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Political Ponerology book review: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes

Normal people know something is terribly wrong in the world yet they haven't been able to completely identify it nor effectively do anything about it, resulting in frustration and confusion over what's happening, such as the decline of a superpower like America. A book written decades ago but kept from public release until 2006 offers a welcome reprieve from the confusion. Political Ponerology is the first book to adequately explain man's repetitive inhumanity towards man and to provide tools to end such destructive cycles. (Ponerology is a division of theology dealing with evil; the name is derived from the Greek word 'poneros' or evil).

During the oppressive regimes of Nazism and Communism, Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski and colleagues studied how negative ideologies infected entire nations through individuals with various pathologies, mainly psychopathy (absence of a conscience or empathy). Discard your programmed view that serial killers are the only psychopaths, for psychopaths tread heavily upon your life every day. Modern psychologists posit that one in 10 men and one in 100 women are psychopathic.

Lobaczewski says that for centuries, evil has been regarded with a moralistic interpretation that did nothing to help humanity counteract it. His scientific study led him to observe that "evil" acts were most often perpetrated by psychopaths, essentially those with mental diseases, causing him to study evil as a disease not a concept surrounded in moral fluff.

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Political Ponerology Review: Boldly Going Nowhere

Some people believe that the struggle between good and evil is nothing more than a struggle between knowledge and ignorance, and that good will always prevail because everyone is basically decent and all it takes to overcome the wickedness within them is to somehow educate them about the wrongness of their ways.

While we assume everyone has a conscience restraining them from evil, studies by Harvard psychologist Martha Stout, Ph.D., reveal that about four percent of the population has a sociopathic personality disorder.

In other words, one out of every 25 people is a psychopath - a person with no sense of concern for the well-being of others and no feelings of remorse, regardless of what sort of harmful or immoral action they undertake.

A psychopath is able to lie, steal, cheat and kill with no feelings of sorrow or regret. Sometimes their only motive is the thrill of inflicting pain. This gives the psychopath a competitive advantage over a normal person.

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Environment of Evil



Do we all have a Mr Hyde within?

There is much evil in the world. A large part of it seems to be centered in the United States, radiating out in its wars of conquest, its television shows, movies, and music, in the fascination with which the world follows the pointless excesses of its stars, in its politics and self-absorption and disdain for the rest of the world. The mythos of the Wild West and men with six-shooters settling arguments with a bullet at high noon before riding off to wipe out the Indians has congealed and hardened the hearts of its population to the reality of invasion and occupations eternally justified with noble slogans as vapid as they are preposterous.

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Programmed to Kill



©SpokesmanReview
Killing machine.

Having returned from Afghanistan in March of 2002, Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves fatally shoots his wife then himself. Eighteen days later, on June 29, Master Sgt. William Wright, having returned the month before, strangles his wife to death. On July 9, Sgt. Cedric Griffin (who had yet to be deployed) stabs his wife to death. Ten days later, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon S. Floyd and his wife, Andrea, are found shot to death; another murder-suicide. All were stationed at Fort Bragg.

Grey Alien

We All Fall Down



An innocent blindfolded Palestinian woman sits detained inside an Israeli army jeep in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron)

Few people in our technologically developed, yet morally bankrupt Western world possess even a basic understanding of just how horrible life in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories is. Gaza is a small strip of land about 7 miles wide by 30 miles long. It is completely fenced in by the Israeli military, with the vast majority of its 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants (making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world) denied the right to leave. Ever.

It is not surprising then that the Gaza strip has been compared to a giant open-air prison, because that is exactly what it is. In fact, there is a more exact phrase to describe urban areas like Gaza that have been turned into prisons for the inhabitants, it is a phrase that was made famous during the Second World War - 'Concentration Camp'.

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Amir Peretz and The Faith Based School of Politics

The BBC reports that Israeli newspapers have printed photos of Defence Minister Amir Peretz trying to watch military manoeuvres through binoculars with the lens caps still on.

©BBC
According to the photographer, Mr Peretz looked through the capped binoculars three times, nodding as Gen Ashkenazi explained what was in view.

He is not the first politician to demonstrate so graphically how out of touch with reality they really are. For example, George Bush was caught in the exact same gaffe:

©AP
George Bush at the Korean DMZ in 2002. Another photo later in the sequence showed the lens caps removed, so someone apparently figured it out.

Now, don't go sending me the Snopes "debunking" links. Snopes didn't debunk this photo. They admit that they don't know whether the photo is real or manipulated.

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BBC Radio Wales interview with Laura Knight-Jadczyk


Interview conducted February 12th 2007 with author and historian Laura Knight-Jadczyk.

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Hannibal Lecter: An oddly appealing psychopath

Empathy, everybody knows, can be kind of a mixed blessing. Fine human quality though it may be, it is not obviously useful in pursuits like business and war, which seem to be shaping up as the major occupations of the 21st century. So there's no reason, really, to be surprised that the movies (and television and commercial fiction) can now, with relative impunity, offer up the once despised psychopath - who feels no empathy - as at least a semi-heroic figure, a fulfillment of one of those fantasies that grow like pesky molds in the unfinished basements of our pop culture souls.

Comment: The reason is clear. Psychopaths say to the rest of the humanity: "We Don't Even Try To Hide It Anymore. Programming Is Complete."


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Paramoralisms Where You Least Expect Them

Imagine you're out in the country, visiting one fine summer's day, and you ask your host to give you a walking tour through some of the beautiful countryside surrounding his house. He's agreeable to your suggestion, and you spend a pleasant hour hiking up and down the surrounding low mountains.

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An Answer To The Israel Lobby - Ponerology




The Associated Press published a story over the weekend on President Jimmy Carter's new book 'Peace, Not Apartheid':