In trying to understand the craziness of our time, valuable insight can be gained from the work of the late Polish psychologist Andrzej Lobaczewski, and his research into psychopaths.
Conventional psychology estimates that psychopaths make up only about 1% of a nation’s population. Lobaczewski suggests the percentage is much higher and that people with psychopathic disorders are rife in the higher echelons of politics, the military and business.
Lobaczewski was one of a courageous group of scientists in communist Eastern Europe, who after World War II, secretly collaborated on a study of the nature of totalitarianism. (He was eventually tortured by the Polish secret police for his work and exiled) Their new science was termed “ponerology,” derived from the Greek word poneros, meaning evil influence.
One of these scientists, Kazimierz Dąbrowski, warned that the extreme of ambition and lust for power and financial gain, “is particularly evident in criminal or political psychopathy.” And that less “successful” psychopaths are to be found in prisons, while successful ones are to be found in positions of power, “among political and military national leaders, labor union bosses, etc.”
Lobaczewski eventually published the book “Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes.”
Among his findings – that we’ve suffered under “spellbinder” psychopaths who mesmerize masses of people into enthusiastically participating in their own destruction. And that nations experience recurring cycles of happy times, followed by “hysterical” and psychopathic times, followed by happy times again.
Most importantly, he discovered that around 6% of the population have psychopathic characteristics, and they’re supported by another 12% of a population, who are susceptible to the psychopaths’ influence and thinking style. And then there’s a high percentage who will just obediently follow whoever is in charge.
This helps explain the preponderance of totalitarian regimes around the world and how fundamentalism of all persuasions thrives in our time.
“Since psychopaths have no limitations on what they can or will do to get to the top, the ones in charge are generally pathological,” noted Laura Knight-Jadczyk, who co-edited “Political Ponerology.” “It is not power that corrupts, it is that corrupt individuals seek power.”