Moral narcissism, as defined in Simon’s book, is “What you believe, or claim to believe or say you believe, not what you do or how you act or what the results of your actions may be—defines you as a person and makes you ‘good.’”
Mary Kissel asks: When did American society adopt this standard?
To which Simon responded:
I don’t know but it’s like oxygen now. I swear it’s in our air. However, when it happened, I’m not sure, but it sort of stems from my generation and I’m going to out myself on TV since you can find it on Wikipedia. I was born at the end of World War II and the people that were born at the end of World War II are the people that are usually referred to as Boomers, but are earlier than that: meaning John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Timothy Leary—who was born in 1920-believe it or not—they are what I call “the least great generation” in our book. So, if you’re asking where it all started, it sort of started with them—although, I’m sure there were cavemen who behaved in the same manner.
Watch the full interview: