Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:28 pm Post subject: Narcissism & the New World Order
"If I wrote a book on Narcissism, it becomes the
How To Guide for how to succeed in the New World Order"
9 minutes 17 seconds is the start of the NWO-Narcissism segment.
Who rules the world? Narcissists.
Let’s stop giving them all the breaks
Stuart Heritage - Guardian - Wed 27 Jun 2018 09.00 BST
According to new research from Queen’s University Belfast, narcissists are some of the most successful people in the world. If you spend your life marauding around with a bellyful of unearned self-worth, it’s claimed, you’ll soon develop a mental toughness that will drive you to beat your more humble peers in education, work and romance.
This is depressing news, but not entirely surprising. Everywhere you look, it’s perfectly clear that the narcissists won long ago. Social media drips with wrongheaded opinion masquerading as violent certainty. The buzziest television programme of the day, Love Island, is essentially just a petri dish of obnoxious self-adoration. Untalented colleagues get promoted above you because they are unafraid to gelatinously network....
My favourite moment from Lost comes near the end. While most of the characters are fighting tooth and nail to secure a victory that they know in their hearts belongs to them – a victory that represents their ultimate destiny, no less – we bump into Rose and Bernard, a couple who we haven’t met for a while. As everyone else shoved and fought and clawed for a greater purpose, Rose and Bernard simply sloped off into the background to create a quiet little life for themselves. They didn’t have a lot, but they didn’t want anything more. And they were the happiest characters in the entire series.
This is how I feel about narcissists. They’re charging around, their lives a binary tickbox of things to conquer, and for what?
It’s telling that Dr Kostas Papageorgiou, whose brainchild this new research was, had to pretzel himself into all sorts of contortions just to make narcissists seem even remotely decent people. “Narcissism is considered as a socially malevolent trait,” he said. However, he added that things would be so much different if only “we could abandon conventional social morality, and just focus on what is successful”.
Oh stupid conventional social morality, why are you always getting in the way of success? Can’t you see all these subclinical narcissists desperate to gobble up the world and fart it out for their own stupid means? Look into their eyes, and see what your basic expectation for them to be even superficially pleasant people is doing to them. You’re draining them of their life force....
If this research has taught me anything, it’s that I’m even more in love with the idea of conventional social morality than I thought. Before, it was just a loose collection of rules that kept everything together. Now, though, I can see it’s nothing less than a firewall for arseholes.
If we drop it for even a second, the narcissists will barge through and eat happy self-doubters like us alive. Social morality is all we’ve got. We should protect it with everything we have.
Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us
'We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course
of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose
outside the success narrative is limited.'
We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.
There are certain ideal characteristics needed to make a career today. The first is articulateness, the aim being to win over as many people as possible. Contact can be superficial, but since this applies to most human interaction nowadays, this won’t really be noticed.
It’s important to be able to talk up your own capacities as much as you can – you know a lot of people, you’ve got plenty of experience under your belt and you recently completed a major project. Later, people will find out that this was mostly hot air, but the fact that they were initially fooled is down to another personality trait: you can lie convincingly and feel little guilt. That’s why you never take responsibility for your own behaviour.
On top of all this, you are flexible and impulsive, always on the lookout for new stimuli and challenges. In practice, this leads to risky behaviour, but never mind, it won’t be you who has to pick up the pieces. The source of inspiration for this list? The psychopathy checklist by Robert Hare, the best-known specialist on psychopathy today....
Bullying used to be confined to schools; now it is a common feature of the workplace. This is a typical symptom of the impotent venting their frustration on the weak – in psychology it’s known as displaced aggression. There is a buried sense of fear, ranging from performance anxiety to a broader social fear of the threatening other.
Constant evaluations at work cause a decline in autonomy and a growing dependence on external, often shifting, norms. This results in what the sociologist Richard Sennett has aptly described as the “infantilisation of the workers”. Adults display childish outbursts of temper and are jealous about trivialities (“She got a new office chair and I didn’t”), tell white lies, resort to deceit, delight in the downfall of others and cherish petty feelings of revenge. This is the consequence of a system that prevents people from thinking independently and that fails to treat employees as adults.
More important, though, is the serious damage to people’s self-respect. Self-respect largely depends on the recognition that we receive from the other, as thinkers from Hegel to Lacan have shown. Sennett comes to a similar conclusion when he sees the main question for employees these days as being “Who needs me?” For a growing group of people, the answer is: no one.
Our society constantly proclaims that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough, all the while reinforcing privilege and putting increasing pressure on its overstretched and exhausted citizens. An increasing number of people fail, feeling humiliated, guilty and ashamed. We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited. Furthermore, those who fail are deemed to be losers or scroungers, taking advantage of our social security system.
A neoliberal meritocracy would have us believe that success depends on individual effort and talents, meaning responsibility lies entirely with the individual and authorities should give people as much freedom as possible to achieve this goal. For those who believe in the fairytale of unrestricted choice, self-government and self-management are the pre-eminent political messages, especially if they appear to promise freedom. Along with the idea of the perfectible individual, the freedom we perceive ourselves as having in the west is the greatest untruth of this day and age.
The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman neatly summarised the paradox of our era as: “Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless.” We are indeed freer than before, in the sense that we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new laissez-faire attitude to sex and support any political movement we like.
We can do all these things because they no longer have any significance – freedom of this kind is prompted by indifference. Yet, on the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy that would make Kafka weak at the knees. There are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping.
Our presumed freedom is tied to one central condition: we must be successful – that is, “make” something of ourselves. You don’t need to look far for examples. A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism. A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success. A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master’s degree in economics – a primary school teacher, whatever can she be thinking of?
There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only changed. And that is precisely what has happened: a changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us.
Narcissism and Neo-Liberalism :
Work, Leisure, and Alienation in an Era of Consumption
Stephen Leslie Wearing at University of Technology Sydney
Jess Ponting at San Diego State University
The purpose of this paper is to trace some of the links between neo-liberalism, narcissism and the influence of work, leisure and consumer culture on self-identity. By examining narcissism as an instrument of personality and social psychological analysis, we investigate the ways in which self-identity in neo-liberal societies is constructed and fulfilled through interactions with the marketplace, promoting self-interest and success in the form of wealth, admiration and bodily perfection.
It is our contention that this process creates narcissistic identities, which attempt to defend the self against the degradation of work in neo-liberal societies, and where anxiety, emptiness and isolation are converted into pleasure and healing through leisure consumerism. In the final analysis we explore some of the links between narcissistic work and leisure, and psychological distress and disorders.
As a result of modern institutions, self-identity is now left open to
inscription, codification and commodification. This process begins when we move away from the more stable family context to the work/ leisure/ consumer environment as we develop through adolescence. The construction of self-identity is characterized by the objectification and commodification of one’s body and personality, where the market prompts the individual to promote and sell themselves, which is viewed as the most precious exchange material.
Under these conditions self-identity becomes a kind of cultural resource, asset or possession, where media inducements persuade us to invest in our personalities and bodies in order to form them into smoother, more dynamic, more perfect, more functional objects for the outside world.
In our quest for the perfect body we are sold diets, exercise programs, hair removal products, cosmetic surgery, cosmetic products (moisturizers, wrinkle cream, nail varnish, facial scrubs etc.), makeovers and hairdressing. Similarly, at school and in work, we are prompted to become more competitive, independent, entrepreneurial, dynamic, productive and flexible, while time away from school and work moves towards the sphere of consumption, bodily and psychic pleasure, improvement and healing....
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