Hope is often a fragile thing. We hope for so much, yet we seem to attain so little. Looking back, we see our hopes are often based upon illusion, and it is therefore not surprising that they are dashed, that they amount to nothing. And if it is so with our petty, individual hopes, what of our hopes for the world at large?

What of the hope for peace, for a world free from violence and war and fear, a world where the needs of everyone are met?

A vain hope we are told. A vain hope we conclude from our study of history. Man is an animal, has a dark side, something that cannot be done away with, that is an integral part of who he is. We are told, and come to accept, that it has always been this way, and ever so shall it be.

Moreover, the greatest and most respected minds of our species have sought to find the way out of this predicament for thousands of years. They have elaborated moral systems, religions, philosophies, rules and regulations, laws, political and economic systems, all to this end. For naught. The last century saw monstrous wars on a scale worthy of man's great technical progress. By the end of the Second World War, it had become easy to kill hundreds of thousands with one bomb, and tens of millions over the course of several years. The intervening decades have only upped the numbers. Single bombs can now potentially kill millions. Most of the planet's population could be hit in a matter of minutes.

Where war was once the domain of soldiers, it is more and more aimed at civilians. We see this today with Israeli attacks on the civilian population of Lebanon, their attacks on the civilian population of Gaza and the West Bank. We see it, too, in the war in Iraq waged by the United States of America against a people who were no threat to anyone.

There are also the manmade viri that spread from the laboratory into the population, causing diseases that can potentially kill millions more.

All the evidence points to the fact that war, violence, and the killing of innocents is part of who we are as a species.

But what if the initial assumptions are wrong?

How many of you reading these words would be able to do such a thing as kill a baby or small child? How many of you could put a bullet, or several, into the head of a ten-year-old on her way to school, or empty your pistol's clip into the body of a child wounded at your feet? How many of you could order the bombing of an appartment block knowing that the dead will be civilians, families, people who have never raised a gun against an enemy in their lives?

We ask again. What if our initial assumptions are wrong? What if this violence we see all around us does not come from within us, from within people of conscience, but comes from another source?

What if the evil we see around us in the world is not born from human nature?

Our studies on psychopathy, and the work of Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski on the dynamics of psychopathic political systems, suggests very strongly that everything we "know" about the dark side of human nature is wrong, that the primary source of the violence and active harming of other beings on our planet comes not from mankind, but from an almost human species in our midst, a species that looks human, but that is missing that which we would say is the defining characteristic of humanity: conscience.

Could it really be that these horrors that we live with on the nightly news, that we read about in history books, that have always been with us and which seem such an integral part of human life, are not a necessary component of life? That they are injected into our lives through a parasite/predator in our midst? One that moves invisibly within society?

If you have done no research into psychopthy, such a hypothesis may well seem far-fetched, an idealist fantasy. It seems outrageous. It goes against everything you have been taught. It goes against everything you think you "know". However, once you have studied the issue, have read the research into psychopathic behaviour, have studied a psychopath's methods and means of manipulation, once you have understood the individual psychopath and have traced its predation as the most successful ones move into positions of power in the law, politics, business, the police and the military, and as these individuals join together with others of their ilk to form cohesive structures that can take over social movements and political parties, once all of this is understood, and the horror of what we are facing hits home, then, in the face of this horror, a small spark of hope is lit.

An in-depth understanding of psychopathy and ponerology brings the realization that the violence around us is not an instrinic part of who we are. It is an intrinsic part of who they are.

Having potentially identified the true source of evil doesn't mean that it can be easily eradicated. Obviously, there are no easy solutions. It is way too late for easy solutions.

However, instead of constantly fighting against the branches, we can begin to strike at the root.

The first thing people need is knowledge of the true problem. Just that, just identifying the real cause, is a large step. It makes the world understandable. You can understand why there is such relentless bombing of Lebanon, of the Gaza. You understand why Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of their gang can lie about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, in spite of it costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. You stop wondering how people can do such horrors because you see them for who they are. You understand that they act this way because that is who they are.

So the first thing this knowledge brings is clarity. I think that this understanding alone may well make a big difference in how we approach the problems facing us. With a clear mind, solutions will appear that have eluded us while we suffered under the delusion that the problem came from within us.

If the origin of evil is genetic, that is, it arises from those psychopaths with this genetic difference who have a predisposition to committing acts that the rest of us judge as evil while we, the people of conscience, do not, we need to become aware of this difference and the way it is being used against us.

And here is where such understanding brings hope. Such violence is not part of what makes us human. This understanding will give to people a hope that the senseless slaughters of history, that have been put down to "human nature", and therefore to a certain inevitability, can be ended once and for all. If the psychopaths who rule our societies and who deform our understanding of ourselves can eventually be isolated, human history might well embark on a completely different path.

If that was understood, would it not be a powerful motivating force for people of conscience?

Further, the implications of there being a group of people who share a genetic distinction of which they are conscious, and that these people can band together to achieve their goals, provides a grounding for much of what is called "conspiracy theory". It takes it out of the realm of the fantastic and gives it an easily understandable explanation, one that people can understand.

Imagine being able to give this as an explanation for why a "conspiracy" like the US/Israeli attacks on 9/11 were able to come off successfully. How often do you hear that it is impossible because "someone would have talked"? That answer is based upon the idea that those who carried it out are like you and me.

They aren't.

Moreover, our understanding of current events, as well of history, is completely changed. Yes, there can be groups of people working together even over centuries to accomplish goals. And they will not "talk" or betray the conspiracy because they are so different from the rest of us that it is unthinkable. They do not care about us because all they can "care" about is winning, is the next rush from entrapping in some way another "normal person", from the next figurative or literal kill.

They do this because they understand full well that if the truth were known, if people of conscience were to wake up to the fact that they are ruled over by such almost humans, there would be a revolt. The psychopaths and their accomplices would be overthrown. They know it is a question of "us or them".

The rest of us have yet to awaken to this fact.

But to see how deep this could go, one must study up on psychopathy, really understand how different they are.

Imagine being able to kill for the hell of it. Imagine having no remorse. Ever. No feelings of guilt. Ever. Imagine being able to kill, lie, cheat, and manipulate and never have a second thought. And imagine what such a world would look like, how horrible it would be to inhabit.

That is our world under pathocratic domination.

If it appears on the macroscopic scale in international relations, it also exists in our daily lives. We tend to give the benefit of the doubt to others for bad behaviour and project onto them our own ways of thinking and behaving. We say "He must be stressed", or "She had a rough childhood". We think that, everything being equal, everyone else on the planet would respond as we do. They could only be driven to harmful behaviour towards others under extreme conditions, or under the influence of drugs.

So the first step on our way out of this world of horrors is to learn to distinguish between those people who may be a little off some days because they are stressed and those are are that way because that is who they are. The first step is to learn to identify the psychopaths around us, those deviants who are in our lives and who are running our world.

The following books are a good place to start:

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley

Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits by Dr. Robert Hare

These works will give you a grounding in psychopathy. Once you have this understanding, you can then learn about how these types work together:

Political Ponerology by Andrew Lobaczewski

These books will change your way of seeing the world. They will open your eyes to the real workings on our planet.

Once the dynamic is understood by enough people, and individuals learn how to extricate themselves from these manipulations in their own lives, they can help others to see the real problem and to extricate themselves. If we have enough time, and there are days when I really wonder how much time we have left, we can isolate the psychopaths, remove them from power, and take back the governance of our lives ourselves, perhaps for the first time in history.

I am not saying that this will be easy or that having this understanding is some sort of magic bullet. It isn't. But with this knowledge, we can at least to work against the root problem. And if the hope of a peaceful world where this barbarism is a thing of the past can be ignited in the hearts of people of conscience, there is no telling what could happen.