Delusional narcissistic reflection of motives — as with propaganda, the aggressor claims defense from what he himself has in mind for his target — would seem to have organized the Assad mentality to believe itself the target of Israeli aggression, a belief and posture abetting and motivating the state’s and state culture’s own aggression against Israel.
I don’t think the term complete without the term denoting fear, “paranoid”, as the first adjective in the string. If it seems to work, the phrase will distill to “Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation” with the paranoid and delusional cast understood within it and inseparable from it.
The social grammar — the hidden rule learned early — is probably the message that if not defended, something will be taken from the child (e.g., “If you don’t eat your supper now, I shall give it to your brother” — a common enough phrase according to Raphael Patai).
That thought was inspired by a post on the old blog (those who know, know), which I now shall have to post again here on BackChannels:
Until revised, consider this entry mere first thoughts.
By way of rhetoric attending the promotion of genocide, we understand reflection of motivation — “What I mean to do to you I will say you mean to do to me” — but I don’t think we have ventured into how that comes about. What we note is the presence of hate (in negative emotion) and then the design to murder accompanied by this “I accuse you!” model in rhetoric.
However, if we believe in the well presented palette of qualities attending the term “malignant narcissist”, then we may as well believe the motivation unconscious and the perception real to the political actor. For an Assad, Hitler, or Mugabe the defined foe — Israel, Jews, whites — is really out to destroy and enslave him and his own kind (as he may believe himself and “his own kind” to be).
This is Hutu vs Tutsi stuff, also very much “Believers vs Crusaders” — the constructs are so pathetically misguided as to have one order the straitjacket when just one person contains the thought, but when it’s a state or, worse, a state of mind within a large population, oh, that’s another thing altogether.
Still, I like the concept, which has play in political rhetoric as “Accusation in a Mirror” (by Kenneth Marcus, a paper delivered at the “Hate Speech, Conflict, and Genocide” Conference, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, April 2011). Note: the BackChannels concept developed in relation to thinking about psychology — “narcissism”, “malignant narcissism” — and dictatorship, and there is a difference between what people do — and what we observe in behavior — and why they do it.
I’m sure I’ll be back to revise this page, but for now, let’s let this idea attach in reverse to the literature and otherwise grow to where something can be done with it.
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