Back when the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests were going on, I remember being frustrated because I felt the protests – like many activist movements – were missing the heart of the matter. While they focused on particular political and economic grievances, I felt it was crucial that they zero in on the potential pathological nature of some of the people involved in bringing about and aggressively maintaining undesirable conditions.
I was heartened to see one indication of a protestor that knew of and took seriously the possible role of psychopathy in bringing about the protestors’ grievances.
But, as heartened as I was, I was more dismayed that this was pretty much the only sign I saw of any awareness of ponerology among them.
Well it’s better late than never.
Recently, I came across this video. It is an interview with a very articulate OWS protestor who came to the protests specifically to educate people about ponerology.
- Some of the traits seen in different varieties of psychopaths and how they differ fundamentally from other human beings
- The profound work described in Political Ponerology by Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare and Paul Babiak and The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley
- How the pathological use pseudologic (which Lobaczewski actually calls paralogisms) and propaganda to attract support from the many people eager to find someone to follow and believe in
- How the pathological can hijack and distort the original purpose of integral political, economic, corporate and religious institutions, creating a culture in which even normal people are influenced so as to act in antisocial ways
- How the cultural obsession with vampires may reflect a certain subtle level of identification of psychopaths in our midst
Different people have very different feelings about Occupy Wall Street and its particular agenda. But regardless of one’s view of the “right vs. left” types of conflicts it raised, the issue of pathological influence in our systems should transcend those differences and interest anyone that cares about responsibility and ethics in our public policy.
This particular interviewee exhibits some possible partisan bias in two ways:
- He focuses on examples of pathological hijacking within the Republican party without mentioning any such corresponding examples in the Democratic or other parties.
- He states, perhaps without ample evidence – although one psychiatrist comes close to backing him up – that George W. Bush is a psychopath.
However, Lobaczewski points out in his work – and hopefully even this protestor knows – that pathological coopting and infiltration can and does happen within many parties and ideologies.
Also, in raising the possibility of concentration camps arising in the United States, he brushes up against the fine line that separates responsible education and conspiracy theory – something that is always a risk when discussing ponerology.
But if you can overlook those couple partisan statements and one perhaps extreme comment, the vast majority of the interview is extremely well-spoken and conveys information that has much backing in the research and should be of deep concern to us all – and especially to activists of all stripes seeking a better world, whether through Occupy Wall Street-type protests or otherwise.
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Tags: activism, andrew m. lobaczewski, conspiracy theory, corporations, democratic party, economics, george w. bush, hervey cleckley, occupy wall street, paralogisms, paul babiak, political ponerology, politics, propaganda, protests, psychopathy, religion, republican party, robert hare, snakes in suits, the mask of sanity, vampires
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