Dr.Lobaczewski refers to characteropathies as character disorders caused by brain tissue damage which play a role as pathological agents in the processes of the genesis of Evil. Andrew M. Lobaczewski in his book 'Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes' wrote:
Brain tissue is very limited in its regenerative ability. If it is damaged and the change subsequently heals, a process of rehabilitation can take place wherein the neighboring healthy tissue takes over the function of the damaged portion. This substitution is never quite perfect; thus some deficits in skill and proper psychological processes can be detected in even cases of very small damage by using the appropriate tests. Specialists are aware of the variegated causes for the origin of such damage, including trauma and infections. We should point out here that the psychological results of such changes, as we can observe many years later, are more heavily dependent upon the location of the damage itself in the brain mass, whether on the surface or within, than they are upon the cause which brought them about. The quality of these consequences also depends upon when they occurred in the person's lifetime. Regarding pathological factors of ponerogenic processes, perinatal or early infant damages have more active results than damages which occurred later.
In societies with highly developed medical care, we find among the lower grades of elementary school (when tests can be applied), that 5 to 7 per cent of children have suffered brain tissue lesions which cause certain academic or behavioral difficulties. This percentage increases with age. Modern medical care has contributed to a quantitative decrease in such phenomena, but in certain relatively uncivilized countries and during historical times, indications of difficulties caused by such changes are and have been more frequent.
Epilepsy and its many variations constitute the oldest known results of such lesions; it is observed in a relatively small number of persons suffering such damage. Researchers in these matters are more or less unanimous in believing that Julius Caesar, and then later Napoleon Bonaparte, had epileptic seizures. Those were probably instances of vegetative epilepsy caused by lesions lying deep within the brain, near the vegetative centers. This variety does not cause subsequent dementia. The extent to which these hidden ailments had negative effects upon their characters and historical decision-making, or played a ponerogenic role, can be the subject of a separate study and evaluation of great interest. In most cases, however, epilepsy is an evident ailment, which limits its role as a ponerogenic factor.
In a much larger segment of the bearers of brain tissue damage, the negative deformation of their characters grows in the course of time. It takes on variegated mental pictures, depending upon the properties and localization of these changes, their time of origin, and also the life conditions of the individual after their occurrence. We will call such character disorders - characteropathies. Some characteropathies play an outstanding role as pathological agents in the processes of the genesis of evil. Let us thus characterize these most active ones.
Characteropathies reveal a certain similar quality, if the clinical picture is not dimmed by the coexistence of other mental anomalies (usually inherited), which sometimes occur in practice. Undamaged brain tissue retains our species' natural psychological properties. This is particularly evident in instinctive and affective responses, which are natural, albeit often insufficiently controlled.
The experience of people with such anomalies grows in the medium of the normal human world to which they belong by nature. Thus their different way of thinking, their emotional violence, and their egotism find relatively easy entry into other people's minds and are perceived within the categories of the everyday world. Such behavior on the part of persons with such character disorders traumatizes the minds and feelings of normal people, gradually diminishing the ability of the normal person to use their common sense. In spite of their resistance, victims of the characteropath become used to the rigid habits of pathological thinking and experiencing. If the victims are young people, the result is that the personality suffers abnormal development leading to its malformation.
Characteropaths and their victims thus represent pathological, ponerogenic factors which, by their covert activity, easily engender new phases in the eternal genesis of evil, opening the door to a later activation of other factors which thereupon take over the main role. [....]
Many thoughtful persons keep asking the same anxious question: how could the German nation have chosen for a Fuehrer a clownish psychopath who made no bones about his pathological vision of superman rule? Under his leadership, Germany then unleashed a second criminal and politically absurd war. During the second half of this war, highly-trained army officers honorably performed inhuman orders, senseless from the political and military point of view, issued by a man whose psychological state corresponded to the routine criteria for being forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Any attempt to explain the things that occurred during the first half of our century by means of categories generally accepted in historical thought leaves behind a nagging feeling of inadequacy. Only a ponerological approach can compensate for this deficit in our comprehension, as it does justice to the role of various pathological factors in the genesis of evil at every social level.
The German nation, fed for a generation on pathologically altered psychological material, fell into a state comparable to what we see in certain individuals raised by persons who are both characteropathic and hysterical. Psychologists know from experience how often such people then let themselves commit acts which seriously hurt others. A psychotherapist needs a good deal of persistent work, skill, and prudence in order to enable such a person to regain his ability to comprehend psychological problems with more naturalistic realism and to utilize his healthy critical faculties in relation to his own behavior.
The Germans inflicted and suffered enormous damage and pain during the first World War; they thus felt no substantial guilt and even thought that they were the ones who had been wronged. This is not surprising as they were behaving in accordance with their customary habit, without being aware of its pathological causes. The need for this pathological state to be concealed in heroic garb after a war in order to avoid bitter disintegration became all too common. A mysterious craving arose, as if the social organism had managed to become addicted to some drug. The hunger was for more pathologically modified psychological material, a phenomenon known to psychotherapeutic experience. This hunger could only be satisfied by another similarly pathological personality and system of government. A characteropathic personality opened the door for leadership by a psychopathic individual. We shall return later in our deliberations to this pathological personality sequence, as it appears a general regularity in ponerogenic processes.
A ponerological approach facilitates our understanding of a person who succumbs to the influence of a characteropathic personality, as well as comprehension of macrosocial phenomena caused by the contribution of such factors. Unfortunately, relatively few such individuals can be served by appropriate psychotherapy. Such behavior cannot be ascribed to nations proudly defending their sovereignty without extreme reactions. However, we may consider the solution of such problems by means of the proper knowledge as a vision for the future.