Narcissism: A Talk Across the Generations (with Nicolas Martin)

Uploaded 12/2/2023, approx. 44 minute read

Okay, yeah, why did you actually brand entirely, almost entirely on cluster B and narcissism in your expertise?

Well, because I've been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and I wanted to understand the disorder better.

I then discovered that the distinctions made between narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, all this.

I realized that this, what is called differential diagnosis, the distinctions made between these disorders are not very clear. They're very fuzzy.

And then I had to incorporate elements from borderline personality.

So I had to study borderline personality disorder.

And finally, a rich conclusion that there is a single personality disorder which manifests in different ways, owing to environmental cues and signals and triggers and stimuli.

And this was 30 years ago. And today it is becoming, this view is becoming the orthodoxy.

So for example, in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization, they have by and large unified all these disorders into a single one.

I think that's the way it should be.

Every narcissist is sometimes borderline. For example, a narcissist who is stressed, who is mortified, who is shamed in public, especially, and so on, becomes very borderline. His emotions become dysregulated. He goes bananas. He goes crazy. He does crazy things.

So this is acting out. He acts out.

So he becomes borderline.

And every narcissist is sometimes a psychopath. And every psychopath is very, very often grandiose and narcissistic.

So all these distinctions between these disorders are nonsense in my view.

And that's why most people are diagnosed with multiple disorders, not with one.

A phenomenon known as comorbidity.

So they are all connected in some way. I think they're all one. Not even connected. I think they're one.

I think there's a single and clinical entity, personality disorder. And I think it has a variety of parameters and determinants.

And these parameters and determinants are triggered or provoked by the environment.

So when you're stressed, if you're a narcissist, when you're stressed, you become more borderline. If you're a psychopath and you're stressed, you become more narcissist.

So it's like the environment dictates which facet, which aspect of the personality disorder would be dominant at any given time.

And that's why, again, I emphasize in the vast majority of cases, people are diagnosed with multiple personality disorders because sometimes they show this side and sometimes they show that side.

And so it's very typical, for example, to diagnose someone with borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. Very common. Very interesting.

What would you say which philosophers or psychologists or experts in the field have most influenced your own thinking and what you do?

First of all, this raises a very interesting issue.

In most countries of the world, psychology, the faculty of psychology is part of the department of philosophy. History used to be a branch of philosophy and still is in the majority of countries. Still is.

And that's because psychology is not and can never be a science. It's a pseudoscience. You cannot study raw material that changes all the time.

Imagine that the sun were to change every single day would be different. Imagine that observing the sun would change the properties of the sun, which is very common in psychological experiments.

And that is why we fail to repeat the results of 80 percent, 80 percent of experiments in psychology. This is known as the replication crisis. It's a lot. It's a lot.

And the reason is very simple. Imagine that I'm conducting a study of you or an experiment on you. The very fact that I am your interaction with me would change you.

And then, of course, you suddenly would have a flashback or a memory and that would change you. And then you'll have a fight with your father. Andfather.

And the next morning we will continue the study, but you will be a different person by then.

Yeah, it's not.

It's not possible to study such raw material.

So psychology is philosophy.

And of course, the greatest psychologist ever.

And that's not only my view, it's the view of Jordan Peterson and many others.

The greatest psychologist ever was Nostrosy, who was not a psychologist.

Moreover, seven out of the 10 prominent figures in psychology until the late 1960s, seven out of 10 were not psychologists.

Freud was not a psychologist. He was a neurologist.

Melaninik Klein never studied psychology. Winnicott was a pediatrician.

And so on.

Seven out of 10 were not psychologists. They had no education in psychology, no qualification, no credentials, no degree, nothing.

And that's because psychology is about an ability to observe and an ability to generate insights.

So your training doesn't help you much, frankly, in psychological settings.

So I am very influenced by Nostoevsky. I'm very influenced by Nietzsche for totally different reasons.

I'm influenced by the giants of early psychology. I'm influenced by Freud, not so much by Jung.

I think it was a bit of a nutcase.

But I'm influenced by Freud. I'm influenced by Winnicott. I'm influenced by object relations school theorists. I'm influenced by later psychologists such as Bandura, social learning theory.

People who focused on describing this animal known as human being. People who did not focus on statistics, did not focus on brain studies, did not focus on neuroscience. People who did not try to pretend that they are scientists. Those are the people who have had the most influence on me.

The reason is I am a scientist. I'm a physicist.

So I spot the fakery. I spot the fakeness in psychology.

You know, when I meet a psychologist and he pretends to be a scientist, it's fake. I know it's fake because I am one.

So what have you found to be the most misunderstood aspect of personality disorders in general, more broadly and narcissism specifically?

Yeah, that's an excellent question.

The role of trauma, the role of trauma and the role of dissociation, much neglected aspects of personality disorders until let's say the late 1990s. But it was too late by then. By the late 1990s, personality disorders have been defined, have been incorporated into diagnostic and statistical manual and it was dead. That's it. You couldn't do anything about it.

To this very day, the text in the fifth edition text revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which was published last year, that text, the diagnostic text has been written in the year 2000.

So in today's DSM, you are still exposed to concepts and knowledge which dates back a quarter of a century, long before you were born. It's old. It's nonsense. It's beyond old. I mean, it's totally debunked and yet this is the DSM.

So there was no awareness of the role of trauma and even more so no awareness of the role of dissociation.

Only today do we begin to realize that trauma, especially early childhood trauma, known as adverse childhood experiences, ACEs, only then we begin to realize that ACEs, trauma abusing childhood, disrupt the formation of the self.

When you're exposed to trauma and abuse as a child, you cannot form a self. You cannot, what Freud used to call ego, you cannot have this. You don't have a core identity. You don't have a true perception of who you are. You're not stable. You have what we call identity diffusion or identity disturbance. You're different from one day to the next. And not because you are fake, not because you're a liar, but because there's no you. There's an absence, an empty black hole.

That's it.

Because in the critical years where you should have become the process of becoming, you were not allowed to become.

You were not allowed to separate from the parent, for example, or the parent invaded constantly your boundaries, breached your boundaries. Or the parent intimidated you, terrified you, isolated you from reality and from your peers because the parent was overprotective.

So in all these situations, you are not able to create a sense of who you truly are, what we call self, because you didn't know, you couldn't tell where you ended and your parents began, where you ended and the world began.

And so you never ended because you never ended.

You never began. You didn't exist.

And so in these situations of trauma and abuse, there is no formation of self.

And because there's no formation of self, there's no organizing principle for memories.

You see, it's a two way street.

Your memories, when you put them together, create a sense of identity.

I am the one remembering ABC.

So that is identity.

But also the other way around, if there's no you, who does the remembering? Who can remember?

No one can remember if there's no you.

So if there's no you, if there is a disrupted sense, there's no memory, no continuous, contiguous, intact memory.

And this is called dissociation.

There's no sense that you are a person.

And that is called depersonalization.

And there's no sense of reality.

Because if you have no memory, and if you have no self, and if you don't perceive yourself as an entity, then nothing looks real, does it?

It's all like a dreamscape. It's all fuzzy and blurred.

You wake up, you wake up into reality, but it still feels like a dream.

And so this has been much neglected.

In the last three years, there have been amazing studies in neuroscience, which have demonstrated pretty conclusively that abuse and trauma make you feel as if you don't exist, deny your existence.

And so you feel that you've become an absence, a vacuum.

And then you can't remember. And you can't act in a consistent manner, in a stable manner, you become unpredictable, because it's no you.

And so you're like, you know, you the winds, every occasion on wind changes you, every signal from the environment, every threat, every stress, every challenge, every information, bit of information, everything constantly molds you and shape shifts you, like a shape shifter, you don't exist.

Now, when I say trauma and abuse, I want to be clear, people think that trauma is an abuse, is if the parents beat up the children, or if they have sex with the children, incest, or whatever.

These are classical forms of abuse.

But abuse is any situation where the parent does not recognize the child as a separate entity.

If a parent has sex with her own or his own child, then obviously the child is not recognized as a separate entity.

But also, if a parent isolated from reality, because she's overprotective, doesn't let you interact with peers doesn't let you to go out and play.

She's also not recognizing you as a separate entity.

So spoiling, pampering, smothering, using you to realize the parents unfulfilled wishes and dreams, instrumentalizing you, treating you as an instrument, parentifying you, forcing you to act as a parent to the parent, so that the parent becomes your child and you're the parent, or forcing you to become a parent to your siblings.

All these are forms of abuse. They're also traumatized.

So it's not only beating you up or anyone. It's any situation where the parent doesn't allow you to separate and become your own person without any obligations that are age inappropriate.

They shouldn't be placed on you because you're a child.


How has your self-awareness of your narcissism, just a self-awareness, impacted your child?

impacted your life? How has it changed?

Nothing much.

We must make a distinction between cognitive self-awareness and emotional reaction to self-awareness, what is known as the emotional correlate.

I have all the cognitive self-awareness. I'm an expert on narcissism.

So of course, there's very little I don't know about narcissism.

So as far as cognitive self-awareness, it's perfect.

But I have no emotional reaction to this.

And consequently, there's no learning.

Learning is when you know something and then you emotionally react to it.

And the emotional reaction to what you've learned creates a memory trace. And we call this learning.

If you just come across data or facts or information, and you have no emotional reaction whatsoever, you're likely to forget it.

Actually studies have shown that you are likely to forget 90% of all the information you're exposed to within one year, because you have no emotional reaction.

If I give you a fact right now about something, which really doesn't interest you at all, you're extremely likely to forget it within a few days.

So this is the same. I'm exposed to my knowledge about narcissism, but it has no emotional reaction.

So I keep forgetting the lessons of my life.

It's as if every single day I'm reborn, reborn as a baby, and I make the same mistakes. And I commit the same errors. I face the same challenges. I get everything wrong again and again, almost without exception. I put myself in danger again and again.

There's no process of learning, no cumulative, acquired kind of conditioning.

So, and this is a mistake about narcissism that people make about narcissism.

Actually the vast majority of narcissists are aware of their behaviors. They are not aware of their motivations. But they are aware, for example, that they are rude and abrasive and cruel and even sometimes sadistic, they know this.

But it doesn't resonate with them. They don't feel bad about it. They don't feel, you know, there's no emotional reaction there.

So narcissists don't learn and they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Another thing with narcissists, they have what I, I was the first to describe it.

So I coined the phrase called empathy.

The narcissist has called empathy in the sense that it is not true that narcissists cannot empathize. If I cannot empathize with you, how can I abuse you?

I need to know something about you in order to abuse you. I need to recognize your soft sports, which buttons to push, which vulnerabilities you have, what are you afraid of? I need to know this in order to abuse you efficaciously.

So I need to have empathy.

Of course, even I would say excessive empathy, but I feel nothing.

Narcissists psychopaths don't feel anything.

So a narcissist would watch, I don't know, a woman crying. So he would say, here's a woman crying. And then he would bring up this huge database and he would say, okay, wait a minute, woman crying, woman crying.

Oh yeah. Woman crying, that means she said, so now he knows two things.

He knows that she's crying and she knows she said.

Now a healthy, normal, healthy, normal human being would say, she said, that makes me sad. That triggers in me my own sadness, the experience of having been said in the past.

So when I see someone said as a healthy person, as a normal person, I would feel a bit sad. Because it would remind me of my own sadness.

And also because I would want to comfort her or to, you know, but the narcissist and the psychopath, they would say, she's crying. She said, now, how can I benefit from this? What advantages does it provide me with? How can I leverage this information to realize my goals?

For example, can I convince her to have sex with me? Because now she's broken. She's vulnerable. Her defenses are down. Maybe I can have sex with her. You know?

So the narcissist and the psychopath lack the last phase. The last phase is known as emotional empathy. They have reflexive empathy and they have cognitive empathy, but they don't have emotional empathy.

This combination is what I call cold empathy.

Okay. Let's continue.

What are the broader implications of increased narcissistic tendencies in our modern society?

So in the West and particularly in the context of politics and culture?

Well, first of all, I would beg to differ. It's not only in the West. For example, I think society in China is as narcissistic as society in the United States. The Chinese are as narcissistic as Americans. So it's not in India is becoming fast becoming a very narcissistic country. So I wouldn't say that it's a Western phenomenon. I would say it's a global phenomenon because it's global contagion. Global contagion through mass media, through Hollywood, through Americans, shall we say, exported narcissism, the rest of the world. And it became a very desirable product.

So Russia, where I spent four years now, is one of the most narcissistic countries I'm aware of. That's the first thing.

Second thing, nothing is bad or good in psychology. We don't use words like bad, good, evil. You know, for example, let me give you an example. If you were an inmate, a prisoner in Auschwitz, depression would have been a very healthy reaction. It's very healthy to be depressed in Auschwitz. If on the other hand, if I saw you laughing and smiling and jumping for joy and dancing in Auschwitz, you would need to be hospitalized. Something's wrong with you.

So it's all context dependent.

In our modern civilization, narcissism is actually an increasingly psychopathy. They're actually positive adaptations. In other words, they provide you with an edge, with an advantage.

If you're not narcissistic and increasingly if you're not psychopathic, you're a loser. You won't make it to the top. You won't get the job. You won't get the girl. You won't get the car. You won't get the yogurt.

So to be a narcissist or a psychopath nowadays pays. It pays.

And that's why in July 2016, the famous magazine New Scientist came out with a cover story.

Parents teach your children to be narcissists.

So as we become self-sufficient, because technology today renders you and me self-sufficient, I don't really need you anymore. And you don't need me anymore. And I decided to isolate myself at home and never ever to be dependent on another human being.

I could now. Technology empowers me, allows me to do this.

So this leads to atomization.

One is an atom, alone with Netflix, a cat or a dog, depending on the gender. So atomization and self-sufficiency are conducive to narcissism.

Narcissism is helpful in this way of life. Narcissism is an individualistic trait. It doesn't work very well when you have to collaborate with people, when you're in a position, when you're a boss, when you're ill. Narcissism is great if you're all alone.

And so the rising narcissism and the rising of the technologies that empower and reify narcissism, embody narcissism, is because we have opted to be alone. There is a choice, a global choice, an individual choice to be alone.

We find interactions with other people very tiring, very exhausting, very unrewarding. And so we decided to give up on other people.

This decision is applicable to your age and my age. All humanity has decided to give up on people.

Because people are too much. They demand too much. They're crazy. They are predictable, they're dangerous in many cases.

I mean, who wants this?

In the past, we had no choice. We had to interact with other people. We had to work with other people. We had to collaborate with other people. We couldn't survive otherwise.

Today we can.

So we give up on other people.

Even the frequency of sex has declined by 35%.

People don't want sex even anymore.

Oh, yeah. It's declined.

Avoiding each other, avoiding each other at any cost. It's very common for people to not have sex for 10 years, 15 years, 5 years. Extremely common.

I'm mentioning sex because sex is supposedly like hunger. Like first, having sex is like eating food. You know, it's like biological.

But people are giving up even on this.

Because to be embedded in a society, social interactions are no longer rewarding. The price is not worth the price. The squeeze is not worth the juice. Use any metaphor that you wish.

So I think loneliness or aloneness is the new normal. And within this new normal, narcissism is actually a positive adaptation. And it's not going to wait. It's not going to go away. It's going to become the new normal.

I actually have two questions to go back to you.

My first is, do these narcissistic traits and behaviors vary across the cultures and societies? So is it different in China or India than in the US or Western Europe?

Yes, they do actually.

In collective societies such as Japan, grandiosity is expressed via belonging, via affiliation, via allegiance. So you're not going to say, I'm the greatest manager in Toyota. You're going to say Toyota is the greatest company on earth and I work for it. So your grandiosity would be expressed via your affiliation to your workplace, to your neighborhood, to your culture. So this is in collectivist societies. In individualistic societies. So I gave an example from Japan. In individualistic societies such as, for example, the United States, grandiosity would be emphasized based on individual accomplishments, individual traits, individual skills. So if you're Japanese, you're going to be as grandiose as an American, but you're going to express your grandiosity through your family, through your tribe, through your neighborhood, through your workplace, through your, I don't know, through a collective. But if you're American, you're going to emphasize your role in the collective, your contribution to the collective. You stand down. Everyone else is less than you. You're superior. Everyone else is inferior and so on. And the Japanese would say the same.

My workplace is superior. All other workplaces are inferior, but it will be the workplace. It will be displaced grandiose.

Question about the technological process and how this digitalization has impacted our society.

This has to do with Gen Z, but why do you think Gen Z is so mentally ill?

I think we can both agree. Why is it?

It's not only Gen Z, it's the alphas, which is a generation after Gen Z.

I think, and when I say I think, I usually base myself on studies. There are studies by Twenge and Campbell and others that have shown that exposure to screens, especially exposure to social media, induces mental illness, especially depression and anxiety, but not only. These are the generations that have been, they're digital natives. They've been born with a laptop. They've had a laptop in the womb probably. And they've opened an Instagram account before they were born. So these are the generations that have been exposed from day one to screens.

Screen exposure has been, and that's totally established by now, screen exposure induces mental illness. And mental illness incapacitates you socially, if you're mentally ill, if you're depressed, if you're anxious, you're unlikely to interact socially in helpful ways or appropriate ways.

So the impact is society-wide impact, not only individually impact.

And the entire society is then pathologized. I attribute it almost exclusively to exposure to screens, not only social media, but screen time actually is the main parameter in these studies.

And I think the reason is that it is very easy to confuse screens with reality.

And screens right now are isolating us.

Think about the following.

When I was growing up, there was this screen. It was a huge screen. 2,000 people congregated in front of this screen and shared the same experience and some popcorn. This screen was known as cinema.

Then I grew up a bit, and 20 years later, there was another screen. And this screen, you couldn't have 2,000 people watching this screen. You could have 20 people watching the screen and sharing popcorn. That was television.

Then there was another screen, and that screen did not allow more than two people, maybe three people, to work together. That was the computer screen.

And now we have a screen that allows only one person to have access. That is the smartphone.

Our screens are perfect metaphors for what's happening to society. They reflect the disintegration of society.

And so the screen is a reality substitute, so it also encourages fantasy defenses. It also, the screen begs you to avoid reality. Facebook or Instagram or TikTok, I don't know what you're using. They don't want you to have a girlfriend. They don't want you to have intimacy. They don't want you to have a family. They don't want you to read books.

Because if you have a girlfriend or any type of intimacy, or if you interact well with your family or if you read a book, you're not paying attention to them and they lose money. This is the attention economy. They need to monetize your eyeballs.

So these apps, these technologies are anti-intimacy. They're anti-social technologies. They don't want you to socialize. They don't want you to have a life outside the app.

And so the new technologies reflect the tendency to automize, to separate from each other, to not be in contact with one another anymore. And also encourage these standards.

And the metaverse is the next stage. And the metaverse is doubly dangerous because the metaverse pretends to be reality. It's like multiplayer games. It pretends to be reality. It's like second life. It pretends to be reality and then people would really get very confused.

Now we already have one type of technology that makes a lot of money of the confusion between reality and fantasy. This industry is known as pornography.

The human brain, especially male brain, strangely, not female brain, but male brain. The male brain cannot tell the difference between real life sex and visual sex on the screen. The reactions are identical. Blood flow is identical in fMRI. Electrical activity is identical. Biochemical activity is identical. The brain doesn't know the difference between watching sex on screen and having sex with a real person.

So pornography is an industry that takes advantage of the confusion between reality and screen.

The next thing we're going to divorce reality.

And you see there was three stages.

The first stage, they sold you information.

The second stage, they sold you attention.

We are now in the attention economy. Previously it was information economy.

Now it's attention economy.

The next stage, they're going to monopolize reality and they're going to sell you reality.

So you're going to consume reality. Now you're consuming attention. Everyone wants likes and these and that.

The next stage, they're going to take away your reality and they're going to sell it back to you, package the way they want.

Now we have to hang up and click on the same link.



So can you discuss the relationship between psychology and politics, especially in how political movements and ideologies influence and drive the mind?

So there are two, two schools of thought about the relationship between psychology and politics.

One school of thought is that collectives, groups of people are actually extensions of individual psychology.

So you could have an narcissistic society or a psychopathic society in the same way you have an narcissistic or psychopathic individual.

It's just multiplied somehow, writ large.

That's one approach.

The other approach, which started more or less in the 1930s, the other approach is that when people come together, especially in a mob, especially if they're in a political party or they change somehow, there is a hive mind. There's a group thing, a group mind that takes over and supersedes, this group mind supersedes the individual minds of the people involved.

So you could have a group of very peaceful, nice, pleasant, law abiding citizens, each one individually.

But when they come together in the Nazi party, they murder people, they kill people because the Nazi party has its own mind, is a hive mind, and it supersedes the minds of the individuals involved.

And Le Bon and many others have written about this.

Now I think the truth is somewhere in between. I think collectives and groups do have their own personalities and they project these personalities in some way.

And then I think they attract specific types of individuals.

So if you are a psychopathic political movement or a violent political movement, white supremacists or terrorist organization or whatever, you're going to attract people who need to express psychopathy and violence. You will legitimize, you provide an outlet for these people.

I don't believe that group mentality or group psychology can somehow transform people. I think it legitimizes some things.

We all have a latent side. Latent means dormant, asleep, a side that is not expressed. Jung called it the shadow or complexes.

We all have this.

And yet, because of a process known as sublimation, we don't express this side. It's not okay to express it or socially unacceptable or you could end up in prison or whatever. You don't express this.

And then suddenly, this legitimacy, it's allowed to express this side. It's okay to express this side. It's even commendable.

If you express this side, you're okay. You're great. If you kill Jews, you're a good Nazi.

So suddenly, this side of you that's been latent and dormant all the time simply comes to the fore and expresses itself. It's very similar in biology.

In biology, we have genes.

Now, many of these genes are asleep. They are not expressed. They don't manifest themselves.

But you change the environment a little and suddenly, many of these genes come alive. And they manifest. They have a phenotype. They express themselves externally. And this is known as epigenetics.

This is when genes are triggered into being expressed by the environment and then they are passed on the generations. It's the same, I think, same relationship between collective and individual.

The collective legitimizes science in individual psychology, which are somehow repressed, somehow sublimated, somehow ignored, somehow denied.

What this collective does is it deactivates your defense mechanisms and triggers others.

So I would say that a collective is a selective membrane.

It's a collective triggers some defense mechanisms and deactivates others.

So I'll give you one example.


Splitting is when I say I'm all good, you're all bad. Black and white thinking.

Collectives activate splitting.

Israel is all good. Hamas is all bad. That's an example of splitting.

So this type of defense mechanism is activated by belonging to a collective by allegiance and affiliation and historical background and cultural mores and so on.

On the other hand, some other defense mechanisms are deactivated by the collective and the collective also disinhibits you.

When you're in a collective, you're anonymous. Anonymity disinhibits. When you're anonymous, for example, online, when you're anonymous and you're anonymous, you have a handle, but no one knows who you are.

You suddenly behave in ways which are not like you. You become a troll, become violent and aggressive and sadistic because you're anonymous.

The collective provides anonymity and legitimizes antisocial behaviors and so on and so forth.

So there's a lot of interaction between individual psychology and collective psychology.

And I regard the collective as a triggering mechanism.

It's an environment that triggers simply.

How do you assess the current global tensions in relation to the possibility of a third world war, as well as the psychological and sociopolitical conditions that might lead to such a conflict? And in your opinion, how imminent is the threat of World War III?

First of all, the best thing that has ever happened to humanity was the invention of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are the kind of weapons that you will never use.

So because they are the kind of weapons that you will never use, they force you to be basically peaceful. You're either peaceful or dead.

So nuclear weapons created a mutually assured balance of destruction. It was known as MAD, mutually assured destruction. And I think nuclear weapons pacified humanity.

I know that we look around and we say, oh, there's a war in Sudan and there's a war in Israel and there's a war in Ukraine.

But the last 80 years have been the most peaceful in human history, in a thing.

And I attribute this definitely to nuclear weapons.

That's the first thing.

The second thing, whenever there's a shift between in the balance of powers, whenever one superpower emerges and another declines, there is warfare. There are a lot of wars in the same areas, in the areas where the tectonic plates meet, in the fault lines.

So always when one global power emerged and another global power declined, there were wars in the Middle East. Always there were wars in what is today Ukraine. Always there were wars in the Balkans. Always there were wars in the area between China and Mongolia. These areas are prone to conflict when superpowers decline and others emerge.

Why is that?

Because this is where one civilization ends and another begins.

Russia likes to think of itself as European. Russia is not European. Russia is Asian. And so the Asian tectonic plate, if you wish, the Asian civilization, that is Huntington's view. The Asian tectonic plate ends in Ukraine.

And the European one begins there.

Similarly in the Middle East. The Middle East is where the West ends. The West ends in Israel. That's the furthermost colony of the West. So furthermost fortress of the West. That's where the West ends.

And Arabs and Iranians and Islam begins. So Islam in the West clash in the Middle East. Always have. Always have.

Similarly, Europe ends in the Middle East. That's why Rome dedicated one-third of its army to fighting in Palestine in the first century AD.

These areas are barometers. These areas are thermometers. They measure the temperature, the fever of global affairs.

They have nothing to do with the global war. They have nothing to do with the world war.

A world war happens when a colonial power, an empire, is trying to take over territories. So world wars are imperial colonial wars. They are not localized. They are not regional. And they do not reflect the rise of one megapower and the decline of another.

So Hitler, for example. Hitler wanted to establish an empire, a German empire.

But it was too late because by 1933, when Hitler became chancellor, everything was taken. Africa was taken. Asia was taken. There were no colonies available for Germany.

So Hitler tried to take Europe as a colony. Hitler was in this sense a revolutionary. He tried to colonize Europe rather than Africa, rather Asia, rather South America. Hitler tried to colonize Europe.

And he treated white people. He treated white people, Polish people, Ukrainian people, Russian people. He treated white people as if they were black, as if they were.

So Hitler brought mercantilism and colonialism and imperialism into the heart of Europe. And it was world wars are colonial wars. They are empire-building wars.

What we have today will not lead to war. What we have today is friction between China, the Eurasian, the Eurasian plate, which is Russia and China, conflicting with the Western plate, which is essentially the United States and Western Europe.

And in the normal places where it always has happened throughout history, it will pass. It will pass when one of them will be the winner.

If I had to bet, I think it would still be the West.

I think China is a Ponzi scheme. I think China is a lot of prestige, agitation and slight of hand. I think China is fake. We've got a long story short. I think China will disintegrate in a big way.

And of course, Russia is a non-entity. Russia's economy is smaller than Belgium, smaller than the United Kingdom. It's a huge country territory-wise, but economically it's a midget.

And of course, Russia cannot support an army, as we can see. Russia's army is a joke, an absolute joke. So Russia is a non-entity and should not be taken into consideration. It can make a lot of trouble, but it's a troublemaker.

China is a threat. But China is being built on illusion and fantasy and delusion and fakery and lies. This can't last long. It doesn't hold water for long.

You can fool a lot of people for decades even. But ultimately you have to pay the price.

China's banking systems, China's real estate sector, China's agriculture, China's peasants who have moved to the cities, China, it's all going to explode soon.

I think the West is going to win this one.

And then you will see all these conflicts disappear. Peace in Ukraine, peace in the Middle East, peace everywhere.

Until the next round.

Where do you see the field of psychology heading in the next decade or in the near future?

Psychology has been corrupted by the introduction of, overwhelming introduction of statistics, biophysics, neuroscience and so on and so forth.

There is an attempt to medicalize psychology, to render it objective as if it were some branch of physics. And this process is going to end badly. It's going to end with the discrediting of psychology.

Psychology should be about human touch, human contact, the ability to observe and to gain insight, fostering and engendering emotions, healing and so on and so forth.

None of these things is quantifiable. None of these things can be studied in a laboratory or should be even.

And this correct attempt to convert psychology into a grant generating machine is going to end badly for psychology.

There have been numerous disciplines in the past and these disciplines have been very dominant.

For example, astrology, for example, alchemy, very dominant.

Newton was an astrologist and an alchemist, not a scientist, because these were the dominant disciplines in his time.

Where is alchemy nowadays? And where is astrology outside the horoscopes in the daily papers? Where are they? They're dead. They're finished.

And psychology is heading that way if it's not careful.

As it is now, it is everyone is perceiving. The laymen are perceiving it that way.

Real scientists are perceiving psychology as pseudoscience.

And when a discipline or an area of study is labeled as a pseudoscience, it doesn't have long to survive.

So I'm very worried about the future of psychology.

If it doesn't wake up, if it doesn't adopt, re-adopt the giants, like starting with Freud, but there are many others, if it doesn't accept its own heritage and its own background, if it doesn't recognize that it's a form of literature, and if it doesn't focus on what matters, and what matters is healing people, healing people, then it's lost because it's not necessary. It's useless.

Psychology right now is useless, totally useless.

And most of its discoveries are nonsensical because they cannot be replicated. And it's going downhill in my view.

I don't see it surviving for long. It would be absorbed by neuroscience, or I don't see it surviving for long because it became a reality, TV show.

It's not a serious discipline.

What advice would you offer to young psychologists or researchers who are entering the field today?

Pay a lot more attention to yourself, introspect.

You're a human, and you're as good a human as any other. You're a sample.

In psychology, there is no representative sample. You cannot compose a group of people. You cannot create a cohort or a compilation. It will teach you something that you don't know already.

That's a lie. That's a myth.

Like the grades of psychology up to the 1960s, focus on yourself. Focus on people you know really well, intimately. Learn from them. Read a lot of literature. Fiction. Observe. Analyze, not scientifically. Analyze with your heart, not with your mind. Empathize. Focus on transformation, on healing. Forget statistics. Statistics is nonsense. Nonsense, not only psychology. And forget trying to convert psychology into a brain science. We have no idea. We know nothing about the brain. Nothing. We know nothing about it.

There have been massive discoveries in the last 10 years alone. We discovered microglia. It's a whole group of cells in the brain.

Only 10 years ago. Microglia. It's a giant and very important group of cells in the brain.

We discovered the brain disposal system and waste cleaning system. Only 10 years ago. We discovered the DMN 10 years. Everything we know about the brain now has been discovered in the last 10 years.

You can rest assured that in 10 years from now this knowledge will be considered obsolete. We know nothing about the brain.

So don't try to reduce psychology to brain.

We also have no idea whether this is causation or correlation. We don't know if you're a psychopath because your brain has less white matter or if your brain has less white matter because you're a psychopath. We don't know. We simply don't know. And we are too grandiose, too arrogant to admit that we don't know.

We lost the humility of doing science. Neuroscientists walk around as if they are the greatest mind to have ever lived. And they are ignorant buffoons.

The overwhelming vast majority of neuroscientific studies are nonsense with tiny samples and mean nothing.

So there's a lot of narcissism in science nowadays.


Avoid this.

Focus on the raw material of psychology, on human beings, on the human experience and start with yourself. You're a human.

Study your experience.

That's what Freud did.

And you know what?

If you want to do real psychology, go back to 1890 and go from there.

The next 70 years. These were the great years of psychology.

After the 1960s and 1970s, psychology is crap. Total crap.

Counterfactual, idiotic, useless, which is why people mock psychologists and therapists and don't go to them anymore. They go online. They're looking for support and support among peers and self-starred experts and charlatans and con artists online because they can no longer trust the profession in their right not to trust it.

Thank you very much.

Thank you for having me. It was a real pleasure talking to you.

For me too.

Thank you.

I will let you know when it's uploaded.

Of course.

In regards to your father.

Thank you. Take care.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissist=Insane? You, Envy, Withdrawal, Loner Narcissist

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the "lone wolf narcissist" and its connection to schizoid personality disorder. He delves into the psychological and societal factors contributing to this phenomenon, emphasizing the impact of modern life on individualism and social interactions. Vaknin also explores the relationship between narcissism and schizoid tendencies, shedding light on the complexities of these personality disorders.

How I Experience My Narcissism: Aware, Not Healed

Sam Vaknin discusses his experience with narcissism, how it has affected his life, and how it has become a part of his identity. He explains that narcissism is a personality disorder that defines the narcissist's waking moments and nocturnal dreams. Despite his self-awareness, Vaknin admits that he is powerless to change his narcissism. The narcissist experiences their life as a long, unpredictable, terrifying, and saddening nightmare.

Narcissism, Demonic Possession as Morality Plays

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses demon possession and its similarities to narcissism, as well as the concept of possession in different religions and cultures. He argues that pathological narcissism is the source of all personality disorders and that narcissists and psychopaths lack empathy and emotions, making them not human in any sense of the word. Vaknin also discusses the false self in narcissists and how it becomes dominant, leading to a loss of identity. He also talks about the structural abnormalities in the brains of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder and the therapist's role in reconstructing a functional self.

Cuckolds, Swingers (Lifestyle), and Psychopathic Narcissists: Death of Intimacy?

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the psychodynamic background of psychopathic narcissism, the compromise of the malignant narcissist with their partner, and the psychology of cuckolds and swingers. He also explores the concept of intimacy and the prevalence of casual sex, swinging, and cuckoldry in modern society, and the impact of these practices on meaningful relationships.

lovebombinggroomingLove Bombing and Grooming: In Crosshairs of Narcissists, Sadists, Psychopaths

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of demon possession and its relation to narcissism. He explores the historical and linguistic context of demon possession, comparing it to the vocabulary used in psychiatry. He delves into the psychological traits and behaviors associated with demon possession, drawing parallels to narcissism, psychopathy, and borderline personality disorder. Additionally, he examines the impact of brain injuries on personality disorders and the role of the false self in the narcissist's psyche.

Our World is One Big Trauma (with Symone Fairchild, EyeOnDV)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in this transcript, including cluster B personality disorders, the power of social media platforms, trauma, unsatisfactory sex and intimacy, and the concept of personality. He argues that society incentivizes abuse and narcissism, and that we need to change society to prevent the rise of personality disorders. Vaknin also criticizes social media platforms for spreading evil and poison to children. He talks about how abuse can interfere with a victim's ability to work and how dissociation is becoming more common as a defense mechanism against environmental trauma. Finally, Vaknin goes on an anti-American rant, stating that America is a narcissistic society and that it exports toxicity all around the world.

Narcissism POV: Hers vs. His (with Diana Farca)

Professor Sam Vaknin, an expert on narcissism, discusses his personal experience with narcissistic personality disorder, having been diagnosed twice due to significant life events. He delves into his journey of understanding narcissism, starting from a lack of literature on the subject to eventually writing his own book, "Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited." Vaknin also touches on the evolution of the field of narcissism, including his development of various typologies and the establishment of the first website on narcissism. His wife, Lydia, contributes to the conversation by sharing her perspective on the impact of Vaknin's work and their collaborative efforts in educating people about narcissism and publishing the book. Vaknin emphasizes the importance of his extensive database on narcissistic personality disorder, which informs his work. He also discusses the concept of trauma bonding and the dynamics of narcissistic relationships, including the influence of cultural and familial backgrounds on individuals' susceptibility to narcissism.

Narcissism Hereditary, Acquired, Or Epigenetic ( Diathesis Stress Models)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the question of whether narcissism is inherited or acquired. He explores the history of narcissism and personality disorders, the influence of genetics and environment, and the emerging field of epigenetics. Vaknin emphasizes the complex interplay between nature and nurture in the development of personality disorders, and the need to consider the environment as an integral part of the individual. He also challenges traditional distinctions between mental and physical health, and the subjective nature of defining health and illness.

Narcopath Leaders Took Over the World (4th International conference on Addiction Research & Therapy)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the rise of narcissistic and psychopathic leaders, who embody the pathologies of their societies and cultures. These leaders foster a personality cult and often justify their actions through a sense of entitlement and grandiose fantasies. As their regimes come to an end, they often lash out at their own people, leading to a massive complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Vaknin argues that many nations have chosen prosperity over democracy, leading to authoritarian regimes that provide stability and security in exchange for citizens giving up certain freedoms.

NPD Narcissist, Or Merely Narcissistic Sick, Or Just A Hole

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the thorny issue of narcissism, distinguishing between narcissistic traits and narcissistic personality disorder. He provides insights into the rarity of NPD and the rise of diagnosed primary psychopathic women. He also delves into the DSM-5 criteria for NPD and the historical context of narcissism in society.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy