malignant narcissism, Narcissistic Process, political power, political psychology, psychology of dictatorship
Inspiration for the Post
The other party’s recollection of the assassination of political cartoonists.
From the Awesome Conversation
Despots — malignant narcissists — live for “unlimited narcissistic supply”, i.e., the adoration of the public as if a god.
Here’s a portal from my blog:
Generally speaking, I believe that excessive and malignant narcissistic process takes off with damage early in life, and there’s a term for that: “Narcissistic Mortification”. The humiliation of the child, negative response to what is good, etc., will do it, and if it’s really bad, the personality will cover the damage (hiding the shame) and split an heroic image for self-concept that may be built with boasts, brags, lies, and the deep and tireless manipulation of others around himself.
Pause: narcissism is natural — most of us take pride in our internal motivations, our appearance, the things we do, and some of the things we acquire. Narcissism is not a bad thing but part of a healthy life. Moreover, not all narcissists are evil; many are reparative — we’re natural do-gooders, lovers, husbands, wives, shepherds, and stewards of what comes into our separate domains. We care, and goodness, integrity, and truth matter.
The malignant — the despotic — put on a show.
The fireman sets the fire, so he may show up to put it out and obtain admiration for his heroism.
Related look-up: “Moscow Apartment Bombings”.
“Gas lighting” goes with a malign narcissism as may “messianic delusions of grandeur” — also loss of those boundaries and limits that account for respectful privacy and natural and normal legal and social tendencies. The malignant lose a good part of their humanity on their way to “greatness” — and their greatness is in their heroic image.
After all these years, I don’t know who else has been mining this seam in relation to political psychology.
I had started with a book by a former CIA profiler — Post, Jerrold M. Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior. Forward by Alexander L. George. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004.
We may today know more about dictators — how they tick — than we do their followers, but some of the mechanics are known too, and much of the existence of each distills to force, leverage, and money that provides for measures of bribery, induction of dependency, intimidation, and patronage. The inner circles and close followers of dictators would seem generally in on the game with the greater public bought off, fooled, impressed, mollified, and patronized.
Most hated by the dictator: a free press that more accurately conveys his reflection and does so broadly, publicly, universally.
Burke, Jason. “The murder that shattered Holland’s liberal dream.” The Guardian, November 7, 2004.
Gathara, Patrick. “The death of the political cartoon: A pillar of journalism is being destroyed by oppressive government, online mobs and profit-oriented media moguls.” Al Jazeera, July 2, 2019.
Hart, Benjamin. “4 Cartoonists Killed in Attack on Charlie Hebdo Newspaper.” HuffPost, December 6, 2017.
Rowson, Martin. “The New York Times political cartoon ban is a sinister and dangerous over-reaction.” The Guardian, June 12, 2019.
Stack, Liam. “London Police Reopen Investigation Into 1987 Killing of Palestinian Cartoonist.” The New York Times, August 29, 2017.
Anderson, Hans Christian. “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” H.C. Anderson Centret.