychiatrist and author of the book, “Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes.”
Definition of Pathocracy (from the website The Pathocracy Blog):
“Definition: pathocracy (n). A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society of normal people (from Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, by Andrew Lobaczewski) from Greek pathos, “feeling, pain, suffering”; and kratos, “rule”
A totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values.
A pathocracy can take many forms and can insinuate itself covertly into any seemingly just system or ideology. As such it can masquerade under the guise of a democracy or theocracy as well as more openly oppressive regimes.”
“That is the nature of professional politics. Many are called, but few survive the nut-cutting hour–which appears to be coming down on our goofy Child President these days. . . . Ah, but it was ever thus, eh? Vicious thieves have always ruled the world. It is our wa. We are like pigs in the wilderness.” – Hunter S. Thompson, from “Kingdom of Fear.”
On Thursday, August 25, MSNBC sub host and journalist Chris Hayes had a very important conversation with author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald about the political, legal and social consequences of tolerating elite criminality that I hope will be continued in the future.
There needs to be a global dialogue about how the individuals who are most responsible for the abuses and crimes of the Bush-Obama regime should be punished.
Holding the state terrorists in Washington and Israel behind the 9/11 attacks and the deceptive war on terror responsible for their crimes against the American people, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and humanity is a matter of human survival and global peace.
Here is a snippet from the conversation:
Chris Hayes: Given the sort of consensus of normality that has seemed to sort of now settled in over the policy disputes of torture, and illegal wiretapping, etc. How do you begin to culturally counteract that, if that’s not too broad a question? Because this notion of how you kind of mark off what is over some line in polite society is a really tricky one, but I feel like there has to be some sort of concerted effort at least among critics and intellectuals, and other people paying attention, that does that.
Glenn Greenwald: Well, law is supposed to be, of course, the principal way to say there’s certain lines that you cannot cross, right. I mean, there’s certain things that are impolite that might result in social stigma, but there’s certain things that you can’t do that are far worse than impolite, they’re criminal, and you’re supposed to go to prison for them. And we’ve erased those lines.
But, as you’ve suggested, we’ve erased an even more disturbing line which is even the idea of a social stigma. So, you know, we love in American politics and American political discourse to talk about other countries’s leaders and the horrible crimes they’ve committed, and look at what these dictators are doing, and these awful people in that other country are doing. And yet, we have political leaders, a class of leaders who have committed what we’ve always said, what we Americans have always said for decades, are among the worst and most egregious crimes.
And independent of the legal immunity, you’re absolutely right, you won’t see barely any media figures treating Dick Cheney with even the smallest degree of hostility or animosity. He will be treated like any other elder statesman, who might have some political controversial positions, but he won’t be shunned by anyone. And what that guarantees is that behaviour becomes normalized. Both parties have accepted it by not prosecuting it. And I think that’s a very dangerous thing to do.
The social and political value of casting out war criminals and tyrants from the human community is self-evident. Thomas Jefferson said a revolution every thirty years was healthy and beneficial for society, and that it keeps government leaders on their toes.
In his book, “The Trial of Socrates,” journalist I.F. Stone said that Zeus had Hermes instruct humans to respect the rights of other people and to recognize the social value of shame, and remind them that those who didn’t follow these two basic laws of human society “shall die the death of a public pest.” Stone wrote:
Protagoras said Zeus feared that “our race was in danger of utter destruction.” So he sent his messenger, Hermes, down to earth with two gifts which would enable men at last to practice “the art of politics” successfully and establish cities where they could live together in safety and in amity. The two gifts Zeus sent down to man were aidos and dike. Aidos is a sense of shame, a concern for the good opinion of others. It is the shame a soldier feels in betraying his fellows on the battlefield, or a citizen if he is caught doing something dishonorable. Dike here means respect for the rights of others. It implies a sense of justice, and it makes civic peace possible by settling disputes through adjudication. In acquiring aidos and dike, men would at last be able to ensure their survival. (Stone, ‘The Trial of Socrates': Pg. 47-48). For a longer passage of this quote, go here.
Chris Hayes relayed the same message on his show when he said:
“When powerful people are not held to account, when they have no worry about their reputations, it creates a moral hazard – not unlike what’s happened with the banks. Anti-social behaviour is rewarded, failure is also rewarded, and we’re trapped inside a system of perverse incentives.”
In America, and every other modern totalitarian society, the political rot at the top is allowed to sustain itself and reproduce the system of criminality, corruption and deception until the point of collapse.
When the collapse finally comes the criminal elite find new ways to profit, this time from the collapse, while leaving the people to starve and die like rats. This is what happened in Russia in the 1990s when the oligarchs looted the society.
Social stigma is turned on its head in such dehumanized societies. Instead of government criminals and authoritarian psychopaths getting a bad wrap, it is the people who expose their lies and crimes that face social derision and rejection. Truth-tellers are demonized and stigmatized as “conspiracy theorists” and “nut jobs” for pointing out that the government’s official narratives are giant lies.
The most effective counterweights against political corruption and government tyranny are the press and civil society. Since the official press in America and the West does not serve the people and or care about the rule of law, the job is left to the alternative press who represent civil society.
Greenwald reminds us in his article, “The fruits of elite immunity,” that letting government liars and war criminals off the hook in one instance creates the incentive for emergent political leaders and ambitious politicians to totally forget their responsibilities to the people, and their responsibilities to uphold the law. At that point, they become government wolves who feast on the society behind the cover of lies and myths. If they are not put down and hanged for their treason, then they become super confident, and find more ways to continue their war against the people.
That’s what happens when the Government — marching under the deceitful Orwellian banner of Look Forward, Not Backward — demands that its citizens avert their eyes from the crimes of their leaders so that all can be forgotten: the crimes become non-crimes, legitimate acts of political choice, and the criminals become instantly rehabilitated by the message that nothing they did warrants punishment. That’s the same reason people like John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales are defending their torture and illegal spying actions not in a courtroom but in a lush conference of elites in Aspen.
I’m not sure how much responsibility lies with political agents like Dick Cheney and David Addington for the crimes of torture, spying, false flag terrorism, and aggressive wars — and how much responsibility should be attributed to the economic and political power elite. And how much blame does a pseudo-philosopher like neoconservative Michael Ledeen deserve for the 9/11 crime and the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan?
I think it is politically and culturally important that reformers do not project all evil onto former Vice President Dick Cheney, cast him out of the human community, and think that will solve the problems that come from the psychopathic political system in Washington. Don’t get me wrong, I think this heartless bastard should be hanged as a traitor and war criminal alongside the rest of the lying tyrants in America, Israel, and England who were behind the 9/11 attacks, 7/7 attacks, and the illegal war on terror.
Dramatic acts of public ritual like public hangings of tyrants serve a purpose in restoring social cohesion, re-establishing the rule of law, and reaffirming the values of a community. People should not look down on hanging tyrants and war criminals. It is a basic principle of any free, peaceful, stable and sane society.
But, it is not good to be obsessed about the evil nature of any particular political leader, while remaining blind about the responsibility of indifferent and selfish elites. The managers of American society’s top institutions have been deeply involved in the crimes and cover-ups that have defined the U.S. government from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the false flag 9/11 attacks, the war on terror, and the mass transfer of wealth from the American middle class and poor to the parasitic bankers on Wall Street.
Dick Cheney is just a symbol of these dark times. High criminality and heartless evil in Washington did not begin when Cheney went to Washington. We should not turn Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush or Blair into a scapegoat, and overlook the responsibility of the treasonous power elite for the horrors of the war on terror.
Cheney’s hidden masters deserve most of the blame for the crimes of the anti-American regime in Washington. Besides, probing Dick Cheney’s heart of evil is not as psychologically interesting and socially important as understanding the growth and historic legacy of modern totalitarian political systems.
Ambitious, intelligent, shameless and heartless men like Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Henry Kissinger and others will serve as examples of the influence of psychopathology in politics.
But an even more interesting subject for scholars to study is the nature of psychopathic political systems like the one in America, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Israel, England and other totalitarian societies. This is where Andrew M. Lobaczewski’s ideas on political ponerology can help humanity shine a psychological light on psychopathic political leaders who gravitate towards political power such as Barack Obama, the Clintons, the Bushes, and others.
But, again, the pathological and cunning leaders in the White House are only distractions. The American people should instead direct their anger, and hopefully channel it peacefully, against a hijacked and traitorous political system that favours wars of aggression, false flag terrorism, torture, spying on citizens, mass murder, plunder, political persecution, cultural brainwashing, political assignations, mass deception, domestic repression and propaganda.
There is only one way out of the darkness and modern wasteland, and that is through the blazed trail of knowledge. So keep blazing away my fellow infosoldiers!
II. Further information on Andrew M. Lobaczewski and political ponerology:
Rand Clifford – Leaders With No Conscience
Clinton Callahan – Beware the Psychopath, My Son
Kevin Barrett – Twilight of the Psychopaths
Silvia Cattori – The Trick of the Psychopath’s Trade: Make Us Believe that Evil Comes from Others
Jack Mullen – Pathocracy: Tyranny at the Hand of Psychopaths
This article was posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 5:22 am