Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Most Narcissistic of Them All? - Encounter Books

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Most Narcissistic of Them All?

June 21, 2016

In the New York Post, Roger L. Simon, author of I Know Best, debates which presidential candidate is truly the most narcissistic. Trump is clearly a narcissist of the traditional sort, but Simon argues that our candidates on the left are moral narcissists of the highest order.

What is moral narcissism? Simon defines it thusly:

Unlike that well-known narcissism of a Greek youth transfixed by his reflection, or the more psychoanalytic version — neurotics so obsessed with themselves they lose contact with reality — it is a social form of narcissism that pervades our culture and orders our lives to an extraordinary degree.

It is a pathology that underlies American liberalism today — and a good deal of the right as well.

Briefly stated, moral narcissism is this: What you say you believe or claim you believe — not how you actually behave — defines who you are and makes you “virtuous” in your own eyes and the eyes of others. Almost always, this is without regard to the consequences of those beliefs, because actual real-world results are immaterial and often ignored.

If you have the right opinions and say the right things, people will remember your pronouncements, not your actions or what happened because of them.

According to Simon, moral narcissists wield “correct” opinions on everything from “race relations to media bias to higher education” as cudgels to divide and gain power:

Moral narcissism thus divides us into a society of haves and have-nots in regard to “right thinking.” This is the true income inequality, and creates our own version of the old Soviet nomenklatura (literally, name list) made up not of the rich and powerful but, in our case, of “right thinkers” who therefore become rich and powerful, if they weren’t already.

Seemingly voluntary, this American nomenklatura of ideas is proving to be more enduring than those forced upon citizens of the Soviet Union by Lenin and Stalin.

…Moral narcissism gives justification to these nomenklaturas and allows them to rule. Ironically, in the elites’ devotion to their own ideological superiority, they may be electing Donald Trump president. Trump, the braggadocious plutocrat who would seem the most classically narcissistic, is actually most “of the people.” He’s not telling voters what they are supposed to think from on high. He’s responding to them and reflecting what they think.

Read the full piece here.

In this Article

I Know Best How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn't Already

In 1979, Christopher Lasch published the epochal The Culture of Narcissism, warning of the normalizing of narcissism in our society. Lasch may have understated it. Thirty-five years later, in the Obama era—with its parade of endless, often inexplicable, scandals—we have a full-blown epidemic of what has recently been called Moral Narcissism.

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