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Thursday, November 21, 2019

'Political Poneronlogy': An intriguing yet ultimately disappointing read

I sought out Political Ponerology after seeing a mention in an article in Psychology Today. The author, a therapist who lived through the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Poland, argues that large-scale political evil is best understood as the result of pathological persons dominating the society of normal people. It’s an intriguing notion, but proof is lacking as is any real way of getting rid of these movements and regimes when they arise.
On top of that, this ebook edition was republished by a paranoid leftist who believes the September 2001 terrorist attacks in America were staged by the U.S. government. It is ironic to say the least that such a person would republish what is largely an analysis of Soviet-style Communism as a pathological system, and moreover the author himself explicitly discusses political paranoia as one of his pathological types! It also must be said that he expresses antisemitic views in three instances that I counted, which is hardly surprising in a Pole of his generation but is deeply disappointing and damaging in what is meant to be an analysis and “treatment plan” for political evil.