The deeply narcissistic „theology” of Hegel


We live our lives among people, forming various bonds with them. Some become our dear friends, some we only know through chess club, with some we work together and keep them at a general friendly distance, and, of course, some we wish we have never met (hopefully, just a few).

And then, some will be buried with us in one grave.

We all are unique and fascinating, with different interests, stories, aspirations and backgrounds. And different talents. If we’re healthy and respectful, we approach each other with properly set boundaries, recognizing our differences and emotional needs. Sure, it doesn’t always play out by the book… But we can work through it.

Then, there are those with personality disorders. Clinical psychologists and neurologists still research their provenience: genetics must play a role, especially in the development of Anti-Social Personality Disorder type I, or psychopathy. Sociopaths (ASPD type II) and narcissists (NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is curiously also the abbreviation for Germany’s neonazi party) could have been made: due to repeated abuse in early childhood, their brain did not develop properly. All flavors of identity disorders and borderline disorders are a different story, as people suffering from them do not grow to be the same kind of abusers… Still, so much of clinical psychology boils down to one statement: please, if you want to save the world, love your children unconditionally.

Among them, narcissists are a special species. Their highly intelligent form is very similar to sociopaths, yet, unlike sociopaths, they feel shame, they crave admiration as their only source of validation is external. They operate on deeply rooted defense mechanisms, which make them unable to handle any form of criticism (and to a narcissist, criticism can be perceived in the most absurd way). A criticized narcissist boils in rage and in shame, and the collateral damage inflicted in this process can be irreversible (for instance, throwing away a doctoral thesis may occur as a side effect).

Now, many victims of narcissists engage in the helpful and cleansing process of survivor writing – and the Internet is rich in videos, quora groups or blog posts helping others understand this kind of abuse and live through the pain. Many of these materials are excellent commentaries on the twisted inner world of narcissists, focusing on their self-centeredness and objectification of others.

However, what is really happening in the head of someone with NPD may be much deeper than that (which also makes it less personal – survivors, it was never about you!).

The magnificent Dr Les Carter of the „Surviving Narcissism” channel on Youtube claims what really bugs a narcissist and what really summarizes his or her relations with others is…

„You are not me”.

„How can you not be me? You must be wrong by not being me. I feel criticized, I feel deeply uneasy by the fact that you are different. You should be me. How dare you be so atrociously separate from me right in my face?”

It’s like looking into a child’s brain that is stuck in the developmental stage when the proper sense of self and others has not been figured out yet.

In this case, it will never be – that is why NPD is labeled a disorder. Not receiving any empathy and unconditional love before age 5 has forever changed the shape of the young brain – and, later on, caused a lot of suffering to those who came too close to the disordered person in adulthood.

If a young child has never been validated as their own person, if their needs have never been recognized, if their only justification for existence in the eyes of their caregivers was to play a role in their own play, bring back straight A’s from kindergarten, recite that poem to the letter or go to bed without dinner (and these are just examples) – such children will never develop their sense of validity and uniqueness as a human being that is separate from others. They will feel deep shame about who they originally are, and bury it under multiple defense mechanisms. They will live just to be seen, to be recognized, to be praised, and their whole existence will hang on how they are perceived by other people. If they are criticized, it’s like hearing „you are worthless”. Even if it’s „the glass you just washed is still a bit dirty” – it still translates to „you are worthless”. It will result in a tantrum. Done by an adult. Because that sense of self will never be developed now, it’s too late.

They will in the end truly believe everything around them is about them, including the behavior of other people, how someone smiled, what he said, that he scratched his ear. Everyone has to think about them and look at them! That is the only way. They won’t be able to stand any differences. They will perceive it as criticism. And criticism means they shouldn’t exist.

„You like raspberries better than mangoes? I prefer mangoes! Maybe you’ll just hit me in the face?” – and then they won’t talk to you for a few days…

And yes, the highly intelligent narcissists, those who have picked up the basic courtesy of human conduct and learned all the proper manners by heart in order to blend in and further their grandiose agenda in the government, in academia, in industry – they will be able to hide it quite well in most circumstances, but these sick scenarios will still play inside their heads.

Their need to be asserted as a valuable separate human has never been met when they needed it the most – so now the whole world has to assert them by being them, bowing down to them, and feeling and thinking exactly what they feel and think. Anything short of that is destruction.

Nobody likes criticism – and we all prefer to be among people similar to us. But to narcissists, difference is fatal. They should be the only being that matters.

That truly is a child stuck forever in the stage of figuring out the proper relations with themselves and others. It is a tragedy, but mostly felt by those around the child… Because they will never see we are indeed surrounded by different people. And I am me just like you are you. To a narcissist, there is no parallel. They will be blind to the fact that someone else is a human being in the same way as they are.

Now, how does it relate to Hegel and his pantheistic view of the world and of man?

Before I answer, I need to disclaim this is in no way an attempt to diagnose Hegel or any of his disciples with narcissistic adaptations. However tempting, it is not possible. And also – not needed to make the point. Regardless of anyone’s narcissism (or lack thereof), Hegel’s philosophical claims on their own sound like a narcissistic adaptation glorified by the tower of German philosophy. They are based on a false notion of a human being, and, if inflicted on real people, will result in objectification and cause trauma.

So, let us look closer at how the Hegelian view of man resembles the „how dare you not be me” pain of a narcissist…

What is alienation, this notion that Marx later on picked up from Hegel? It originates from a certain answer to a very fundamental, cosmic question: Why did God create the universe?

An Augustinian Christian would answer that God, being by definition perfect and complete, created the Universe out of love and joy. God is exuberant to see the creatures He made free and unique. The estrangement from God that man deals with is moral, coming from his own choices, for he is free to choose against God. However, God, in His love for each man, not wanting them to be alienated from Him in the moral sense, provided a route for Salvation in His Son. Salvation is then achieved by individuals – the fate of each separate man is what matters.

The heresy which has later influenced Hegel (and I use the word „heresy” because it describes a view condemned by orthodox Christianity) claims that God is not perfect and complete. The Universe He created was created out of need, out of feelings of uneasiness. Man is supposed to be united with God in one singular cosmic blob to ease God’s imperfection. In this way, man is indeed God – on a quest of cosmic evolution to achieve full unity with the Universe. The alienation of man from God is not merely moral, it is fundamental – the problem with man is that he is not God when he should be God, as should everyone, consolidated in one single mind. The Hegelian use of the world „man” does not mean „an individual” – the separateness of human persons is considered evil, something that should be eradicated on the cosmic quest of unifying with the otherwise imperfect God, the quest of relieving the Spirit (singular!) from the alienation of finitude. „Man” to Hegel means the one mind of the species…

To quote Rothbard’s passage on Hegel in „Classical Economics”:

„But why, one might ask, is Hegel’s man so odd, so neurotic, that he regards every thing that is not himself as alien and hostile? The answer is crucial to the Hegelian mystique. It is because Hegel, or Hegel’s man, cannot stand the idea of himself not being God, and therefore not being of infinite space and without limits. Seeing any other being, or any other object, exist, would mean that he himself is not infinite or divine. In short, Hegel’s philosophy is severe and cosmic megalomania on a grand and massive scale”

[Don’t be surprised by how the fundamentals of Hegel’s and then Marx’s view of man go back to Christian theology (or a heretical twist of theology), even though Hegel pantheised, and Marx later atheised these notions. The questions about the origins of the Universe, of man and of evil will never escape from the religion and culture that have shaped our reality before us.]

Now, the notion that only unity can exist is what gave birth to the Marxist kind of dialectics, where – because we have to be one! – every „yes” has to come with a „no”, and somehow they don’t contradict each other, and evil does not exist – to quote Hegel, „every conflict is between two rights” . The only „evil” is then diversity, straying away from the one unified mind… How dare you be someone else? You have to be one with the Spirit… You can’t accuse someone to be an abuser… „Truth” stops existing in this framework. But… we’re not describing real life! So what actually happens if you inflict these ideas on human beings as they are, separate and unique in a world that was not made out of imperfection?

King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia is all too happy to step in here. He finally has a Great Philosopher that can call his state divine. He has an excuse to reach for more power and transform the lives of his subjects – after all, we must strive for unity in the cosmic evolution, and the state is a step in the direction of the divine, standing above all.

The language change and words start meaning their actual opposites. „Freedom” is twisted – the closer you are to achieving full unity, the more your individuality gets erased by the divine state, the „freer” you are. For you are not you, you are a part of the Spirit.

As writes Robert C. Tucker: „Hegel’s conception of freedom is totalitarian in a literal sense of the word. The world-self must experience itself as the totality of being, or in Hegel’s own words must elevate itself to a „self-comprehending totality”, in order to achieve the consciousness of freedom. Anything short of this spells alienation and the sorrow of finitude.”

Now, such statements – again, regardless of anyone’s personality disorder – are a textbook example of a narcissistic defensive strategy. Coincidentally, the total unity, the one mind, is how a person with NPD views the world… And such perception is what makes a narcissist interact to exert control. It is done automatically, in a desperate fight of someone with underdeveloped sense of self. „Truth” doesn’t exist to a narcissist – they change the notion of truth depending on each situation, all in order to control others, because otherwise, they fear they would annihilate. In their heads, they are the Man-god already, even if they have never heard of Hegel, and they, a lot of times unwittingly, strive to subject everyone to their own will, seeing anything, any difference that denies them the Man-god status as evil.

Hegelian cosmology is a framework of control, and the rationalizations used by him and his disciples are known in modern clinical psychology of personality disorders. The same phenomena exist on an individual scale, when a Man-god narcissist objectifies others, because to him, there can only be one mind that exists. The parallels are striking – it seems it is due to the automatic, intrinsic nature of narcissistic defenses – whenever they see something that is out of their control, they start manipulation techniques such as gaslighting, smear campaigns, tantrums, triangulations, what-have-you.

These techniques will necessarily have their equivalents on a political scale in forms of dialectics, propaganda and all flavors of psychological war.

Why? Because human nature is what it is, and if you try to turn it into something else, you will not succeed, you will only break, abuse and kill real humans, calling slavery freedom on the way. Your attempt to end alienation will bring more alienation, your attempt to end poverty will bring immense poverty.

Hegel and later Marx have been proven wrong time and time again. Sadly, the experiments in treating them seriously have brought humanity insurmountable pain. And now, many impoverished people still suffer from alienation, complex trauma, impaired sense of self, deep problems with initiative and self-esteem. Similarly, individual victims of sociopaths and narcissists have to go through unthinkable isolation.

This only proves that our nature is not what they claim. We are not parts of a cosmic unity and we are not one. And certainly, we are not any narcissist’s piece of puzzle. We are beautifully different.

God did not create the Universe out of feelings of loneliness and uneasiness. But did Hegel and those who came before and after him create their version of the One-minded God-man-spirit out of the narcissistic wound of not being infinite, projecting their pain onto God/Universe (you pick the name!) in desperate megalomania? We will never know. Maybe we shouldn’t even ask that about those who have passed – the afterlife, if exists, has given them answers.

We could nevertheless reflect on how crucial it is to act with empathy towards the people that surround us, recognizing their difference and uniqueness, taking interest in them, celebrating them as individuals. Our differences have brought us the division of labor, which flourished into an amazing civilization. Maybe instead of projecting our wounds onto everyone else, God included – and we all tend to do that when in pain – we should take what is best in the non-heretical Christianity – and project God’s love and completeness onto ourselves. No matter the amount of pain and loneliness you’re now experiencing, your spirit (individual spirit!) and free will has been made in resemblance to God’s, and He is enough.

A believer or not, healing from narcissistic abuse, when you learn to celebrate your own individuality after deep trauma, involves this mindset.

What is ponerology – how I stumbled upon the work of Andrzej Łobaczewski

Łobaczewski’s book

Spring 2020 – I think of how to get to Alabama for my research fellowship, and if it’s even possible. It has been seven years since I left Poland and started a nomad life between various countries and fields. There’s obviously been geophysics at first, but now it’s just a shadow of a teenage passion, fading away after the hard expat life in soulless places, and of course, I don’t mean whole countries, just specific environments. In hindsight, and they say that hindsight is 20/20 – I could already see some of my preliminary cultural shocks as early as in 2012, during my first internship in Paris. I thought… I thought people know the same portions of history, and even if they don’t, they will be open and empathetic. I thought we share similar culture that’s probably Christian in the roots, no matter how you define your relation (or lack thereof) with God. I thought the general manners is to be sensitive and unassuming when it comes to such topics. I thought many things. But I didn’t think the world could be diverse so much that who you are born as and where you are from matters to the point of not being able to find common language.

I used to see diversity as exciting… And it is exciting as long as you are open to the difference. If you’re not, it’s isolating. And I’ve lived in probably the most close-minded places, even if they advertise themselves as the exact opposite of what they truly are.

So this happened, my cursed PhD program, living in the Netherlands and Switzerland and Germany, being an alien, longing to connect with someone who shares my contexts, running away to learn economics in Alabama for the first and for the second time, then discovering the horrifying disorder of my own advisor, learning clinical psychology while still getting abused in the apathy and dismissiveness of the environment I was stuck in… Another internship, this time in data science, to learn a trade… And the isolation of someone whose parents and grandparents actually lived behind the Iron Curtain and managed to tell the story… Why isn’t this recognized? Why are all these relations so shallow? I get it, I’m Polish – I didn’t think it mattered so much a few years back, but evidently, it does. How to make peace with being an alien? An actual cultural alien? Why do I have to be double isolated, both on a large historical scale and by my own narcissistic abuser? Is it possible that both these phenomena is just almost-sociopathy?

(Don’t get me wrong, I did connect with some good Dutch people and expats in the Netherlands, too. I just had to actively look for them… And none of it happened inside of a university)

In 2019, I wrote my first paper comparing the two, a bit of a trial-paper, but it got published – I took my first step. It was hard writing it while still waking up with muscle pains and having this routine of screaming in anger during lonely evenings… If you had a narcissist in your life: it fades. In a slow and messy manner. Give yourself patience. You deserve it.

But then in early 2020, I’m determined to take it to the next level, and I want to go to the Mises Institute for a fellowship… At this point I wasn’t even sure if I can make it in a pandemic. I write my Brazilian Mises Uni friend, asking if he’s also under the travel ban, but he’s inside the US and will drive over to Alabama, and it’s exciting, and I’m jealous.

He asks me about my research plan, and I explain: so I’m looking for psychological manipulations in collective political philosophies and for abuse symptoms in their victims. I argue that we can study such objectification of a human being based on what we know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And it hasn’t been done before.

He then writes: Oh, so this is like ponerology. Do you know ponerology? Have you heard about Łobaczewski? Check it out!

Wait… That is a Polish surname. And he… He did research psychopathy and argued we are ruled by psychopaths. Not quite what I am aiming at – and also, doomed to be outside of the mainstream for so many reasons… But… I am amazed and I feel like my Guardian Angel is playing hide and seek with me.

Andrzej Łobaczewski was a Polish psychiatrist born in 1921 close to Kraków, and he studied at Jagiellonian University, my first Alma Mater, and the Alma Mater of my parents. During the communist rule, his interest grew in the direction of psychopathology of the system. His research proceeded, and he found out that an earlier generation of psychiatrists and social scientists has already carried out similar investigations under secret agreements. They would meet in conspiracy – the citizens of the satellite countries of the Soviet Union that used to be prominent scientists and thinkers before civilization fell on their heads – and start meetings with „We live in a sick system and we can’t even describe it to the outside world”. Their network’s proceedings were then destroyed by the secret police. Quite a compliment…

Łobaczewski was forced to emigrate to the United States in the seventies – after being denounced to authorities and having all his works confiscated. There he wrote his book again, from memory, however, he did encounter serious problems with its publication… Academia and the publishing industry turned out to be taken over by the apologists of the communist system, undoubtedly steered by certain intelligence departments that I’d argue did not have their headquarters anywhere near Washington.

Only after 1990 he could return to Poland, bounce back to life and finish the manuscript of Political ponerology…

Why ponerology? In theology, ponerology refers to the study of evil – from the Greek poneros. Łobaczewski argued that we are ruled by people that have differently shaped brains and interact with each other in a different manner than neurotypicals do. His focus was on psychopathy, and he actually used this word, along with the word „evil”, a lot…

Wow. And I didn’t know about him. This would have been my life in the previous century, although it wouldn’t, because I’d probably be closed off as a frustrated geologist living hand to mouth in a provincial institute with suffocating architecture.

Still, isn’t this what I’m experiencing on a different level, different scale – and with a different disorder… And he’s from Jagiellonian, he’s from my mountains!… I wish I could meet him. I’m amazed at the links we drew independently, however, it feels so ungraceful to compare myself to him, for I’m nowhere near the level of an experienced psychiatrist that was raided by the secret police – and also, my life is in the XXI century, which makes all the difference.

But it does seem like fate, whether I believe in it or not. I got to know about a Polish psychiatrist that had a similar idea from a Brazilian colleague who wrote it from Oklahoma when I was in Sweden.

I quickly found an interview with him:

And here you can find the description of his book:

Now, this is never going to be mainstream. There is a lot to modernize. I read his words, although I’d prefer the original language version, and… He’s isolated and traumatized more than I am. Which is very understandable, but also, it does create a barrier. I wonder if I can grasp what he means by the cultural difference of Americans and the troubles he had with communicating his ideas and experiences… Although I know you may never really communicate THIS kind of experience unless you take over Hollywood and make a convincing emotional movie. I have my Polish style, too – it’s quite dense and scholarly. I think we use a lot of hidden, and mostly too optimistic assumptions about the knowledge of others, and we leave many things unsaid or not expressed with all their strength, preferring to focus on the process, the science, the „meat”. Speaking to an American? Try to cross it all out and talk emotions and solutions. Watch some American shows and learn… You want to get the story through, after all…

This would never happen in the XX century, and this couldn’t be done by an academic that was forced to emigrate because of the actions of the secret police in a communist country, and found himself lonely and targeted in the States. That speaks insurmountable disconnection, almost a separate world inside of a thoughtless and loud New York.

These cursed times were not meant for ponerology. Firstly, there was the police and the intelligence agencies, the dark hand of Moscow cutting all the means to a possible publication. Then, the cultural difference and lack of common language bigger than what I’ve experienced… I see now the blessings of the globalized world, the blessings of living in peace with people of so many nationalities – even though I had serious issues in bad places myself, I can still pitch my ideas. I don’t think it would be possible if I was a refugee 50 years ago.

But it’s not just that. We can call the ruling class psychopaths and we know it wouldn’t be far from the truth. We can look for convincing clues that it actually is true (and, let’s face it, that confiscation itself says a lot). However, that wouldn’t make it as a real scientific statement… And we also know that is true.

Unless we raise all the megalomaniac philosophers and the insane dictators from the dead, lock them up in a closed facility and test them with all the modern knowledge for ASPD type I and II (psychopathy and sociopathy; ASPD stands for Anti-Social Personality Disorder) and NPD (obviously), we won’t ever be able to raise it as a serious claim.

However, the approach to go around it would be to show the objectification mechanisms in their philosophies and manipulations in their actions. This way, you can say you’re not attempting to diagnose anyone, but you focus on the process of treating a human being like a pawn. This is possible.

Also, writing about „psychopathy” and „evil”, however born in righteous pain and anger, may create distance between you and the target audience… I know how it is to be abused by someone so charming and of such great reputation. You want to shout and scream „he’s downright crazy! He’s a monster!”. And he IS a monster. But to others, you are just proving yourself to be crazy by calling him a monster, even if in truth, he’s the biggest monster in the world.

I’ve learned it the hard way, and a lot of dissidents before me learned it the harder way.

Nowadays, someone says „psychopath” or „evil” and the listener thinks „He’s too intense, evil? Psychopathy? Does it even happen in real life?”. It does happen in real life. Actual abusers, whatever the disorder, and actual totalitarian regimes, did exist and still exist. And they affect real life human beings with goals, aspirations, aches and passions.

We should strive to make this more approachable and relatable. And maybe we can. Maybe – in my area – after some decades the trauma faded enough so that now the youngsters can talk globally. Am I being narcissistic here?

That’s why it’s better to stay away from using „evil” or „psychopathy” even though you know you want to. Psychopathy, or ASPD type I, is actually pretty rare and solely biological. But there’s more! Sociopaths and narcissists, as some argue, are born in childhood trauma. They are cursed to live with a twisted brain, but that’s because someone very early on didn’t love them enough… This claim can go further than just „evil”. It speaks connection. And there are far more narcissists than psychopaths and sociopaths. The word is gaining ground on its own; a lot of people are affected by toxic relationships in the family and workplace. Maybe that’s how we can educate about a totalitarian regime? Using bottom-top psychology?

I’d be so honored to take over just a tiny bit. Life has made this choice for me. And I’m more than grateful for the link to Łobaczewski’s work, even if I won’t be able to use it academically. It certainly deserves a mention.

To quote him…

„It seems that, in the natural order of things, that those persons who have suffered the most from psychopaths or bearers of other mental anomalies, will be those called to do this work, to accept the burden. If you do, accept also, ladies and gentlemen, your fate with an open heart and humility, and always with a sense of humor. Cherish assistance from the Universal Mind and know that Great Values often grow from Great Suffering.”

Thank you, professor.

On my way to Atlanta in a pandemic… I’ve made it!

Or should I write „on my way to Auburn, Alabama, to my research fellowship in political ponerology”…

I figured it out. There’s a stamp in my passport that says „admitted”. I am an alien on a visitor visa and I still figured it out, and now all that’s ahead of me is 6 weeks of intensive research, discussions, writing, evening pizzas, the Southern air which feels like hot soup, meaningful human connections, inappropriate jokes we don’t disclose, real intellectually stimulating environment… There’s already 5 or 6 books I browsed through my first day in the office (although jetlagged and confused) – and I can already see I will improve my information war paper in a way I’d never expect anywhere else.

How? That Serbia maneuver worked! With some misunderstandings and stressful interrogations on the way, but it did.

I landed in Belgrade June 3rd at midnight – I thought I’d stay there for two weeks, waiting for the travel ban to pass me – before that Turkish Airlines flight takes me from Istanbul straight to Atlanta. It hasn’t been that easy in the end.

The first days of summer in Serbia passed quickly: I prepared to write about my research topic, I listened to the Rothbard Graduate Seminar online, there was this beautiful Siamese kitty in my hostel and she always waited for my snacks, there was the Danube flowing nearby – behind a boulevard full of roses, and I had coffee and lunch with an SFL friend (thank you, Libertycon!). You can visit the zoo and the botanical garden, chill on the famous Kalemegdan fortress overseeing the river front, explore the Ethnographic and National museums with formidable collections of Balkan traditional costumes and art, see the metal sphere that hides the ashes of Nikola Tesla himself in the small, yet informative Nikola Tesla museum, silently sneak into the Orthodox churches, stroll down the Michajlovska street and digest indecent portions of meat, because it’s the Balkans.

The fortress overseeing the Sava river

I recommend Belgrade and Serbia in general to any traveler looking for some real down-to-Earth fascinations. You won’t get bored. It isn’t praised enough. And it’s quite beautifully messy.

How is the pandemic down there? The city is open and alive. Some places – like the military museum – are closed to visitors, some are in renovation, but that’s about it… What is funny is that in the last 2.5 months, I managed to take an international ferry, a train and an international flight without any health controls. I only had my BT measurement taken in an empty museum in Belgrade…

The Japanese garden inside Belgrade’s Jeremovac Botanical Gardens
The church of Saint Sava
Nikola Tesla’s ashes are inside the sphere…
Part of the military museum on the Kalemegdan fortress
The church of Saint Aleksander Nevski
The life of a wall on campus
Downtown Belgrade
Where are my snacks, girrrrl?

But then… The Turkish airlines cancelled my Istanbul – Atlanta flight.

What now? The only other flights have layovers in Schengen. I call the DHS and they tell me in this case, the travel ban would catch me again (which makes sense, you will almost certainly get infected on a deserted airport, but only if you’re an alien!). I have to either fly to the US directly from Serbia (which is expensive, and only reaches JFK – and let’s face it, everyone wants to avoid JFK now) – or wait for another Turkish Airlines flight that stops in Istanbul. The next one to Atlanta is JULY 1ST…

I guess I could stay in Serbia for so long. It’s still worth it. However, I called the Turkish Airlines and figured out a different arrangement. I will fly to Chicago with a layover in Istanbul June 24th. I should be entering the US at midnight Central Time, then fly American Airlines to Atlanta and crash in the Rothbard Village at 2 pm, which would make it 9 pm in Europe.

If it works out.

Spoiler: you know it did. But oh boy, I had adventures on the way, including the worst customs experience!

I had to extend my stay in Serbia by a week, so I took an hour long bus drive from Belgrade and stayed for 5 nights in the gorgeous city of Novi Sad… In its Danube park every statue commemorates a poet, and the Museum of Vojvodina (a province in Northern Serbia Novi Sad is a capital of) has three golden helmets from the Late Roman period! The Old Town has this more westernized, Austro-Hungarian feel. Oh, and I went shopping. I didn’t pack any summer clothes, because I didn’t think I would make it to the States, and my mom’s package from Poland didn’t make it on time! So I explored Serbian second hand shops and flea markets, and ended up buying two new dresses and beautiful leather sandals.

One of the streets of the Old Town Novi Sad
ALl the restaurants in front of the Danube Park
The Danube Park in Novi Sad
Dura Jaksic, a famous Serbian bard
The Roman helmet found in the field! The Vojvodina Museum, Novi Sad
A mural in the city centre
When you walk a bit further…
Life downtown! The Catholic Church of Saint Mary in the back
The Petrovaradin fortress on the other side of the Danube (had a lemonade there!)

Time flies… My flight to Chicago is getting closer… I’m planning to spend my last 2 nights in Serbia back in Belgrade. I will have to be at the Nikola Tesla airport 4 hours before my flight to Istanbul. And I know I will get the traveler fever when I can’t sleep before a long flight – especially that now it’s even more than a long flight, it’s legally cheating a presidential proclamation. So I thought going back to the capital earlier will help me calm down…

Right? Wrong! It rains heavily, the new hostel I booked in the proximity of the bus station and taxi parking spots turns out to be non-existent (but they haven’t taken down their hostelworld website! Don’t book Hostel Jasmin in Belgrade – they disappeared, renting out everything to waterfront workers). So I knock on a door of a hostel upstairs, hoping they would let me in, and I’m greeted by a gorgeously gay receptionist and his big bulldog, Rock. I’m the only girl in the hostel, and the atmosphere is so loud, so excited, so lively! I got a separate room, I pet the amazing Rock the dog, I have my last plieskavica (big Serbian portion of minced pork with butter and herbs) in a nearby restaurant, and I think, I THINK, my last day will be calmer…

You can dream. I meet Steven, a passionate, empathetic New Yorker filled with stories about various religions, travels and adventures, and we end up talking for hours. I show him around the city, we take photos of that cat colony in a park close to the Moscow Hotel, have dinner and rakija, and lemonade, and a stroll through the fortress… The conversation flows amazingly, and I have made my peace with not being able to quiet down before THE travel. When we return, we end up drinking more, and a fellow Balkan traveler gets overexcited about some business proposal from the resident mafia. I start to feel like I’m in a Kusturica movie. Finally! But it’s time to go…

The day is here. June 24th. I pack up, get some sandwiches and get into a taxi. I make it to the airport. When I come to get my boarding pass, the lady browses through my passport. „Are you sure you’re OK with this visa?” – she asks. I reply I have called the DHS about it, and I show her my registration proof in Serbia with a stamp and that 3rd of June date. She tells me to keep these documents. Then I go through the gates and security, buy a bottle of Serbian plum liquor in case I really make it to Alabama, get my temperature checked and here I am, on my first flight, the one to Istanbul. Let’s get it started! Oh, and surgical masks are maybe even more comfortable than cloth ones. You breathe better. I still stick my nose out to avoid any possible post-traumatic panic attacks…

Time to go!
One down, two to go!

And then, I’m at the IST airport. It’s weird for me to look at the Turkish border. Why? Because they wouldn’t let me in! Turkey has a travel ban linked with your passport, and I’m under it. Thankfully, this doesn’t include layovers. And the food court is closed… So that everyone is crowded in that one place that is open. A sip of traditional black tea, a sandwich, letting everyone know where I am – and I make my way to that Chicago gate.

The airline pre-filters passangers: I have my passport, my visa, my letter of invitation with the address, and then someone asks when was the last time I’ve been inside Poland… „Because if it’s less than 14 days, we will have a problem”. I show him my Serbian registration and I’m good to go. Smooth and respectful! And there’s this sweet American girl, an English teacher in Turkey, who just adopted a ginger kitten and is flying with her back home!

The gorgeous IST airport
Let’s go! IST traffic in a pandemic. Turkish airlines back in the sky!
This baby girl (yes, it’s a ginger girl!) was flying with us!
Sunset over the Bosfor passage…
And what is YOUR take-off jam? 😀

We fly overnight. And no, you never sleep well on a plane… The darkness of the Great Lakes shows outside of my window around 7 AM European time, so in Chicago, it’s midnight and I’m exhausted. And now it’s time for the most stressful part, the part that determines everything: the US customs.

I was expecting… I don’t know what I was expecting, but certainly not what has happened.

I have entered the US 6 times before, and the more return stamps I had in my passport, the more friendly the officers acted. Once the fingerprint machine broke and they said „just go”. Once the question was „Holiday? Awesome!” – and BAM, there’s a stamp.

Not that day, and it’s not what you think… I approach the officer and his first comment is about the miserable state of my passport. I know, it’s soaked, it’s old, I’m getting a new one when I get back anyway. What am I supposed to say? It’s still a valid passport. I’m holding my yellow folder and he asks what kind of documents I have there. I said, there’s my invitation letter with my address in the US, my registration proof in Serbia, and some other things… He takes everything! Which means he browses through my old boarding passes and my Soviet propaganda paper drafts in front of me, and I can’t even say a word. I’ve never felt a vibe that unfriendly before, not in San Francisco, not in JFK (quite the opposite, ironically!), not in Boston. Then he says he has a question about me and he’ll be right back. I thought it’s related to the travel ban, so I wait.

But no, we weren’t on the same page. I am singled out for more interrogation in a separate room, but at least they call me right away. Another officer takes my case. Asks me everything – about my job (you know, officer, I had this PhD project, but my advisor is a narcissist and stopped talking to me, and I was also in an environment terribly infected by all kinds of KGB propaganda, so I started doing economics and philosophy instead), about where I live (well, officer, so I lived in France, then Poland, then Sweden, and when I get back, I’m first going back to Poland, but maybe also Belgium and Germany, I don’t know yet)… Sure, there are things you never say to a customs officer. I don’t remember my replies. I tried to keep them short and dumb.

So, where do I live? When do I go back? Do I have a job? When is my flight back? Why don’t I have it printed? When is my flight back again? What was I doing in the US before? How do I know my friend from Upstate NY? Am I in a relationship with that person? When is my flight back again?

And then… I hear „I just can’t make sense of your story. It’s weird. Why were you in Serbia for so long? Why couldn’t you fly from Poland?”

I INFORM the customs officer about the TRAVEL BAN. he looks confused. He said „if the airline won’t let you in, that’s between you and the airline, not between you and the US government”.

Facepalm times hundred. I lived in Serbia so long because of a proclamation that is written black on white on the White House website, and the airlines just know about it and pre-select people! Am I singled out for interrogation because the customs don’t know about the bans and my Serbian registration looks „weird”?!

At some point I just burst out „check” to that officer.

Not my best line, I know. But come on.

He gets defensive. How dare I attack his job! „Oh, I check it every day! This is my job! You know about economics, but I know immigration! If you want to be misinformed and live your life like this, it’s your choice!”

Wow. A tiny narcissistic-like rage even, I’d say.

I tell him that I have called the DHS three times about it.

To which he replies: „These guys don’t really talk to us.”

So now you know the level of communication between US government agencies. And the level of an officer that asked me WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCHENGEN AND SERBIA IS and then called me misinformed.

In the end he calls me back with a stamp on my passport. And yeah, I am admitted. For a limited stay, not the usual six months:

„Because you said your flight back is August 7th”

He wouldn’t normally let me in, so he wrote down „limited stay”. „Because you said your flight back is August 7th”. Guess what, I said it because it’s true…

I say a very quiet and frustrated „Thank you”, although in my mind it sounds like „Bye Felicia, it’s all that I wanted” – and I proceed to the domestic American Airlines terminal, because now it’s time to get to Atlanta!

It’s still dark. I don’t know whether to sleep or not. I’m at the gate 4 hours before the flight and I blink, and the sun is up, and we board, and it’s so easy, and the American Airlines steward that helped me check in my bag was so nice and helpful, and the TSA experience was completely smooth, and a cleaning man asked me if I’m lost when I wasn’t, and everyone seemed just so caring after that customs experience, and I gaze at the Midwestern landscapes from my window, the neverending fields and what probably is the Mississippi river, and Atlanta is cloudy and sticky, and I find my Tiger Auburn driver, and we go to Chick-fil-A and chat about everything, because he’s used to picking up Mises fellows.

I crash in the Rothbard Village. I made it! It happened!

I couldn’t remember the next 14 hours. I woke up in Alabama and it’s like I’m in a new universe. And yes, I did go to my office the next day! The seven hour difference is helpful when going west!

The last one to go! The easiest part!
Is that Mississippi? Name this city for me!
… where the players play 😀

To flourish, you need to be treated as you… A unique, valuable person.


(The Big Marsh, Store Mosse, flourishing in southern Sweden)

Now I’m waiting in Serbia for the travel ban to pass me and for the Turkish Airlines – to bless me with a transatlantic flight that doesn’t go through the Schengen area. Each day, I dip my toes in the Danube thinking „wow, I really am doing this”. The Mises Institute is a generous and motivating place, and I already hold the position of a remote fellow, even though I should be in Alabama, I should be waking up each day early morning and spending hours between books and fruitful discussions, I should be boosting my writing… Do I really think I will accomplish that much? I tend to be overly optimistic about the amount of time and strength that I have. But now there’s Belgrade, there’s the fortress in the sun, white tigers in the zoo, all the Serbian history to refresh in the museums, all the memories from previous Libertycons, all the hearty meals to eat.

Why am I so motivated? Because I’ve been through so much that now I am flooded with the need to vocalize it, make it general, make it digestible – to make a statement that may help others and may add a little pebble to our understanding of evil, of abuse, and of the psychological mechanisms of totalitarian regimes.

My research plan starts with one assumption: a human being is an end in themselves. We are not to be treated like objects. This is the only correct anthropology there is in our known universe. Any collectivist philosophy, any system that pretends we’re not who we really are, any system that objectifies us – must necessarily be based on psychological manipulation and, in the end, wide-scale emotional (and in extreme cases physical) abuse. They may try to fool us into the existence of some kind of „greater good” – but ultimately, all that we are left with in this world are relations between real life human beings. There is nothing else. And said human beings can treat us either as equal, distinct, respectable persons – or, if they’re narcissistic or sociopathic, as objects.

Being treated like a person is crucial in developing respectful relations, and, early on – crucial in developing your own humanity. If you don’t want to raise a narcissist – love your young child for who they are. Look at them and think „I can’t wait to get to know you, you’re amazing, you’re a miracle”. That’s how they learn how to treat others. If they live in this world loved and strong, not needing any admiration and seeing wonders and uniqueness in others – the world will be saved from the crippling disease of abuse. The most important job there is is loving young children unconditionally. If we could all do that, there won’t be so many toxic bosses, dictators, bullies… Maybe some abusive political systems would be dismantled?

And that is how I will start my writing. We can either treat others with respect or we can treat them abusively. Only the former is based on the right notion of a human being – you are you, you are unique, you are an end in yourself and you should never be objectified. I don’t know you, I can’t know what’s best for you, but now that you’re here, I can’t wait to get to know you. Tell me more.

I won’t make assumptions about your life, I won’t put words in your mouth, I won’t lie to you or go behind your back, I won’t hurt you or disturb you consciously – I will only do what our relation permits and what you agreed upon. If something went wrong, we’ll figure it out and make things right. You will never feel any kind of anxiety when you’re with me, you’ll never feel like I’m insincere, like I want something from you, like I only pretend to care, like I’m using you to show off. We will be able to have a heart-to-heart.

But if it’s about authority… If it’s about the twisted vision of what respect is… If I do not see you for who you are… Now that’s a different story.
I need admiration, I need to pretend that I’m „nice”, you have to show me that I know more than you, that I know better than you. The „you” part of the equation gets erased. There’s just me. And I don’t care about you as a person. Nothing personal! I’m just not interested. I assume everyone is like me, and if not, well… rethink your ways, because something must be wrong with you. I don’t care what you’ve been through or what your goals are, or that you like summer sunsets. I have a plan. A big plan. You will do research for me. You will work in a factory for me. You will teach for me. You will be a perfect little pawn in my perfect vision. Why do you keep on rebelling and telling me you’re human? What’s human? There are no humans here. You are my little screwdriver, and I’m here instead of God. He died, haven’t you heard? I’m the replacement.

On my way to Atlanta in a pandemic… The European part

After painful years in academia, after seeing how ignorant and how infantile „professors” can get, and how the glorious academic tradition of the previous thousand years is being trivialized by infecting universities with political agenda… How the people that still theoretically wear togas are turned into large children playing forever in their kindergartens, oblivious to the external world and any fields other than their own, and with huge undeserved superiority complex… And after suffering individual narcissistic abuse from the hands of my own supervisor, who – and it’s a term used in the narcissistic abuse community – mentally murdered me, which means he started to act like I’m dead without any closure or solution… I have found my refuge in Auburn, Alabama – in the Mises Institute, where I’ve attended the Mises University twice, in 2017 and in 2018. This experience has brought me amazing friendships and support – and two years ago, when leaving Alabama, I felt that I still have something to do there. I knew about the fellowship program, but I wondered how I – a geophysicist turned political psychologist – can ever write a legitimate proposal and whether there’s something I can bring to the table. Also, my life is in Europe, and I wondered if there’s ever going to be a time in my life when I can spend full two months in the Institute, unbounded by a job or a family, but still – missing my loved ones.

My life unfolded, I have discovered what Narcissistic Personality Disorder means way too thoroughly, I am on my way of changing institutions to still obtain that long forsaken, cursed doctorate, I have finished an internship in IT, I have written two papers, one on information war, one in political psychology – dramatically inspired by what I know about objectifying a human being…

January 2020 came along, and I thought: now or never. This year is the year I want to spend in Alabama doing research. I should be looking for a job afterwards. Start a family. Live in Europe. Who knows what life brings. I have 2020. I’m not that traumatized anymore, I have enough resources from what I’ve previously done to write that research proposal, let’s do this. Let’s fly to Atlanta this year.

Mid-February, I got to know I have got my Fellowship! I was walking on air. I couldn’t be happier. Auburn is the place where I got to see how social interactions and how respect should look like. Where I’ve met one of the most curious, most genuine and supportive people of this planet. And at this time of my life, still healing from academia, I couldn’t wish for more. We all long to have our community where we belong, after all.

The mid-March came. I’m in the Schengen area. I only have a visitor visa, and no relatives in the States. The borders are getting closed. My flight is June 1st, I still hope I’m going to make it. It’s more than two months, after all… How long can the travel ban last?

Time goes on. Getting worse than better. My flight gets cancelled. I take a ferry from Poland to Sweden and I live in Malmo. I start a blog, a channel, and figure out my writing plans. We take lonely car rides to national parks and live in nature. The world is far away. No police is bothering us. But we’re stuck in Sweden, and business is not going well…

I make my peace with the fact that I won’t make it to the airport. I joke about finding an American spouse quickly. I genuinely think the US is now completely closed, and the travel ban is linked with your passport, not the place where you live in 2 weeks prior to getting to the States…

But after calling the DHS twice (not a good experience!) and reading… Wait a second! The travel ban is linked to the PLACE. So if I can get out of Sweden to Serbia or to Belarus… Stay there for two weeks… If then there’s going to be a flight to Atlanta… I could still make it…

Wait another second! Serbia just opened borders and lifted quarantine. And wizzair just resumed flights from Sweden… And the Turkish Airlines start flying internationally June 10. And they flight from Belgrade.

„Pack yourself!” I hear and I burst out crying. I haven’t made my peace with losing the Fellowship after all. New hope is just flowing through me and bringing me back to life. Packing my suitcase. Checking everything three times. Not sleeping for 2 nights in a row – because OH MY GOD.

And here it is, June 2nd. I’m taking one of the first wizzair flights from Goteborg to Belgrade. A train from Malmo… The waters of Kattegat from the window… An EMPTY airport bus. There’s just me. Apocalyptically empty GOT airport soon fills with Serbs that rush to get home after the borders opened. Nobody’s taking temperatures or forcing you to wear a mask, but I have mine prepared. The only difference is queue spacing at the luggage and border control, and the unwizzair-like pricing. The mask regime starts inside the aircraft. And we’re delayed due to disinfection. And that’s all. The plane is full. No spacing between passengers. And the lakes of Sweden in almost-midnight sun when we take off after 10 PM… This is happening. I will spend 2 weeks in Serbia. So that the travel ban doesn’t apply to me. I’ll ask for all the letters I may need, and then I’ll take my Turkish Airlines ATL flight. Because I can. Did you really think a travel ban is going to stop me? Nice going, Donald.

The waters of Kattegat from the train window:undefined

I’m the only person on the airport bus:undefined

Have you ever seen an airport so crowded…undefined

All the flights leaving from GOT that day: undefined

I get to wear my FMRS mask from Vienna!undefined

Goodbye, Sweden…undefined

We land in Belgrade midnight sharp. I thought (wrongly!) the buses don’t go anymore, so I take out some dinars and find an (official!) taxi driver (beware of taxis in Belgrade – always ask for the price before you jump in!). He’s cheerful and helpful, and has a mustache, but gets lost in the city and after 1 AM asks strangers for GPS.

After the first night I ask the cleaning-and-doing-all-around amazing lady for a confirmation that I’m registered in Serbia. She understands me instantly and says her landlord knows people at the police. And that I’m going to get a stamp. They sure know the deal!

And now I’m in Belgrade – and I’m spending here two weeks, of course it has to be two weeks. And I’m filled with hope and joy, and I’m in a lively city with people sitting in cafes, restaurant owners giving you palinka shots as compliments, and I’m feeding stray cats and strolling at the Danube banks…

Next leg – mid-June! I’ll keep you posted on how far I can get!

Belgrade is alive!undefined

I live at the Danube banks… undefined

No, I couldn’t eat it all… undefined

I have to keep up with my crazy cat lady reputation… undefined

My love letter to Donald Trump… The things I’m doing for you! Although it’s not really for you, you’re just on the way… undefined

Philosophical aspects of corona: webinar throwback!

Recording from the 8th May 2020 webinar

Throwback to the Digital Free Market Road Show event with the Austrian Economics Center and the Ayn Rand Center Romania (which happened 8th of May 2020 live). I was honored to start a 3 day discussion about the philosophical, economical and political aspects of the current coronavirus crisis. I talk about the nature of a human being: a person is an end in themselves. We cannot have all of our hopes, aspirations and dreams put into a simulation. A simulation only deals with a narrow scientific question! But then a decision based upon a simulation affects a more complex being that has agency of his own, depriving him or her of the God-given rights. You cannot do math on somebody else’s happiness. You shouldn’t even ask that question. The goal of a political order is not to give you safety, jobs, what-have you. It is to protect your rights, solely – but we have lost that goal. Nature is humbling. The world is scary. A great leader will not change it for the better, only for far, far worse. Let’s treat each other as responsible adults – it is EDUCATION and MANNERS that should matter.

Again – thank you so much for the invitation!

How I started a research project… because of a feeling

In the psychostate! pinned website you can find all about my project comparing the manipulations carried out by a toxic person (specifically, a narcissist) with what happens under a totalitarian regime.

This whole idea started with a feeling. One that I do not wish on anyone, but one that has later on inspired me to dive deep into the dark world of the psychology of dramatic disorders and mechanisms of the totalitarian state. I started researching who a human being really is at the core, and how we should be treated – and what happens when we are abused.

A feeling that almost killed me in the darkest days of my life has inspired me to write a research article in the end.

I was dealing with a toxic workplace – silenced and ignored, I got finally discarded and thrown away without closure. My abuser used techniques so insidious that I know nobody will believe me. I was most probably smeared, too, however, I wouldn’t want to know anything about it now.

In late 2018, lying in bed and suffocating, I squirmed in the debilitating pain of:

„I will never make them understand”

„They will never empathize with me”

„They will not get that story, it’s too absurd”

„They will not believe a human being can be treated this way”

„They will not see how dehumanizing it is”

„It’s so weird nobody will think it’s possible”

I felt like I’m in a glass tank, and the air is running out, depriving me of any means to be heard. Because sounds travel in air. And I was meant to be voiceless.

I really felt the familiarity of this state. I have already felt this way before. It was less intense. It wasn’t an individual toxic abuser. It didn’t take away a few years of my life because of the direct impact. But I have felt that way before! Where? When? Why?

While learning all that I could in the field of clinical psychology to try to understand the disorder of my abuser, I stumbled upon a peculiar blog. Written by a self-aware sociopath in a very poetic style – a chance to get a glimpse into a self-collapsing, disordered mind that truly believes in being a master manipulator and a different kind of human… In reality, he’s an alien lacking some essential brain cells. Dark, informative, unsettling and slapping you in the face kind of blog.

And this post is what made me write a research article to Estudios Libertarios in the end:

„Go on, beat your tiny fists about that façade, see if you can punch some holes in it although I know you will not be able to. Shout and stamp and holler all you like. I will enjoy watching you do that and there will be no favourable outcome for you. You are the crazy one and you are trying to unseat the stable, rational, dependable and ultimately far more likeable me. But you keep trying, it amuses and fuels me as your bloodied hands slap against the façade with no effect and your voice becomes no more than a rasp. I will watch as the hope fades in your eyes to be replaced by fear and incomprehension. Keep trying though, keep going and reinforce what I have already indoctrinated them to believe. They believe me. They won’t believe you.”

This was it. I was born 11 days after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, but it was still on the wrong side.

That was the facade I was beating my tiny fists about.

I emigrated to Western Europe and they had no idea. And the popculture didn’t care. They even embraced socialism.

I have identified the feeling. A socialist state also treats you like an object, not a human being. You will be emotionally abused. And you will feel like there is no way THEY (those inexperienced Westerners) will understand it OUT THERE (where they had the luxury of not dealing with socialism).

I have seen it in people one generation older than me all too many times. My prospective thesis advisor even told me that I should understand I’m from the worse part of Europe.

No, I am not! If anything, I’m from the more experienced part! And I refuse to accept this narrative. We should build bridges and communicate.

It is more possible than we think. And other people can empathize with us more than we think – it’s the symptom of emotional abuse that makes us believe it’s impossible.
But individual sociopaths and narcissists are out there. All kinds of dramatic life stories are out there, too. Just because they are not in the mainstream culture, it doesn’t mean you cannot convey what you’ve been through to an open-minded, empathetic foreigner.

Their experience may even be more similar than you think.

Remember, all these toxic groups, all these naive believers that will not understand you do not constitute the whole world.

Speak up.

Why do dictatorships exist?

Why don’t people speak up and tell the truth? Why don’t they rebel? Isn’t it just abusive minority controlling bigger portions of the population?

Well, commanding an army is one part of the answer, but this page starts with „Psychology” for a reason.

Have you ever experienced the dynamics of a toxic workplace or (hopefully not!) family? Imagine a manipulative, controlling (or even disordered) boss. Or the prom queen gossip girl from any American teen movie. Or mother from the „Mommie dearest” memoir of an abusive childhood.

How many people in such circumstances speak out against the lies and the manipulation, and reach out to those who are the victims?

Not many. And there’s a reason for that. You need to practice robust truth-seeking and independence traits to stand up to the abusers when they really give you hell. Most people that would have been genuinely well-meaning hide away, start believing the lie or dismiss any signs of the toxicity just to „win” their own fragile peace.

Can you blame them? Yes. But it’s better to educate and lead by example.

Learning about dramatic personality disorders makes you wander around all spaces on quora, and here is an extensive analysis of a toxic group by Conner Wood – „The circle of slaves”. It deals with a workplace where the boss is a narcissist (and I do not wish that on anyone, however, I can now report from hell myself, and I’m impressed by the accuracy of Conner’s work):

Who can you find there?
– Followers, who trust the boss and always side with him (Remember, abusers are charming!)
– Flying monkeys (named after the Wizard of Oz story) who execute the boss’s orders without questioning them, in hopes for favors
– Tongue biters, who keep silent out of fear
– Pawns that are innocent and blind, and give the abuser the benefit of doubt whenever questioned
– Excusers that excuse the abuse
– Dismissers that prefer not to see
– Those without empathy or integrity that just want an easy life
– Those favored by the abuser and rewarded with glory for obedience…

Have you met any of them? Have you dealt with a toxic workplace?

Fighting for freedom is hard at the core – because of the sad conditioning of the human mind in face of an actual controlling abuser. We see it under the microscope, we would see the same under the boot.

What you should do? Speak up when you see someone being treated unfairly just because someone else needs to gain control. Expose the liars. Take a few steps back, think „this is not how you treat a person, why was I ever so charmed by this boss?” and TALK ABOUT IT.

The weaker people need to see YOUR example to follow. Otherwise, they will bite their tongues.

Good luck.

My Free Market Road Show face mask…

… arrived in the mail today!

I was honored to be joining this unusual year’s seminars and online meetings, and talk about how a human being cannot be reduced to a datapoint, how innovation thrives in freedom, and how the emotional abuse of totalitarian regimes is the symptom that takes longest to heal. I cannot thank the Austrian Economics Center enough for this opportunity and motivation boost.

Earlier this year, I imagined spending late April in airplanes, getting to see Tirana for the first time, having the best Bosnian coffee and baklava in Sarajevo – and interacting with other liberty-oriented souls.

However, one of the marks of confident empathy – when you know yourself, when you gain self-respect and when you can defend yourself against any emotional abuser, be it on individual or political scale – is resilience and adaptability. I can still do all this and more from my gorgeous garden in Malmo. And so far, thankfully, nothing can take away from us what is in our minds.

Sadly, oftentimes we grow to these realizations after we have been abused… Too often phrases like „baptism in fire” or „blessing in disguise” have been thrown around, but here, they are accurate. This might be too generalized or oversimplified, still: life is a learning process, and the more valuable the lesson, the more you initially suffer.

I hope I get to wear the mask… Why? Because I still hope to board that plane to Atlanta in June. And if not… there will be other Junes.

Thank you Britt of the AEC!

When the Free Market Road Show goes digital…

… it’s time to launch a website! After a fruitful conference in Vienna last November (check out psychostate! and propaganda wars in the menu), I was thrilled to be joining the Austrian Economic Center’s FMRS in 2020. In early May, I was supposed to have my heart full and my head tired after a few days of traveling between Tirana, Podgorica, Belgrade and Sarajevo, I thought I’d be waiting for the conference in Warsaw and meet some of my friends from Vienna there, and I thought I’d be packing for my Atlanta flight for my Mises Fellowship.

However, there were many things in my life that were supposed to go differently than they went. A lifetime ago, I was supposed to get a PhD in geophysics and become a scientist, but after what I witnessed in the academic environment in Western Europe and the US, I switched my interests to political philosophy, the nature of propaganda and manipulation, the process of infantilization of society, and, tragically, also personality disorders. I ran away from my doctorate and started teaching economics with the Polish Mises Institute. It was the only rational option after the shocks I’ve been through (which you can follow in Polish on my youtube channel).

And so, the year 2020 isn’t that big of an adjustment. Just another crisis that turns everything upside down. We are meeting on so many webinars, and I am a part of one this Friday, 8th of May. Follow to see and tune in, and explore this fresh website!