To those who have grown up in countries considered "free", the vision of George Orwell's 1984 strikes us as a threatening nightmare, a warning of a not-so-distant future where freedom is but a word. Like seed perpetually scorched before it even has a chance to take root, all that it means to be human is actively degraded, denied, and punished at even the smallest display.

The vision of the Party's rule, its inhumanity and utter ruthlessness and mendacity frighten us and we hope it will never come to pass here. But we have no clue how to prevent it, and just like the people in Orwell's fictional world, we are perpetually caught off guard when it comes to pass in our own lives. One day we wake up and realize we are living in a nightmare, and we have been for a long time. "It'll never happen here" and "We've taken every precaution" become "When did it happen" and "How did we get to this point?" This perennial sickness takes hold of a nation and we are at its mercy.

Like any good novelist, Orwell tells a story and he makes it real. For that sheltered portion of humankind who have had the fortune of growing up without the threat of being arrested and tortured for daring to disagree with their inept leaders, the book provides a vicarious experience without which we are left vulnerable to a disease we know nothing about. But while the creation of a literary world can teach us many things, it cannot provide a way out. For that we need accurate knowledge.

1984 is a fictionalized account of pathocracy, as defined in Political Ponerology, and the reason it scares us is because it is completely outside our normal frame of reference. We have the same reaction to news accounts of senseless violence. Parents murdered by their 14-year-old son because they asked him to do his chores, after which he played video games. An 18-year-old woman disappears and is later found dead, beaten to death and wrapped in plastic. A trucker and his son admit to torturing a 20-year-old man in their basement, suffocating him and wrapping wire around his neck. A young boy is kidnapped, tortured, executed, and his organs harvested by forces of occupation before his body is returned to his parents.

The common theme, of course, is psychopathy. Psychopaths lack conscience and hunger for the darkness. They are sadistic in a way which, for us, is near impossible to fathom. The evil which they bring is not unintended, as when we realize only after the fact that our actions have caused another harm. Instead, their lives are spent feeding on the misery that they inflict on others. Whether the sexual sadism of serial rapist-torturer, or the subtle draining of a "toxic co-worker" who uses you, abuses you, and wears you down until you lose all grip on reality. We may even ask in desperation, "Why are you doing this to me?" The psychopath simply smirks. And in a world ruled by psychopaths we ask, "Why are you doing this to us?"

1984 frightens us because psychopathy frightens us. The key feature of a pathocracy is that psychopaths influence the economic, military, political, and cultural agenda of a nation. Like chameleons, they mask themselves in the features of their surroundings. Within those parameters they stage dramas, creating a new reality according to their desires. And this reality is one of deception, terror, ruthless expansion and complete heartlessness.

In the corporate world a psychopath gets ahead by destroying the careers of those who stand in his way, exploiting the work of others, starting rumors, creating conflicts. He always benefits from these, of course. A competitor falls out of favor. The psychopath is credited with the work of another. The bosses take his word over another who sees that he is a snake. An "enemy" finds herself without a job, blamed for something she didn't do. All the while the psychopath stage-manages. The man behind the curtain.

In politics, the pawns are the people, the chessboard is the world stage. Strategic countries are invaded because of the "threat" they pose. This threat is 0f course created by the psychopaths in charge using the vast resources of intelligence services. "Terrorist threats" are fabricated. Atrocities are committed and then pinned on imaginary "terrorist groups". Orwell had it right. Emmanuel Goldstein was a creation of the Party. The bombings blamed on him and his followers were committed by the Party itself for the purpose of keeping the population afraid and compliant.

Today, torture photos are "leaked" not to expose State brutality, but to show the people what happens to those who oppose the system. After all, you're either "with us" or you're "with the terrorists". That's some option. Dissent is conflated with terrorism. Terrorists are tortured and assassinated. The President of the United States even sanctions the assassination of U.S. citizens labeled "terrorists". "They are part of they enemy", after all. Some respond with shock that a country could willingly kill its own citizens, as if killing another country's citizens is any more human. Of course, the two options are equally atrocious, but to a psychopath, what's the difference? If you have a conscience, you are a threat. Your leaders hold you in as much disdain as any other "bleeding heart".

So what can be done? The first step is awareness of the reality of what goes on behind the scenes of political power: the workings of intelligence agencies, counterterrorism, foreign policy groups, etc. This can only be understood by applying ponerology, which identifies the source of the problem, and the exact social and psychological processes which push along the global pathocratic agenda. Psychopaths have been running the show for a long time, and they've been doing so because we haven't known what to look for. Commies, terrorists, Nazis, anarchists... All red herrings.

The true enemy hides in plain sight.