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One of the Most Important Books of Our Time?
I may be biased, so listen to J.D. Haltigan and Michael Shellenberger
It’s time for some ponerology news. Over at, evolutionary psychologist J.D. Haltigan has posted a review of Political Ponerology:
In it, J.D. calls the book:
…one of the most important books for The Public to read to gain a solid conceptual understanding of the macrosocial psychopathology, aka the cultural revolution, we are living through.
The full review is for paying subscribers only, so please consider subscribing to J.D.’s Substack. As a preview of what you can expect from this piece, J.D. highlights two aspects of the book: Lobaczewski’s “delineation of the phases of the evolution of a pathocracy” and his “careful and incisive recommendations for how to counter, disable, and ‘inoculate’ future societies from pathocratic influence.”
J.D. has also been active on Twitter, incisively bringing attention to the psychopathology on display in our contemporary cultural revolution. (We will soon publish an interview with him on MindMatters, so stay tuned.)
I missed it at the time, but back in February, Michael Shellenberger () tweeted the following in a longer thread:
I explore the financial, political, and religious roots to apocalyptic environmentalism and Woke progressivism in “Apocalypse Never,” and “San Fransicko,” and since then have collaborated with @peterboghossian to create a religious taxonomy for Wokeism.
(I mentioned their taxonomy in this post.)
Now, I am working with colleagues to create a psychological taxonomy of Wokeism, inspired in part by the late Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski’s argument that totalitarian movements must be explained psychologically, not just condemned morally.
Lobaczewski argues that Dark Triad type leaders take political power they create a “pathocracy,” rule by the sick.
Resistance depends on the “normal,” or psychologically healthy individuals, who recognize just how dehumanizing the totalitarian leaders, and their agendas, are.
“A great ideology with a mesmerizing vision and values can also easily deprive people of the capacity for self-critical control over their behavior... Every great ideology thus contains danger, especially for small minds.” —Lobaczewski
“The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country, creating a ‘new class’ within that nation.” This privileged class feels permanently threatened by the ‘others,’ i.e., by the majority of normal people.”
Hence the demands for censorship!
More recently, Shellenberger has been mentioning Political Ponerology in his talks. On June 26, he delivered this lecture for UATX’s Forbidden Courses in Dallas, Texas:
The relevant segment starts at 28:11 and runs through 35:00. He ends this part of the talk with the following words:
You can’t just condemn. You have to explain it.
And on Ponerology:
This is the most important book I’ve read on this issue in the last couple of years.
This was followed up with a discussion in London with Russell Brand and Matt Taibbi. It’s only available on Rumble. Go to the discussion section at around 31:00 for Michael’s reference to Ponerology, with which he and his colleagues have been reportedly obsessed for the passed several months. Glad I’m not the only one!
I for one can’t wait to see what Michael produces as a result of his study on this topic.
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