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Beware Woke Apocalypse, Victimhood Endgame (NEW Interviews)

Uploaded 10/7/2023, approx. 3 hour 28 minute read

With help from Jordan Peterson and other scholars, I helped Ginger Coy compile a taxonomy of the psychopathology of walk movements.

This taxonomy is easily expandable and applicable to all victimhood movements.

Walk or not.

It is now available on public.substack.com.

There's a link in the description, but it's a paid blog.

It is Michael Schoenberger's and Peter Bogosian's blog.

Watch my interview with Ginger Coy in this compilation.

So Ginger Coy compiled a walk psychopathology taxonomy chart.

It's pretty fascinating.

On the left hand side, there's race, climate change, and trans issues.

And then there are columns.

The columns represent a summary of cluster B personality disorders, diagnostic criteria, and clinical behavioral features such as attention seeking, demanding excess recognition, entitlement, and exaggerated sense that you're owed a great deal, emotional dysregulation, dramatic and erratic, excess of empathy for those designated victims, victimhood ideology, celebrating the status of being oppressed, impaired reality testing, disinterested in hostility to evidence, lack of empathy for those designated oppressors and abusers, and finally splitting, seeing things in black and white.

So this is a fascinating chart.

In my view, an erratum there, grandiose it is listed where it should have been an entitlement, but otherwise I think it captures the spirit of walk movements and victimhood movements to affection because these movements have been pathologized. They have been infiltrated and hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths.

In the description, you will find literature, scholarly literature regarding what I've just said.

It is not hyperbole and it is not just jaded speech. It is reality.

And now I'm presenting to you a population of new material never seen before on this channel and all videos that I've made about victimhood and walk movements, their psychology and psychopathology.

Have fun and don't be a victim, not even of mine.

All right.

I'm recording. We're both recording.

Wonderful. You're recording session.

Well thank you so much. I'm so excited to talk to you.

I've been thinking about it all night.

Thank you.

Thank you for having me. Kind of you. And thanks for the plugs in the last few weeks.

Yes I'm your greatest promoter now. Would you just, can you just make sure your screen's a little bit lower?

I want your head a little square.

It's perfect. It's okay now?

Yeah.

Yeah, it's perfect.

Well I want to, I have so many questions for you and hopefully we'll be able to get to them all.

But I just think we need to start with some definition of terms.

I think there's, for me, there's a lot of confusion.

And so I have a bunch of specific questions but I think it's easier for me to just ask them all in one question so you can disentangle and unpack what we mean by narcissism.

How is it different from being selfish? How is it different from having a big ego or being egocentric?

How are all those things different from psychopathy or sociopathy?

What else do I want to disentangle?

Is there a difference between narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder?

Can somebody behave in narcissistic ways but not be a narcissist? Can I be a narcissist in some interaction but then not really be a narcissist or vice versa?

And then I think as long as we're there, and take as long as you need to answer this question because I'm asking so many questions, take as long as you need to unpack it, it sort of gets to this.

I think it sort of argued that, and by the way, I haven't read the book yet. I did order it though so I will read the book and maybe we can talk again after.

Thank you for the business. But I think you say you argue that narcissistic personality disorder is a response to stress, similarly to post-traumatic stress disorder rather than a psychiatric disorder or then a personality disorder.

So I think if you could just unpack all of that for me and for others, that would be enormously helpful.

Well you have a six month syllabus right there. I'll do my best.


First of all, narcissism starts off in early childhood and then it is healthy. It's an integral part of the evolution of the self and it underlies the regulation of self-esteem and self-confidence later in life, the setting of boundaries, separating from your parents, becoming an individual.

They all rely critically on healthy narcissism, also known as primary narcissism.

But narcissism, like everything else in life or in psychology at least, evolves, should evolve, should transmute and transform, should shape shift. And if it doesn't, if it remains infantile well into adulthood, then it becomes secondary narcissism, aka, pathological narcissism.

Now pathological narcissism is a clinical entity. Put differently, it's a diagnosis. It's a set of traits, behaviors, beliefs, cognitions or rather cognitive distortions, emotions or rather suppressed emotions.

And when you put all of these together, you get a syndrome in effect and that's pathological narcissism.

And so it's a hyper complex, hyper complex phenomenon.

It is on the one hand a clinical entity, but it had emerged very similar to allegedly the COVID-19 virus. It had escaped the laboratory and now narcissism is an organizing principle and a hermeneutic principle, an explanatory principle.

We use narcissism to make sense of the world. We look at show business, we dissect politics and business world and academe and we say, oh, well, he's a narcissist, she's a narcissist.

Narcissism helps us to imbue the senseless and the random with patterns and meaning.

And this is an organizing principle.

Narcissism therefore is no longer merely a psychopathological clinical phenomenon, but it is part and parcel of the social fabric.

It also underlies many technologies, for example, of course, social media.

So it's not possible to discuss narcissism only in the settings of therapy or clinic or it's all over, it's everywhere, it's ubiquitous, it's all pervasive.

It had become, it had come to define many social interactions, numerous social institutions, social movements, activism, etc. It's all over the place.

I would say that narcissism is the color of postmodern life on the one hand and a new religion, a new private distributed network religion where everyone is a god and everyone is one's worshiper.

So this is in a nutshell.


Now, pathological narcissism includes behaviors which many people find obnoxious or repellent and behaviors which are abrasive and behaviors which are antisocial or reckless and behaviors that are dangerous and risky, the whole panoply.

Narcissistic personality disorder, and especially a variant of narcissistic personality disorder known as malignant narcissism, is when these behaviors and traits and predilections and proclivities and emotions and cognitions are taken to extreme.

So yes, the answer to a part of your question, you could have a narcissistic style.

It was first described by Lynn Sperry and later by Theodore Millon. You could have a narcissistic style, but you would still not be a narcissist.

It's a question of gradations, it's a kind of spectrum or dimensional approach to narcissism.

Many people are a-holes, excuse the expression, and yet they do not qualify for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. Someone with NPD is someone who has only called empathy.

In other words, he's able to scan and absorb data regarding other people, but he has no emotional reactions or resonance to these data.

It is someone who has severe cognitive distortions, for example, grandiosity. It's someone who is divorced from reality, here's what we call impaired reality testing. It is someone who is exploitative, envious, externalizing, in the sense that he uses aggression to try to manipulate the environment. Someone whose agency depends on utilizing or abusing other people.

And so pathological narcissism taken to extreme NPD and then malignant narcissism is very difficult to distinguish from psychopathy.

Sociopathy is not a clinical term, it's a media term. It's very difficult to distinguish from psychopathy.

And even psychopathy is not a clinical term, actually. It's not been accepted, it's been rejected by many DSM committees, by many committees of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. It's a brainchild, essentially, of Harvey Kletley and Robert Hare. And Robert Hare is the guru of psychopathy.

But I think psychopathy is a valid clinical entity. I think there is such a thing.

Now, psychopathy to antisocial personality disorder is what malignant narcissist is to narcissistic personality disorder. And that's when the two diagnoses intermesh. It's like a Venn diagram. There's an area in common, and that area in common is the psychopathic narcissist.

Psychopathic narcissists tend to rise to the top. They tend to become chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies.

We found that 5% of them are actually malignant narcissists, psychopathic narcissists, and pure, purebred psychopaths. That's five times the average in the population.

And these are the ones we were able to interview, actually, Hare and Babiak were able to interview. Many of them declined to be interviewed.

I suspect the number is much higher.

We find a propensity, we find a prevalence of these disorders in certain professions. These people gravitate to certain professions.

For example, surgeons, medical surgeons, many of them are psychopaths.

We find narcissists in show business, of course, in the media. And lately, in the last two years, there has been a slew, an avalanche, actually, of academic studies demonstrating pretty conclusively to my mind that social movements, activism movements, and what I call victimhood, or what you call as well, victimhood movements have been hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths who have become the public face of these movements. This is academic. This is not a conspiracy theory. And it doesn't mean that I adhere to your politics or it's simply we agree on something because it happens to be a fact. It happens to be a fact.

So there has been an infestation and infiltration of various social institutions, dynamic institutions, such as social activism movements and static institutions, such as the church or politics. There has been an infestation and infestation of narcissists and psychopaths. They've taken over. They've taken over because the incentive structure of modern civilization is pro-narcissistic and pro-psychopathic.

Put differently, if you're a narcissist or a psychopath or a victim whose grandiosity is his victimhood or her victimhood, it pays. It simply pays. You are rewarded. There's a reward system in place, of course, constructed by previous narcissists and psychopaths. It's a self-perpetuating, self-reinforcing cycle.

That's in a nutshell.

I hope I've answered more of those questions.

Yeah.

It's so interesting and I have so many reactions.

And part of me, you yourself, as you must know, inspire a strong reaction from people.

So one of the questions I had was, should I start the interview by asking for your qualifications? And I decided not to because we could do that later if we want to.

But I think what's so interesting to me is that when I hear you speak and you may have noticed that I've been experimenting by splicing your descriptions of narcissism in with video clips of these climate activists. And when I did it, I was like, I couldn't, it just fit so well. It was such a perfect description.

So for me, it was like, I don't care what Professor Sam Vaknin's qualifications are. I don't care if you are, like, it doesn't matter because just listening to you, it's obvious to anybody that has half a brain that you're describing something extremely real, extremely precisely, more precisely than anybody else I've seen describe it.

And that let's just like, just forget about kind of the source of it.

You're describing something so true and you can see how excited I am about it.

I have so many questions and I'm really I mean, I'm so excited about that.

It's actually changed the book that I'm working on, which had been focused on the question of nihilism and is now becoming much more interested in the question of narcissism.

So all right.


Well, let's I would just make a general comment.

Part of the part of the council culture, the walk culture and part of the self censorship in academe, which borders on Chinese or Soviet, no less seriously no less because people lose jobs if they dare talk.

Yes. Everyone knows it in academe. It's a taboo topic, but everyone knows it.

And everyone's self-censored seriously.

So there are topics, for example, which are in my view topics of legitimate inquiry that would never be discussed. Definitely would never submit a funding request with such a topic.

You lose your job.

So simply, yes.

Or you will be subjected to harassment and worse, even violence on campus.

So part of this trend, which I regard as an authoritarian trend, no less authoritarian than Donald Trump supporters.

So we are besieged by authoritarianism on the left and authoritarianism on the right.

Part of this trend is doubting people's credentials.

And this is done perniciously. Mainly online.

I would be happy, happy to provide you with a PDF file after the talk. You could review my credentials. They are all listed there.

I'm editor in chief of six academic journals. I am a member of the editorial board of 93 other academic journals. I'm in the organizing committee of well over 130 international conferences in all in mental health and psychology. I am the father of the field of narcissistic abuse. I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse in most of the language in use today, etc.

I mean, I can go on and on and on.

No, I'm more interested. I'm more.

I'm saying is not that I'm mentioning all this because this is a serious threat to free speech and democracy.

Yes, selling people and one of the main methods of consolation is spreading rumors.

Yes.

And counterfactual and fake news in effect fake information.

Well, I'm and when I say that I genuinely, in other words, if you genuinely were super self taught and had none of those qualifications, everything you still have landed with the power that it lands.

I fully agree with you, by the way.

And I will tell you, I'll give you a fact.

One out of the 10 most important psychologists in history never studied psychology and did not have a degree in psychology. It would include the likes of Zygmunt Freud, Donald Winnicott, Melanie Klein. They never studied psychology.

Well, they Winnicott studied psychology later. It was a pediatrician. Melanie Klein never studied psychology. Zygmunt Freud never studied psychology.

And seven out of 10, the developer of dialectical behavioral therapy, which is the main treatment modality for borderline personality disorder, was actually a borderline patient. She was mentally ill in an asylum.

This is nonsense. You don't need an academic degree and you don't need the imprimatur of academe to contribute to any field, by the way, not only psychology.

Well, and I have to say, so I, as you might imagine, have also been regularly attacked for my lack of credentials.

And then what made me feel better is when I started to see that it was happening to people that were much more qualified in formal, traditional standards than I was.


But so let's unpack that a bit.

Is it itself a symptom of a narcissistic culture that people are challenged?

Is it a symptom of someone's own narcissism that they're challenging the credentials of people they disagree with?

It's legitimate to challenge credentials if it's factual. It's of course not legitimate if it's based on lies and obfuscations or lack of research.

And yes, in this case, it would be what we call devaluation.

It's a classic narcissistic strategy of reducing the opponent and thereby aggrandizing yourself or doubting the opponent's morality, thereby elevating yourself to the high moral ground.

Now there is a major misconception about the concept of grandiosity.

Narcissists don't want to be the best. They don't want to be the most.

It's not true that the narcissist wants to be the richest man on earth, the most powerful person or whatever.

Narcissists just want to be unique. They want to be special.

So a narcissist's grandiosity has a locus. A narcissist's grandiosity resides in a claim. And the claim could be, "I'm the greatest victim ever." The claim could be, "I'm the biggest loser. No one is a bigger loser than I am." The claim could be, "My failure is so spectacular that it's the biggest failure in the history of the United States." And bankruptcy was the greatest.

How do you understand this?

This is narcissism. This is grandiosity.

So similarly, when you devalue your opponent by doubting his credentials, counterfactually, against the facts, what you're doing actually is you elevate yourself to the high moral ground and reduce him essentially as a person, as a human being.

That's definitely a narcissistic strategy, but it could be also the opposite.

Narcissists could be very proud of being a con man's con man, an activist, activist, a loser's loser.

Just the uniqueness matters. The locus is utterly irrelevant.

And that's why narcissists shape shift all the time. They start off as communists and then they become Joseph Gables. They start off as communists and they become Mussolini. It doesn't matter what you do. You have no beliefs, you have no affiliations, no allegiance, no loyalty to anything.

The only thing is to maintain your delusional self-perception as unique. It is uniqueness that matters, not supremacy.

That's a major misconception of narcissism.

Is that the same difference then between narcissists and psychopaths?

The main differences between narcissists and psychopaths are the following.

Narcissists depend on other people in order to regulate internal processes. For example, their sense of self-worth critically relies on what is called narcissistic supply.

So they need the attention of other people, the approbation, the affirmation of other people or they need to be feared and hated by other people. As long as they are attended to, as long as there is attention involved, they can regulate their moods, their emotions, negative emotions and their sense of self-worth. So they are actually dependent, they are codependent in many ways.

Psychopaths are not. They couldn't care less about other people. They regard other people as objects, stepping stones. They have a goal, they are goal-oriented.

Narcissists have no goals. Their only goal is supply. Narcissist is an actor today, a politician tomorrow and a martyr the third day. Whatever it takes to obtain supply, the narcissist is there. Whatever claim needs to be made, however contradictory is made. I mean, it's just about supply. It's an addiction.

The narcissist is an addict, he is addicted to supply, to attention. The psychopath is called calculated, scheming, Machiavellian and goal-oriented.


Now mind you, many psychopaths are primitive, so they also tend to be ruthless and reckless. They don't regard well or they don't analyze well the consequences of their own actions. They have a very limited horizon and therefore they become criminals.

But the truth is that the vast majority of psychopaths are not criminals. That is a beef, that is a problem that the profession has with Robert Hare's work.

Robert Hare's work, he is the father of psychopathy, yes?

Robert Hare's work is based exclusively on his experience as a prison psychologist. So he had a very non-representative sample.

The majority of psychopaths are not criminals. They are very, very flexible and transient when it comes to social functioning. They become pillars of the community. They rise to the top. They manage, they're activists, they are in the limelight. They rule.

So psychopaths rule.

Narcissists also rule, but psychopaths rule over them. The hierarchy is psychopaths, narcissists, the rest of us.

Wow.


So when someone is both a narcissist and a psychopath, how do the differences get resolved?

We distinguish between primary and secondary disorders in comorbidities.

Comorbidity means that you're diagnosed with two mental health issues simultaneously.

Comorbidities are very common and they're a strong indication that our classification of mental illnesses must be wrong somehow.

But leave that aside.

In the case of comorbidity of psychopaths and narcissists, the dominant disorder is narcissism.

The psychopathy, the psychopathic side is at the service of the narcissistic side.

So the narcissist needs to obtain supply. He will use psychopathic methods to attain the goal.

The goal would become supply and he would act psychopathically, antisocially to obtain the goal.

So for example, he would not hesitate to break the law or he would not hesitate to abuse and exploit people egregiously. He would not hesitate to steal from people, to deceive people and so forth.

But with the aim of obtaining supply.

While a typical psychopath would do it for sex or money or power, a narcissist would do a narcissistic psychopath would do it for the sake of obtaining attention.

Now altruistic charitable behaviors can easily become narcissized, can easily be put at the service of buttressing grandiosity.

So it's like ostentatious altruism. Watch me charity, the kind of social activism that is intended to promote attention rather than to accomplish goals.

These are all prime indicators of the infiltration of narcissism into all these operations.


So we tend to conflate morality with these mental health issues.

We say for example, the narcissist cannot be moral. That is absolutely not true.

If the locus of grandiosity of the narcissist is in his religiosity or morality, then this kind of narcissist would be strictly moral, harshly religious and that would be his grandiosity.

Similarly, a psychopath definitely can be moral if morality would help in securing the goal. So he could be for example, extremely moral in order to have sex or he could be very moral because he makes money. He's a fundamentalist evangelist and he makes a lot of money. He's very moral, but he pays.

So yes, morality is not the hallmark of mentally healthy people.

Morality is a cognitive dimension and like everything else, it can be put to ill use.

One of the, I'm so there's so much there to unpack, but one of the things I was struck by in making this video of the climate activists was how many of them said, I don't want to be here. I'm here because my, it's my duty to be here, but in fact, but it's actually I'm suffering to be here right now.

In fact, I'm angry that climate change is making me be here right now and they cry and they can, they, and their faces turn into child faces.

You know, I actually found their photo that they get, they, they, they, they, they, I don't know if you call that regression, if that's still a word that you use, but they look like children when they say it.

It's unfair that I have to be here doing these things.

What is that?

Depends.

First of all, I wouldn't blanket down to everyone.

I think each case needs to be studied, needs to be studied separately and we need a preponderance of evidence to reach a conclusion regarding mental health or mental illness.

So I wouldn't, I would be very reluctant to blanket case the whole group.

However, if there is a repeated, if there's repeated behavior of ostentatious virtue signaling, what you describe is called virtue signaling, as you well know, because I think you mentioned it in some of your writings.

So if there is ostentatious virtue signaling and exclusively in public settings, almost never in private, then you could safely assume that it's a manifestation of, of grandiosity or at least in the service, in the service of grandiosity intended to garner narcissistic supply attention.

So what matters are the ostentatiousness, the public setting, because if this is done privately, it may, maybe authentic, the public setting and the virtue signaling.

In other words, when it's done among peers and like-minded people, the echo chamber thing.

So this is common, not only on the left and not only among climate change activists.

It's typical, it's on the alt right.

I mean, all social movements, all social movements attract this kind of people who, you know, who conspicuously, are conspicuously moral and self-sacrificial.

This is a messiah complex.

A good messiah gets crucified.

I mean, if you don't get crucified, you don't qualify.

So there is this martyrdom or self-sacrificial stance.

And it's very typical, not only in public settings, but also in private settings.

For example, many mothers or even parents, black male children, by telling them, "I've sacrificed so much for you. You know, I didn't want to be here, but here I am for you, etc., etc. You owe me."

In other words, the phenomenon you've just described is part of a larger phenomenon known as entitlement.

Entitlement requires, on the one hand, virtue signaling, because if you're not virtuous, you should not be entitled. You're not entitled.

So entitlement requires virtue signaling, on the one hand, and the assumption that there are rights and commensurate obligations.

Like if you're entitled, you have rights. And these rights create in others obligations.

So this is part and parcel of ethics.

I'm a philosopher, I'm owned by other scenes. It's part and parcel of ethics.

And in ethics, we know that there is a rights and obligations calculus.

And this ostentatious virtue signaling is a way of telling wider society, "You owe me. You owe me because I'm sacrificing. I have a right to your time, resources, attention. I don't know what else. I have a right.

And because I have this right, you have an obligation, because every right creates an obligation.

And so I have this right, because I am virtuous and you're not. This is implicit devaluation.

Every form of virtue signaling involves devaluation.

Because if I'm virtuous, it means you're not.

Because if we were both equally virtuous, why would I need to signal it to you?

Like for example, we both breathe. We breathe oxygen. I'm not signaling to you that I'm breathing oxygen. We would be idiotic.

But if I think I'm more virtuous than you, I would signal to you that I'm virtuous.

So there is an implicit devaluing message in virtue signaling.

We are the climate change activists. We are virtuous, because we are trying to save the planet and we're trying to save you despite yourself. And because we are sacrificing our time and God knows what else, this creates a right.

And this right imposes on you an obligation.

And this is the sequence of virtue signaling.

And of course, it is grandiose.


Professor, one change-- Sam, please call me Sam. Sam, one change very quickly in the climate change movement, which I've been a part of for 25 years, more than 25 years.

One huge change that's occurred very quickly is 10 years ago, and maybe even less than that, nobody said, I'm here because my future is at risk. I'm worried about future generations.

So there's temporal, and then there was spatial. I'm worried about Africans.

Now they still do the other things, but then they go, I'm here because I won't have a future, me, upper middle class British citizen, who is going to be absolutely fine.

What is that about?

Is that an evidence of rising narcissism? Is it a particular form of it?

I just said that virtue signaling creates a calculus of rights and obligations, but it's much less effective to claim rights on behalf of third parties.

Even when you go to court, the court tells you you have no standing. You can sue on behalf of someone else. That guy should come and sue. That girl should come and sue. You can sue on their behalf. You don't have standing.

So if you personalize it and you say it's affecting me, it's affecting my future, it's affecting my life, the strength of your argument is much more profound because it's about me.

And of course this is narcissistic, but it's narcissistic in the sense that everything has been atomized. The social fabric has been torn asunder, not only with regards to climate activism, politics, politics is polarized. I mean, we are falling apart in the sense that we are drifting apart. We are atomized.

This process is called atomization.

And so this reflects atomization.

The minute you atomize, it means that there is no solidarity and there are no common denominators.

When you look at, for example, at the institution of family or the institution of marriage or the institution of intergender relations, or even the institution of gender roles, you see that everything had become fluid and negotiable.

And because everything now is fluid and negotiable, even sex, fluid sex, fluid gender, everything is negotiable and fluid.

It means that everyone, each one to his own, we are all atomized.

And today we don't have what used to be called social scripts. We don't even have what used to be called sexual scripts.

So if you date someone today, you have to negotiate from scratch. There is no script that dictates to you how to behave, but you have to negotiate every aspect of the date. Where you're going to go, what you're going to drink, how much you're going to drink, what are you going to do afterwards? Are you going to have sex or not? What kind of sex you're going to have, etc.

It looks a lot like a corporate merger and acquisition or takeover, sometimes hostile takeover.

So of course we have all devolved and it's a devolution. It's not an evolution. We've all devolved into self-interested narratives and self-directed ethical calculus.

While in the past, ethics, even schools of ethics, such as utilitarianism, which were very, very, in a way immoral, schools of ethics were always about the other.

But as we became less and less tolerant of the other, and as the other had receded from our field of view to the point of vanishing, as we have created a world of solipsism where it's us, Netflix and the cat, more or less, if we're lucky.

Well, in such a world, of course, then there would be what we call pronoun density.

Pronoun density is a measure of narcissism in speech, in speech acts.

How many times do you use the words, I, my, myself and mine?

So the pronoun density, first pronoun density had exploded in the last 20, 30 years.

And that's only one example.

Everything is embedded in these huge, long social trends.

In 1968, there was a French philosopher and sociologist, Guillebron, and Guillebron wrote a book called The Society of the Spectacle.

And then later there was another guy, Louis Althusser, who was a neo-Marxist, post-Marxist philosopher.

And Louis Althusser said that society, that we are interpolated, we are kind of brainwashed and made to act via advertising and corporate messaging and so on and so forth.

And when you put the two together, you see that the world of business had imposed on us a spectacle and rendering all of us Shakespearean actors.

We don't live anymore. There's no life anymore. There's only an act. A role play. We all play roles.

And because we all play roles, we are interpolated.

In other words, we are treated as objects.

For example, our eyeballs are monetized. That's a creepy metaphor.

Monetizing eyeballs. You know, it's a horror, a Bela Lugosi horror movie.

So the interpolation of the corporate world, it started in the '50s and the '60s with consumerism and so on and late stage capitalism, which is pretty malignant, rendered all of us objects.

And from the moment we became, from the moment we were made into objects, we became, first of all, passive recipients.

And the second thing is we were unable to discern or to interact with others. It made it extremely difficult for us to interact with others.

In other words, we prefer to interact with the overall script, with the narrative, than with each other, which would explain the rise in activism movements and social movements and so on.

Because activists, socially active, social movements and so on, they're not about people. They're about narratives. They are close cousins of ideologies, in the worst sense of the word.

And we live in a death cult. It's a death cult because we value objects over people. We value objects.

Even the planet is an object. I mean, we treat the planet and nature as if it were an object subject to manipulation, subject to fixing, subject to alteration, subject to modification, totally passive out there waiting for us to act. It's an objectification of this hyper complex system in which we are seamlessly integrated.

It's the Cartesian view of us versus the world, observer versus reality. And it's very sick.

Forget narcissism for a minute. It's even much worse than narcissism because it's a total loss of touch with reality, total loss.

When you start to treat other people as objects, when you fit into a narrative, when you regard when you objectify everything, including your own planet and so on, this is an excellent description of the matrix.

That's the matrix. The matrix is a narrative reified in machinery.

That's a matrix.

Thematrix is a narrative. It's a story. Reified in machinery, built into machinery, embedded in machinery.

And everyone in the matrix is isolated, solipsistic, but experiencing a delusion of connectivity, a delusion of life.

The matrix is a death count, of course. Everyone there is dead. They just don't like it.

We are not very far from this.


Social activism in all its form in the 60s was benevolent because it was about the other.

There were big arguments about narrative, even in the civil rights movement. There were numerous strands and threads. There was a lot of argument.

So it was a very fertile intellectual ground and so on.

This is not the shape of social activism today.

Social activism today is ideological, authoritarian, narcissistic, sick to the core, not concerned with people, but concerned with objects. That's a death count.

Sam, and by the way, do you have a hard stop at the top of the hour or can we keep going a little bit longer? We can keep that very low.

No problem. Excellent.

My audience is used to being inflicted with one of our things.

I have more time too.

I want to, sometimes in these conversations we wait until the end to get to a positive story or a positive vision or a vision of health, but I want to do it a little bit earlier because I think it provides a nice contrast.

You start to go there with the 60s.

I loved what you said about redirecting pathological narcissism into a healthy narcissism in a story of overcoming victimhood, overcoming oppression.

So I want to spend some time there.

Let's get specific.

In Britain, you may know, I believe climate change is real. I don't think it's a catastrophe, but I do think it's something we should do something about. I think it's important for people to have clean, cheap, reliable energy.

I have friends in Britain, and Britain is experiencing the worst of an energy crisis, part of it created by, not entirely, but part of it created by people that are opposed to cheap and reliable clean energy, even nuclear and natural gas.

What is a positive, if you say we want cheap, abundant natural gas and nuclear for Britain, for the people to lift out of poverty, for climate change, for all these positive reasons, how can you go about positive, healthy altruism, including a social movement, without succumbing to pathological narcissism or psychopathy?

How would you describe, can you paint a little bit of a vision for what that positive public engagement would look like?

Part of the reason I ask is I think that, I think there's sometimes people will hear this critique that you're making, which is super persuasive, and I agree with 100%. I think a lot of people hear it and they lapse into a kind of libertarianism.

That's why you shouldn't engage in altruism, that's why governments shouldn't try to help people, you end up with a kind of anand, nobody should help anybody, because that's always pathological.

I don't hear you saying that, but I think it'd be great if you could articulate more with the same level of depth and robustness and complexity that you do on the unhealthy pathological side, the healthy side of public and social engagement.

I'm as ancient as the dinosaurs, so 20 years of my life I spend as economic advisor to governments, working hand in hand with institutions such as the IMF or bank, UFC and others.

My latest assignment was economic advisor to the government of North Macedonia, where I'm residing right now, but prior to that I worked with the Czech Republic, even Nigeria and so, so I know economics, at least development economics quite well, and there is no narrative more counterfactual than libertarianism.

The market is a method of allocating resources. Left to its own devices, it produces failures. It's actually very far from efficient, because people are irrational.

The conception of the market is a perfect allocating mechanism. It's founded on the assumption that people are rational agents. They're not.

Today we have behavioral economics, where we demonstrate quite clearly, people who own noble prices, like Kahneman and others, where we've, and where economists demonstrate quite exclusively that people make choices based on emotions, a limited time horizon, wrong assumptions, fake news and you name it.

Markets can never be sufficient. We need the intervention of a state in this case.

Is the nation state the best counterbalance to market failures? I'm not quite sure.

I think there are other possible models, but in the absence of such implemented models, we need the nation state to intervene, of course, and that includes social welfare and so on.

Soft-hearted, touchy-feely, tree-hugging person invented social welfare. His name was Bismarck.

So I think we can take it for granted that it is needed.

That's as far as libertarianism and similar approaches of laissez-faire, laissez-passé, and I know this analysis has been debunked in the 18th century. It had a revival with Thatcherism and Reaganite economics, but Reaganomics and look where it led. So that's just to debunk one of the alternatives or ostensible alternatives.

Here is my dilemma.

The ideal model of social activism is probably the 60s, probably. Social activism started to emerge in the late 18th century with the works of the likes of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and to some extent Voltaire in France, others in Britain and Germany, and so on and so forth. Even Goethe contributed to the emergence of social activism.

But it first deteriorated into dictatorships, authoritarian regimes, and blood baths. I don't need to remind you of the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution for this matter.

So this form of activism was wrong because it was based exactly on total equality or actually egalitarianism. There's a huge difference between equality, egalitarianism, and equity, and people tend to confuse the three.

egalitarianism is the assumption that everyone is equal in endowments, not only in opportunities. That's a massive mistake, of course.

It comes counterfactually, at least to horrors.

The 1960s, maybe because I was born in the 1960s, so maybe I have a bias there, but I think it was the optimal mix of true altruism, really wanting to work for the benefit of the greater good for a collective, but not losing your individualism. Free exchange of ideas and so on, there were many debates in feminism at the time. There was second and first wave of feminism.

Second wave of feminism was in the 1960s. Civil rights movement was in the 1960s. The ecological movement, as it was called at the time, later environmentalism started in the 1960s. 1960s gave a sexual revolution, which in my view is a social activism movement, started in the 1960s.

So many good things came out of the 1960s because people were concerned about each other, not about themselves. And because they did not objectify anything, it was still a human movement.

I think we need to go back there, but the obstacle that I see and why I'm probably a lot less optimistic than you.

The obstacle that I see is the fact that there is a general obsession with being seen, a general obsession with attention. Attention had become commoditized. It's a commodity. It also underlines the bottom lines of all the major corporations in the world, the place in technology.

So attention today is the way that you define or regulate your self-esteem, your relative positioning compared to other people, your progress in life, your ambitions, your career milestones, your integration into social structures.

People interact much more via social media, for example, than face to face and so on and so forth.

In other words, narcissism is baked into technological tools and emergent social institutions so inextricably that I fail to see how we can reverse this.

So I think we need to succumb.

We need to succumb to climate change, in my view.

We need to stop this frankly idiotic attempt to reverse climate change.

It's not going to work.

No one is committed to it.

I mean, forget the cops.

The cops are copouts.

Cop 27 is copout 27.

Nothing is happening there. Nothing will ever happen.

So we need to succumb to climate change and begin to design our lives, anything from architecture, coastal architecture to heating.

I don't know. We need to design everything to take into account the inevitability of climate change.

Similarly, narcissism is ineluctable. We need to design everything, social activism included, climate change activism included, to take into account narcissism.

Narcissism revolves around one cognitive distortion, a misperception of reality known as grandiosity.

We need to rechannel grandiosity. We need to social engineer grandiosity.

If you come to people and say you should work anonymously and humbly to further the interests of other people, to do good, to be altruistic and charitable, they will tell you to f off.

Not use the short version. You need to come to people and say, if you do ABC, you're going to be great. I'm going to make you great again.

And here's some alluding to Trump.

So but you need to define the goals and the agendas in a way that is socially beneficial, viable, sustainable, to all, to everyone involved.

And of course, to the template that we subsist on, which happens to be the planet.

So I gave an example in my interview with Atlantico.

If you come to someone and say, you know, you're a victim, you've been victimized like no one before, your abuser has been the worst abuser since Adolf Hitler, this would become his locus, her locus of grandiosity. She would go around bragging about being the greatest victim ever.

But if you were to come to her and say, listen, if you are truly strong and truly great and truly amazingly intelligent and drop dead gorgeous and everything, then you would overcome your victim. That would be proof of your superiority and uniqueness. Then that's what she's going to do.

Overcome her victim.

We need to motivate people to be great, unique, special and noticed via socially beneficial agendas and platforms. We need to reach out like in spiritualism. We need to reach out this ghost of Nazism.

Now, it can be done, of course, can be done.

There are political movements which subsist of Nazism, literally built on us, founded on us.

You may disagree or agree with the political aims. But they still, they got to where they realized their goals and agendas via narcissism.

And I think Brexit is an excellent example.

And so it is possible to harness narcissism as a form of natural energy.

The narcissist is obsessed with narcissistic supply and concentrates all his energy on obtaining supply. It's a huge source of power, equal, I bet, to nuclear power.

And we need to somehow leverage it. We need to be wise about it, not to castigate it and chastise it. It's too late for this.

Hey, it's too late.

Nazism is here.

Climate change is here. Wake up.

There is a confluence, a pernicious confluence of denial and displacement. These are the modern coping strategies, the coping mechanisms.

We first deny and then we displace.

So take, for example, climate change. We deny that it is irreversible. And then we displace and we say, okay, if we invest in renewable energy, we're going to solve the problem.

So this is called displacement because you direct your energies into something which is manageable in order to avoid something that is not manageable.

You have a fight with your boss. You can't tell him that he's an a-hole. So you come back home and you beat up your wife.

That's displacement. You can't deal with climate change. It's too strong. It's too systemic. It's here to stay. And it's ever growing. You can't cope with it. You build energies.

So you build a wind farm.

Because now there's a guy, his name was Parkinson, and there's Parkinson's law. Parkinson said the committee is faced with two decisions.

One is to construct a nuclear plant and the other is to construct a bicycle shed. They will dedicate 10 minutes to the nuclear plant and 10 hours to the bicycle shed because they know a hell of a lot about bicycle sheds and nothing about nuclear plants.

Same with climate change. Same exactly the same.

We focus on things that we can manage, the bicycle sheds, because we can't cope with climate change. This is called displacement, but it also involves denial.

Same with all other forms of social activism that I'm aware of.

The relationships between men and women are millennia old.

What am I talking about?

Millions of years old.

By denying that biological realities and psycho-biological realities, we're not going to make anything go away. We're only going to get things worse.

So what are we focusing on?

Consent.

How to define consent. That's something we can cope with, something we can discuss. We have talking heads. They make themselves look important and intelligent by discussing it. Or for the better.

And so everyone is focusing on this kind of issues.

Consent, first date, second date, this, that. That's not the issue, of course. The issue is the abrogation and breakdown of inter-gender relationship, the gender wars, the emergence of a single gender, unigenter, where men are women and men are men and women are men.

Now I'm not saying it's good. I'm not saying it's bad. But it should not be denied and ignored and refrained and displaced, which is exactly what we're doing.

Definitely feminism is doing.

So this is the way we cope with modernity, post-modernity.

We deny and displace. We create a spectacle, a stage show. And then we pretend that this theater plays reality.

Do you think that will lead us anywhere?

I think we can, if we harness and channel the narcissism of social activists, we can accomplish.

We can accomplish many of the goals we want to accomplish.

Oh, Sam, this is so fascinating. I want to come back to this part where you just went.

But I want to take for a minute and go back to the sticks.

There's this really interesting-- You were what?

I'm sorry, you were disrupted. The connection is bad.

Oh, I said I want to go back to the '60s for a minute.

Sure. 1964, the United States passes the Civil Rights Act. And it's really-- it's much more comprehensive than really people had imagined. It included women. It created girls' sports. It's this incredible achievement. I think it made people very proud.

In one year, however, the president of the United States, at the urging of the civil rights leaders, says we're not done. How could we be done? We've had race oppression for 400 years. We owe a debt to African-Americans. And so we created this thing we call affirmative action. And everybody said, OK, the elites, they said that sounds great. And we did that.

That then very quickly-- here we are in 1965-- that very quickly you go from that to the late '60s and you get what we call today identity movements.

You get victim-based movements. You get the weathermen, which is-- I'll leave it to you to figure out how to describe it.

That's the movement that was used. Domestic terrorism. You know it.

Yeah.

And when I did some research on it for my last book, I was surprised to learn that they were all doing cocaine.

They were-- there was an alliance between the white rich kids and black and African-American activists who were involved in the cocaine trade.

They robbed the bank in part to buy cocaine to sell-- Not only blacks.

You had the Simba coalition, if you were with them.

With Patricia Perez and so on.

Yeah, yeah.

So you had-- narcissistic-- I mean, it's really-- when you look at it, you go, wow, it's like a festival of narcissism.

In your previous talk with Atlantico, I think you said something that really resonated with me.

It was like you need-- at that moment, there needed to be somebody to really push back on the victim-- and to really affirm, no, no, we've leveled the playing field where we shall overcome is enough.

Stop-- stick with what we shall overcome.

None of this victimhood identity movements.

I'm assuming you still believe that because you just gave that interview recently.

And it seems, though-- how does that fit into-- it seems like there's both a-- it seems like I guess I'm trying-- if I have to simplify it, if I hear you correctly, you're saying that those of us that want to be engaged in healthy political engagement, we need to do two things.

On the negative side, you need to push back against the victim narcissistic psychopathology.

And on the positive side, you need to redirect it.

You need to-- You're being cut off because the connection is bad.

I'm sorry.

Oh, no, it's OK.

And I'm just saying there's a-- On the positive side.

I heard all the other-- on the positive side.

Yeah.

Yeah.

So it seems like if I'm understanding you correctly, can you-- I think it's really interesting.

Because it does-- I think there's sometimes people go-- I think people make mistakes.

On the one hand, people are just negative towards the victim movements.

And I think on the other side, people that are more conflict averse want to just be positive and redirect.

For-- I'll give you an example.

I'm friendly with a psychologist in the United States named Jonathan Haidt. You may know his work, Moral Psychology.

And there's a movement-- there's just a big 60 Minutes television program on this question of how do you change social media to make it so it's not so anger-driven, it's not so fear-driven, and it's not so negative emotions?

And I'm very sympathetic to that argument.

On the other hand, as I was listening to it, I also thought this could be a way to allow greater censorship of one's opponents.

But nonetheless, it seems like there's sort of-- on the one hand, I see Jonathan Haidt is trying to address this question too, which is how do you both challenge and stop the really bad victim movements but also redirect?

And I wonder if you could speak a little bit to that.

It seems like there's some complexity there.

It's a challenge.

Victimhood movements go awry when they are appropriated by the elites and become integrated into existing power structures, including profit-motivated power structures, in other words, the corporate environment.

When victimhood movements or rather social activism movements get compromised by aligning themselves or affiliating themselves with vested establishment interests, then things go awry.

That's point number one.

Point number two, when victimhood begins to be monetized, that leads to commodification of suffering. Suffering becomes a commodity.

And one thing we know about commodities-- I used to be a commodity trader when I was very young, in my 20s. One thing we know about commodities-- Of course you were. I did everything. I really never did.

So one thing we know about commodities, it's a paradigm of economic growth. You produce more and more and more. The minute you monetize suffering, you have a vested interest. You have an inbuilt incentive not to decrease suffering but to perpetuate it, if not to increase it, at least to perpetuate. That's your currency. That's your currency. That's what you're selling. That's your product.

Yes.

Think of it as a product.

The minute money enters the game, you're done. That's it. You're going to-- your food becomes a permanent fixture because that's your product line. You're going to produce victims and suffering. So you're going to-- for example, you're going to cast an ever-growing circle of people and institutions as victimizers, as abusers. You're going to redefine behaviors which hitherto have been totally socially acceptable and sublimated. You're going to redefine them as victimizing or abusing. You're going to recast human interactions in terms of victimizer, victim.

You have-- the minute you get integrated with the elites, the minute you begin to monetize suffering, the minute you become part of the bottom line, you are in a production line of suffering and victimhood. And that's irreversible. And you can ever, never extricate yourself.

Too many interests are involved, including political interests.

Johnson, Lyndon Johnson, in 1964, was not the same Lyndon Johnson of '65 and not the same Lyndon Johnson of 1968.

I urge you to read the famous biography of Lyndon Johnson. Three volumes. Wonderful. And not the same man.

In 1965, he has already been compromised.

Now I'm a Jew. I'm a Jew. And the Jewish elites in the '60s made a strategic decision to latch onto the bandwagon of the Black Civil Rights Movement. Suddenly, Jewish activists proliferated in all civil rights parades and voter registration and-- I mean, you name it. That was a strategic decision by Jews, because Jews are the quintessential eternal victims.

That is not an anti-Semitic statement. That's a fact.

Victimhood is the defining determinant of Jewish identity. I know because I grew up in Israel, and I've been a Jew all my life. It's a defining determinant of Jewish identity.

We define ourselves by our markethood, by our undeniable victimhood.

I'm not a Holocaust denier, and I'm not a climate change denier. Only idiots would deny either of those. The two are real.

Holocaust did happen. We have been victimized as Jews.

But Jews are the, as I said, the quintessence, the epitome of victimhood and the benefits that victimhood confers.

I'm sorry to say that sounds very anti-Semitic, but it's very true.

There's a Holocaust industry. There has been a Holocaust industry for decades now.

On the individual level, collective level, state level.

And so the institutionalization of victimhood movement, their integration into elite narratives, their penetration of academe, their monetization spells the doom and the end of their agenda, ironically.

It is when they triumph that they lose the battle.

Because when victimhood becomes mainstream, it becomes permanent.

That, I think, was the huge failure of these victimhood movements in the 1960s.

They allowed themselves to be compromised by the establishment, by the mainstream, by the elites, by money, ultimately, and by attention, media attention.

Martin Luther King wasn't averse to media attention, shall I put it gently. And he was a showman, a great showman. And so was he a narcissist between you and me and the books behind you?

Yes, of course he was. He is an example of how these movements are hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths.

So this process, is it inexorable? It is inexorable.

Victimhood movements garner attention. Attention attracts psychopaths and narcissists.

Is it the end of the story? No, it could be the beginning of the story.

We just need to reframe everything. We need to offer the narcissist what he wants, the narcissist's supply, by doing the right thing.

Do the right thing and it will get supplied.

The psychopath, what do you want?

You want power, sex, money, you get all of this.

Just do the right thing.

So society and institutions have the power to dictate the reward and incentive system, and thereby control individual and collective behavior.

We've been doing it for millennia. It's called the criminal law.

Had there not been a criminal code, we would all be criminals.

All, according to Daniel Realy and others, all of us would be criminals.

But we have a criminal code. The criminal code channels our energies in socially acceptable ways.

Sigmund Freud called it sublimation.

We need to sublimate narcissism and psychopathy.

Do we need to fight narcissism and psychopathy?

No, it's too late. It's a waste of time and energy.


Now, same thing.

The Jewish example is so interesting because, of course, you also have the state of Israel, which I'm an environmentalist, and so when I look around the world for desalination technologies, farming in the desert, it's just nobody does it better. Israeli technological ingenuity, Israelis are incredible at all sorts of venture capital.

You know, technological innovation.

And so the story is not, so Israel is not Haiti. You know, Haiti, or it's not some basket case, which is sort of like, well, we are all victims. Give us foreign aid.

No, I mean, Israel actually produces things. I mean, it's a story of overcoming. It's a story of success.

Israel has been constructed almost entirely on reparations from Germany following the Holocaust and three to five billion dollars annually from the United States for 40 years, almost.

OK, that's an infusion of two hundred billion dollars, which is the equivalent today of three hundred and fifty billion. That's that would prevent most locations from becoming Haiti.

There's also a debate regarding the environmental impacts of desalination projects in Israel because they dump the salt back into the ocean. They dump the salt back into the sea. They're raising the salinity level of the sea, actually.

But let's not go into details. There is no debate even among Jews that that Jews are very victim oriented, victim with oriented, that we define our identity via victimhood.

A typical textbook, history textbook in Israel in high school is simply a list of programs and Holocaust and genocide and blood labels and what have you. That's our Haggadah in Passover.

The famous book that we read every Passover is about how we were slaves and so on. So then it's not unique to the Jews.

The Germans are the same. The Serbs are the same. The Russians are the same. I've lived in all these countries.

But it's the same.

But the difference is that Jews win some significant larger percentage of Nobel prizes. Jews are outperforming.

So with the victim narrative, Jews outperform Gentiles pretty significantly.

So is that an art?

Intellectually, yeah, true.

Intellectually.

So you kind of go, OK, so Israel gets a lot of aid, but it provides a national security service.

Oh, I'm not I'm not disputing that at all.

And it was not the thrust of my argument.

What I was trying to say is that the fact that Jews collaborated with the civil rights movement starting in the mid 60s was a way of creating identity politics and integrating the civil rights movement into the mainstream because the Jews constituted the intellectual elite of the time. And still do to a large extent.

So it was like an intellectual imprimatur.

It's like it was like saying civil rights movement is intellectually rigorous.

In other words, it's moral.

It's right. It's ethical.

We have the people of the Bible.

I mean, I'm not joking. I mean, we have the chosen people in this sense. We have the we the keepers of the flame of the flame of ethics and what's right and what's wrong and so on and so forth. And so I give it as an example of collaboration. But of course, I can I can talk about, for example, the integration of of the civil rights movement with sports associations in the United States, how sports leverage the civil rights movement. There was a confluence of the civil rights movements with multiple institutions and

establishments. It went mainstream. It

started to monetize suffering. The minute you monetize suffering, suffering never ends because it becomes product.

That's what they said. It's a death count. It's a death count. It's objectifying people. They become they become merely production units for suffering. And you don't have an incentive to end all suffering. Imagine, for example, if medicine were to end all disease, what would happen to the doctors? People don't realize that there is a perverse incentive structure in many of the helping professions, in many of the altruistic movements and charitable movements. There is a perverse incentive structure. If you don't perpetuate suffering

and illness, you're dead. You're gone. You're rendered obsolete.

Why would you do that? You're human after all. Even with the lab coat. This is the dynamic I read about in my last book, which is the homelessness industrial complex perpetuating addiction, mental illness and homelessness. Yes.

And I'm awaiting your book. Yeah, no, I'm going to say it. But OK, Sam, let's come back to this issue of of a healthy culture. I've I'm one of the countries I'm obsessed with is the Netherlands. Talk about a country that does not have a victim narrative. In fact, there's a one of the most famous books ever written on the Netherlands is called Embarrassment of Riches about how when the Dutch grew rich, because of course the Dutch grew rich before anybody else, it was like embarrassing to them. They don't have a victim narrative. They have a narrative. Well, it's starting to come. It's starting to show up. But we've been giving we can we come up with so many examples of pathology.

When you come up with examples of healthy culture, healthy movements, healthy individuals, spend some more time there with me of what you come up with, because I think there's so much pathology we can point to what else comes to mind for you? Like who do you when you look around and you go, that's a model for healthy behavior, healthy engagement and collective or individual as an as a nation or as a culture. What comes to mind for you? I've traveled all over the world. I've lived in 13 countries or 14, actually, and I've worked in 51. So I've

been unusually vast exposure to societies

and cultures, anything from South Korea to Nigeria to Russia to I mean, you name it, I worked in all these places. So I really have a panoramic overview, a synoptic overview of humanity in effect, not because I'm so special, but because I traveled a lot and lived many places.

And so there are, first of all, Campbell, the sociologist, suggested that we are transitioning from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood.

It's not my say, I mean, Atlantico misattributed it to me, I think it was his saying was my saying.

And he's right. It's as I said, it's an organizing principle.

It's a hermeneutic.

It explains the world makes sense of the world.

So you find victimhood movements in India, you find victimhood movements in Israel, of course, you find victimhood in the Arab world, the Arab world is founded on victims, all post-colonial societies in Africa, a victimhood based in the United States, the whites are victims, the blacks are victims, any color in between is also a victim.

Native Americans, I mean, everything is victimhood.

It's simply an overriding way to make sense of your life and your world and what's happening to you and why you couldn't make it as you think you should.

You deserve because everyone deserves to be multi-billionaire, the most beautiful girls and become president of the United States, of course.

And if you don't, then something is wrong with you, mind you, because you're perfect. Something is wrong with society.

So because something is wrong with society, it owes you.

I came across very few exceptions.

For example, Denmark is an exception. Netherlands used to be an exception, no longer in the last 10 years.

They have a victimhood stance with regards to immigrants and so on.

Immigrants are now victimizing the Dutch, unfortunately.

So they are veering right wing, I mean, far right wing, they're veering to the right.

But Denmark is still an extremely healthy society in my view.

Strangely, Finland, the Finnish people, they drink a lot.

This rampant alcohol isn't there.

But I don't know if because of the alcohol, I don't know why, but they're pretty healthy.

Their attitude is pretty healthy.

But Denmark is more healthy than you.

So I would say Denmark.

I'm hard pressed to come up with other examples, but I think New Zealand to some extent.

New Zealand is isolated.

But maybe because owing to its isolation, it had remained healthy and touched by all these corrupting influences or decadent influence or whatever you want to call them.

So maybe New Zealand, maybe Denmark.

What about Germany?

What about Japan?

Japan is a very sexy society.

What makes you say that?

Absolutely.

There are several seismographs of health, mental health.

One of them, of course, is a sex crime.

Sexual relations and sexual behaviors in Japan are deeply disturbed.

I mean, astoundingly and worry, ladies and gentlemen, when everyone would agree, every sexologist, every psychologist, Japanese first and foremost, they would agree that there's something seriously wrong in between men and women.

And generally with regards to sexuality and gender in Japan, Japan is a collective society.

But in the bad sense of the world, where the collective is totalitarian, not only authoritarian, intrusive and stifling and stunting, we call this psychological process constriction.

The collective constricts the life of individuals.

Individuals consequently are unable to separate an individual.

They don't become full fledged individuals.

They define their identity via collectives.

But again, in the bad sense, sacrificial sense.

So they would tend to sacrifice their lives and interests and so on in favor of collectives, some of them imagined collectives and so on.

Now, this was much worse.

This used to be much worse in the 30s and 40s, of course, but it's still very much dominant and very much prevalent.

I lived in South Korea, so I spent a lot of time in these countries, Japan and everywhere, Hong Kong.

So Japan struck me as a very, very sick society, very sick, especially the young.

I mean, people under age 35 or 40.

But mind you, the prevalence and incidence of mental illness among the young is much higher than among older generations.

Even when you take sexuality, for example, the young have fewer sex partners and fewer sexual sexual encounters than my age, my generation.

But for that sex, the young have much higher depression rates and rates of anxiety disorders.

Suicide rates among the young are going up and so on and so forth.

So the young are in a huge predicament.

Now, we have something called displacement in psychology.

It's a defense mechanism.

So when you try to explain yourself why your life is going south, nothing works and you're not getting anywhere.

You can't afford it.

You still live with your parents.

You're 35 years old.

One third of people under age 35 live with their parents in the industrialized world. 40% of people under age 25 live with their parents.

The number was 3% in the Great Depression.

So something really bad is happening.

When you try to explain to yourself or to account for this inadequacy, for this systemic failure as a young man or a young woman, you know, you would tend to have what we call alloplastic defenses.

You would tend to blame others.

So you would blame student debt, but you would also blame climate change and you would blame the government and you would blame others, your peers.

So there is this tendency to shift the blame or shift the responsibility, abrogate actually personal responsibility.

I think the climate change movement has been hijacked by this disgruntled youth.

These youngsters are unmitigated failures in every dimension that I can think of.

Compare them to their equivalence in the Great Depression or during the Second World War, you name it. I mean, it's really I mean, I give lectures and these young people come to me and say, you don't know what you're talking about. Do you know what the price of an apartment in San Francisco is? And I say, yes, I know what the price of an apartment in Frisco is. Do you know what your grandfather had to go through in the Great Depression? Do you know what your great grandfather had to go through in the Second World War?

Are you comparing the two, the two exigencies?

And so it's a question of being spoiled or entitled. I'm not sure what.

But they externalize this aggression.

And so I think the climate change movement has been hijacked actually.

But this failed youth, but this failed generation, the climate change movement today is a failed generation.

The racial this generation has hijacked the climate change movement, which is legitimate. There is climate change. It's coming. And it's horrible. And the environmental impacts will be cataclysmic. And we have to prepare for it.

I'm not denying climate change, but the way it is now with Greta and all of her peers, there's nothing to do with climate change. This is displacement.

I mean, I have to tell you a story.

I went and read all of The New York Times media coverage of heat waves for the last century. The worst heat waves in the United States were in the 30s.

So in the middle of the Great Depression, the New York Times wrote about heat waves.

But the way they wrote about them, like people are like dying, like on the streets and the apartment.

So the way The New York Times was writing about it, though, in the middle of the Great Depression was strange because everything has been getting better.

Whereas now when The New York Times writes about heat waves, we're far fewer people die.

I mean, far fewer people die.

It's the end of the world.

It's a sign of the apocalypse.

Now the other issue you're describing is now I may use the wrong psychological jargon, but it's external locus of control.

Right.

So 100 years ago, if you fail, you say, well, I've got to work harder. And and that's on me. And then 100 years later, it's I have no power. I can't afford I can't.

It's all in as I'm a victim of my circumstances. My parents didn't raise me right. I have student debt, climate change, historical racism, oppression.

Yeah.

It's the age of.

So you're right that alloplastic defenses, alloplastic defenses when you tend to blame others.

Yeah.

Circumstances, institutions and so on for your predicament.

Yeah.

Also for your failures and defeats, self inflicted.

However they may be.

Yes.

That's alloplastic defense.

A plastic defense is go hand in hand with an external locus of control.

You believe that your life is determined from the outside, not from the inside.

This and this whole thing is a form of displacement.

When there's something you cannot cope with because you are too, I don't know, indolent or I don't know what to do something, then you would tend to displace it. You would tend to say, well, the cause is out there, not in me, but out there. It's nothing I can do.

So talk to me.

So that's I mean, that is scary. That seems like the end of civilization.

If civilization depends on, I hope it's the end of civilization.

I think we the civilization we've created is dysfunctional, problematic and not conducive to happiness, which I think is the ultimate test.

However you define happiness, there's a big debate.

What is happiness? What is not contentment, simply contentment.

Our civilization is not conducive to contentment. It's conducive to conflict and dissonance and aggression. It's all good. It's all working. I absolutely hope it's a demise of this civilization as it is now.

It involves malignant capitalism, not original capitalism, which was 13th century, 15th century capitalism was a great way to create wealth and distribute it.

But the malignant ideological forms of capitalism have failed us.

Current civilization involves narcissism and the focus of commoditization of suffering and attention and then the linkage of suffering with attention.

The other way to garner attention is to suffer in public ostentatiously.

So this is bad.

Current civilization is a death cult. It places emphasis on objects rather than people. It's a civilization of the inanimate, not the animate.

Current civilization is adversarial, founded on conflict rather than on collaboration.

For example, like in hunter-gatherer societies where collaboration, cooperation, was preeminent. So current civilization is seriously flawed.

So I sure hope it's spent its demise.

Of course, we're going to go through a tectonic phase where all of us and our descendants are going to suffer horribly.

This is the price of transition.

And I hope it's dying.

I hope these are the death rules of civilization.

Absolutely.


Now, climate change has nothing to do with civilization.

Climate change is a geophysical phenomenon. It's been brought on by human activity to a large extent, but not only.

And so we have to accept it.

It's not the first time the planet is. We've had the Dantian anomaly.

The Dantian anomaly, five or six years with famines. And I don't know what, because the planet overheated.

I mean, it has happened numerous times before. The Ice Age was a result of climate change.

I don't think that climate change is a threat to civilization.

I mean, I look at I kind of go with I look at, you know, cheap energy, law and order, meritocracy. Those are three pillars of our civilization. They're all being undermined.

Yes, undermined non-existent.

I mean, what's that? Undermined or even rendered non-existent.

It's right.

It's the Enlightenment is dead.

The Enlightenment, 18th century Enlightenment, European Enlightenment was founded on the principles that you have mentioned.

Meritocracy was supposed to be a reification or a reflection of meritocracy. But it had become aocracy, mob.

Similarly, meritocracy was supposed to be founded on education. But education having been privatized and monetized, now has nothing to do with meritocracy.

Everyone was supposed to lead to informed citizenship, and therefore, proper decision making, political and otherwise.

But of course, education today is ideological, mostly.

So it doesn't lead to good citizenship, it leads to partisanship. It leads to division. It's adversarial, exactly like a court of law.

And so on and so forth.

You see the chain of chain of non-this is working.


So we have two options.

We can tackle each unit separately and try to, this is nonsense.

It all needs to go. There needs to be an enormous conflagration. And then we can reveal.

I'm sorry, but I am not an incrementalist. I'm not.

But to answer this, I mean.

But Sam, well, okay, now we're finally getting to some potential disagreement.

I think we need to affirm the pillars of Western civilization. And how do we make the case for Western civilization?

Would you rather live like the Chinese or the Russians, which are totalitarian societies oppressive, or would you rather live in the United States of America?

People aren't trying to get into China and Russia. There's a border crisis on the southern border of the United States. There's a border crisis in Europe.

Why?

Because people would rather live in Western civilization.

And so the case needs to be made to the people inside Western civilization that that requires cheap energy, law and order and meritocracy.

And so let me argue with you and say we do not need to be apocalyptic about this. We just need it's a cyclical phenomenon. We simply need to affirm the pillars of Western civilization.

You and we need to push back against the coddled entitled narcissistic culture and say, if you don't want if you don't think this is oppressive, please go and live in China where you can live under a social credit system.

Right.

Have you been monitoring the Republican Party in the United States?

I think the majority of voters, Republican voters, definitely would utterly reject what you've just said. They would reject. I think they would reject many democratic terms. They would reject definitely what they consider to be liberalism or progressivism and so on.

So forth.

I think many voters in the West, industrial societies in the West are opting to become China.

They don't want to live in China. They definitely don't want to live in Russia, which is a failed experiment.

But they want to live in a China like thing, like a strong leader, a central authority and prosperity guaranteed by excluding others, which is what China is doing.

There's no immigration to China, by the way. There's no immigration into China, not because people don't want to go into China.

I think if China were to open up, many people from Africa would go into China. Maybe from Afghanistan would go into China.

And there's no question about it.

But you can't go into China. You can't immigrate. They don't allow this.

So I think many voters in the United States and in the United Kingdom. I know the United Kingdom well. Many voters in these places are opting for a Chinese model.

With, for example, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping study.

So I am not quite sure about the commitment of people in the West to enlightenment, to something else.

What I said, enlightenment is dying. I'm not sure about their commitment.

I think if Trump tomorrow or someone like Trump, never mind, were to kind of introduce an authoritarian regime with intermittent elections and so on, or no elections. I'm not sure how many would rise up to the challenge with their Second Amendment weapons. I'm not quite sure.

I think many would simply accept it and go along. And if they have prosperity guaranteed and so on, just the Chinese traded prosperity for freedom. There was a trade off.

Now, Xi Jinping cannot deliver prosperity. There will be a mess. I agree.

But I think the predominant model nowadays is not American anymore. It's more Chinese.

I have witnessed first and at least 10 countries transitioning from democracy to authoritarian rule. And that includes this country that I mean right now.

You may be right. Obviously, I hope you're wrong and would like to try to prove you wrong in the real world.

There has been an enormous debate in the United States around efforts by the federal government to regulate social media companies, to restrict misinformation, which is being overly defined to include factual information. We've seen a pushback mostly from the right in defense of not allowing that to occur.

But now we've seen a very important left wing publication in the United States called The Intercept writing a big piece about leaked documents, attempts by the Department of Homeland Security to regulate speech.

So there is a pushback from liberals and conservatives on state regulation of speech.

Immigration, there's definitely anti-immigrant sentiment here, but also we've just let in millions of people. So de facto, there's no comparison to Europe. We let in so many more immigrants.

And my neighbors, I'm in Berkeley, California, my neighbors all have signs in five languages saying immigrants welcome here.

And there's a cynical read to it, which is that they want them to work as gardeners and house cleaners and maids.

But I think that, so I, well, anyway, we can, it's some of it's speculative, but I guess the question I would put to you would be if I support the Sam Vaknin that is saying let's rechannel narcissism towards something positive rather than the Sam Vaknin that says we should wait for the apocalypse to proceed.

It's the same, it's the same.

So let me, I believe that rechanneling and reframing actually, the clinical term would be reframing.

Reframing narcissism, I believe is the apocalypse.

Okay.

So I believe, I believe that when once we have reframed narcissism, the rechanneling of energy would be so dramatic and so tectonic if you wish that everything will crumble. All the institutions will crumble and new technologies will crumble and you name it.

And the values, beliefs, it will be a total redefinition of the human space and civilization. They will have a civilization founded on narcissism.

Perhaps I haven't been too clear and that's my fault, definitely.

I'm suggesting to transition from a civilization founded on virtue, fury than virtue, mind you, and dignity to a civilization founded on narcissism by skipping the victimhood entering phase.

I'm suggesting to transition to a narcissistic civilization simply because I believe that narcissism is ineluctable, not because I support it.

I think the genie is out of the bottle.

For example, with social media, you can't take this back.

There's 3 billion people there. They're vying for attention. They're hunting for likes and followers.

This is their main preoccupation.

Can't believe how much energy and time people invest in this.

Excuse me for the expression shit. It's mind-blowing. I'm part of it. I participate in it. I have many Twitter followers. You contribute value.

I mean, these are people who feel bananas or something.

It's a struggle.

Let's get a little more specific in our closing minutes because I will let you go.

I have another podcast at the top of the hour, so we have another 10 minutes.

Give us some more, Sam, in terms of what that looks like.

What does it specifically mean?

Because I think I'm really fascinated.

Say more about what that looks like.

Because obviously, you're clearly saying, if I'm hearing you right, that we should, we have to use these tools. We have to use these social media tools as much as toxic as they are.

We have an expression from environmentalism of the antidote is near the poison. Or the poison is medicine is a poison.

Poison is a medicine.

Talk me through that more.

What does that look like in your mind to building this culture and politics of narcissism?

The younger generations are deficient when it comes to human interactions, intimacy skills, the ability to maintain relationships, and the connection between bodily functions, for example, sex and emotions.

This is not an old man talk. This is not a baby boomer talk. It's substantiated by numerous studies.

Fact number one, fact number two, narcissism is on the rise. It has been toppled among college students, according to Twenge and Campbell.

Point number three, narcissism is energy, similar to nuclear energy.

Point number four, this and any energy can be challenged.

Fact number five, there is a wide consensus as to what would constitute a socially acceptable agenda.

We all, for example, think that we should be happy. No one says the aim of society and the individual is to be unhappy.

I have yet to come across someone who says this.

Point number six, we disagree as to the means and methods and ways to obtain happiness.

Okay, point number seven, when people receive narcissistic supply, they're happy. It's a fact.

Put all these points together and you emerge with a ready-made off-the-shelf solution, which guarantees the attainment of socially acceptable goals, social coherence, social cohesion, or at least social functioning, at least.

On the one hand, as a collaborative species, on the other hand, guarantees personal contentment.

Forget happiness contentment.

What is this solution?

This solution is to institutionalize narcissism, not to fight it anymore. It's a lost cause. It's hopeless.

To institutionalize it via specific technologies, institutions, and career paths.

How do we institutionalize?

I'm sorry, I'm being telegraphed, but you know.

No, no, it's great.

How do we institutionalize narcissism?

We provide dosages of narcissistic supply at every turn. We engineer systems, institutions, interactions, relationships. We re-engineer everything to produce a single product, narcissistic supply.

This product should displace previous products, such as victimhood.

Today, the main commodity in the world, the main currency, the main coinage is suffering and victimhood.

If you're not a victim, you manufacture victimhood.

You force people to victimize you.

It's called projective identification.

It's like suicide by cop.

Projective identification.

So, we create a new currency, narcissistic supply, and we displace previous currencies, such as victimhood.

Why should we do this?

Because narcissistic supply is more innocuous.

It's also individual.

It doesn't have society-wide impacts. It's not poisonous. It's not pernicious. It doesn't create rights and obligations, patrons. It doesn't impose on other people.

You sit at home and you receive supply. It's not a form of entitlement. It's a passive consumption act.

So we re-engineer everything to produce supply.

If you do A, you get attention. If you do B, you don't get attention.

Positive and negative reinforcement.

Very primitive, very animal-like, very effective, of lobbying.

Social media are doing this.

How do I know it's going to work? How am I sure? How can I be so sure it's going to work?

Because that's the core of social media. It's precisely what they're doing.

If you do A, you get a thousand likes. If you do B, we're going to shadow-ban you or derank you, and no one will ever see you.

So people don't do B.

Is it a form of censorship? Of course it is. Everything is.

If you're a liberal, progressive person, there are many things you cannot say. There is no ideology or set of beliefs that does not suppress speech. It's a myth. There is no such thing as free speech. It's bullshit. It's American bullshit, excuse me. It's not such a thing.

If you adhere to an ideology, if you belong to a group, if you're a part of a collective, however minimal, your speech is suppressed. End of story.

So of course, in the new narcissistic paradigm, in the new narcissistic model and chart flow, there will be many things which will be many speech acts, which will be suppressed.

But there's nothing special. There's nothing unique.

And at least I know that there is no energy stronger than narcissistic supply.

People will do anything for narcissistic supply.

If you don't believe me, go on TikTok.

Oh, no, I believe you.

The question is, how do you, I mean, is this a matter of we need to get Elon Musk on the phone and tell him how to change the algorithms at Twitter?

Elon Musk is a master of narcissistic supply. He doesn't need any lessons from me.

But he's the CEO of Twitter. He owns Twitter now. I know he owns Twitter. So he's the master of narcissistic supply.

I have no doubt that he will engineer Twitter this way.

Elon Musk in my view is not the brightest star in the galaxy.

There is a British understatement on the one hand. On the other hand, he's an animal of narcissistic supply. He's a primordial force of supply.

So I'm sure he will redesign and re-engineer Twitter to be an engine of supply.

But generally, social media are engines of supply. We can look to them for modeling.

If I'm hearing you right there, you're saying that the incentives need to shift from victimhood to supply.

What's that?

To supply. To supply.

Geared to the most supply.

Right.

If you overcome with the boss supply, there will be a chart, kind of a flow chart of how much supply you get. There will be a tariff of supply.

But we need to redesign everything in terms of attention. We need to make attention a coinage.

By the way, institutionalized coinage. For example, we are on the verge or on the brink of introducing the metaverse. The metaverse needs to be constructed with a coinage of attention at its core.

So then if you're active in a metaverse in certain ways, you get way more attention than if you are active in other ways.

Similarly, in politics, if you act in certain ways, you get way more attention to do. For example, mainstream media cover Donald Trump a lot. That's a perverse incentive system.

It's a perverse incentive system. He's getting exactly what he wants.

Attention. They're paying him with attention for misbehavior. While they actually should have ignored him, had the mainstream media ignored Donald Trump, that would have been his most severe punishment.

But the media incentives were similar. They wanted the revenues and the journalists were themselves getting their attention.

Exactly.

The shift I'm talking about is a shift in values. It's a social agenda which requires social engineering.

I mean, 50 years ago, it would have been inconceivable to mention sex or pregnancy on CBS, for example. Today it's not.

There's a shift.

If we decide on a global agenda and we promote it, one day it will become true. And that day Donald Trump will not get any coverage for any of its shenanigans.

So you're saying, I guess I'm trying to...

Are you saying that Twitter needs to change its algorithms or are you saying we need to change the culture or are you saying both?

In terms of social media, which are technologies, of course they need to reward socially beneficial behaviors more than socially anti-social behaviors.

But no, I'm talking about a society-wide, culture-wide change where we say, okay, people need attention. They need to be seen. They need to be noticed.

This is the currency of the realm. That's it. That's the coinage.

We need to accept this. This is what it's all about.

It's not money. People don't give a shit about money. They don't give a shit about anything. They don't want to work. They don't want to study. They don't want anything. They want attention. We're going to pay them with attention, but we're going to do it in a wise and clever way, a smart way. We're going to pay them with attention if they do the right thing and we're going to withhold attention if they don't do the right thing.

Example, Donald Trump.

But you need...

So we need a social media...

Let's just...

If we were starting from scratch, you would start a social media platform that rewarded people for telling stories of overcoming adversity and you would punish them for telling stories of wallowing in victimhood.

For example, but I would also reward free and bridal speech. So I would reward, I would reward to some extent, controversy and controversial ideas and so on.

I would eliminate, I would try to eliminate via this incentive system, censorship and you know.

So in this sense, I agree with Elon Musk. I don't agree with Elon a lot, but in this sense, I agree with him.

So yeah, we need to, of course, we need to reach a consensus as to what constitutes socially beneficial outcomes.

But then once we have this list of socially beneficial outcomes, we need to incentivize these outcomes via attention, via narcissistic supply.

Listen, once before we did succeed to reach a global consensus on this, it was called the Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments was a social consensus on what constitutes, you know, and then everyone adhered to it basically.

We need to reach the Ten Commandments of, but we need to accept that people are narcissistic and we need to reward them with attention because they don't care about anything else.

They just want attention.

Sam, I feel like the conversation has just started.

What a pleasure.

Would you talk to me again?

If you reward me with attention, I will, of course.

I have a lot of attention to reward.

I'm kidding.

I'm kidding.

Yes, of course I'm.

I think it's a really important conversation.

I can't stress how important it is.

I'm excited to get the video out and to get reactions from people, but I know I have more questions, particularly on this positive project, which I do think is essential for a positive human future.

Sam, thank you so much for taking it.

Thank you for your work.

I spent the last few days getting to know you.

Thank you.

Appreciate you, sir.

We'll be in touch again soon.

I'll be in touch again soon.

Thank you, Cariope.

Bye.

Thank you, sir.

Okay.

Bye-bye.

Okay.

I believe I'm recording.

Finally.

Hello, everyone.

My name is Ginger Coy, and I'm the writer behind Concerning Narcissism on Substack. It's an honor to be sitting with you today, Sam, as you're such a influential thinker in my lifetime, and I deeply respect you.

For our viewers, I created Concerning Narcissism on Substack as an homage to your work, Sam, because you've helped me understand the chaos that is narcissistic abuse, of which I have suffered mightily in my lifetime.

So it gives me great pleasure to introduce my viewers to Professor Vakhnin today.

If you don't know him already, he is a foremost expert in narcissism and all things cluster B. And I've been listening to Professor Vakhnin on his YouTube channel for years now, and I've realized profound insights about narcissism and in life in general.

So Sam, I'm going to ask that you introduce yourself, please.

Sure.

I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, which was the first book ever to describe narcissistic abuse. I also coined the phrase narcissistic abuse and the overwhelming majority of the language in use today.

I then proceeded to serve as a visiting professor in psychology in two or three universities, and now I'm on the faculty of SIEMs, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies in Toronto, Canada, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Outreach campus in Lagos, Nigeria. I'm legally obligated to repeat this phrase, so my apologies.

No worries.

I wanted to start off right off the bat.

So Concerning Narcissism's most viewed piece is my most recent piece about victimhood ideology, and it's called Victimhood Movements Hijacked by Narcissists and Psychopaths.

Where did victimhood come from? What is the historical background of this movement?

Pretty amazingly, very few people are asking this question. They take victimhood for granted the same way you take oxygen, I assume, for granted.

But victimhood is a very, very interesting development in human history.

Basically there was fatalism or determinism. We just accepted things as they were. No one regarded himself or herself as a victim. Things just happened, and history, or God, or both, were inexorable and non-negotiable.

And that was it. Life was a take-it-or-live-it proposition.

No one felt victimized.

And so first we should make a distinction between sacrifice and victimhood, because they are often conflated and confused.

There are spiritual traditions centered around sacrifice, the most famous of which is obviously Christianity, where Jesus chose to sacrifice himself.

And so sacrifice entails two elements.

One being chosen somehow.

There's an element of choice, usually choice by God, but not necessarily. Being chosen by an ideology, by God, by non-individual collectivist forces, and so on. So there's an element of choice.

And the second element in sacrifice is a kind of apotheosis, in other words, becoming one with God, or becoming closer to God, or enjoying the benefit of God's proximity or God's grace in the case of a religious tradition.

Similarly, merging with the state, or enjoying the benefits of the state, or sacrificing oneself in order to uphold the state.

So in sacrifice traditions, there's an element of choice, an element of somehow merging, of using or getting enmeshed with a bigger whole, with a bigger entity than yourself.

And of course we have examples, the Catholic martyrs, yes, multirology, in Catholicism, in Protestantism, you're chosen by God, and the proof that you're chosen by God is that you're successful and rich. So that's proof of this Protestant work ethic, that's the proof that God has chosen you.

And so on and so forth. These are all sacrifice traditions, they have nothing to do with victimhood.

Jesus was never a victim.

The Catholic martyrs were never victims.

The Shahid, the suicide bomber in Islamic tradition is never a victim. These are not victims, they have made choices, this is all voluntary.

Victimhood is a Jewish tradition.

And actually it's an exclusively Jewish tradition.

There is no other spiritual tradition in the world which upholds victimhood as a central tenet. It's a Jewish tradition.

Recall Jewish history.

Slavery in Egypt. The Jews were victims in Egypt. Exile, the Roman exile, the Jews were the victims of Roman aggression.

Of course, recently, more recently, the Holocaust, where the Jews were victims of Nazi Germany.

Victimhood defines the worldview, the "weltanschau" of the Jewish people. Throughout their history, actually the first act of Abraham was to sacrifice, or to attempt to sacrifice his son Isaac, to render his son a victim in effect.

So victimhood is a Jewish thing, and victimhood is very distinct, is not the same as sacrifice.

Sacrifice entails being chosen, and a greater entity to which you get submerged or subsumed once you have sacrificed yourself.

Victimhood involves entitlement. That means victims have rights, and because victims have rights, other people have commensurate obligations.

There's a rights obligation calculus in victimhood which does not exist in sacrifice.

Jesus didn't say, "Listen guys, I'm going to sacrifice myself, and that gives me a lot of rights, and that endows you, puts upon you obligations towards me." No one is saying this in the sacrificial traditions, but in victimhood traditions, absolutely, yes.

I've been a victim of the Holocaust, you owe me money. I've been a victim of the Roman exile, you owe me a state. I've been a slave in Egypt. I have a right to conquer someone else's land, rights and obligations. And I know what I'm saying is very controversial.


May I remind the viewers that I'm a Jew, so dispensed with the anti-Semitic tropes and tripe.

So entitlement, and the second element in victimhood is over generation of grievances.

Victimhood generates grievances. It's a grievance generation machinery.

And of course, we have a perfect example in the founding documents of the United States of America.

The founding documents of the USA, actually these documents are lists of grievances against the British King and the British realm.

So it started with the Jews, and with the Jewish traditions and so on and so forth.

But then people discovered around the 18th century, with the French Revolution and the American Revolution, people discovered that victimhood pays, that grievances, grievances generate obligations in other people, which you can capitalize on, monetize, benefit from and profit from.

Victimhood was discovered as a capitalist invention. It was a form of manufacturing. It became the equivalent of a factory.

Only this factory created grievances and brought in income based on the grievances, or territory based on the grievances.

And so this led, of course, much later to anti-colonialist movements. Anti-colonialist movements are Western grievance victimhood narratives.

They're not African narratives. They're not Asian narratives. They are Western narratives.

Anti-colonialism started in the West, not in Africa. Actually started in the 19th century in the United Kingdom.

Abolition started in the 19th century in the United Kingdom.

So anti-colonialism, anti-slavery, all these, anti-mercantilism, which are victimhood movements based on grievances of the colonized, are actually Western exports to the colonies.

That's the irony.

So we have the next phase in victimhood movements, which is anti-colonialism.

And then gradually we replaced traditions, spiritual traditions and religions with secular religions such as Nazism, communism and nationalism. These are all grievance-based victimhood movements.

Nazism was founded on the belief that the German people have been victimized by the Versailles Treaty and therefore are fully entitled. They have a right to lay them down, to conquer territory within Europe and to enslave people who are inferior.

So Nazism is a victimhood movement.

Communism is a victimhood movement, of course. The proletariat is victimized, abused and manipulated by capitalists, fat cats and robber barons. And so the proletariat has a right to rebel and via the revolution to decimate literally very often the capitalists.

It was a victimhood movement.

And of course many national movements are victimhood movements to this very day. Look what's happening in Azerbaijan.

These are victimhood movements.

And so this is the historical background of victimhood.

It started with the Jews and via their influential writings, for example, the Bible. It spread and it became a global phenomenon, displacing sacrifice traditions, actually.

Because today the biggest religion in the world is victimhood, not Christianity, not Islam, not Judaism, not Buddhism. The biggest religion in my view today is victimhood and its ally or its flipside Nazism, because victimhood entails Nazism.

Without permission I will mention a few more points.

I'm sorry the answer is a bit long, but I hope I'm laying the foundation for the dialogue because then we can expand upon some of these points.


Modern victimhood borrowed heavily from historical victimhood.

So we have entitlement and we have all these elements, grievances. They all exist in modern victimhood.

But modern victimhood added to the mix, added narcissism to the mix.

And now we have narcissistic victimhood, which is the modern form of victimhood because everything is narcissized, not only victimhood.

Politics, show business, social media, everything is imbued with narcissism.

So victimhood became an organizing or hermeneutic principle.

Today we explain gender relations via victimhood. We explain sexual interactions, sexual scripts between men and women via victimhood.

Politics, geopolitics, even environmentalism is a victimhood movement.

Here the victim is the planet. The planet is the victim.

Of course, animal rights, you will be very hard pressed to find a nook and cranny in corner in human activity and existence nowadays that is not infused and immersed in victimhood.

It is the organizing principle, the principle that makes sense and imbues our life, makes sense of the world and imbues our lives with meaning.

So it's an explanatory hermeneutic principle.

It is ahistorical while traditional victimhood movements were historical.

Modern victimhood movements are historical, ahistorical, I'm sorry. I'm used to lecturing in French as well.

So ahistorical.

In the sense, they don't care about historical accuracy and they think it is perfectly legitimate to reframe history and create narratives that cater to the claims and grievances of the victimhood movement, even if they are not 100% in accordance with reality, even if they are counterfactual.

We see this, for example, in the recasting of the history of slavery, which is very far from accurate and I'm putting it very gently and charitably.

This is malignant egalitarianism. Malignant egalitarianism is the idiotic claim, and I'm being again charitable, that everyone is equal to everyone in every way. Everyone is equal to everyone in every way.

So everyone is an expert on everything. There's no hierarchy of expertise or learning or knowledge. Everyone has the same rights. I agree. Everyone is entitled to everything similarly and so on.

But wait a minute.

If everyone is the same as everyone else, everyone is automatically a victim because reality never treats everyone identically.

You are not likely to be dealt the same hand as everyone else.

So this gives rise to universal victimhood.

The minute everyone is equal to everyone, everyone is discriminated against, everyone experiences injustice, everyone has a grievance because if I am equal to the President of the United States and I don't have a limousine, something's wrong with it.

I'm a victim.

Finally, there's the most worrisome phenomenon in my eyes and the one I'm possibly the best qualified to discuss in the context of this dialogue.

And that is the coalescence of mental illness with victimhood.

Now I'm relying on dozens of studies, all of them recent, all of them in the last two, three years.

I will mention a few names, Kian and Aquino, Weissman, Manohar and Kaplan, Gabbai and Hamahiri, Golvitz and others.

These studies have demonstrated conclusively that psychopaths, narcissists, people with other mental health disorders such as ADHD have taken over victimhood movements such as MeToo, Black Lives Matter and movements on the right of course, not only on the left.

They've taken grievance based movements and taken over and they are leveraging these movements and abusing these movements and they've infiltrated these movements and these movements are utterly compromised.

This is an exceedingly dangerous phenomenon. I see it online. I am actually the father of a major victimhood movement, victims of narcissistic abuse. I created it single handedly.

First 10 years was only me. I created this movement which today numbers tens of millions of people and don't think I'm exaggerating.

I see within this victimhood movement this trend where narcissists and psychopaths have taken over, hijacked this movement and today when you go online and you come across an empath, which is a nonsensical non-clinical term, you are likely dealing with a covert narcissist.

It's really bad out there and we can discuss later if you wish.


The modern manifestations of victimhood.

That's in the natural, the historical, not big natural, the historical background.

Well, it sounds as though we're trapped amongst a bunch of narcissists or at least those on the spectrum of narcissistic traits because you're saying they're making a distinction that these movements are ultimately hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths.

Yet it sounds as though we're all in the midst of victimhood ideology and therefore narcissistic already.

So it just gets heightened to your point, it seems.

Well we're all human to varying degrees. We are human and so we react to human incentives.

Start with the fact that victimhood pays. It pays to be a victim. People are making money off victimhood. They monetize victimhood in a variety of ways, on YouTube or YouTube with social welfare schemes with welfare states.

And so based on victimhood, some people ended up having a country owing to victimhood claims and grievances. The United States, Israel, these are victimhood based countries. These are proofs positive that victimhood pays.


The second thing is deceptive signaling.

Deceptive signaling is the ability to signal victimhood deceptively when you're not a victim in order to motivate other people to indulge you, to share with you their resources, to behave in ways which are conducive to your goals, to secure beneficial outcomes, to render you more self efficacious.

When you say I'm a victim, it's a kind of manipulative tactic because you can modify other people's behaviors and there are, as I said, expectations as a victim. You have rights and other people have commensurate obligations.

There's also the issue of competitive victimhood. You compete with other victims. I'm much more of a victim than you are. There's a hierarchy of victims. My abuser was much worse than your abuser.

It reminds me of children. You know, my dad is my dad is stronger than your dad and this kind of thing. We have this. We have this visibly, especially online.

If you put the three together, victimhood pays, deceptive signaling and competitive victimhood, you realize it's a capitalist endeavor and I'm not deprecating capitalism. What I mean to say, it's a money spinning proposition. It's a scam. It's simply a scam.

Now, am I disputing the fact that there are victims?

Of course not. Victims exist. There are many victims, real ones.

Ironically, the real ones are likely to stay at home and shut up. We know that real victims are full of shame. They feel helpless. They're depressed. They're anxious. They're dysfunctional.

And the last thing they want to do is interact with other people. They isolate themselves. They become schizoid.

This is all well documented in the literature. This is what real victims look like. They don't go on camera. They don't advertise themselves. They don't open YouTube channels with millions of followers and make something like a million dollars a month. They don't do this.

These are not real victims. These are fake victims.


Can I generalize and say that the overwhelming majority of these people are fake victims?

Yes, I think I can actually. I know it's a controversial view.

But I think Greta and all these millions of teenagers just found a way to enjoy 15 minutes of fame, to signal virtue, virtue signaling to their peers, and to generate awesome material for Instagram and TikTok.

I think these were the main motivations, not the welfare of the planet, honestly.

Do you want to get into more of the modern manifestations that you were alluding to earlier that you said you could get into, victimhood movements?

You started straight, Greta.

We can try to profile modern victimhood movements.

First of all, classical traditional victimhood movements usually did three things, fulfilled three functions.

They decried specific transgressions. They tried to reverse the victimhood state.

So they were not invested in remaining a victim. They were invested in reversing the victimhood and eliminating it, actually.

While modern victimhood movements are invested in remaining and perpetuating the state of victimhood because it pays emotionally, a process called kafexes, and it pays financially. And it makes you famous and a celebrity. And then you can have a lot of sex.

And I know this sounds crass and vulgar, but this is human reality.

Humans are animals, ultimately.

And so classical victimhood, traditional victim, decried the phenomenon, decried the transgressions, tried to reverse them.

And therefore, traditional victimhood movements were remedial. They tried to remediate. They tried to heal. They tried to cure.

And we had traditional victimhood movements among individuals, so individuals kind of try to remedy individual transgressions. And we had them on a collective level, fights, real fights against bias, discrimination, and oppression.

So some anti-colonial movements, not all by any means, but some anti-colonial movements were blessed and very good victimhood movements.

I think the civil rights movement, by and large, ignoring the malignant manifestations such as Malcolm X, and I don't know what, but by and large, the civil rights movement was okay victimhood movement.

Because the core message of the civil rights movement is we don't want to be victims anymore. We want to change the system so that we are never victims anymore.

This is not the message of modern victimhood movements, not at all.

So modern victimhood movements are exclusionary. There is an exclusive membership in a club, and this exclusive membership elevates you. It's a kind of Sikh apotheosis. It renders you godlike. At the very least, renders you unique, especially in some way. So it's a badge of honor to be a victim. It's identity politics in the worst sense of the word. You're becoming invested in your identity.

And there is a disincentive to reverse your victimhood status.

If you are a housewife from Indiana, and I know I'm being as politically incorrect as I can, if you're a housewife from Indiana and you go online and you declare that you have been a victim of your horrible, abusive husband, suddenly you have 8,000 followers and they listen to you and you have a center of attention and you are beginning to make $1,000 or $2,000 a month of YouTube. And everyone caters to your needs, walks on eggshells, cossets you and pampers you, and suddenly you are… It's a new experience. It's narcissistic supply. It's wonderful. It's mini celebrity. I mean, just the week before, you've been a housewife in Indiana, and now everyone in Bangladesh and Nepal and the Philippines, part of you, it's irresistible. It's irresistible even for healthy people, as far as healthy people are concerned. It's irresistible.

We call it a "quiet situation of narcissism. You can become a narcissist. It's late onset narcissism.

If you become a rock star, there have been studies of rock stars who were not narcissists. But once they've become rock stars, they became narcissists. They were diagnosable. We say that they transitioned from subclinical narcissism to clinical narcissism. They were diagnosable.

So this is called a "quiet situation of narcissism. So this is exclusionary identity politics based on uniqueness, specialness.

And now you have an incentive to multiply your uniqueness. As you say, I'm unique as a woman.

Wow.

What an amazing experience.

But wait a minute.

Is there anything else I can leverage here?

Yes, I'm also black. I'm also black. I am not only a woman. I'm not only victimized as a woman. I'm victimized also as a black person.

So I'm a black woman.

Double whammy.

Double yummy.

Not double whammy.

Double yummy.

Double whammy in traditional victimhood movements.

Double whammy in modern victimhood movements.

This is known as intersectionality of this. It's amplifying exponentially the benefits and the perks and the outcomes of each victimhood movement by combining them.

Simply combining them. Multicasking.

And of course, all these movements are grandiose. They're entitled.

And one of the really, really bad things about modern victimhood movements, they dehumanize the other.

We didn't have this in traditional victimhood movements.

The Jews never dehumanize the Romans. Never.

Actually, they've learned from the Romans. The greatest historian of the Jews is Josephus Flavius, who studied in Rome and spent most of his life in Rome.

We did not demonize the Greeks because they victimized us or the Romans because of it.

The first time we victimized anyone, we demonized, I'm sorry, we don't demonize the Romans or the Greeks. The first time we demonized anyone was the Nazis. It was the first time.

And it kind of proves my point that modern victimhood movements demonize.

The Jewish people never demonized anyone with a single exception.

Haman in Persia is the only exception.

We never demonized anyone else who victimized us as a people until the modern era when we victimized the Nazis, when we demonized.

What's wrong with me when we demonized the Nazis?

So demonizing the other is again an element.


There is also conspiracy, the element of conspiracy.

Victimhood is not only perceived as an accident of history or a manifestation and expression of power asymmetries or inexorable historical processes.

No, now is definitely and always the outcome of some mega conspiracy.

So in feminist gender studies, there is the patriarchy. I'm a man. I never heard of a patriarchy. I never voted for the patriarchy.

Of course, similar minded people would end up doing similar things and thinking similar thoughts. That's very different to a conspiracy.

And yet we have conspiracy in all modern victimhood movements. And this is known in psychology as conspiracism.

Conspiracism is a clinical, pathological element of personality.

So there's a lot of conspiracies. There's also on the right, you have Marxism. It's not I'm not limiting myself to the left. It's all over the place. It's left, right, you name it. No Marxism, patriarchy, this, that, you know, it's all conspiracies.


And the last thing I will mention is that modern victimhood movements are concerned with materialistic individual goals while classical traditional victimhood movements were concerned with collective goals like let's get us a country or let's reverse a historical wrong or let's preserve our tradition.

So these were collective goals. Modern victimhood movements are concerned with individual goals. Let's get more money. Reparations suddenly, slavery reparations 150 years later. Let's get more money. Let's have more sex. Let's become more famous. These are all individual goals.

Traditional modern victimhood movements rarely discuss collective goals. Even when you have a movement like Me Too, which supposedly deals with collective goals, the goals of women, this is reduced to individual stories. You don't find an overarching manifesto of Me Too or an agenda of Me Too. There's no such thing. There's no scriptures. There are no scriptures.

In Marxism, you have the Marxist Manifesto, communist manifesto. In Judaism, you have the Bible. You don't have this in Me Too. You don't have this in Black Lives Matter. You don't have this in modern victimhood movements because they are just an agglomeration of individuals, each one of these individuals, pursuing individual goals and collaborating ad hoc to obtain these goals.

This is what renders these movements narcissistic and psychopathic.

Do you think that this clamoring for collectivism, as I see it through cultural Marxism, is really a misguided effort to mitigate against the atomization of living in the age of narcissism, a sort of we versus me ethos?

Is there any relation?

It used to be that we emphasized the individual, but now it seems to have mutated into a corrupted form of recognizing autonomy all the way on the spectrum to full blown narcissism.

You mentioned earlier communism being on the right.

I'm not sure if you misspoke. I think of it as on the left.

Communism is on the right.

Right.

Even though this is debatable, whether Nazism was a right wing.

Yeah, because I've heard that.

Yeah, Nazism is still to the left, but it's just right of communism is how I've heard it framed.

Yeah.

It's debatable.

Nazism was an eclectic movement. It didn't have a core ideological core. It was whatever worked.

So because if you see the full name of the Nazi party has something for everyone, national socialist, deutsches, albieter, parti, something for everyone.

So I wouldn't classify it either as right wing or left wing.

But yeah, I think the left, progressive left, so to speak, liberal left, whatever you want to call it, whatever epitheth is a cup of tea.

I think the left pretends to be collective the same way the right pretends to be individualistic.

I think both of them are actually goal oriented. The goals are very materialistic, very short term, very clear. And they want more and more of the same goals.

Like if you get $100, not enough, you want another $100.

So it's a never ending quest.

And there is this is the incentive to perpetuate victimhood.

So I don't think the left is collectivist and the right is individualistic.

I think all of them are infested with narcissists and psychopaths.

And when I say narcissist, I don't mean people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. I mean people with narcissistic style or narcissistic tendencies or traits or behaviors.

And this, I would say, characterizes a big proportion of a population.

So all of them are infested with narcissists and psychopaths who discovered El Dorado simply.

Now whatever it takes, if having a collective call for action works like in environmentalism, then let's do it.

If catering to individual needs and individual grievances and individual hopes of getting whatever benefits, then let's do it.

Whatever works. This expediency is also typical of modern victimhood movements.

They are flexible to the point of non-existing, not existing in ideological terms. They go with the flow. They don't have a core. They don't have a spine. They just migrate to the path of least resistance. Whatever works, whatever gets things done, whatever, you know, let's do it.

But there's no loyalty and no adherence to any real ideological commitment or even idealistic commitment.

Maybe ideology is not a good thing, but to have ideas is a good thing.

No one has any ideas. These are impoverished, intellectually impoverished movements. All of them.

So I'm going to pause for a moment and put myself in the shoes of someone who's new to you, listening to you. And right out the gate, it'd be easy to dismiss what you're saying as hyperbolic or cynical, jaded, what have you.

But maybe if you were to put a finer point on it, what are the repercussions of these victimhood movements being hijacked by psychopaths and narcissists?

I mean, how does it manifest?

You've talked about a psychopathic collective, for instance. What does that look like on the ground?

First of all, let me be clear and give credit where it's due. I am definitely not the first to say these things.

There's a famous sociologist, Campbell, and he said that we have transitioned from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood.

And I fully agree with him.

There are numerous studies substantiating every single statement I've made, however, hyperbolic and jaded.

I did bother to mention 27 studies about 10 minutes ago because I knew this was coming.

There are, by now, there's a body of evidence that is decisive in my view, that victimhood movements have been hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths.

Now, if we take this to be the truth or even partial truth, because one narcissist is the bad apple in the barrel, one narcissist, a single narcissist, can corrupt the whole body, ask Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Hitler was a single psychopath in a system, a political system. He didn't even win the majority in elections. He was just a prime minister in a minority government. He had five ministers, and there were another 20-something which did not belong to his party.

But Stalin was the same.

They have examples in history that he takes a single narcissist or a single psychopath to subvert the system and convert it into narcissism and psychopathy.

So it seems that narcissists and psychopaths act as catalysts. They catalyze a process of increasing narcissism and increasing psychopathy.

And that's what I meant when I used the phrase, narcissistic collectives and psychopathic collectives.

These are collectives who have been infected or infested with narcissists and psychopaths, and they don't have to be the majority. They have to be strategically placed, that's all, and have to be good interlocutors, demagogues, speech makers, and so on and so forth.


I, as you may have noticed during this conversation, have no allegiance to the left or to the right. If I had to give an example of what I've just said, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is such an example. The man has corrupted the political system of the entire United States. All of it is corrupted now beyond recognition. And he did this in fewer than five years, and definitely a single individual.

So yeah, it's dangerous to introduce narcissists and psychopaths into your environment because they take over the same way a virus does.

And so if these victimhood movements are infested with narcissists and psychopaths, and we are not talking about single individuals, according to the studies, we are talking 30, 40 percent of leadership positions. Then we are doomed. And we are doomed, I think, for two reasons.

Victimhood movements have infiltrated politics. And I'm not talking only about the left. The Tea Party movement occupy Wall Street. I'm not limiting, it's not the leftist and I'm not the rightist. I'm an observer.

Victimhood politics is increasingly more victimhood based, increasingly more. It's much more visible on the left because the right claims that it wants a small state or a small, you know, but the right is still a victimhood movement.

So right and left, these are victimhood movements and they've taken over the political machinery.

That's point number one.

Point number two.

We make sense of the world today. We imbue our lives with meaning exclusively via victimhood. It became the exclusive principle.

The first question we ask is who's suffering? Who is suffering? Who has been hurt? How should we remedy? What things can we do to ameliorate someone's, you know, damage?

We take for granted that someone is a victim somewhere at some time and we need to do something about it. We have a commensurate obligation and he has rights or she has rights.

So we can no longer think straight. We are not thinking straight anymore.

Something is now viewed via the prism of victimhood.

And so we are, in clinical terms, trapped in a fantasy of victimhood.

We are no longer in reality. We are fantasizing. We are delusional. We are clinically psychotic. We are in a psychotic state.

Now the psychosis in this particular case relies on the narrative of victimhood, but it doesn't make it less divorce from reality.

And why does this bother me or worry me?

Because survival is predicated on what Freud called the reality principle.

Re-testing is critical to proper functioning in changing environments to derive beneficial outcomes. This is known as efficacy.

You cannot be efficacious in your environment. You cannot extract benefits and outcomes that are helpful to you from your environment, human or not human, if you are delusional. You cannot do this.

If we as a species have become psychotic and delusional, our days are numbered.

It's as simple as this.

Now you would say, yeah, but don't worry. We have science. There are enclaves. There are enclaves where victimhood has not penetrated.

That is not true.

I'm sorry to say. I happen to be a physicist. That is not true.

Human science has been infected with victimhood.

You don't believe me?

Read ecological literature or environmental literature. It is phrased as a political manifesto, not as a study.

You don't believe me?

Read the recent diatribes about plagiarism and lack of funding. Science is utterly immersed in victimhood culture. Utterly. Everyone is a victim of something.

There are not enough funds or there are no recognition or we are not putting the right emphasis. We should emphasize the planet, not civilization or I don't know what.

And it's not limited to ecology and environmentalism.

I see victimhood in physics. It's bad because it distorts our ability to view reality as it is, which is a precondition for survival.


Except now we have something called postmodernism, which is introduced, wokeism.

And like you, I don't share a fidelity to either the left or the right.

So I'm looking at the delusionality of the left, extrapolated out to a place of narcissism.

As it presents and this frightens me more than the right, because as you've said, the right at its worst tends towards antisocial or psychopathic manifestations.

So, but at least psychopaths are in reality. Whereas the delusionality of narcissism on the left and as it's presenting through the fringes, which has become more and more metastasized.

Yeah.

So would you that characterization?

Nothing else bothers me in the dichotomy between left and right.

Both of them are delusional. Both of them are conspiracy minded. Both of them are victimhood movements, both left and right.

A victimhood movements. Both of them are grievance based.

I don't see much distinction when it comes to the artificial observable characteristics, the superficial ones, the superficial characteristics like the structural when you observe them from the outside.

But there's one major difference between left and right.

The left is systematically oppressive. The right is individualistic.

So the right is likely to be much more violent and much more psychopathic than the left.

But the left, at least in democracies. But the left, even in democracies, would leverage and deploy systems, whole systems to oppress the individual.

And if there's any resistance would become even more violent than the right.

So it is the system and systematization of victimhood that on the left that bothers me.

What you call walk movements, self censorship in academia. People lose their tenure and worse.

Some people go to prison. It's not a joke.

There is a systemic oppression of free speech, of reality or evidence based studies. There is the council culture. There are the walk movements.

This is violence. The left is violent.

And the right is violent. But the right is violent individual by individual.

So it's not a serious threat, honestly speaking.

Ask the guys who are now going to prison for January 6th.

So the right is incapable of orchestrating even when it is in power.

Because of the libertarian tendencies of the right and individualistic strain of ideology, the right is incapable of orchestrating collective oppression, systematized oppression.

We have never seen a right wing regime which was very good in the long term with systematic oppression. We have seen brutes and thugs in juntas in Latin America. We have seen the Nazi regime and so on and so forth. Nazi regime I'm not sure is right wing phenomenon.

But we've never seen, we've never had a phenomenon like communist Russia or communist China. Never had this.

This is what bothers me, what terrifies me about the left. This is the left.

I mean we look at Congress and we look at the House and say okay what the right is, so many presidents and so many majorities. That's nonsense. That's not what the game is taking place. That is not what the game is taking place. Politics has been sidelined and not only in the United States, in Europe as well. Politics is no longer a relevant game.

This is and the public sphere, the masses. We are in an era of oligarchy, mob rule. The mobs rule through social media. The mobs rule through mass victimhood movements.

Politicians are no longer relevant. They are totally solipsistic and autistic if they think they have any impact on anything.

So this is the wrong way to look.

But when you look at reality outside the belt in Washington or outside Brussels in the European Union, you begin to realize how horrifying the scene is.

Where on the one hand you have militias, essentially militias of right wing victims, self-tied victims, victims of the state, victims of the police, self-tied victims. So right wing militias.

When I say militia, I mean five guys, 10 guys, 200 guys, this kind of thing.

But they are ready to be violent.

And on the other hand, you have absolutely systematic state sponsored left wing oppression. Absolutely.

Even in the United Kingdom, which is supposedly in the hands of the conservatives. That's what's the feeling of betrayal because the left is always presented itself as so open minded and egalitarian and not yet they frame things in oppressor versus oppressed. So it's like they protest too much. They're obsessed.

Actually, I beg to differ.

Okay.

And it's good to have disagreements. I beg to differ.

I don't think the left has ever made these claims.

If we look historically at writings in the 19th century, which is the origins of the left. So you have Marxism, but even more powerfully, you have socialism.

Marxism was a fringe phenomenon until the 1920s.

Fringe phenomenon. The major movements were socialism.

Socialist movements.

And so when you look at socialist writings, definitely Marxist right. They're not talking about we're going to end up oppression. They're talking about we want to oppress.

We have been oppressed either to now we want to oppress.

Marx is very open about this. He says we need to take back the means of production.

Well, you know, we need to we need to destroy private property.

The left is about victimhood in the sense that the left wants to render victims the oppressors.

Like let's give you a taste of your own medicine. You capitalist pigs, you know.

That's the left.

Now, it is couched in very beautiful, you know, because the left is great at speaking and talking.

Yeah.

So it's couched in all kinds of.

But when you go to the hardcore, the hardcore is about a redistribution of power.

As simple as that. It's a power oriented movement. It's about power.

And so how do you take power with power?

It's a war. It's a very conflictual movement.

The left is about war.

That's the irony because they cast the right as violent and conflict oriented.

Actually, the right is conflict averse. Even right is malicious. They just want to be left alone. They don't want to fight. They want to be left alone.

That's cool.

But the left is combative.

I think that's the irony that I'm getting at here.

Yeah.

Trent, you're helping me to elucidate and zero in on.

You know, you're talking about earlier the transition from sacrifice to victimhood to frame this conversation.

So how is it that America has become so narcissistic?

I mean, you talked about Trump, for instance.

Also the DSM, doubling in size, pathologizing everything. So if you pathologize more and more things like caffeine or Internet addiction, you have to consider the profit motive in America.

So to get rich, you make people feel like victims of a pathology. And if they feel like victims, they become narcissistic.

So it becomes this sort of feedback loop and spinning off the rails, snowballing downhill.

So yeah, how did America become so narcissistic?


Activism is warfare by other means.

Social justice activism.

So there are those who call themselves social justice warriors. It's a war.

Now, it's a war about which has to do with what?

What is the goal of this? What is the result?

A redistribution of resources. So we have official redistribution of resources. It's called the tax system taxation. Redistribution of wealth. It's even called redistributive justice, which is, in my view, an oxymoron.

But OK, we have redistribution, which is institutionalized.

But now people want to redistribute everything, not only money, not even mainly money. They want to redistribute power. They want to redistribute access, including bodily access, which is the core engine of MeToo. They want to redistribute institutions. So they defund the police or redefine the police or whatever. So everything is up for grabs.

Now, the elites, if you ask me, are very uncomfortable with what's happening.

Is there such a thing as the elites? Of course there is such a thing as the elites. They don't meet in secret in Bilderberg or World Forum. That's right wing nonsense. There's no new world order. And there's no forthcoming great reset.

It's again conspiratorial hogwash coupled with mental illness, humanon and all this.

But the elites do exist. Rich people think alike and they have the same interests.

It's as simple as that.

So the elites are terrified.

I am not only speculating. I have actually served most of my life as advisor to very rich people all over the world.

There's not exactly speculation. This is first-hand experience. They are a bit terrified of what's happening.

So they multiply the tools of social control.

You've mentioned the DSM.

Yes, it's about profit-making. It's about reimbursing therapists, insurance industry. It's about pharmacological industry. It's all true.

But over and above everything, it's a tool for social control.

The elites are doing, engaging in two processes which allow them to control the masses.

For now, I don't think they're going to succeed in the law. I think a revolution is coming.

But for now, it allows them to control the masses.

Two processes. Pathologize and criminalize. Pathologize everything and criminalize every behavior. Absolutely every behavior.

Criminalize.


So we had a situation where the DSM didn't double. It went up 10 times.

The DSM used to be 102 pages in 1952. It is 1,180 pages today.

The DSM.

If you go through the pages of the DSM, I think there are only two normal healthy people in the world left. That's because they've never met a psychiatrist.

Similarly, the tax code in 1920, the tax code was about 100 pages. The tax code today in the United States, I'm talking, is 97,000 pages. The criminal code went up 11 times. Double, I mean, multiplied by 11, factor of 11.

You are not even aware that you are every day committing offenses, crimes, transgressions. Should they decide to arrest you? They will.

Now, I'm not saying there's a conspiracy to arrest, for example, Russell Brand. But I'm saying I'm quoting Elon Musk, not one of my favorites. I don't hold him in high regard. But I am quoting him when he said, well, I don't know if it's urgent, but it's convenient. These are tools.

Similarly, in the USSR, when you became a dissident, when you disputed the authority of the Communist Party, you were diagnosed by a psychiatrist and confined to a mental asylum. That's the USSR, not the United States. Make no mistake about it. Pathologize and criminalize are the two strategies of the elites to control the masses.

They're not going to work for long because they require consensus.

For example, the criminal code reflects a societal consensus.

What if we were to say tomorrow we reject the criminal code? We think it's ridiculous. 90% of it is total nonsense. We're not going to abide by it, which is what happened during the COVID pandemic, when people rejected the law. Law is only as strong and as good as the consensus in society. And this consensus is freeing. And ironically, it's freeing because everyone feels like a victim. And when you're a victim, you have no vested interest in the status quo, or even in society, or even in any collective.

You know what's the first thing that happens to real victims? Real ones.

Women who have been really raped, not the ones who are lying about rape, but the ones who have been really raped. Women who have been really abused domestically.

Do you know what happens in the first thing that happens to them?

They lose most of their empathy.

Again politically incorrect, but factual.

Victims are less empathic, a lot less empathic. They become very selfish.

They come think about collectives. They neglect their families, their children, they divorce.

So if everyone is a victim, this is the mindset.

The hell with the collective.

Each one is on his own. Each person.

We have fragmented and atomized society with victimhood.

And this is the irony of the situation.

The elites are going to lose, and there is going to be a mass revolution. I'm sure of it.

Precisely because of the victimhood movements that have rendered the social fabric fragile.

If I'm a victim, why would I support a state that enabled my victimhood and empowered my abuser?

Why?

The hell with it.

I think many black people are saying this.

Why would I support a system that has enabled slavery for like 300 years and then until the 1960s turned a blind eye to Jim Crow and now is using the police to kill me. Why would I support such a state?

So Sam, if we don't have a shared sense of reality to base a collective on per se, you've talked about how it's don't participate in democracies and what kind of advice you have for us because we're looking at two existential threats as I see it.

One presented by the left through woke ism and the right through Trump.

So I feel as though I'm staring down the barrel, you know, looking at crosshairs here.

Yeah, people like January 6, we talked about the insurrection. I think of it as an insurrection, not just a riot gone awry.

And see, we can't even agree on that shared reality either in this country.

What kind of advice do you have for us as Americans as we look at the 2024 election?

If you look, if you look to history, victimhood movement always led to an apocalypse.

I can't recall offhand of a single counterexample.

All victimhood movements led to an apocalypse.

And of course, the latest example is Nazi Germany and communist Russia, communist US.

So it seems you need to go through the rabbit hole. You need to experience an apocalypse.

Apocalypse is what Schumpeter called creative destruction. It says it's like ground zero after 9/11. You can rebuild.

You need to go through this disaster.

The victimhood movements must culminate.

And Trump is a victimhood movement. I'm not making this distinction. It's a victimhood movement.

The victimhood movement left and right must culminate, must clash, must obliterate each other and the whole social fabric and state institutions in the process.

This is what happened in Nazi Germany. That's what happened in communist Russia. That's what happened in communist China. That's what's inevitable. I don't think you can avoid this.

I think January 6 was the first convulsion, the first gasp.

By no means is it the end of anything. It's the beginning.

It's absolutely the beginning.

I think the situation on the left is getting worse by the day in the sense that the left is grasping at straws and the only straw it has is victimhood.

And so it is co-opting victimhood. It is institutionalizing victimhood. It is using victimhood as a form, as an oppressive tool. It is using other social control tools such as the DSM, such as the criminal code, such as the tax code, using them in cahoots and in conjunction with victimhood.

So the left is defining itself via oppressive victimhood and the right is defining itself via violent victimhood.

There's no good ending to this story. Never has been throughout human history.

Same with Rome in the second and third centuries before the barbarian invasions. The same.

There were victimhood movements and Spartacus. You heard of Spartacus? It was a victimhood movement.

So humans go through this.

As you build structures, as you build nation states and you build institutions, there is injustice perpetrated. We all human. We make mistakes. We turn a blind eye. We're all human, you know.

We need to accept our humanity and victimhood movements do not accept the other's humanity.

They say, what's the main message of a victimhood movement?

You should have never committed injustice. You should have never discriminated against me.

But committing injustice, injustice and discriminating, these are human foibles and human flaws. We're all human. We learn.

That's the meaning of learning. From less to more. From worse to better. That's learning.

Victimhood movements say you should have been fully formed from the very beginning. We don't allow you any space for mistakes, a learning process, a learning curve, trial and error. You know, we don't allow this. You need to be punished for having done all this. Even if you were an adolescent, for example, and you were fumbling with sex, you would still be accused of sexual assault because you should have known better than to touch this girl non-concentrally.

So there is this fantastic ideal view of humanity that everything should be penalized. And that's the oppressive nature of leftist victimhood ideology. Everything should be penalized.

So I don't think there will be any forgiveness and any mercy and any pity. We don't need to look further than the Communist revolution in Russia. There's no victimhood movements, ironically, come from suffering.

But the main dream is to inflict suffering. This is the dream of victimhood movements.

I'm going to torture my abuser. I'm going to put him in prison for the rest of his life. I'm going to take all his property, if possible, decapitate him, hang him or something. These are aggressive movements.

Victimhood is also driven by what we call negative affectivity. Anger, envy. We're neglecting the role of envy in victimhood movements. It's a major drive for victimhood movements.

So I don't see any good ending. I think the United States is on the precipice and the European Union because states and institutions perpetrate injustice and discrimination because they are human. That's what humans do. So they will always generate victims. Wherever there's an institution, there's a victim.

Ask men about family courts. Any man will tell you, "I'm a victim of the family courts." Period. You create an institution, you create a victim. Always someone's interest is served, someone's interest is hindered or obstructed. That's life.

So the only solution in the eyes of victimhood movements is to destroy all institutions.

And here I come to an insight which is much neglected.

Victimhood movements are a mark in their forms of anarchy. They don't want to truly reform anything. They want to punish and destroy, exactly like right-wing victimhood movements.

Both left-wing and right-wing are focused on destruction. Out with the old, drain the swamp. Out with the old, in with the new. Everything stupidly, counterfactually, that new institutions will not create new victims will never happen.

But yeah, the United States will go through its own Reichstag fire and its own, possibly, concentration camps and its own militias fighting each other and its own Balkanization and Lebanonization. I don't think it's inevitable. I think it's ineluctable. I think the same is beginning to happen in the European Union with the pressure of the war in Ukraine and so on and so forth.

Today a pro-Russian government was elected in Slovakia. It's starting there.

The fracturing of the European Union. And it's all based on victimhood.

In Slovakia the government was elected, this pro-Russian government, anti-Ukrainian government, was elected because of a victimhood movement. The U.K.O. is a, there's a victimhood movement there that the Ukrainians victimized the local Slovaks and so on and so forth.

So I'm not optimistic in the short term. I'm more optimistic in the long term.

But you have to go through this.

Can you talk about the overlap between narcissistic abuse and totalitarianism?

Obviously a common denominator is control. The narcissist is a cult leader and creates a cult.

Whether the cult is a two-member cult or a 20-member cult or a 40-million-member cult, alluding to someone with an orange hair, it's still a cult.

So totalitarian regimes are cults writ large and gone. There's a we versus they mentality. There is a hermetic space of thinking so that critical thinking is discouraged and analysis is discouraged and so on and so forth. There are repressive and oppressive measures, punitive codes and so on and so forth.

Totalitarian regimes therefore are narcissistic. All totalitarian regimes are narcissistic.

And therefore whatever they do is by definition narcissistic abuse.

And it involves falsification of reality and its replacement with a fantasy, whatever the fantasy may be.

Operation and repression including violent means. Control which borders on micromanagement. Trust pervasive distrust between the authorities and the population and vice versa. Exploitation, transfer of resources in an asymmetrical way. I'll go into it some other interview maybe.

And so on and so forth.


So if you look at a microcosm which is a narcissist and his wife, you're likely to learn everything you need to learn about Nazi Germany and communist Russia. And Cuba and what have you. Everything you need to learn.

Identical.

One more comment.

I'm sorry. That renders narcissistic abuse a political issue. It's not necessarily only an individual issue.

Because ultimately the body politic is composed of individuals and households. And the more prevalent an incident, narcissism is, the more of these cells would be narcissistic.

So if you have a body where 40% of the cells are infected and narcissistic, then the body would become narcissistic. If 40% of the population of the United States qualify as subclinical narcissists, the United States will end up as a totalitarian country because this is the political manifestation of narcissism. So it starts at the bottom.

Narcissism is a grassroots movement.

And narcissists of course consider themselves victims. Ask any narcissist. There's no exception. All narcissists are victims. They always present themselves as victims. They are underappreciated at work or the wife to all the property or I don't know what. They're always a victim.

So there's a confluence between narcissism and victimhood and infection of the body politic from the grassroots level.

I'm so glad you said the grassroots level because there's so much emphasis placed on the elite as though the pressure cooker is from the top down.

But if you study totalitarianism, it's from the bottom up and then the elite sort of mirror.

Yeah.

So speaking of existential threats, you've I'm going to segue a little bit here.

You've said that the gender wars are more of an existential threat than even climate change.

Can you expound on that?

Climate change is one of the biggest tragic comedies I've ever witnessed. And I'm not a young man, you may have noticed. And it's the greatest tragic comedy I've ever witnessed.

I am not a climate change denier. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind, not even a zero one percent doubt in my mind, that it's real. Absolutely real.

I think the most extreme scenarios are going to happen much faster than we think.

That's not the issue. The issue is our response to climate change.

We're responding again via the victimhood lens. The planet is a victim that imposes on us obligations to remedy the situation.

Here's the breaking news.

There is nothing we can do about climate change. It's not only too late, but it requires sacrifices that no one is willing to make on the country level, on the societal level and on the individual level.

I am not willing to do anything to prevent climate change. Period. I'm going to eat meat. I'm going to use air conditioning. I'm going to drive my car. I'm going to do everything as I always did and always will do.

And that is the vast majority of the population.

Ignore the activist nonsense or noise online.

So rather than pretend that the planet is a victim and we are the white knights, the saviors, the healers and the rescuers of mental health pathology, well-recognized by the way, rather than do this, why not say climate change is a fact? Let us adapt to it.

What do we need to do to survive with climate change?

That is reality-based, evidence-based thinking.

Our current reaction to climate change is a fantasy defense.

Why is it a fantasy defense?

Because it is not based on reality and can never ever be based on reality. Period.

There's nothing we can do to prevent or reverse or remedy climate change. That is reality.

Now live with it. Adapt to it. That's what mature adults do.

We are not reacting like as mature adults. We are reacting as people with delusional disorders.

Let's say example of climate change.

I'm sorry, you got me on a rant and I forgot your question.

I was talking about existential threats, whether it's gender wars or climate change.

I'm just laying it out for climate change.

Climate change is not and will never be an existential threat. We will move our cities inwards.

Some countries will become tourist destinations like Sweden. Some countries will bake as they've always done.

Climate change is not an existential threat. It will impose a heavy toll on our resources and ingenuity.

But we're going to solve it. We're going to coexist with climate change.

And here's something shocking. We're going to benefit from climate change.

Climate change is a redistribution and reallocation of resources on a global level.

Some countries will benefit. Some countries will not.

That's the way it's always been in the last Ice Age, for example. That's reality.

Not so gender wars. The gender wars, they are a real existential threat.

If men hate women and women hate men, if women regard men as potential rapists one and all, and men regard women as manipulative liars one and all, if they wage war through the legal system, if they refuse to collaborate, for example, on making children and forming families, that is an existential threat.

Already in about 40% of the world, we are under the replacement rate. More people are dying than being born.

Now, you could say, but we don't need more people. We have 8.1 billion people on this planet.

Yes, but of the wrong age.

In industrialized societies, 26% of people are above the age of 65. Actually we are missing 80 million children if we take into account only the looming pension crisis.

That is only pension.

If you take into account infrastructure and other things, we are missing 300 million children.

We need 300 million children.

But who is going to make these children if men and women refuse to collaborate in forming families and so on?

And when we do make children, look at the results. The children are mentally ill. Depression went up quintupled. Depression quintupled. Anxiety disorders tripled. Suicide rates among youngsters is up 48% in the last decade because men and women don't collaborate.

We need men and women to continue as a species. We don't need a specific temperature to continue as a species.

I have no doubt that if a temperature goes up another 5 degrees, it's going to be mighty inconvenient but we're going to survive.

I do have a doubt, however, that if gender relations continue the way they are now, we will survive as a species. I have a grave doubt about this.

And it's now getting better because of victimhood.

Women and men have adopted the victimhood narrative. Women are men's victims and men are women's victims.

So when you are someone's victim, what incentive do you have to compromise, negotiate, form a consensus?

You're demonizing the other. The other is an enemy. We call it in psychology, a persecretary object.

You don't negotiate with enemies, you vanquish enemies.

And so this filters down.

If you think that gender wars are limited to the bedroom, you would be very wrong.

Because, for example, in what places?

57% of men refuse to work with women. Youth center, not some partner. 57% of men are afraid to collaborate with women because they are afraid of allegations of sexual assault. And 40% of women.

This in itself is a shocking number. The overwhelming vast majority of teenage boys are afraid to approach teenage girls. For the same reason, the Me Too movement. It's overwhelming majority. They are afraid to approach teenage girls.

In the United Kingdom, love bombing has been criminalized by the prosecution service. Love bombing is when on the first and second date, I offer you marriage. And I'm planning our future and I buy you flowers. And I tell you that you are the most amazing person ever and I've made up my mind to marry you. Okay. It's manipulative. It's laughable, if you ask me. But it's not criminal. And yet they're criminalizing. We are criminalizing and we have criminalized. Flirting and every other known form of interaction between men and women.

Whale into the bedroom and the minutest prurient details of the sex. Flirting is criminalizing. Stigmatize if not criminalize.

I don't know if you want to comment on censoriousness and the uptick there.

And you're talking about these control tactics from a lot of different angles.

But also speaking of the consummate victim, Trump, why does he self implode under all these legal battles? What have you?

Can you help us understand that? What do you mean self implode? Everything falling apart. He's self negating.

You know, and he brings this upon himself.

All these legal. He's leading in Iowa by 30 points. Yeah. Well, we know that narcissism is a paradox. So he's both a child and a tyrant and all of this. So you know, authoritarian. It's just, you know, it always be inelectable towards self-emolity. I have a bit of a different view. I think to some extent he's engineering his troubles because they are the ticket. I see. Because victim hunt. Okay. It all comes full circle. It renders him the alpha victim, the apex victim. I've been thinking lately, he's going to win. All these prosecutions are the guarantee that he may win the primaries.

I'm not talking about the elections, the primaries, the Republican primaries. I'm always convinced that this, because he was losing momentum before the prosecutions. He was losing momentum. People were talking about the Santes and this and that. He was losing momentum and suddenly all these prosecutions are, I mean, the others are. I don't know why they are bothering to debate. I mean, it's a waste of everyone's time.

These are great news. The more, the better. Bring them on these prosecutions.

I've never been more of a victim than I am now.

So what's the ticket?

Victimhood.

Victimhood.

What did I say before?

The confluence of victimhood and politics.

It's an enormous risk because you have the levers of power. You have the red button. You have this terrifying, absolutely terrifying. North Korea engages in victimhood narrative.

And many Western countries are on the way to North Korea. That's what they don't realize. They think if they have a parliament or a Congress or whatever, they are not North Korea. But North Korea is a country founded on a victimhood narrative.

To this very day, North Koreans present themselves that interpret their history and manufacture missiles, nuclear missiles, because they are perpetual victims.

So you want to see the future? Look to North Korea.

There's been an increase of crime in America, just overall decline, degradation lately and Oakland, California and Philadelphia. The Apple store was ransacked and looted. So people are talking about it more.

Also extreme environmental activism, throwing soup at Van Gogh paintings, what have you, gluing your hands. Do you think this is all an expression of narcissism and or victimhood ideology?

You recall that when we were much younger, you and me, I mentioned competitive victimhood. You need to be noticed. You need to become ostentatious. And you need to escalate your ostentatiousness because the competition is wild and multiplies by the day.

So like you're competing with two billion other victims. What's going to put you on the map?

If you are competing for resources, you need to be on the map.

This question of resources, there's a lot of money in victimhood, a lot of money sloshing around victimhood, donations, institutional money, even corporate money, social responsibility bullshit, corporate money. There's a lot of money there.

So if you want a piece of a pie, piece of a cake, you need to stand out.

And how to stand out? Everyone is doing the same thing. Everyone is saying the same thing. They're all singing from the same book. They're all on the same page. They're boring. Everyone's so boring.

So you need to, I don't know, glue your hands or spit on Van Gogh. I don't know.

I mean, you need to do something outrageous and controversial, which would gain you media coverage.

That is Donald Trump's secret. That is the genius of Donald Trump. That he always does the outrageous and controversial thing and gains media exposure, free media exposure and a lot of victimhood dollars. Everyone wants to be Donald Trump nowadays. He's the role model, the one and only role model.

So we should probably start to wind down this conversation.


I did want to close out mentioning that I've been a contributor on taxonomy for Michael Schellenberger and Peter Bogosian, mapping cluster B psychopathology to Wokism. And of course, it's all been inspired by your work and your advisor on this project as well.

So that's coming down the pipeline shortly.

I just wanted to highlight that.

Wonderful.

Wonderful eclosification system.

Really wonderful.

I'm glad you think so.

I'm a very blunt type. I know you don't blow smoke.

In closing, Sam, I want to express my gratitude that there's a particular exquisite beauty with which you speak, that you're bringing forward in your work. And it's truly an honor to speak with you today and to gain your insights.

As a fellow truth lover, and I am, I do commit.

Thank you for your commitment to the truth. Thank you for having me and for resolving the issue of the recording.

Of course. Thank you.

My pleasure. See you again. Bye bye. Bye bye.

Don't be a victim.

Well, Professor Vaknin, thank you a lot for agreeing for this interview. Thank you.

You are a pioneer on the topic of narcissism and you explained on a recent interview that you're interested for the topic came from your personal experience.

So my first question would be, would you say that on this topic of narcissism, it takes one to know one?

No, I wouldn't say that at all. It's no more relevant than, for example, an oncologist who has cancer.

So yes, a properly qualified and trained diagnostician is capable of diagnosing the narcissist within one or two sessions.

It does involve, however, personal interaction with the narcissist.

So we don't have efficacious tests. We have the narcissistic personality inventory, the NMPI, several others, but they're not very efficient.

And what is even worse, they rely on honest self-reporting by the narcissist, which I find very common.

So it takes a personal session, talking to the narcissist, structured interviews, a lot of work, a lot of effort to pierce through the defenses, but it's doable. It can be done.

However, it is true that because I have narcissistic personality disorder, I am able to identify other narcissists much faster and without any of these diagnostic tools.

It's like we signal each other. I heard of a similar thing among gay people.

It seems that people who suffer from social exclusion or are socially inapt or have problem with social cues, autistic people, gay people, narcissists, even psychopaths, they're able to identify themselves to each other very, very fast.

How would you say that your journey on this topic for yourself helped you on your knowledge and on thinking of narcissism?

No, most of my work is based on the largest database of narcissists in the world. It has 2,132 as of this morning.

Another one joined. These are people who have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

They must present a certificate by their therapist or diagnostician. Then they're included and there's a follow up. There's follow up every one year, every year.

So right now we have well over 1.1 billion data points in the database, which makes it the biggest by far.

So most of my work is based on this.

Some of it involves introspection. Introspection used to be a very respectable tool in early psychology.

All the big names in psychology at the time introspected and described their outcomes, but it has fallen out of favor as psychology tries to become a science, as psychology tries to emulate physics.

It is now put on statistics and scientific experimentation and you're not allowed to introspect. That's a bad way of doing psychology.

Psychology is of course a pseudoscience. It's a pseudoscience. It can never be a science, but it has pretensions to science and there's a lot of money involved.

So they exclude introspection. Introspection constitutes about 10% of my work. 90% is a database.

The question of narcissism in the media, in the university field looks like it is more pregnant nowadays than it used to be.

Do you think that the era is more prone to the surge of narcissist personnacies or that we just focus on them more?

Well several trends are at play.

First of all we are much more aware of narcissism and it doesn't have to be disordered narcissism. It doesn't have to be the sick pathological variant of narcissism. It could be just narcissistic style or narcissistic personality or traits or behaviors. We are more attuned. We are more sensitized to this.

And so we identify it much more often.

The second thing is that there is a real rise in the prevalence and incidence of narcissism, pathological narcissism, among mainly young people, mainly people under the age of 25.

According to some studies, for example by Twenge and others, there's been a quintupling of narcissism among these age groups.

And of course the technology both reflects this and enhances it, empowers narcissism.

Narcissism is a positive adaptation. It pays to be a narcissist. You rise to the top, you become president of the United States for example.

So it's a good idea to be a narcissist.

In July 2016, a respectable science journalcame up with a cover story.

Parents Teach Your Children to Be Narcissists.

So narcissism is a bad tone.

And the third factor I think is that narcissism is no longer a clinical entity, but it is an organizing principle. It helps us to make sense of the world.

So now we look at politics, show business, even geopolitics and so on, and we say, okay, if we use the principle of narcissism, then we can make sense of what's happening. It's meaningful. What's happening is meaningful.

And people are addicted to meaning. They seek meaning throughout their lives.

So now they have this narcissism thing and suddenly they can label politicians, they can predict behaviors. It's a useful tool.

So I think that's why it's becoming more in the limelight, more in the headlines.

And for the rising numbers, especially amongst the youth, you said, you mentioned the role of technology. How much does that account for this rise and what are the other factors that we might identify?

Technology is a feedback mechanism. In itself, it doesn't create narcissism. Narcissism is usually a pathology that is engendered or fostered in early childhood. So it doesn't create pathological narcissism, but it definitely tends to legitimize narcissistic displays, spectacles.

It was a Frenchman who coined the phrase, the society of the spectacle.

So social media tend to encourage spectacles of narcissism, social media rewards, narcissistic behaviors such as posting selfies and bragging.

So there is a vicious cycle of social media and technology in general, empowering narcissists, legitimizing narcissism and narcissistic behaviors and traits, thereby creating what we call a positive reinforcement.

In other words, every time you behave narcissistically, you get a cookie, you get a like, you get a follower, you get so it gives you reason to behave even more narcissistically.

It's a mechanism known as positive reinforcement.

But technology has a very small part to play in the tidal wave, the tsunami of narcissism that is sweeping over us.

I think there are other social trends which are much more important.

For example, the disintegration of all our institutions without exception, the church, the family, the communities, and even the nation state is disintegrating in a variety of ways. So that's very powerful.

We are in a state known as anomie. Our societies are anomic, anomic, that means the norms of behavior have disappeared. So it's very disorienting.

And narcissism is a compensatory mechanism. By pretending to be God, you're actually saying, no one can hurt me. Nothing bad can ever happen to me because I'm God. I'm all powerful. I'm all knowing and so on.

So it's a compensation for fear and panic and anxiety. It's an anxiety reducing mechanism.

And our world creates a lot of anxiety.

The second thing is that for the first time in human history, we have multiple fundamental profound transitions.

For example, take gender.

Gender roles have been fixed for well over 10,000 years since the agricultural revolution started an organization a little later.

And this is the first time in human history that we are transitioning from gender roles to an agented society or society which is uniganted, without gender roles.

That is very disorienting, of course.

But had this been the only transition, it would have been in itself very cataclysmic and unsettling.

And we see the war between the genders.

That's a reaction.

People are so unsettled, they become reactionary or they become violent or they become aggressive and so on.

Men and women. Women are becoming a lot more narcissistic, a lot more psychopathic, according to studies.

Sexual behaviors are influenced by subclinical psychopathy to a very large extent.

There's a total disintegration of sexual scripts and so on.

So had this been the only transition, it would have been bad in itself.

But we are faced with at least 20 or 30 transitions of a similar magnitude, all of them simultaneous.

Humans are not built to cope with this.

They're simply not built to cope with this.

I'm talking climate change, geopolitical realignment, gender roles, family, I mean, everything.

So women are not built to cope with such an amount of change.

And what they're doing is they become delusional. They become even almost psychotic. They withdraw from reality and they create a solipsistic bubble universe where they are godlike.

I call narcissism a private religion.

The reason primitive religions arose, the reason later more of theistic religions came to being, is that people were terrified. They were in a state of panic. They didn't know how to cope with nature.

So they created gods.

And so the same is happening today.

We don't know how to cope with our reality.

So we render ourselves gods, gods and godlike. We create private religion.

Private religion is narcissism.

So it's a religious reaction, actually.

So form of religious reaction.

And so on and so forth.

There are many things happening and all of them give good reason to develop narcissism.


So the confluence is irresistible.

And I believe that narcissism will become the norm, actually.

People who are not narcissistic will fall behind, will procreate less, they will have fewer children.

So natural selection will favor narcissists and psychopaths, even psychopaths more than narcissists.

And we are heading that way.

That's my firm belief.

And do you think or do you know that there are some groups that are especially more becoming narcissists and psychopaths than others?

Are there some groups that are especially following that trend or is this a global movement?

No, it's a global thing. It's on the individual level. It's on the collective level.

As the sociologist Campbell noted, we have transitioned from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood.

So the reason you pernicious poisonous confluence between victimhood and narcissism.

There are narcissists whose grandiosity is being a victim. They feel superior because they are victims.

So they have a vested interest to remain victims. They have an interest to force you to victimize them. They have an interest to feel entitled and to have grievances and to become frustrated and aggressive and violent if they don't get what they want.

Because all of this is intended to support, to buttress their sense of superiority, moral superiority, for example.

So while in the past victimhood movements, for example, the civil rights movements in the United States, so we're not narcissistic. We're actually goal oriented or purpose oriented.

Today, most victimhood movements are about grandiosity.

They don't have any meaningful agendas. They just want to be heard. They want to garner attention. They want to become celebrities and famous. They want to control. They want to have power. They're power oriented, power hungry.

They are entitled and aggressive and frustrated and in many cases violent.

Actually every single political and social movement nowadays had converted itself into a victimhood movement.


Many ideologies which were not victimhood oriented became victimhood oriented.

You can't find today anything, the far right, the far left, political parties, gender, I mean, you name it. You can't find a race, skin color, education. You name it. Everything is converted into the currency of victimhood. Everyone is a victim. Everyone is a victimizer and if they can't find an abuser, they invent one or they force you to become one.

That's an exceedingly dangerous phenomenon because narcissism is about a lack of empathy. It's about entitlement and exploitativeness. It's an externalizing disorder. It's a disorder that leverages aggression.

When you couple this with victimhood, this is morally justified narcissism. This is legitimized narcissism and so you see psychopathy becoming the norm.

But not psychopathy in your face, defiant, reckless, contumacious, hateful psychopathy, like in the past. This is psychopathy masquerading as sainthood. I'm not a psychopath, I'm a saint.

And if you don't recognize it, I'm going to kill you.

This is the message.

I'm a victim, so I'm a saint.

I'm morally superior to you.

I have a right because I have grievances.

I'm entitled. You have obligation towards me and if you refuse to fulfill them, I will bloody kill you.

That's the message.


How do this shift happen from what you describe as the civil rights movement and the dignified victims to these victim-molecule movements and the praise of narcissism, in fact?

There are two phenomena I think involved.

One is that these movements have been hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths.

There are studies in British Columbia, University and so on, that demonstrated this.

So narcissists and psychopaths saw an opportunity to become public faces of these movements.

They infiltrated these movements and took over.

And today these movements are tools, instruments of these psychopaths and narcissists.

That's the first development.

And the second development is demonetization of victim.

The minute it was possible to convert victimhood to money, many interests entered the game.

For example, businessmen, corporations, you know.

And these are by nature narcissistic and psychopathic.

A typical business lacks empathy, is goal-oriented and has to compete and even be a big vicious and even to survive.

So business is a psychopathic environment by definition.

The minute you monetize victimhood, it invites psychopaths, narcissists and psychopathic narcissistic institutions and structures to join the game.

And this is precisely what happened.

So the more successful victimhood movements had become, the more they got compromised by outsiders.

Could you say that the rule of political left is important in allowing that to happen?

In some countries, not in all of them of course. In other countries it was the right. For example, in Spain's Franco. In Franco Spain, I'm sorry, it was the right.

So both of them was Brazil. Or Ban's HungaryVichy Hungary.

Both left and right have kind of discovered the power of victimhood and the ability to monetize victimhood one way or another.

The whole European Union project is a victimhood project.

Because countries apply to the European Union and say, "I have pollution. I have been abused by my neighbors. I need to educate my people." So it is an entitlement-based program. I'm entitled, give me money.

And of course victimhood had been discovered long before.

The Nazi movement was a victimhood movement. Hitler's message was the German people had been victimized in Versailles by the Allies. And we should reclaim our dignity. We are victims. We are entitled because we are victims. And we are entitled to labensome. We are entitled to living space because they have confined us in a tiny territory having taken away half of Germany.

Similar messages you had in Serbia. Similar message you had in Hungary.

So victimhood is nothing new about victimhood.

But while victimhood in the past used to be dignified on the level of the individual and politicized on the level of the collective. So you had political victimhood like Nazism, like communism.

Communism was a victimhood movement. The proletariat is abused by the business owners and the big feudal landowners.

Yes, it's a victimhood movement.

So on the collective level victimhood was politicized. On the individual level victimhood was dignified, for example, in the civil rights movement.

While this happened in the past, today victimhood is a business. It's simply a business. It's an offshoot of capitalism.

And because capitalism is ubiquitous and all pervasive, right or left, doesn't matter. It became big business.

That's as simple as this.

Of course the left is taking a right on victimhood.

The work movements and other such bullshit, politically correct nonsense and so on.

Of course they are taking a right on it.

But you know what?

The far right is doing the same. The alt right is doing the same.

Alex Jones made 200 million dollars of victimhood. And he's not exactly left wing.

So it's all over the place. It's the monetization of suffering.

The monetization of suffering. It was not suffering. You invent suffering because it pays.

As simple as that. It's capitalism.

If you want the root cause, it's the malignancy of capitalism. Not capitalism as an ideology or capitalism as a form of allocating resources. It's very efficient form. It's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the ideology of capitalism that became cancerous.

The ideology that says you can measure everything with money and everything should be geared towards economic growth. This is not capitalism.

This is an ideology superimposed on capitalism. Everything in capitalism says that you have to grow economically all the time.

When you say I have to grow economically all the time means I have to produce new consumers. And to produce new consumers, I need to brainwash them into consuming needlessly.

So there is a whole cycle here of very evil, evil mind control techniques.

And the response to this by helpless people is narcissism.

People feel helpless. People feel hopeless because of the forces of ideological capitalism.

So they're responding but pretending that they are gods.

It's a compulsive, it's a con Sequence. It's utterly delusional, sick. As sick as religion.

It's a form of religion. And to what extent and how much dangerous do you think that the victim culture might be to our societies?

Well, deadly more or less.

Take for example the gender issue.

There is a precipitous collapse in the production of new children.

Now we say we don't need children. We have 8 billion people. That's nonsense. We don't have 8 billion people. We have 2 billion people who are old over the age of 65. That's what we have. We miss two, 300 million children in order to support the pension schemes. Forget other things.

So we have a deficit in children. And this deficit is direct outcome of gender wars and the unigender approach, which is a direct outcome of a victimhood movement known as feminism.

So there is an example for you. So we don't have children. 31% of adults in industrialized countries are single for life. They don't have relationships. They have two cats and Netflix. That's what they have for a life.

You know, it's bad. Situation is seriously bad.

Women and men are totally disoriented. They hate each other. They fight each other. You have phenomena like miktau and incense and red pillows or what. Sick phenomena of sick people. It's bad.

And I'm giving you only one example of 20 or 30 such dislocations, such transformations, all of them without exception based on victimhood.

Creating yourself, creating identity politics around victimhood is destructive to you and to others. It's destructive to you because you can never feel self-respect and dignity because you're a victim.

As a victim, you're passive. As a victim, you're helpless. As a victim, you're hopeless. It's detrimental to you, but it's also destructive to your environment because as a victim, you feel entitled. As a victim, you're frustrated. As a victim, inevitably you become aggressive. And as a victim, you hate other people and you just want to shut yourself up in your studio, watch movies and forget the rest of the world.

So there's a total collapse in the social fabric. And is there anything to be done against it? Can we stop it or I don't know?


Listen, one of the most disgusting and despicable human beings I know is called Donald Trump.

But I must tell you that he is right. Even a clock that doesn't move is right twice a day. So I must tell you that sometimes I resonated with his messages. And one of the messages I resonated with is that we must get rid of victimhood speech. Of course, Trump has created a victimhood movement in the United States.

The victimhood of the white suppressed male working class male. That was his message.

The whites are losing America.

So it's a victimhood movement.

But on the other hand, he did espouse a message of we should stop being politically correct. We should confront the work movements. We should confront the left. And we should get out of this. We should reclaim our strength.

Ironically, he coupled it with a victimhood message.

But had it been decoupled, I would have fully supported it.

Yes, wherever we see victims and victimhood, we should fight them tooth and nail.

There is no movement of reparations for slavery. Really? What the hell is this?

There's a movement.

And similarly, the endless exploitation of the Holocaust by the Jews should be confronted. Similarly, gender grievances and complaints.

Patriarchy, the evil that men are and men did to women throughout millennia.

Listen, let me tell you something. Everyone has been victimized at one time or another. That you had been subject to abuse and suffering. That you had been victimized doesn't make you a victim.

A victimhood is an identity. It's not the same as being victimized. Everyone is victimized by the tax authorities. I don't know. Everyone is a victim to someone.

We must stop this. We must stop the conversion to identity politics.

And when we see it happening, we must confront it everywhere and with everything at our disposal.


So even sensitive issues like the Holocaust should be confronted. Of course the Holocaust happened. I'm not a Holocaust denier, I'm a Jew. The Holocaust did happen. It was possibly the most horrible genocide in human history, probably.

That's not the issue. The issue is to monetize it is morally abhorrent and reprehensible. And to monetize it 70 years after the event is disgusting. It's business. There's nothing to do. These people have died already.

So this should stop.

Same with many black grievances.

The black community in the United States, rather than control its own shortcomings, for example, the disintegration of the family structure, the irresponsible responsibility or the lack of responsibility of the typical black male, the explosion of use of drugs and criminal behavior among the black communities.

Instead of confronting these and admitting to these shortcomings and trying to tackle them, they put all the responsibility on wrongs that had been committed 150 years ago.

No one denies that slavery was a catastrophically horrible event or process.

But there's a limit and we must place it now or we are lost.

How do you confront a victim of attitude if it is coupled with the narcissism that you described at the beginning?

How do you confront those two issues at the same time because they are un-employed?

One way to do that is to provide alternatives to grandiosity, other outlets to grandiosity.

So for example, someone's grandiosity is invested in their victimhood. Maybe you should redirect the grandiosity towards overcoming victimhood.

If you say I've been a victim of an abuser, I've been a victim of an abuser, it's horrible. I'm morally superior because my abuser was wrong morally and I've been right morally.

You could say, well, maybe you can overcome your victimhood. Maybe you're strong, maybe you're resilient, maybe you have untapped resources and you can overcome your victimhood and your suffering and then teach others and so on.

This is a form of redirecting grandiosity.

Listen, it's hopeless to fight narcissism, exactly like climate change. All this nonsense about reversing climate change is a total nonsense. It will not happen. Climate change is here, it's coming, it will be upon us.

Better to perforate rather than try to reverse it.

Start working will never work.

Same with narcissism.

That tsunami is here, start swinging.

So rather than trying to reverse narcissism and so on, we should try to channel it.

Narcissism is energy, it's a force. It's the need to support your grandiosity by eliciting narcissistic supply from other people.

So channel it.

You can elicit supply by pretending to be a victim or you can elicit supply by demonstrating to the world what a strong, resilient person you are and how you would overcome your victimhood.

Yes, I was born a slave, but now I'm a multi-millionaire.

There are two options.

You can say I was born a slave, you owe me because you tortured me and you separated my family and you kidnapped me from Africa.

Yes, I'm a slave.

So now you owe me money.

That's one approach.

And the other approach is I've been a slave, you've abused me and tortured me and look where I am now. I'm a multi-millionaire. I'm a successful author. I'm an intellectual. I don't know.

These are the two options and we need to redirect public discourse not towards compensating for victimhood, not to have a discourse of rights and obligations, but a discourse of overcoming.

By the way, this was the original message of the civil rights movement. You remember the song, "We Shall Overcome?" This was the original message.

They didn't ask for money. They didn't ask for affirmative action. They didn't ask for any of these bullshit. They just asked to be treated equally and fairly and they agreed to do the job themselves of reconstituting their lives and overcoming. Triumphing.

We should emphasize triumph rather than monetizing a compensation.

But triumph is not a capitalistic discourse. That's a problem.

Our language is contaminated by capitalism. We ask what's in it for me? How much is it worth? How much do I tend to get out of it?

These are capitalistic narratives.

Instead we should move away from capitalistic narratives and towards, I would say, psychological narratives of resilience, of strength, of transformation and of overcoming.

These have been the narratives for well over 10,000 years.

In all the ancient religions, in mysticism, in philosophy, these were the narratives.

No one talked about money. No one said if you achieve Nirvana, you will get $1 million. No one said that.

You achieved Nirvana because you wanted to achieve Nirvana. End of story. Not because you wanted to become Bill Gates.

But today you have the likes of Tony Robbins and other profound thinkers whose message is there's a giant inside you. If you awaken it, you'll be a multi-millionaire and you will have nice cars and the most beautiful girls.

That is the epitome today and the quintessence of the horizon of young people.

That's how they believe they will become fulfilled.

Perhaps that will be my last question because we are running out of time.

But even some politicians that denounce victimhood like Donald Trump also fall into victimhood strategy.

How is that not inextricable?

The problem is language.

Everything starts with language.

Your consciousness is shaped by language.

Reality is shaped by your consciousness.

Everything starts with language.

Of course if the narrative is a victimhood narrative and the dictionary is a victimhood dictionary you find it extremely difficult to communicate otherwise.

Of course if everyone agrees that markets are very important and market efficiency is critical and economic growth is the only measure of happiness and so it's difficult to exit the narrative.

The space of language not only defines you but also confines you.

We need another language, a new language.

Luckily, these alternative languages have existed for thousands of years. We just forgot about them.

In the 60s and 70s we tried to go back. There was a brief period where we tried to go back to the east, to India, to the Middle East. In the 80s there was a brief period where we tried to go back to monotheistic classical religions.

But we failed because in the 80s started the high tech boom and everyone became multibillionaires and so on. Money became the new idol, the new god.

And since then all the alternative narratives and languages have been suppressed. We need to rediscover them.

Nothing is wrong with capitalism. I wouldn't trade capitalism for any other system of allocating economic resources. It's the best by far.

But the ideology of capitalism is sick to the core and is making all of us sick to the core.

We need to get rid of it. We need to act as capitalistic agents in the marketplace without converting this into some kind of religion.

We need to understand that humans are much more important than any commodity or object.

We live in a death count. This is a death count where objects are venerated and humans are sacrificed.

We need to move from a death count to a count of life.

Luckily we have hundreds of options to choose from if we only make this decision.

Well, I think we can end on that if that's okay with you.

Thank you very much for your time. It was very fascinating to talk with you.

Thank you a lot for your time.

Thank you very much. Take care of you. Bye bye. You too.

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