A small industry has developed on the web in relation to “narcissism”, and although I’ve added an idea or two while referencing some lay literature extant online, I’m not happy with what I’ve read from Sam Vak, where relationships between dimensions seem ambivalent as regards what is normal and what is not, nor with what I’ve gleaned today from Softpanorama’s “High Demand Cults Leaders Practices as a Model of Corporate Psychopath Behavior”. Who doesn’t enjoy an “attaboy”, some applause, taking a bow, winning a bonus, receiving some praise now and then? Moreover, among those performing well in relevant basic areas and therefore ambitious and career-minded, who would choose to fail to charm or disappoint?
Where is that divider between a charismatic and well-intentioned professing personality and a deeply disfigured and malign one?
I have a proposed answer for that: it’s a spot on a continuum of “regard for others” that runs from “none”, signalled by unerring contempt, to “too much”, signalled by being ever present and submissive to a cruel will.
There’s a large discussion to be had over that assertion, but turn it over some in the context of discussing “political absolutism” or “despotism” and how those political outlooks become operationalized.
With communism, with olde Islam (yet to be reformed or sufficiently turned around as is), with peons to unbridled capitalism — everything too good to be true may actually be evil — political programming involves the delivery to the positioned and susceptible (so I have read introduced into conversation online, “prison Islam”) of directions for rising from ignominy into grandiose messianic glory.
The “narcissistic script” may be the unique compilation of those directions in the person: what’s to be done, who is to do it, and precisely how.
When the program flouts convention but is part of the positive — dare I say “reparative” — vitality of the community, one expects narcissists, naturally so, to show up at auditions, art shows, readings — and in meritocratic fashion, to compete on the strength of their skills and wares and to obtain from that adventure (with voice, brush, or six strings) what they may. They’re following their (good) dreams, and in an open democracy with minimum interference from government (or the governance of family), dreams must be had and followed, and, in turn, each dream involves some scripting, or what one does — or may do — to get somewhere.
Oh but when the program embraces conformism with absolute authority, then the exercise of control of others — not working on something to win applause, but working on others to force it from them — would seem to turn the development of regard for one’s self into a great and punishing and enslaving mission for others.
The essence of the Bond villain: the criminal mastermind bent on global domination.
A self-possessed wild rollicking kid at heart.
In the American character — certainly in mine — freedom is all.
Don’t tread on me, say our Marines, and if ever military were “of the people”, the Marines are that.
Elsewhere in the world: control is all.
In the malignant form, the narcissistic script is all about control.
The script is there in every Islamic terrorist attack and in every political subterfuge — start with Crimea — and in every act of intimidation and threat (and dependency-inducing pandering and patronage) elsewhere.
What are they thinking?
Oh how glorious they are.
And have they got a program for you!
# # #