Narcissism is a private religion which in many ways resembles primitive faiths and rites.

  1. Other problems aside, I take especial umbrage to this (undeveloped) notion, so casually tossed out two or three times, that narcissism is "like the old wiccan and pagan rites." How so? And you're probably wrong about that in any case. Just because you (rather lazily) find one thing and another to be delusions, that alone doesn't do much to liken those two things.

  2. While I agree with most of what you said, there are still some elements of the narcissistic epidemic that we have in our societies that does have a semi-religious aspect to it. In a religion that worships something outside the self, ritual places are a must. While in the cult of the self, the quasi religious ritualistic rituals are a continuation of a warped sense of self that extends to the online presence of a person. The internet then acts as a temple, as a place of congregation, and lays down the laws of self-worshipping. I do believe that the type of narcissistic we have witnessing is intrinsically connected with a religious impulse inherent in man that’s found it’s outlet in the this new cult of the self.

  3. After reading your well-thought-out response to the article posted here, I’m thinking the author of the article is attempting to “de-politicize” the issue of rampant narcissism in our society. I used to the the kind of person who believed that “politics” was a category divorced from “philosophy” and especially from “aesthetics” and “religion,” but recent historical events and my own maturation have led me to see things differently. The author here seems to be working very hard to remove the psychology of the Narcissist from the society that raised “him.” Ironically, I think this shows a narcissistic attitude on the author’s part to believe individuals can be so removed without also removing a key aspect of their psychology. I’m reminded of a certain politician who made the claim, “…there's no such thing as society.” A claim she was able to make to millions of people thanks in no small part to the society created by her political party and her country’s mass media infrastructure.

  4. “Left unbridled and unconstrained and elevated ideologically, it can bring about Armageddon in more than one way. The rise of narcissism is inexorable. It is comparable to climate change and to the shift in gender roles: there is no going back now.” Woah there, wtf is meant by “the shift in gender roles” here? That’s a mighty vague phrase to be so casually placed in a sentence about cataclysmic events. To me, it seems the author is equating feminism to some kind of world-ending disaster, which I would call intellectually irresponsible at the very least.

  5. Hit ‘em with the classic “Ecological apocalypse, selfishness, and women wearing pants are all the same. Cuz I said so.”.

  6. I think he was very emotional when he wrote it and it hits emotionally. That said i understood his reference to gender role as a very visible example of a change in society - no judgment one way or the other. I think this kind of article can be informative but the lack of sources, consistency and examples makes it kind of a puff piece. But interesting none the less

  7. I believe the author is using it as an example of “inexorable” as in this a permanent change, and not a tide that will rise or fall. We are not going to go backward to the old gender roles. Most of us would consider that good. We are not going to go backward with regards to the ignorant bliss in which we have abused the environment in the past.

  8. This article makes a ton of assumptions and unbacked assertions. It kind of reads like a sermon, except for the end. I don't quite understand the point. It starts from "everyone is a narcissist as a child" to "narcissism is the new world religion."

  9. They aren't just unbacked, they are extraordinarily vague and unclear. I don't even know what most of these statement are even supposed to mean.

  10. I clicked on the article with an open mind but quickly realized that the substance was lacking. The author uses overly flowery language and then jumps to a conclusion (that narcissism is like a pagan religion) without building any real bridges to that conclusion. I understand that Moloch was a pagan god and that modern society can be compared to that sort of religion, that's not a new point and it is an apt one. The trouble is that the author doesn't earn it, they just sort of write words. What were pagan rites like and how do they compare to Narcissism? I also think this borders on unethical because narcissism is a real psychological condition that can be clearly understood and some people might read this and be misinformed.

  11. This is the author's bio, I was shocked by this: Sam Vaknin | Pioneering expert on the study of narcissism professor of psychology at the Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies and author of the bestselling book Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited.

  12. Wow he's a professor. Hopefully this was just a puff piece to blow off steam. Else it is sincerely lacking in substance, consistency, examples, data, philosophy of science etc. (we don't need more Petersons people? Or am I not seeing something?)

  13. No it's not. You can be narcissistic without having NPD. The adjective about casual vanity and self absorption came way before the disorder, and there is still a pretty high threshold before you'll qualify for the disorder.

  14. "Narcissism" isnt a personality disorder. Pathological narcissism, that is Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder

  15. Already the first sentence is controversial. Some say its a myth. There are findings that the Values of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) is rising.

  16. How is the idea false? Do you mean to say that naked Celts painting themselves with semen is equivalent to a Catholic mass?

  17. I agree but the bio says they're a leading person in the field of narcissism.. i really don't see how that can be. the 'article' read more like an armature psychologist trying to sound smart online.. I'm so confused.

  18. While I don’t agree with the article, Sam Vaknin is one of the foremost authorities on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Just Google him or search YouTube. Also, he’s personally been diagnosed as a Narcissist and a Psychopath. So he is definitely an expert on Narcissism, but also will lie and try to manipulate you to believe everything he says. A strange dynamic…

  19. As a person with joint MA in Sociology and Philosophy, and a survivor of narcissistic abuse, this article hits super close to home

  20. Calling it now: in the next twenty years, Narcissism is rebranding as self-mysticizing Stoicism, selmy for short. The level of naval gazing increases with the sale of slightly hallucinogenic lotus petals, and we lose a small but significant part of our population, say 3%, to an agoraphobic, self-aggrandizing lifestyle where they never leave their room but exist only on Internet forums and virtual dating websites. An increase in robotics , AI, and work from home allows these people to never interact with another human being. As an experiment, one member of this subgroup of selmies is selected and isolated within forums and message boards to only interact with bots that agree with them in all ways; all other posts are censored or blocked. Through an error in the algorithm, all isolate selmies are included in the experiment. They all respond positively to the reinforcement. One by one, they reenter society. Upset by the lack of general agreement, incidents of violence experience a short, sharp increase, ultimately plateauing when the selmies are eliminated through incarceration, death, or self exile back to their agoraphobic lives. A short history of them will be written about decades later, to be turned into an Oscar winning film around 2070.

  21. I love how nobody here will state the glaringly obvious: narcissism is bad; like, cancer bad; like, the ultimate evil of humanity, bad.

  22. How? I think people are just reacting to there environment. In a society where everything is individualised, commodified and money is the measure of all. The good life is shown in commercials, facebook etc. So I understand why people try to emulate what they see. Also i don't believe in good and evil but only aesthetics. Some of the most evil deeds have been done by churches believing they represent good over evil. E.g. South America (they destroyed all culture and people) similar stories in other "colonies" Canada, Greenland etc.

  23. you can add psychopaths to that pile. together with narcissists and machiavellians, the Dark Triad make life a living hell for everybody.

  24. I would argue that being the source of constant miscommunication and communicative fabrication would be considered less sustainable than other modes of self perception.

  25. Feeling oneself to be special without any basis for it. Ungrounded self-esteem, which might be paraphrased as narcissism. And it is much like belief in God. If God exists, you can be sure that miraculous good things will happen to you in the future.

  26. The modern world (the West) tends to focus on the self to an extreme extent. It's all about me, how I want to do things, how I identify, self-motivation, self-discovery, etc.

  27. I don't like the term red flag, but getting hyperbolically religious from the get-go is a big warning sign for me. The title looks better than the article.

  28. A little known fact in the psychology field: Narcissistic Personality Disorder is just the safer, less offensive shorthand we use for "high-functioning psychopath."

  29. This is a meta-comment but IMO we should have a requirement that you can't just post a link to something, rather you need to include an abstract or summary of what you are linking to so that people can discuss it without clicking (but of course if they find the summary interesting they can still click to dig deeper). Otherwise you get lots of click bait posts which is IMO what this is. To even discuss the topic we have to click on that link so the OP is inflating the SEO statistics on that article.

  30. Aside from the obvious problems with this blog post already discussed here… It’s worth considering how the categories “primitive” and “religion” are operating here. “Primitive religions” is a category that makes all sorts of absurd teleological assumptions about religion based in Euro-Christian assumptions about so-called primitives/heathens/savages. “Religion,” as JZ Smith and others point out, is a historically non-native category applied by western Christians in early modernity to a variety of social phenomena that loosely remind those commentators of Christianity (which they assume is the most advanced/civilized/teleologically-perfected-form-of religion). The claim that other peoples religions are primitive is historically a tool used to dispossess people of their land by people who believe their religion (or their ‘secularism,’) makes them more civilized, and therefore justified to make better use of said land. From an ethical standpoint, then, the category of primitive religion strikes me as a dangerously uncritical one. I would advise this author to take more seriously the analytical categories they use to make their analogies.

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