Mental Illness, Left and Right with Prof. Ed Dutton, Jolly Heretic

Uploaded 5/20/2024, approx. 1 hour 1 minute read

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to this edition of the Jolly Heretic Afternoon Edition. I don't know if the viewers are aware of this, but in England in the old days pubs didn't even open till three o'clock in the afternoon. But it's 4.30 in the afternoon here and I have a very special guest for you today and that is Professor Sam Vaknin who is an expert on narcissism and also a narcissist himself. And so while I sign into the old entropy, I'm going to ask Sam to introduce himself.

So Sam over to you.

I'm Sam Vaknin, I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, other books on personality disorders and I'm my professor of psychology. As you have indicated I've been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder twice over the span of ten years. So that sort of drove me into the field.

I see, so that's great. So if you have any, great, so well anyway, so welcome to the Jolly Heretic. It's an absolute pleasure to have you here and cheers everybody. Cheers Peter Lobb, cheers Sigmund Freud, cheers Koffman, cheers Sam, cheers Hurligan-Gurligan, capis.

Blood State Hands is saying why now? The answer is because that's when Sam can see the fittest in. Cheers Sam's on the red wine here. So I'm very sorry to my American viewers who are of course all in bed. Sláinja, Sláinja Vardogu Dodo, Sláinja Vard, capis, Hurligan-Gurligan, Saludo, Salú and all that and welcome to the Jolly Heretic. Now people have been commenting that this is on what's called Neat Time which is not in education, employment or training and that is indeed the case.

So I'm sorry about that but if you have any questions for Sam on the issue of narcissism in particular which is what we're going to be talking about today, yes capis, Sigmund Oppenheim. Then do of course send them in and American expat here says Brendan. Cheers Brendan and hello C.V. Jolly Heretic at a reasonable time says C.V. I don't know where you are but this is early drinking.

Then of course send them in on the old entropy. The link is on the screen or on YouTube and we will of course answer them today and the flam reporter said I love the Daily Mail article. Yes Sam was recently in the Daily Mail article reading about that.

Okay so can you tell us then how did you, you were diagnosed as narcissistic yourself so what is it like to be, would you say as a person as a psychologist and an academic, how would you say, what is it like to be a narcissist?

Narcissism is not a presence, it's an absence, it's the experience of a void, of a black hole.

Now how can anyone experience an absence, I mean if you're not there how can you experience anything?

So there must be an entity or a sub-entity which does the experiencing, a remnant perhaps of the supernova, something left behind after the huge explosion of early childhood.

The narcissist experiences undergoes trauma and abuse in early childhood and then the narcissist suspends himself or herself as a child and instead creates an imaginary friend, a false self which also has the hallmarks of a deity, it's a divinity.

And so in many respects the child exposed to abuse and trauma comes up with a private religion where there's this Moloch, this ancient pagan kind of God, the false self and this false self is everything the child is not.

The false self is omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent and everything and all and perfect and brilliant and so on and so this emanation takes over, the child disappears, vanishes, the true self is suppressed and ossified and fossilized and the false self takes over, very reminiscent to Frankenstein's creation or the golem in Jewish tradition. It's a monster that takes over.

So you're talking to the monster right now, to this concoction, to this piece of fiction because I am no longer.

Right so your real self somehow became extinguished in some point in childhood due to something unpleasant things happening to you or whatever, that's what you're saying.

So what is the difference then between a fragile narcissist and are you a grandiose narcissist or a fragile narcissist?

Clinically I'm a psychopathic narcissist. The fragile or vulnerable or shy or covert narcissist, the clinical term is covert narcissist. It's a narcissist who is unable to secure narcissistic supply, unable to garner attention, adulation, admiration directly, either because he is socially anxious or because he is insecure or because he is flooded with shame and guilt from early childhood or because he feels inadequate and inferior for whatever reason, this kind of narcissist cannot just go out there in your face and extract from you the attention that he craves and needs to regulate his internal environment.

So this kind of narcissist is a constant state of frustration, seething and becoming gradually passive aggressive.

And this is the difference between covert and overt.

Now recently we are coming to the realization that the classic phallic grandiose overt narcissist, the Donald Trump type is actually a psychopath, not a narcissist. And that the only true narcissist is what we used to call hitherto the covert narcissist.

That's the only true narcissist because this kind of narcissist is compensatory. It compensates, he compensates for an innate feeling of inadequacy and inferiority by presenting a facade of superiority and grandiosity.

So what used to be called narcissist until recently is probably a variant.

If you're compensating though, then which is what you're saying is true of the grandiose narcissist, then isn't there an extent to which you kind of don't really feel it? Or is there some level on which you don't really feel it? Or are you unpuncturable? Is it that you really, somehow the, is it that the repulsion, I mean, I find these are metaphors we're talking in here and sometimes they're not a perfect way of explaining something. But I mean, are we saying that the covert narcissist is basically almost a less successful example of the narcissistic strategy? He has been less able to distinguish the narcissistic supply from the narcissistic demand.

And this is the difference between the narcissist and the narcissistic supply. All of them require narcissistic supply, which is a fancy term for attention. All kinds of narcissists require attention from the outside, feedback. All of them need to be seen in order to regulate the sense of self worth, self esteem, self-image and self perception, et cetera. All of them.

This is common to all narcissists. The difference between the covert and the overt is the covert is less self efficacious. The covert is less adept and less successful at obtaining supply directly.

So he needs to go in a roundabout way. Some covert narcissists team up with overt narcissists, with Donald Trump types. They team up with them in order to vicariously enjoy the supply, kind of moon and sun relationship.

Other covert narcissists become passive aggressive and they derive their sense of omnipotence from their ability to sabotage and undermine and obstruct other people, et cetera.

But until recently we believed that all of them belong to one big genius, all of them belong to one big family. But now we're beginning to believe that the overt grandiose classic kind of narcissist with the braggadaccio and the boasting and the bragging and the in your face grandiosity and the contempt. This kind of narcissist is actually a psychopath, not a narcissist.

We are beginning to believe that the only kind of true narcissist is compensatory.

So yeah, because that's the thing. WhenI'vetrue narcissist is compensatory.

So yeah, because that's the thing. When I've looked at this before in my own research, I find very little difference between the way that whatever his name was, click, clackly or whatever his name is, the mask of sanity. I forget his name, describes the 11 markers of psychopathology with how people describe the markers of narcissism. They seem to be almost exactly the same.

But with the covert narcissist, thatthat seems to me to be much moredistinguishable, much more kind of in my own experience with people that I would guess are a bit like that, that there is the losing their temper, the jumping up and down like a child, the return to a childlike state, that sort of thing, which is consistent with some damaged person, rather than just a person that's just congenitally like this.

So, so I think that's, so you then in that sense, you would be a psychopath and not really a narcissist.

I'm a psychopathic narcissist, which is a hybrid. It's also known as a malignant narcissist. It was first described by Kernberg auto Kernberg in the seventies. It's a lot of what is it, which is that then from the other two categories that we've explored a psychopathic narcissist is a narcissist who, who resembles in behavior and in strategies, coping strategies, a psychopath rather than a classic narcissist.

So psychopathic narcissist would tend to be contemptuous, defiant, narcissistic, contempt against authority, would tend to be reactant.

So you know, his trigger would tend to be reckless, unaware of the consequences of his actions or feel himself immune to the consequences, etc.

We'll be a lot more psychopathic.

And so the psychopathic narcissist or malignant narcissist is the best of both worlds. It has all the features of a narcissist and most of the features were psychopath, but there is a major distinction between narcissist, psychopathic narcissist, covert narcissist, and a real factor one psychopath, a real psychopath.

That there are two major distinctions. Number one, the psychopath does not, does not need other people. The narcissist needs other people because he, he needs supply. He needs narcissistic supply.

The narcissist recreates himself on the fly via the gaze of other people. He needs to be constantly seen in order to feel that he exists and in order to recreate his, his emulation of existence, his four existence, then the psychopath doesn't need anyone absolutely doesn't.

The second distinction is that the narcissist is focused on one goal and one goal only, and that is narcissistic supply. The narcissist couldn't care less about anything else, only supply.

Of course, if money, having money leads him on the path to obtaining more supply, he would be money hungry, but money is not the end. It's the means the end is narcissistic supply.

A psychopath is goal oriented. A psychopath wants money for money's sake. He wants power for power's sake. He wants sex for sex sake. He doesn't care about supply. He is not dependent on other people.

You could say that the narcissist is a junkie, an addict of narcissistic supply, while the psychopath is a smooth operator.

And this raises the issue whether there is such a thing as psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder, or whether there is merely a societal judgment, a culture bound syndrome, not real.

It was a study by a pair of researchers called Moss and O'Connor last year, which looked at the dark triad traits in political terms. And it found that people that were attracted to the far left, whatever you want to call it, the woke left, tended to be high in narcissism and Machiavellianism. And in contrast to that, people that were attracted to the alt right, as opposed to the conservative right, the sort of radical right, if you like, tended to be high in psychopathology.

And of course, it distinguished these three terms.

So narcissism, I could understand that, but oh, you get praised for being left wing and whatever. And a Machiavellianism, you want power and left wing is a means for power.

And then you get some people that are so Machiavellian, I guess, that they can't cope with any kind of power and then they become so left wing that they offend even the dominant left wing society.

How do you think that these different dark triad traits cross over them with, while you'd be attracted to one kind of political perspective in one kind of society rather than another?

Bradley, Bradley Campbell, who is a sociologist, suggested that we are transitioning from an age of dignity to an age of victimhood.

Victimhood became the main determinant of identity in modern modern life. Everyone in his dog is someone's victim. And if they are not, they will find a victim, a victimizer or an abuser.

So there are victims on the left and there are victims on the right and there are victimhood movements on the left and victimhood movements on the right.

And I agree with you that the psychological profile of right wing victims is different to the psychological profile of left wing victims.

When I say victims, I don't mean real victims. I mean, professional victims, career victims, victimhood as a job.

So left wing victims are essentially narcissistic. We have a series of studies that support this.

I refer you to studies by GABAI, G-A-B-A-Y. I refer you to a recent study in 2020 published in British, University of British Columbia and others. And these studies, recent studies, last two years, demonstrate pretty conclusively to my mind, one of these studies is with like tens of thousands of people. I mean, they demonstrate pretty conclusively that there is an affinity between narcissism and psychopathy and left wing activism, or at the very least, the posture of an eternal victim, the posture of victimhood as an identity.

On the right, on the right side of the equation, we would find other psychopathological traits, but not necessarily narcissism and psychopathy.

On the right side, we would find conspiracism. Conspiracism is the psychological proclivity to believe in conspiracy theories. We would find schizoid avoidant tendencies. These are people who want small government. They are averse to intrusion and control. So they are very defiant, but they are defiant because they want to be left alone. They're not defined as a classical psychopath would be. Classical psychopath is defined because he wants to control.

These people don't want to control anything. They just want to be left alone. And they are highly conspiracy minded, but there isn't much sign or there aren't many signs of narcissism and psychopathy in the right side.

On the left side, there are psychopaths and narcissists consistently hijack left wing victimhood movements and make, render themselves the public faces of these movements. And this is documented in the scholarly literature finally, after so many years, because there has been implicit self censorship in academia. I don't need to tell you. And people have been penalized by losing tenure and jobs and what have you, if they did speak against certain work movements and so on.

But this is changing. I'm happy to see this is changing.

What is, what is the evidence that is changing?

I mean, only the scholarly publication would have been impossible 10 years ago. Absolutely impossible. There would be no funding. There would be no support by faculty. They would, I mean, these people would have lost their tenure and their jobs and you name it 10 years ago, it would have been utterly impossible.

But now we have a mini mini tidal wave of studies that connect victimhood movements, grievances, grievances and so on, connect them to dark triad features.

Now, just to rectify one thing you have said, dark triad personalities are not narcissists and psychopaths, dark triad personalities are personalities, which are subclinical narcissists is subclinical psychopaths.

In other words, they cannot be diagnosed with narcissism and psychopathy, but they have pronounced traits and behaviors that render them almost psychopaths or almost narcissists.

Okay. But what wouldn't it, what wouldn't it be? I would, one thing that I struck me was that if you're, if you're power hungry and you're narcissistic in a right wing society, uh, the, the, the society of Victorian England, then wouldn't it follow that people like that would be attracted to being very right wing and conservative in that context. And it would be the opposite. It would be these more psychopathic types that would be attracted to the danger of being left wing in that context. It's almost as if you're implying that it's something inherent about left wing, far left movements that they are narcissistic, but couldn't wouldn't it be reversed in a very different kind of society?

No, I don't think so. Actually, if you study the history of extreme right wing politics, which you have, and I'll just perhaps raise a few points.

You see that the vast majority ofright wing leaders who had become dictators emanated from the left, that would include Joseph Gabbles. It would include Mussolini. It would include Adolf Hitler, actually. It would include many others. So the left is the breeding grounds for narcissists and psychopaths. They own the skills there, political skills and other skills. And some of them migrate to the right or opportunistically, they migrate to the right and bring with them the baggage that they had acquired. But the training and by the way, I want to say something immediately.

I'm a leftist. I'm a left winger. So you're a psychopath. So I'm a left winger. So I'm not everything I'm saying is not because I'm a crazy alt right Steve Bannon clone. I'm a left winger. So I have the kind of a stamp of objectivity on everything I'm saying.

But I think the left, the extreme left, the alt left, if you wish, is breeding grounds for these people. Narcissists and psychopaths gravitate to this circle.

But wouldn't it follow that I'm slightly confused. Wouldn't it follow that?

Okay. They may well be breeding. They may well start off in this. I mean, I'm thinking an intense, um, sense of unhappiness with yourself. And you kind of project this out onto the world or the world's a terrible place. And I'm, I'm, how can I feel better about myself? I can sound more moral than other people. That's how I feel better. So I'm left wing. But on the other hand, if you gravitate towards being right wing when society is moving that way, then wouldn't it follow that you, that there's something that opportunism is underpinned by a desire for praise, a desire for power, a desire for the dark triad dimensions. Whenever society is moved to the extreme right, they were very powerful left wing core concepts and elements embedded in the ostensible right. That's why it's, you know, national, socialistic party. The, the agenda of the Nazi party, for example, included numerous, numerous elements which were, cannot be described as right wing by any extension of the, of the phrase.

So even right wing movements when they take over or when they reflect the side guys, they reflect the side guys because of grievances, mass grievances. Yeah.

So I guess we, we need to distinguish between the, indeed even the extreme conservatives andthe radical right has these left wing dimensions.

And, and so it's the question I guess is what would make somebody like Mussolini or Hitlermove from being a just out and out socialist to being a, uh, a national socialist or fascist or whatever.

And you said it yourself. Nationalism says it's a way to mobilize, mobilize the population. It's a mass mobilization tool. It's, it's, the confluence of left wing with right wing is by far the most powerful winning combination.

It's a, it's a evolutionary adaptation of the first order. Whenever left wing mindset and, and, and, and tactics colluded with right wing sentiments, you got a winner.

And Mussolini, as you well know, was a prominent left-winger. He was editor of a left wing, a communist paper. Gebbels was a communist agitator and, and, you know, but they have discovered the charms of nationalism in terms of mobilization. And so they have married the two.

But the core ideology of Nazism is left wing, not right wing. It's certainly, I think true that I've looked at this a lot in computer modeling has found that the group that dominates the other group in evolutionary terms is high in positive ethnocentrism and high in negative ethnocentrism.

And a big element of nationalism is to say we're all the same. So even if I think about Finland, which I know a great deal about, of course, I live in Finland, you distinguish between the Finland of just the conservatism and the church and whatever, where there was social class and the romantic nationalism, the academic Corellia society, all this, where what they go on and on about what doesn't matter whether you work by the sweat of your brow or by the sweat of your brain or whatever, we're all Finns and these bloody Russians are trying to destroy us and all this.

I call it, I call it malignant egalitarianism. I say that malignant egalitarianism is the underlying foundation, the organizing principle, the hermeneutic principle of the far left and the far right.

And because malignant egalitarianism naturally gives rise to grievances and because it is essentially a victimhood position, it's negative identity formation.

You say, I am, I belong to this collective as opposed to the other. You need the other. You define yourself in contradiction to the other.

But it's, it is grievance based.

Nazism was a grievance movement. It was a victimhood movement. You know, it was a woman and it had a normal, I mean, a huge number of elements borrowed from socialism, including, but they were all the tactics of the Communist Party.

So, and I think the reason we are kind of circling each other in this conversation is because we need to make a distinction, distinction as you have made.

I need to make a distinction.

Sorry, my mistake.

Between conservatism and right-wing politics. They don't always go together.

For example, the conservatives in Germany opposed Adolf Hitler until almost the last minute and even tried to assassinate him several times, including in 1944. So the conservatives didn't regard Adolf Hitler as a reification of conservatism in German society.

Absolutely not. They regarded him as a revolutionary. He was indistinguishable in their minds from Lenin or Stalin or he was just another pernicious or malignant manifestation of the revolutionary wave that swept Europe since 1848.

And so conservatives, I don't know of any, of any affinity between being conservative and being, and having any psychopathology. I don't know of any correlation between psychopathology.

Certainly the studies of which I, of course, there was this infamous study that was published in 2010, the Holz et al, which found that psychoticism was higher among the right. And then they, six years later, they said there was a coding error after it had been reported in all the newspapers. That was that they were saying conservatives are higher in conscientiousness, higher in agreeableness. And these cross over with aspects of psychopathology.

So yeah, no, among normal conservatives. Actually, psychoticism is closely related to creativity. So creative types are much more high on psychoticism. That is not me that is that is Hans Ising. Ising proposed the trait of psychoticism. And he said that psychoticism leads inexorably to creativity.

Now, is it an accident that most creative people are left wing? Is it an accident? I don't think so. Yeah, there was a paper by, what was his name? Felix D. Post, analysis of 291 great men. And he found that subclinical psychopathy, not psychopathic, subclinical psychopathy was massively overrepresented among his sample. And it was unbelievable. And the more creative they were, so the more artistic they were.

So yes. I haven't touched your 10 euros. I'm live streaming now. I saw my daughter, I wanted to know where her 10 euros. But but yes, so good. So one thing I noticed, though, I mean, if we get back to the broader issue of narcissism and psychopathic, is that when we were talking there, you were you you say that you don't have a true self, and you dealt with this bike, but you you conceded incorrectness, you said, Oh, well, maybe I was wrong about this. I need to distinguish, you said, between psychopathic between the right of the conservatives and the radical right. So that that showed an element of humility.

So do I do I interpret that as a false humility that you're just doing to try and impress me? Or, or, or, or do would you say that people that are narcissists or psychopathic narcissists are, are unstable in that they have periods where they're very nice.

No, no, this has to do. This has to do with conditioning. I've simply spent most of my life I went to university at age nine, I was sent to university at age nine. So I was exposed to the rigors of academic training from age nine. And this tendency to hear split and nitpick, and be very precise and adhere to the truth. And, you know, if you make a mistake, correct it immediately and credit sources and all these things have been drilled into my mind. Since age nine, there's nine to do with my personality. It's simply I'm conditioned to do that, like a dog, you know, with the certain tricks. You're Pavlov's academic.

Yes. In this sense, in this sense.

So if I if I catch myself making a mistake or something, I'll correct it immediately. And if I say something, I'll credit the source. These are academic habits. It's habit, it's a habit. It's not a reflection of any underlying personality construct or propensity.

But what about would you say the the idea that we could suggest that our personalities are not stable, we are we are different selves with with different people, a particular person that I have just sent in a super chat, which I will answer in a minute. And he's extremely intelligent, and also quite serious. And I find myself with him being more serious. I find the serious side of me comes out more when I'm dealing with a person who is quite serious. And then if I'm dealing with a person that's more laid back, then I'm that side of me will come out more ourselves are not concrete in that way.

And so would you say that with people that are narcissists, the self, the narcissistic or whatever element is or psychopathic is is fluid? Or are there are there moments of epiphany when you realize, oh, I shouldn't have done that? Oh, that was silly. Or, or, or is it just all the time in this in this mode, if you know what I mean?

Well, I wouldn't presume that you're acquainted with my work. But that has been this my work over the last 10 years, I'm proposing to replace the paradigm of self in psychology, with a paradigm of self states, self assembling, repertory or theater troupe of self states, I say that people healthy or not have have a series of self states at their disposal. And that these self states are triggered by the environment. And they take over. And the principle that governs the takeover is self efficacy. If a self state is more efficacious than another, then that self state state will prevail. And so on.

So as the environment changes, people change self states the way you change, you know, your attire or clothing or whatever. And so I very much in agreement with you. And that's the crux and the thrust of my academic work for the last 10 years. I believe the concept of self is wrong. I believe people are a river, not a pond. I believe people are in flux. I believe there is no such thing as a core. I think that the very concept of self is a rigid immutable identity, lifespan over the lifespan is a reflection of the social mores of Fandesiac end of the end of the century Vienna. Don't forget that.

Sickle psychology is a discipline is the outcome of German minds. Freud, I'm not kidding, Freud, Jung, vent, others. They started psychology, they started off psychology, Breuer, Bloeller, I mean, they're all Germans, Germans, Jewish, one of them is Jewish, Jewish, German. Is it the outcome of Jewish minds? No, German minds, German minds.

It was German side of Freud that prevailed in his psychology. Now, at that time, everything was rigid. There was a rigid, rigid potentate, there was a rigid dictator, in effect, a king or an emperor. Everything was hierarchical. Everything was structured. Everything was immutable. Everyone believed that empires would last forever. And this was reflected in the psychology, in the psychological theories that prevailed at the time.

And so we inherited the concept of self from Freud and even more so from Jung. But it's counterfactual. It's nonsense. Anyone who is working, I work with people, I give counseling to people. I mean, this is the concept of self is utterly useless and also wrong in treating people, in helping people.

So I agree with you that we fluctuate, we're in flux. What about the idea that, one thing I personally notice is that my daughter will be 14 years old soon. And I find that interesting. But I think back to myself at 14, I kind of see myself as the same as I am now, same kind of personality. When I was younger than that, I was more shy, more introverted, I think, for example. And it's something like, yeah, that's me, 14, 13, I'm not so sure, and 12, perhaps not. And there is the correlation between personality at 18 and personality at eight is something like point six. And to the extent that your personality is your way of being is yourself, then this is consistent. Yeah, on the one hand with the IES in flux, it's difficult to pin down. On the other hand, there is some sort of core, particularly perhaps by adolescence, that the short of some brain injury that radically changes you is, although it changes and moves, is you.

What do you think of that?

I dispute this. I dispute this.

I think there are behaviors that persist for lengthy periods of time. Never, never for the entire lifespan, by the way. But for lengthy periods of time, their behaviors that persist.

They're immutable. There are characteristics that appear to be immutable. And we create narratives that convince us of continuity. We need to believe in continuity, otherwise we'll fall apart.

So we self deceive into continuity. We create these organizing principles, these narratives, these scripts, which convince us somehow that we are the same person from one day to the next, let alone from one year to the next.

But I think if you were to shine a bright light on all this, you would see that most of these claims are counterfactual.

But could it be suggested that some people, I mean, that's the, when I was speaking to your friend Richard on here, and the way he summarized it is by saying that the narcissists and so on, they have a fragile self, they lack a clear sense of self.

So could it be that although the self is nebulous, as you say, and is in flux, with some people it is more in flux than others?

Yes, some people have more, a bigger, a higher number or bigger number of self states than others. And the regulation of the self states is less stringent, less rigorous and less coherent.

And that is a great definition of mental illness.

So therefore some people in a sense, although none of us have a clear self across time, some people have more of a self than others. Some people have a more, more tight algorithm as to which self states, which self state will take over it with any given environment. And some people are less, have lessened, lessened self control. And so they, the self states are a bit more chaotic, they are less, less predictable. And they are much less self efficacious, because very often these people get the wrong self state to react to the environment.

So there's a mismatch between the self state and the environment and self efficacy declines.

So it's the algorithm. And we can compromise you and me, you and I, we can compromise and say that this algorithm is what you call a self.

Okay, there's an algorithm that regulates the appearance, functioning and remission or remission of the self states. When this algorithm is disrupted, when it's counterfactual, for example, it's delusional, when it's when it's when reality testing is impaired, then the algorithm will malfunction. And the pairing of self states with the environment with the changing environments, exigencies, demands, other people, this pairing would be impaired as well.

And then you will have mental illness.

Right. But for example, you you are well, all right, yes, okay, fair enough.

Moving on to a slightly different issue.

What would you the concept of narcissism has become very, very popular over the last sort of 10 to 15 years, as has autism, and various other sort of psychological ideas that why do you think narcissism in particular, which is your area, and increasingly borderline personality as well, has become popularized to to the extent that it has in over the last sort of 10 or 15 years?

Because narcissism had become a positive adaptation rather than a negative one.

In up until the 1960s, shall we say, narcissism was a negative adaptation. If you were a narcissist, you suffered, you made less money, you were not promoted, you couldn't get a wife, you couldn't establish a family, etc, etc. Because you were an a-hole, a jerk, and no one would come near you. And people would shine you and so on. Because there was a collectivist mindset, even in the United States, there was a collectivist mindset, the Victorian throwback, you know, the Victorian age lasted until the 1960s. It didn't end with Victoria.

So there was this collectivist thing, very Japanese. And so you didn't, if you didn't fit in, if you stood out because you were a narcissist, you suffered.

And then starting in the 1960s, and definitely when the new technologies were introduced in the 1990s, internet, later on social media, etc, etc. Narcissism became a positive adaptation.

Today, if you're a narcissist, you're rewarded, you're much more self efficacious, you're much more likely to accomplish things and end up in high positions, you're much more likely you have a higher reproductive success.

So narcissism pays like crime, you know, it pays.

And so we now glorify narcissism, we don't realize it, but we are glorifying narcissism.

And we're beginning to glorify psychopathy, actually.

And that's why we have today, the concepts of high functioning narcissists, or high functioning psychopaths, you know, because we're beginning to believe, and there's your namesake, Dutton, Kevin Dutton, he has written a series of books about how great it is to be a psychopath and a narcissist and how society needs psychopaths and narcissists, and how we're very lucky to have them, because they, they safeguard us and they're the next stage in evolution.

Hasn't it always, if you look at research by Dean K. Simonton and people like this, that have done historic analysis of people, then hasn't it always been the case that the charismatic type or whatever that rises to the top, even in the collectivist society, will be, and Kevin Dutton does look at this historically, will tend to have this optimum combination of high intelligence and basically psychopathic traits.

And similarly, if you look at what we mentioned earlier, Felix Post, I wish he was alive, I could interview him, but Alaska is dead. The same thing, but historically, it is someone like Napoleon, let's say, okay, he didn't have any children, but I, all right, but was surely a highly intelligent psychopath.

And the, and similar people of that ilk. So there's always been a success attached to having that optimum combination of intelligence and psychopathology.

It's not just, or intelligence and narcissism. It's not just a modern thing. It is a modern time in the, in the sense of attribution.

While past narcissists and past psychopaths would anchor the grandiosity in the collective, modern narcissists and psychopaths attribute the grandiosity to themselves.

So what do you mean anchor the grandiosity?

I try to explain, you go to Japan, you come across narcissists.

Narcissism is a biological phenomenon. It's common. It's a human species thing. It's an artifact of the complexity of human psychology.

So you go to Japan, you come across narcissists, but the narcissist in Japan would brag, would boast, but would anchor his grandiosity in his social and corporate frameworks.

So a typical narcissist in Japan would tell you, my company, the company I work for is great. It's the best in the world. My family is distinguished. My country is unique. My culture is amazing. He wouldn't say I'm a genius, you know, and talented as an American would.

So collective narcissism, the locus of grandiosity is crucial. Collective narcissism expressed in collective societies is grounded in the collective.

Narcissism expressed in individualistic societies is grounded in the individual.

An American would tell you, I'm a genius. The Japanese would tell you I work for Toyota, the greatest manufacturers of cars ever.

And that's, that's where he would derive his grandiosity from his claim to fame would be that he's Japanese and works for Toyota and the claim to fame.

But no individualistic narcissists, all, I mean, Donald, they also boast about having been to highly prestigious institutions and, and, but they would always attribute it to themselves. They would say, I was invited to the White House. I've been invited to the White House because I'm a great singer or because I'm a genius or because I'm a war hero.

They would revert to themselves. Their claim would revert.

The claim would never end having been invited to the White House or having, or being an American, but the claim would always revert.

Now, why is this wrong? Why is it a problem? It's a problem because it is exclusionary.

The narcissist needs to escalate his claims.

So if the narcissist is in individualistic person and his claim to fame or his grandiosity reside in his individuality, he has to exclude and denigrate and devalue everyone around him in order to stand out, which the Japanese narcissist doesn't have to do.

I see.

The Japanese narcissism, Japanese narcissism is pro-social, is communal. American narcissism is individualistic and therefore dangerous because it undermines the fabric of society.

It's adversarial. It's competitive.

What do you think that the rise of social media and so forth, to what extent is that a reflection of narcissism in society? And to what extent does it make that worse?

Social media are American phenomena. They've been invented by Americans. And not only have they been invented by Americans, they've been invented totally by young, schizoid, white men.

End of story. There hasn't been a single black man there or woman. There hasn't been someone who has been socially adept. There hasn't been anyone above the age of 25. So it's a manifestation and projection of a specific demographic. And it reflects the psychology of this cohort, of this population.

And so social media had two, I think two impacts, has two impacts.

One, it brings narcissists and psychopaths out of the woodwork. The social media is a plain pen, a perfect space within which to elicit supply, within which to prey on people and so on.

So it's a great playground and it attracts narcissists and psychopaths. They gravitate to social media.

And the second thing, it fosters a narcissistic style. Lance Barry, who's a psychologist, suggested the distinction between narcissistic style and narcissistic personality disorder.

He said that many people have narcissistic style, but it doesn't make them narcissists.

What social media do, they encourage and enhance and reward narcissistic behaviors and traits that are subclinical. They don't amount to narcissistic personality disorder, but they are narcissistic in their ostentatious, exhibitionistic grandiose, entitled, etc.

That's the situation.

And they also encourage these ploys by what I would see as vulnerable narcissists or what we would see as, i.e. the far left activists who moralize as a means of avoiding dealing with their own personal problems. They encourage that. It makes it so much easier to shut someone down.

Far right activists have their own share of misuse of social media. I don't think social media is partial to anyone's convictions or prejudices. So far, the far left has leveraged technologies such as radio, not only social media, to aggressively and sometimes violently against other people.

So I wouldn't be too quick to judge.

But yes, of course, each of these parties makes use of the technology to enhance certain psychopathological traits.

Technology in general brings out amplifiers us.

What is technology? Technology is an extension of us from the earliest days, 600,000 years ago when technology started. It was an extension of human faculties, human attributes, the hand, mind.

So social media is just an extension of, but I think social media is a departure from all other classical technologies because it's about escaping reality, not about coping with reality, and because it enhances strictly psychopathologies, not psychology.

If you wish, I will explain what I just said.

Yes, too. 600,000 years ago, we were primates. We were primates and we started to use technology. But we started to use technology 600,000 years ago in order to extend our bodies and our mindsyears ago in order to extend our bodies and our minds, the stick, the arrowhead. They were all extensions of the hand. You know, later on painting and writing, there were extensions of mind. We were extending ourselves, expanding outwards, if you wish, using technology.

In the 1990s, there was a major departure from this. Technology was no longer about extending ourselves towards reality, but technology became about extending ourselves inwards, away from reality, escaping, evading, and avoiding reality.

The metaverse is a perfect example of this. The metaverse would detach us completely from reality, would divorce us from reality.

The idea is to avoid and escape reality. It's a new thing in technology.

That's the first thing.

The second thing, all previous technologies brought out the best in us. Previous technologies brought out characteristics which were good in essence. They amplified us. They made us more efficient, more. They made us more. Social media bring out our psychopathologies, our deficiencies, our inadequacies, our fears, our aggression.

So social media are the first technologies to bring out the worst in us, not the best in us.

That's a generalization, and of course there are exceptions, but numerous studies, including studies by Facebook itself, substantiate what I'm saying.

Social media amplified the worst aspects of us. All previous technologies did the opposite.

Social media is about escaping reality. All other technologies were about confronting reality and fitting into reality and leveraging reality.

Okay, well we're about halfway through, so if you're new to the Jolly Heretic, I'd just like to say hello, hello, hello. Welcome to the Jolly Heretic. We are an online public house that discusses based science and based research of all kinds that is increasingly expunged from our woke joke universities.

Normally on Mondays I'm here answering your various interesting questions, which I research, and on Thursdays I have a hopefully based and interesting guest, and I have one today in the form of Professor Sam Backnin, who is an expert, psychologist, and who is an expert on narcissism. So if you have any questions for him, then do send them in. The link is on the screen or on YouTube if you want.

We would of course answer them today. Please subscribe, it really helps if you do that. If you want to help the show, you can see ways to do so in the description below, and also why not buy a Jolly Heretic mug or a t-shirt, see how to do so in the descriptions below.

Okay, we have a number of questions. So first of all then from Maryann Kent.

No, that's not it. Here we go. Sorry, Mark Zia. Mr. Backnin, in the documentary I Psychopath, you claimed to have been diagnosed with psychopathy.

Mark Zia. Mr. Backnin, in the documentary I Psychopath, you claimed to have been diagnosed with psychopathy. Are you still so afflicted, and what would you do to your host today if you could do as you would?

I don't know. If I'm still diagnosed, I have to be diagnosed to answer this question. I haven't been diagnosed with psychopathy, strictly speaking. The cutoff for the PCL test, PCL-R test, which was used in the documentary is 3030, and I scored 18. So I'm a subclinical psychopath. That is very typical of psychopathic narcissists. The psychopathic element in psychopathic narcissism is subclinical, is not full fledged, not fully expressed.

Whether I'm still a subclinical psychopath, I venture a guess that I am. This is a lifelong condition. It doesn't just vanish. Although as people grow older, as psychopaths grow older, the psychopathy ameliorates in the sense that they no longer engage in antisocial behaviors. So behaviorally, psychopathy mitigates and sometimes disappears altogether. Very similar to borderline. There's a spontaneous remission behaviorally, but not psychodynamically, not psychologically.

I can understand why psychopathy reduces because agreeableness goes up with age, conscientiousness goes up with age, and you're more conditioned with age.

But why would borderline reduce? We're not quite sure. We think it's a brain abnormality to start with, and somehow the brain fixes itself. We don't have an answer to this, but we do know that 81% of people with borderline personality disorder lose the diagnosis by age 45.

So it's a giant, enormous remission rate. And it seems to indicate that the disorder somehow is biological, because even people who don't go to therapy, who don't attend any kind of forum or treatment or whatever, they remain.

I see. That's very interesting.


Mark Seer also says, Mr. Vakil, you diagnosed Trump with narcissistic personality disorder prior to his election. Can you give us an update on his progression?

I didn't diagnose him in 2016, when he himself hadn't declared that he is a candidate before he declared himself to be a candidate. I gave an interview to an American thinker, I think, which is a kind of conservative or alt right website or something. And I said that I think he would he will declare himself candidate and I think he would win the elections.

Actually, that's what I said in the interview. And I said that I think he has all the hallmarks of malignant narcissist or psychopathic narcissist.

And I warned against the possible consequences of him being elected. But I made very, I tried to make very clear in the interview that I haven't met him. I haven't interviewed him. I haven't tested him.

And then everything I say should be taken with a mountain of salt. It's possible that I'm wrong. If I had to if I had to do it again, I would say yes, he still conforms to type.

Well, the next question is also from Mark Seer. He says, Mr. Vakil, twin studies suggest a high heritability for cluster B personality disorders. What do you think is the evolutionary strategy behind these personality disorders?

Twin studies show a high heritability of antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, not of narcissistic personality disorder.

So we tend to believe that psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder do have a genetic a genetic factor or a genetic determinant, but not narcissistic personality disorder.

What would be the strategy?

Well, according to Dutton and others, psychopathy, psychopaths are great leaders. They are great innovators and entrepreneurs. They are reckless. They are brave and courageous. They take on the world.

Borderline is a much more convoluted, much more convoluted question.

The first of all, the underlying assumption that everything is an evolutionary reason and that if there's something in the human species, it must it must be a positive adaptation is absolutely wrong.

According to evolutionary theory, it is possible to have numerous negative adaptations and mutations, which are detrimental to the species.

And I would venture to suggest that borderline personality disorder is exactly such a negative adaptation, a mutation, which is detrimental and deleterious to the species.

Wouldn't that imply, then, that it would have as Darwinian selection pressures have decreased over the last 200 years, that we would see it would be something that would be less disgusting or things like it would be less discussed.

I don't know about being discussed. I mean, I'd be less you can look at you can look at sort of Shakespeare plays and you can say to you, OK, that character is kind of narcissistic or whatever.

Wouldn't it imply that you would have very few borderline people?

We have no data. We have no we have no comparative data. We don't know the prevalence and incidence of borderline in the 17th century.

So I'm unable to answer this. I mean, people have suggested, for example, that schizophrenia, that nothing like it, nothing, no descriptions of anything like it have existed until randomly recently. There's some people that have argued this. Oh, no, I would tend to dispute this. I think schizophrenia paranoia probably is the diagnosis that would have fitted Jesus Christ and many other prophets. They were psychotic by any definition of the word.

There were grandiose psychotics, which is a sub variant of psychosis, but they suffered from psychosis.

So schizophrenia is a bad example. But borderline is a good example because we don't we don't have good descriptions of borderline like behaviors in the past. I know there's a description of Richard the third and them talking about him getting incredibly getting incredibly angry and his eyes sort of changing and then him coming out, leaving the room and coming back in in a completely different state, almost as a different person and having a load of people executed.

There is that. That's Shakespeare. That is Shakespeare. That's not Shakespeare. No, that's that's that's an historical description of the time.

Yeah, actually, Josephine Thay, you know, in her famous book about the daughter of time, she studied Richard the third and she she published her the kind of historical research that she has made. And it seems to be that he was far more benevolent and benign than than given credit for.

Don't forget the cultural and societal context. They're very critical in any any diagnosis of psychopathology. Many things that we consider psychopathological today were not considered psychopathological at the time. And many things were considered psychopathological. For example, homosexuality until 1973 was a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The DSM described homosexuality as a mental illness until 1973.

So we have a kaleidoscopic view of psychopathology and we tend to ignore societal and cultural dimensions because the DSM and psychology in general thrive in individualistic societies like the United States and Canada. But psychology is is embedded in a context as as the object relations school in the United Kingdom realized in the 60s. Psychology is about interacting with other people.

Okay, Mark Seals says Mr. Vactin, is there a correlation between extreme personality traits and personality, extreme personality traits, I guess he means on the big five and personality disorders. By definition, the factor five, the factor five test or the factor five model of personality describes personality disorders as a radical version of some of these traits and behaviors or a negation of some of these traits or behaviors.

So for example, psychopathy is described as a lack of conscientiousness and agreeableness. So I don't quite understand the question.

Yeah, I think that's fair point.

Okay. There's a question. Doctrine noted that one did that one did that one doctrine says, do Jews have high levels of narcissism since they believe themselves to be God's chosen people with a duty to heal the world, but also to be ethereal victims, which all Gentiles must recognize, says doctrine.

I think the history of the Jewish people, especially the recent traumatic event of the Holocaust has engendered narcissistic defenses in them, including of course, victimhood as an internal state or beneficial state.

And so yes, the Jews today probably would be much more narcissistic than the general population and then the Jews in the 19th century or 17th century. In other words, it's not something, something genetic or historical. It's not something, I'm sorry, genetic or biological. It's something which is reactive to environment and history.

The Jews have been victimized. That's not imagination or delusion have been victimized throughout the ages.

And so like all other victims we're, we're acquainted with, they react with complex trauma, CPTSD and complex trauma or complex post-traumatic stress disorder includes this, this diagnosis, this mental state includes strong elements of narcissism and even psychopathy.

So today people who have been traumatized in an, in an intimate relationship, people who've been exposed to domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, they emerge from the relationship with the diagnosis of CPTSD, complex trauma, but they display overt and clear behaviors which are typical of narcissists and psychopaths. And these are defensive behaviors.

So the Jews are the same. They have been subjected to long-term trauma. And so they're traumatized, they're in a post-traumatic state. And so they display narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors on, I think, a higher level than the general population.

In so much as schizophrenia is associated with stress, would that also, because there's evidence that that is higher, higher among Ashkenazi Jewish samples than among the rest, would that be consistent with, you know, this sort of post Holocaust trauma?

I'm not aware of any association between schizophrenia and stress. Schizophrenia is supposedly a biological condition, a biochemical condition, a brain condition. That's why we treat schizophrenia with antipsychotics.

Stress can exacerbate certain behavioral manifestations of schizophrenia, but not the schizophrenia, not the underlying condition itself. It doesn't create the condition. It doesn't change the condition. Condition is there.

Okay. Someone in the chat has just diagnosed me with maxillary hypoplasia. So thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you for that diagnosis. I'm very grateful to you.

I'm sure you're a trained doctor and you know exactly what you're talking about. And I shall, I shall take that on the, I'll take, I'll keep that in mind.

Okay. The next question comes from Oraz. So I know from, yes, Oraz. And he says, Yeah. Yeah. He just said at the chat, I have maxillary hypoplasia.

Okay. SV, masculinity studies is one of the most underhanded and insidious rhetorical institutional constructs for me. There is zero resolute criticism and widespread acceptance. Are people tolerant of underhandedness using a benevolent premise or on behalf of women, apart from a few, there is unanimous rationalizing to defend it.

Do you follow that question?

Yeah, I think I did.

Men have spent millennia suppressing and objectifying and in extreme cases, torturing and mutilating women, or at the very least regarding women as property and leveraging the reproductive assets of women and so on and so forth. There has been a symmetry of power between men and women, which started in the agricultural revolution, probably beforehand, it was more balanced. But ever since the agricultural revolution, clearly men have been on top in every possible sense and have been abusing, abusing their position.

And this has lasted for five, maybe seven, maybe 10, maybe 15,000 years. There's a debate, very big debate.

And then women in the past 150 years have righted the balance to some extent, they've acquired new powers and new access and new privileges. And women have reacted as any enslaved minority has reacted in the past, had reacted in the past. Women had reacted with rage. Women had reacted with aggression. Women had reacted with narcissism. Women had reacted with psychopathic behaviors. Women became defiant. Women became dysempathic.

This is very typical of suppressed minorities when they gain their freedom or when they gain equality with the erstwhile abusers or erstwhile suppressors.

Toxic masculinity is the reaction of a small minority of men, small minority of men, to this resurgence or insurgency of narcissism and psychopathy among women.

And so there is a war, there's a war between the genders. And this war is toxic on both sides.

But to characterize the totality of the male subspecies as toxic and to impute and attribute toxic masculinity to every single living, penis-carrying person is of course counterfactual, ideological and wrong, ethically and otherwise.

And yet I agree with you that many gender studies programs and so on do exactly this. The problem is that we have swapped intellectual endeavor with ideology. Ideology has invaded our higher education institutions and has taken over.

And ideology is never right. Ideology just is. It's a power play. It's just a power play. It codifies the power play, codifies the conflict. Ideology is about conflict because it's always exclusionary.

Now both sides are engaged in a war, both of them engage in war. And like in conservatism, there is conservatism and there is outright. Similarly among men, there are men and then there is the manosphere.

The manosphere is as toxic as radical third wave and maybe fourth wave feminism is. These are both manifestations of radicalization and the destruction of the fabric of intergender collaboration and the charm of being together with the opposite sex. Okay. Sorry. I, this is something that exercises me a lot. This is a hot button topic for me. This I think honestly, climate change is a really dangerous and frightening thing, but we are going to adapt to it. We're going to move our cities inland. We're going to somehow survive. We have survived the transition from trees to Savannah. We're going to survive climate change, but we will not survive as a species if we don't immediately address the war between men and women. We will not.

This is the real crisis, the number one crisis, far more dangerous than climate change.

Okay. Thank you. KG says morning. Thank you very much indeed, sir. Thank you for your donation.

ID ideas sleep furiously. It says question for Sam on gifted children. You said the most important thing is not to remove them from peers, but to accelerate them. Why gifted schools are often great and rare places for socialization.

Gifted schools are okay because the gifted child is moved among, moved to be among his peers in a gifted school. But what they did to me, for example, was very not okay. I was nine years old. I was tested. I scored 185 on an IQ test, which by the way, is a meaningless number. And then much later in life, I scored 190 and 180 again. So probably it's a stable number, but I scored 195 as a child. And then I was removed from my peers. And I was, I was sent to a university where everyone around me was 21 to 24 years old. Because in Israel, people have to serve in the army and they start academic studies at age 21. So I was nine.

Everyone around me was 21 and 24. And that's how I spent my childhood and adolescence until age 17. That was wrong. It was seriously wrong. I didn't acquire the most basic skills. I don't know, flirting with a girl. Hocknobbing with my, with my male peers, romances. I didn't acquire any of this. I'm utterly clueless as to how to behave with other people, because I wasn't given the chance at socialization and culture, a culture, a culture, it wasn't even the chance.

We know in psychology that peers, peers are much more important than parents starting age at age nine or 10. Starting at age nine or 10, people pay much more, children pay much more attention to their peers. All the important processes, sex education, social interactions, reading social cues, reading sexual cues, adaptation, negotiation, compromise, collaboration, all of them are peer acquired. They acquire through peer interactions.

You take the child away from the peer group, you create an invalid, you create a crippled person, which I am. Are you so how long, how long before, how old were you when you feel that you could start successfully hobnobbing with girls? Never. You've never successfully hobnobbed with girls? You can't recoup this loss period.

How else has it manifested? Do you think this loss period? When it comes to other human beings, I'm a mystery in every possible sense. It's like they had created an artificial autistic person.

Ah, it's okay. So for example, with this interview, I said to you, can we do it in the evening? And you said no, no, absolutely not. No, no, my office hours are until five o'clock. That's it. No negotiation. Now you may have had things you do in the evening. And that's fair enough.

Or was it that you feel that you're just quite rigid and you like having certain times where you do certain things? And that's that? I'm rigid. It's part of my grandiosity who will prevail. It's a power play.

All right, so I'm inviting you to make you come on the jolly heretic in the evening and you will have no, no, no, no. That's not happening. Yeah, there will have been surrender.

Narcissistic injury. But I'm also in addition to that, I'm also clueless when it comes to human interactions of all kinds, not only courting girls or flirting with women. I'm utterly clueless.

And I observe people and I read textbooks in order to understand or to inculcate in me the capacity to interact with people. But it's secondhand and it's artificial and it perceives very often as fake.

Didn't you have older sisters, older brothers, people like this from whom you learned? I had younger brothers, three of them, and a younger sister and I was forced to raise all of them because my parents were both mentally ill. So I was forced to raise my siblings on my own. I was parentified. So I became simultaneously an adult when it came to the parent roles. I became a parent to my siblings. And at the same time, I became a student at the university at age nine.

I never had a child or an adolescent. Is there research on what "parentification" if that's the term? Oh yeah, it's quite a lot. What does it do? It makes you feel inadequate to summarize it. I have a series of videos on my channel with regards to "parentification" where I go into great detail as to psychological effects. But in a nutshell, it makes you feel that you have to serve other people and that you're never doing good enough. You're never doing as much as you should. So you become a people pleaser and you become subservient to other people. And you have this feeling, knowing feeling, that you should serve others. That's the purpose of it. That's your raison d'être. That's the purpose for your existence.

Interesting. Okay, jolly good. Okay, the next question comes from Peter Philippovic and he says, "I suggest to Sam to read the after entitled 'On the Psychology of the Conspiracy Denier' by Tim Foyle." Okay, I'll have a look at that as well. But the thing is that when we talk about a conspiracy, I should emphasize that what I mean when I talk about a conspiracy theory is that it's unnecessary. It's unnecessary to explain the data. It's a conspiracy theory if you impute a conspiracy where it could just as easily be explained by a cock up or by natural organic processes.

And that's what things like the moon land and also that you wouldn't get away with it. Things like the moon landing. A lot of people on my show watch my show say the moon landing was faked. There's always the possibility of this leaking. How many thousands of people would have to keep their mouth shut for this not to leak?

So that's my issue with the parsimony of a lot of these conspiracy theories. Okay, the next question comes from Mac of Bellis Sucks to go and he says, "I convinced that SWMs are the least narcissistic on the planet." Okay, do you know what SWMs are? Not really. Let me look it up for a minute. Yeah, I don't know. I do wish people would not use acronyms because it can support this problem.

SWMs. Oh, I think straight white males. Oh, right. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Can you repeat the question now?

He says, I am convinced that straight white males are the least narcissistic on the planet.

I'm sorry, but it defies statistics. Statistically, straight white males are the predominant figure in the cohort in the population that is diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

To the extent that in previous editions of the DSM, they said that 75% of people with narcissistic personality disorder are men and they meant straight white men because black men, they don't go to therapy. They're not diagnosed because they avoid therapy and so on. The vast majority of men who go to therapy are actually white.

Yeah. Okay. Next question comes from I am a stupid moron and he says, Has the professor read any Kevin McDonald?

I'm not quite sure what he's referring to. He's asking, Have you read any books by the psychologist Kevin McDonald?

I have. So what's the question? I guess he wonders what you think of his research. I don't know. I think I would appreciate a more specific question.

Okay. Well, never mind. Let's try to find a more specific question from Carl Arete and he or she says, Is there any correlation between very high intelligence and one, creativity to emotional instability?

We don't have data that supports such a correlation. Very high intelligence. There's also a debate as what constitutes intelligence, as you well know. IQ is a measure of a highly specific type of intelligence known as analytical intelligence and to some extent spatial intelligence, space. But IQ measures maybe 10% of intelligence, as Gardner and others have noted.

So even if we adopt IQ as the measure, IQ is not correlated with emotional instability or creativity. Psychoticism is correlated with creativity.

Well, I think said that above a certain level of IQ, intelligence doesn't matter to creativity, that there has to be a certain level of intelligence. I think he has to make it.

We don't have studies that support this. I mean, I know.

The research by Symington and so forth on highly creative people seems to indicate they're all well intelligent. So I think I suspect that it does. But also the creativity scale correlates quite strongly with intelligence. I'm not sure of any studies that correlate intelligence and creativity.

Symington wrote, Symington's writings are more broad. He was not an experimentalist. As for emotional instability, no, I'm not aware of any correlation.

It's probably very, very small.

Well done. I think it has to do with a romantic idea that a creative person is both intelligent and insane.

Like in romanticism or in the idealistic period, especially in Germany in the 19th century, there was this romantic genius crazy guy, like Nietzsche. He's intelligent, he's romantic, he's crazy. So the linkage between insanity, intelligence and creativity is extremely dubious. We don't have any.

Certainly there's some evidence that among geniuses of the kind that we're looked at by Phoenix Post, I've mentioned a number of times that quite a few of them were basically mentally ill.

So maybe at extreme levels of creativity, but I don't know about sort of more generally.

Next question comes from 500027 who says, why are narcissism and BPD so prevalent? Many of those in power exhibit these traits. Did we select for it?

I think we've looked at that already, 500027.

We looked at the selection pressures on that already, if you refer to earlier.

BS says, does your guest know? Now I'm not going to ask questions like that.

Okay, let's go back to 50002.

Just because the person I have on the jolly hortic is Jewish doesn't mean we have to direct questions about the Holocaust. All right. So why do you think the question the person's asking 500027, why is BPD so prevalent these days?

I don't know that it's so prevalent these days. We started measuring prevalence and incidence more or less 40 years ago. So that's hardly something to go on. You should ask me this question in 200 years. I'd be better equipped to to respond.

So we don't see over the last 40 years, we see an increase in narcissism.

That's true. Studies by Twench, John Twench and Campbell, Keith Campbell, demonstrated that there's a general rise in narcissistic traits and narcissistic style, especially among college students.

John Twench ran a study 40 years for 40 years, 40 years running on one million, on one million people. So probably the largest study ever carried out. And she demonstrated a rise in narcissism among these people and a shift in values. People in these studies were mostly college students between the ages of 18 and 25. And in the 80s, they valued knowledge, learning, and traditional values. And then in 2012, which was the last time this study was run, was conducted, people valued fame, or actually number one, money, number two, fame and celebrity.

So the old values in the 1980s disappeared altogether. People didn't value knowledge anymore. They didn't all the traditional values in the 1980s have vanished 40 years later. That's the biggest study we have.

And this is I mean, this is what Sir John Glubb, I don't know if you've read Sir John Glubb's book on the fate of empires. And what he notes is that always in the winter of civilization, in the autumn of civilization, the heroes are scientists and soldiers and religious men. But in the winter, it's always the same. It's pop stars, singers, actors, it's famous, celebrities.

And that's a fascinating that shift happened so quickly in just 40 years.

But I guess when I was I was born in 1980. When I was at school, you didn't have kids, kids now what do you want to do for a job? They say I want to be a YouTube star. That's what they say.

And it's an incredible shift, because it's not productive. It's, it's, it's, I don't know, it's extraordinary.

Now one more question, I'll just, I'll just read up before we wrap up.

And that is from Stig. And he says, What does he think as you about Arthur Jensen's formula for probability of genius production ability times conscientiousness times creativity?

I'm a traditionalist psychologist. So in psychology, we believe that genius, such as it is, as measured by IQ, this is essentially biological, and to some to a large extent, and then influenced by the environment allows the biology to express itself. So it's genetic, and the environment is just a trigger, a contextual trigger that allows the biology to express. And so we don't we don't tend to, we don't tend to break down genius into his components or because we believe it's a unitary biological determinant.

This formula would be rejected by traditional psychology has been rejected, actually, by traditional psychology. It's also not what he said, what he said was not that genius was a combination of he said that achievement was a combination of intelligence plus personality, yes, plus some other factor, I think it was luck or background or something like that.

Yes, I would. Yeah, exactly.

I mean, many, many very successful entrepreneurs like Steven Jobs and Bill Gates, and you name it, they said that luck actually is 90% of the of the secret, the secret source.

And on that I will I will just a miles clear the citizen are you trying to say Tom Brady and Kim Kardashian don't deserve to be our heroes? No, they do deserve to be our heroes. We are in the winter of civilization.

Those are the people who are heroes are they would be weird if they were our heroes 100 years ago, they are heroes now. I just I just wrote a few weeks ago, I wrote an Instagram post that there was this institution, higher education institution, university, and they gave honorary doctorates. And I read the list of honorary doctorates. And it included Albert Einstein, and Niels Bohr, and Bertrand Russell, and Taylor Swift. And I thought this encapsulates it. It does encapsulate it. I mean, when you're 22, you I mean, she's done she's done some very catchy tunes, everything is read. She's in the company. She's in company of Einstein and Bertrand. She is she is she's a very she's a very, she says, what's that song she does about breaking up. And she says, she says, I we ain't never getting back together. Ever. Yeah, I mean, it's deep stuff. It is okay.

Well, I'd like to thank Professor Batman for coming on. It's been a very interesting discussion. I shall look up his references to this gay be person.

Good day, because I don't really with that. Is there anything you would like to tell the assembled about future research you're doing or anything before we wrap up?

I'm concerned now with with two things. Basically, I'm, I'm trying to establish a new paradigm with self states rather than a unitary self.

The second thing I'm doing, I'm trying to demonstrate that narcissists actually reenact early childhood conflicts. That's not my insight that is Freud's insight to start with.

But they trying to reenact it in a way that fully explains the relationship cycle of the narcissist.

The narcissist needs to devalue and discard you because he needs to separate from the maternal figure.

So I'm, I'm kind of working on a concept called which I call the dual mothership or dual motherhood, where the narcissist cast you when you're his intimate partner, cast you as a maternal figure, and then goes recreates with you or reenacts with you the original conflict, and then has to separate from you and become an individual by discarding you and devaluing you.

It will provide an explanation to a phenomenon which is very little understood either to we don't until now we don't really understand why the narcissist needs to discard you or devalue you even if you're the best conceivable intimate partner you're providing with sex with supply with services with safety which are the four S's that narcissists are looking for. Why do they get rid of you? And then why do they need to hoover you? Do they realize that do they realize that they need you and this is a narcissist this realization is a narcissistic injury or infra-bond?

No, not really, no. Not really because they don't really need you at any point. They just use you. They don't need you. There's no need there. They like new stimulation and they've they don't really not really either.

We considered all these explanations. They don't seem to work. It seems that it's compulsive. There's a compulsion there and Freud described it as repetition compulsion. There's a compulsion there, but what was the source of a compulsion?

Hitherto there's no explanation and I'm trying to present a plausible scenario or a realization that a narcissist if he regards you as his mother he needs to do with you what he had failed to do with his mother. He failed to separate from his mother. He failed to become an individual so he needs to separate from you.

It's the greatest service that you can render to a narcissist if you really love him is to allow him to devalue you and separate from you.

But so that's the second thing I'm working on.

Very good. Okay, well thanks a lot. This will I'll go on BitShoot in Odyssey. I will see you all on Monday and goodbye!

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