I intend this page and any sub-page concepts that come to me to distill and telegraph a specific complex of paradigms associated with vanity and with the control and manipulation of others as a part of basic psychology linked or inseparable from adult social and political behavior.
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From fig leaves to Cadillacs, no human would be human without self-awareness and self-concept, awareness of the world and of others in a continuously interpreting fashion, and the possession of either decency in conscience or a ruthless sociopath’s gateway.
This is a little different from the more sweetly derived triad “consciousness, self-consciousness, and conscience” I’ve typed elsewhere and frequently online. However, as the subject of interest is the autocrat, dictator, the political “iron fist” intent on controlling the affairs of others, setting as anchors “self-concept”, “concept of others”, and “social grammar” seems sensible at the start.
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Abstract conclusions derived from observations informed by the possession of a language, psychology, social psychology, and political psychology — the ever “soft” sciences” — have a slippery quality to them, and yet we know when a person has become a dictator, a monster, and a tyrant and also when a civic organization or political movement setting out to achieve good has nonetheless transformed itself into a fascist horror, a death machine, a real force for chaos, corruption, and evil.
Mankind may never completely contain itself — unless it destroys itself, and that is a real possibility somewhere between “nuclear winter” and “global warming” or other forms of environmental depredation — but it may help to address and constrain some political and social dangers to abet survival species-wide, boost human dignity and freedom, and generally raise some qualities in living that speak to the betterment of the human experience at community and individual levels.
The “N” Word and Related Dimensions: Wikipedia’s Coverage
This section will be a work in progress for a while and never complete or comprehensive because that’s not what’s needed. Instead, it may be more helpful in our new information soaked environments to map or schematize a very small area or dimension in language.
My library really does contain some 2,000 volumes and all have a little something to do with mind and perception. However, there are a few volumes that approach “malignant narcissism” implicitly or tangentially. For a start, the work of former CIA-based psychologist Jerrold M. Post should not be overlooked: Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior (Psychoanalysis and Social Theory): Jerrold M. Post, Alexander George: 9780801441691: Amazon.com: Books. It’s not his only title, but it’s the one I have shelved here.
Gaia Servadio’s Mafioso: A History of the Mafia from the Origins to the Present may better place in sociology than political psychology, and yet I think it’s on the money, no pun intended, as regards “men of honor” whether intimidating rivals or proposing deals that one cannot refuse.
I’ve not made much headway into Erich Fromm’s classic, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, but every passage — I have started — turns out a gem in the looking into what I call “license” or the taking of unwarranted or unconscionable privilege, a staple of cruelty and sadism familiar to the autocrat from Pharaoh to Ayatollah Khamenei.
Opposite considerations of the propensity toward a deeply aggressive and anti-social narcissism, I would place the thoughts of Felix Adler and Abraham Maslow, familiar enough names in the region of spiritual humanism.
There’s a lot more around here but energy is wanted and underwriting helpful when it comes to sitting down at a library table (that’s here too) for hours to days content to catalog and index aspects of a complex library. For that matter, specialization in reading and research also wants for support. Without that, I often feel I may as well read through the Le Carré shelf, which is demanding, lively, and supportive of my own creative ambitions. Still, I would love to work within a sponsored research framework.
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