Have We Reached Peak Narcissism?

A decade is a decent whack of time. Was the term narcissist being bandied around ten years ago? It certainly is nowadays. Every second person, and their fancy hybrid dog, seems to tick all the boxes to qualify for a clinical diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

And is it any wonder why?

The modern world is dominated by laissez-faire capitalism, and the human race is getting bigger and more competitive. An equal share of the pie is rapidly shrinking by a simple law of mathematics.

To get ahead, to get a larger slice, one must run harder and faster with utmost confidence and the ability to lie and obfuscate and step on others to jostle one’s self into a position of above average comfort. No self respecting member of the modern world would be content with average, so the story goes.

It’s all about me. It’s peak individualism. Me, me, me…

Thus the preponderance of the narcissist. And of every second person who is not a narcissist, most of them are classic enablers. They chide those few of us still left who possess a more collective vision of the how the world could be, as envious perpetrators of tall poppy syndrome.

Once, the most powerful person in the world was a narcissist. And some of his most hard-core supporters were the poor and downtrodden. His ability and audacity to bold face lie was somehow ignored or excused by millions of voters. Meanwhile, there was a consensus amongst astute observers that the number one leader of the so-called free world was not only a narcissist, but a malignant one. A malignancy verging on psychopathy.

He is gone now, or is he? Is he in the wings – waiting, plotting, conspiring with his enablers to return with vengeance? Or has his toxic influence polluted the zeitgeist sufficiently that the era of unfettered individualism is destined to burn for another decade or two?

In the west, individualism is somehow equated with freedom and democracy. Western commentators like to point out how the rest of the world, the nations where perhaps a more collective world view is valued and legislated, is a world of human rights abuses and deprivation of freedom run by evil dictators. This grandiose propaganda is ubiquitous in western media. And the fear it instils in the ordinary punter has us voting in right wing governments time and time again, despite the immense weight of evidence showing the greed and corruption that pervades the so called born-to-rule class of society.

In Australia, the popularised notion of ‘having a go’ has led to, among other injustices, a severe housing affordability issue. The insane current boom in real estate prices is dividing us further into a society of haves and have-nots. In the race to get ahead, the basic human need for shelter has become a pawn in the cruel game of private wealth creation. It seems that the initial hopes that the pandemic might cause a reset from rampant individualism to a more compassionate collectivism have vanished.

Will a bursting of the property bubble succeed where the pandemic failed? Will it be soon, or perhaps in a decade?

We watch and wait.

13 thoughts on “Have We Reached Peak Narcissism?

  1. Yep, lol. Seriously though, I think you are completely onto to something! I’ve been thinking this for a while now. I also blame that narcissists you write about. I think we all know who, lol. The sad thing is how quick it all happened too. I think he encouraged some other current “leaders” of countries to be like him, and it’s REALLY not working.

  2. Sean, this isn’t the first time narcissism has climaxed so high. Great civilizations throughout history have had the same problem. All have crumbled, or, at least, dwindled partly because of it. I doubt we’ll be any different. Welcome to the roller-coaster ride.

  3. I don’t buy the idea of “universal narcissim”, but rather a symptom of generational aspiration toward an unobtainable level of personal wealth (witness the so-called “gig economy” which is NO MORE that a hustle )…the common delusion of a working-class trying to “escape its humble origins” weaknesses, rather than consolidating and communitising its strengths which lay in trade-training and work skills that give a sense of self-esteem rather than embrace a pathetic “entreprernurial” career with a sense of self-entitlement. ( see my above link).

  4. It’s very unnerving isn’t it, watching the onset of the worsening. Where will our tent cities set up? And how much will local councils try and move them on? It’s a damn cold world. But it’s nice reading others who are feeling the pain and yearning for a more collective world. Here’s to the end of the deathcult

  5. It’s the same in Ontario, the housing prices have skyrocketed, it’s like a nightmare. There is no affordable housing, you must be a millionaire now. The sad part is that these are all cheaply built dwellings with so much to wish for, no privacy there, tiny lots, you practically live together with neighbors.
    Narcissism is at peak and has been for a while. Basically, any social media site fuels that.

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