Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil, Psychopathy, and the Origins of Totalitarianism
by Andrew M. Lobaczewski
Foreword by Michael Rectenwald
(Also available on Amazon.com – paid affiliate link.)
The first manuscript of this book was thrown into the fire just minutes before a secret police raid in Communist Poland.
The second copy was personally delivered to a contact inside the Vatican, only to mysteriously vanish.
The third was pieced together in 1980s New York by the last surviving member of an underground research team, only to be banned from publication . . .
Forged in the crucible of totalitarianism, Political Ponerology is written by psychiatrist Dr. Andrew M. Lobaczewski, who draws on his experience and clinical insight during the decades he spent under the crushing heel of the Nazi and Communist regimes.
Decades ahead of its time, and brimming with unique insights and depth of vision, Political Ponerology explores a genus of highly adapted and charming psychopaths who bend political parties, institutions, and media to their depraved worldview, dividing and hypnotizing entire populations, and paving a virtuous path to genocide, mass repression, and gulags.
From the darkness of past regimes, Political Ponerology brings you the keys to understanding and protecting yourself from today’s spellbinding ideologues, and tomorrow’s dictators.
This new edition has been extensively revised and expanded, the translation improved and annotated with the latest supporting research, examples, and new material previously unavailable in English.
486 pages, ISBN: 978-1-7349074-5-2, revised, expanded edition, published March 2022
Download Laura Knight-Jadczyk’s original preface to the first edition in pdf format.
Political Ponerology resources and sources (an expanded version of the book’s bibliography).
Harrison Koehli’s Political Ponerology substack.
Praise for Political Ponerology:
“This is an extraordinary book.” —Ilan Pappé, Professor of History, University of Exeter, and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
“Political Ponerology is fascinating, essential reading.” —Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University, and author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
“There are only a few books that discuss the origin and nature of totalitarian pathocracies. How does pathological behavior become dominant in a society? Łobaczewski, who lived under communism, provides invaluable psychological analysis of what M. Scott Peck termed ‘the people of the lie.’ Read this valuable work and you’ll better understand.” —Arthur Versluis, author of The New Inquisitions and Conversations in Apocalyptic Times
“Pathocracy is one of those hidden concepts that, once uncovered, suddenly helps to make sense of the world. It explains much of the chaos and suffering which has filled human history, and which still sadly afflicts the world today. For this, we owe Lobaczewski and his book Political Ponerology a massive debt.” —Steve Taylor, PhD, author of DisConnected and The Fall
“Andrew Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology is crucial reading for understanding, possibly, political theory’s most important, but certainly its most neglected, explanation of modern governance dynamics: the shadowy role of clinical psychopaths in political life. If you want to get past the standard, bridled platitudes of conventional political science, to the real beating heart of human political life, this book is indispensable. Harrison Koehli’s new edition even further enriches the book’s contribution, fleshing out Lobaczewski’s key ideas and arguments with cross-references to his elaborations in other works, not yet available in English. Additionally, Koehli’s new footnotes constitute a catalogue of essential sources for anyone keen to follow the many avenues of exploration radiating out from Lobaczewski’s rich and provocative political analysis.” —Michael McConkey, author of The Managerial Class on Trial
“I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is managing human or financial risk in this environment or is looking to create healthy change.” —Catherine Austin Fitts, founder of Solari Investment Advisory Services and Assistant Secretary of Housing in the first Bush Administration
“I think everyone should read this book because it provides the keys necessary for understanding events that we often can’t comprehend.” —Silvia Cattori, freelance journalist
“Political Ponerology is an invaluable work that every human being striving to become conscious, should read, not only for its expose of the pathology of the individuals currently in control of the United States government, but also the light it may shed on individuals closer to home, some of whom may be friends, fellow-activists, business or civic leaders.” —Carolyn Baker, psychotherapist, professor of history and psychology, and author of Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse
“[Political Ponerology] impressed me in lots of ways and provoked me to think more about the nature and origin of what we call ‘evil’. … In all, a book I was pleased to have read and which I hope will continue to promote the study of how a certain kind of evil spreads. And especially in continuing to name as ‘evil’ things that many people are unable to see as such.” —Philip R. Davies, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, and author of Whose Bible Is It Anyway?