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Narcissism, Islam, Women: Our Future (with Karoline Gil)

Uploaded 12/26/2020, approx. 38 minute read

Welcome to the next online talk.

On this channel, you can find a series of talks on culture, society, and foreign policy in times of change in English and in German.

My name is Caroline Riel.

Today, we will focus on the pandemic within the pandemic about the rise of narcissism in our societies and its impact on foreign relations.

I am very grateful and honored to speak with Professor Sam Vaknin, one of the most renowned experts on narcissism and personality disorders. He's a philosopher, he's a professor of psychology, finance, author of Malignant Self-Love, and his YouTube channels get 35 million clicks.

Hi, Sam.

Hello, I sound impressive.

That sounds very impressive.

Sam, in your lectures and on your YouTube channels, you mentioned that narcissism is a more serious pandemic than actually the COVID pandemic, perhaps not from the medical point of view, but one of the symbols for you was Donald Trump.

The presidential elections took place this year. Donald Trump lost. Is this the proof that at the end, narcissism will not win?

Well, first of all, it was a very strange kind of loss because in the midst of a giant medical pandemic with the economy in tatters, one of the worst collapses in American economic history, with clear mismanagement of the whole situation by the White House.

This should have been not a loss. It should have been a rout. It should have been total disintegration.

But actually, Donald Trump received 73 million votes. That's hardly a loss. I would say that's a vindication and a victory.

And even those who had voted for Biden had voted essentially for narcissistic reasons because of their own selfish interests and the attempt to further these interests.

Mind you, politics is a reflection of the rising tide of narcissism, which is well documented academically. Rising tide of narcissism among certain age groups, animal minorities.

There's a rising tide of some elements of narcissism, grandiosity, for example, sense of entitlement, vindictiveness, etc.

So we cannot divorce politics from changes in what I call mental demographics. There is a change in state of mind, both individual and collective.

And this change in state of mind is reflected in politics as it is reflected in any other type of human pursuit, science included.

So I think Donald Trump is a wake up call.

But when you look at Trump, it would be wrong to look at him in isolation. Trump is simply the most visible and most famous of a group of politicians who are Trump like. That would include Bolsonaro in Brazil, Duterte in the Philippines, this kind of urban in Hungary, Putin in Russia, and Dahra in Turkey, Netanyahu in Israel.

And of course, in Serbia and literally, to a large extent, Lafarge and his more benign version, Boris Johnson in United Kingdom.

This is not a phenomenon isolated to the United States. This is a global phenomenon, the rise of entitlement and grandiosity.

I'm a bit hesitant to use the word narcissism. Narcissism is much bigger, a complex of behaviors and traits and psychodynamics.

Yes, please. We establish a problem.

I understand why you think that narcissism has risen in our society.

Sue just mentioned it's not a Western phenomenon, it's a global phenomenon.

What happened?

What happened?

First of all, it's not the first time it's happening.

Here's the thing.

There are three issues when we try to deal with narcissism on the collective political and let alone geopolitical level. There are three issues.

First of all, we must isolate signal from noise.

Because if we look at the history of Europe, for example, the last 1,500 years is a battle for colonizing Europe by Germanic peoples on the one hand and other peoples on the other hand.

There is a process of colonization of the hinterland, of the heartland of Europe that would be Western Europe, Central Europe, and to some extent, Southern Europe.

And so when we look at history, we see that Germanic tribes are trying to establish a labens home, a living space within Europe. And all of European history and all of European culture can be amply captured just using this single principle.

Now, this is the noise, not the signal. When we discuss narcissism, this is the noise, not the signal. When we discuss history, this is the signal, not the noise.

But what I'm trying to say is that in history, there are underlying organizing principles, underlying trends that started in the case of Europe, for example, with the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and 5th century, continue to this very day.

Again, Europe is hegemonized by Germany. There's nothing new about this. Absolutely nothing new.

If you consider the French to be actually German, if you consider the British Anglo-Saxon and Normans and Vikings to be actually Germanic people, there's nothing new about the attempt of Germany to colonize Europe. Nothing.

And this would be history's signal, underlying. It's immutable. It's a dynamic that will probably last the next thousand years. Thousand years is a big number. It's associated with better ideas.

So talk 2000 years. On top of the signal, there is a superimposed layer of mental and psychological reaction to fluctuations in the signal.

So one fluctuation, for example, would be feudalism. One fluctuation would be proto-capitalism. Another fluctuation would be Anglo-Saxon capitalism. These are fluctuations in the base signal.

And people react not to the base signal.

Because the base signal is an immutable part of humanity, of their identity. They react to the fluctuations. Whenever there is a transition from one fluctuation to another, whenever there is dislocation, disorientation, new, whenever there's change, whenever there's transformation, people react with narcissistic defenses.

In other words, narcissism is not a new phenomenon.

But we know how it ended in Nazi Germany. So it was the total end of the kind of narcissism, right?

Nazi Germany was an inevitable and natural continuation of European history since the fourth century. Absolutely. It was an attempt by Germany to colonize its Lebensraum, Central Europe, Western Europe, and Southern Europe.

And the only two innovations that Adolf Hitler had introduced were the attempt to colonize Eastern Europe as well.

Even that is not really new. If you look at the Vikings, the Vikings tried to colonize Eastern Europe long before Hitler. So even that is not new.

And even more so, perhaps, of an innovation is the attempt to colonize white people.

Because colonialism was centered on non-white people, white people colonizing non-whites, yellow people, black people, red people. Long before the color revolutions, there was color colonialism.

So Hitler was the first who tried to colonize white on white. That's his major innovation in colonialism.

But Nazi Germany was absolutely within the mainstream of European history. That we tend to demonize it and convert it into a morality play and so on and so forth.

It's because we are very near to the events where in the 19th century, Napoleon was demonized and Napoleonic wars were cast in terms of a morality play, especially by the British.

Give it another 100 years or 200 years and Hitler and Nazi Germany will fall into their natural context. And the natural context is Germanic attempt to colonize Europe. End of story.

German science and German people.

You mentioned innovation. What's different now?

I mean, now we have acceleration because of social media and technology. Is it like the new phenomenon within the history?

Every generation feels that what's happening to them is unique, unprecedented, amazing. But it's not true, of course. It's simply not true.

Narcissistic reactions, grandiose reactions, reactions of entitlement, reactions of exclusion of the other, identity by opposition, defiance, hatred of authority, undermining of institutions, ignorance elevated to an ideology, rejection of expertise and knowledge, and ultimately rejection of religion because it embodies all this. It embodies authority and institutions and everything.

This is nothing new. Nothing new. It has happened dozens of times in European history and I'm limiting myself to European history, but of course it has happened dozens of times in China as well.

Within European history, this has happened dozens of times, and what I'm trying to say is that it has happened every time there was a fluctuation, a perturbation in the signal. Signal is permanent, stable and constant.

The fluctuations are in how we organize the means of production.

Marx had a lot to say about this, in how we organize society, in how we organize knowledge, in how we treat it, how we perpetrate it and perpetuate it, in our relationship with religion, in our relationship with institutions, rise in individualism versus decline in collectivism, and then correction, rise in collectivism versus decline in individualism. These are fluctuations. They're minor. They're not permanent. They vanish, but whenever there is such a fluctuation, we react with narcissism.

It's a law. It's almost a law of physics. It's almost a law of nature, of human nature.

Why?

Narcissism is a double defense. It's a defense against reality. In other words, it impairs reality testing. It's a retreat to fantasy. It's a retreat from reality to fantasy, unbearable reality, frightening reality, threatening reality, unpredictable, hostile, change, transformation.

People hate. People love. People seek stability and safety. So it protects from reality.

And it negates. Narcissism is an antidote to feeling that you are a speck of dust, that you are nothing swept in the giant river of the change that is happening.

To counter the feeling that your locus of control is external, that your life is not your own, that you don't make any decisions, really, that bigger forces determine your fate, your destiny, and your family's fate and destiny.

To counter this intolerable realization, narcissism, this is narcissism.


Narcissism in an individual is created when the individual is subjected to a total loss of control as a child, when the individual is traumatized and not allowed to create boundaries.

With a dysfunctional parent, then the individual reacts with narcissism.

Similarly, when you live in a period, in an era in history, where you feel that you have no voice, no decision-making capacity, that you are swept in giant torrents of historical change and transformation and so on, you would react. You would react with narcissism, exactly as a child reacts to the impersonal forces of the bad, dysfunctional, abusive, malicious parents.

As a child...

Do you see this threat even enhanced because of the COVID pandemic?

You mentioned social media and you mentioned the COVID pandemic. These are equally pernicious phenomena. The COVID pandemic looks very important and big and looming and catastrophic. And of course, in every period in history, when people went through pandemics, they reacted the same way.

We have writings from the 14th century with Black Death, where people reacted the same way. They felt that it's a major calamity. It's nothing. COVID is nothing. COVID is a blip.

Compared to other pandemics, it's definitely nothing. So it's a blip. It didn't change anything. It's too... The period is too short. Social changes don't happen in 10 months or 10 years, very rarely in a century. So nothing changed.

What COVID had done, it froze the scene.

It's like someone pointing a gun at you and says, freeze. The minute you freeze, everything comes into sharp relief. Suddenly you see everything that had been suppressed via the motion of life.

We tend to compensate for reality, painful reality, by acting.

We have an obsession with acting in the West, especially, but not only in the West. Today is global. We act all the time. We do something all the time. We look at a smartphone. We watch a movie. We eat. We drink. We go down. We go up. We exercise.

You know, this is a new phenomenon. This is a new phenomenon.

People in past centuries spent most of their free time, such as it was. There was very little free time, but when they had free time, they spent it doing nothing. Nothing.

Today, if we have free time, we spent it doing something.

And why are we doing something? We don't want to face who we are, what we are, where we are going in reality.

And the pandemic took away from us. The familiar, the ability to act, and forced us to confront reality. That's its biggest contribution.

But all disasters do this. War does this. Pandemic does this. You get sick with cancer. This is what happens to you. You divorce. You divorce. This is what happens to you. You reevaluate your relationship. What went wrong? What did you do wrong? This is normal. Any crisis.

So you see the COVID pandemic as a chance, and comparing to what Jasper said, a grand situation that it gives you now the chance to reflect upon life?

No, because people are not reacting with introspection and reflection and analysis, and people are reacting with fear. And above all, they are reacting with enhanced narcissism.

So the analysis comes much later and it is the reserve of the intellectuals.

The masses never react with soul searching, thinking, introspection. Masses don't react this way.

You have read Le Bon and Jose Ortega and Cassette and numerous others. Masses don't react this way. Masses react with collective narcissism, which very fast becomes collective psychopathy.

Very fast. Becomes violent, defiant, contumacious, hatred of authority, vindictive, etc. So masses degenerate via the agency of demagogues and so on. They generate very fast to a total psychopathic state. It is decades later in hindsight and with introspection and analysis that intellectuals, like, for example, Marx and Engels, who analyzed the 1848 revolutions, only in hindsight and introspection, or when you are removed from the scene and you're an intellectual, they provide this. They provide this analysis and so on and so forth.

It sounds like dystopia we are living in. I want to go back to one of the terms you created in 1995, narcissistic abuse.

So what does it mean to society?

So when our world reacts with narcissism, so what does narcissistic abuse mean to societies? Is it war, conflict, like, or authoritarianism we observe in Belarus or Russia?

What's this narcissistic abuse for societies?

Narcissistic abuse is any attempt, usually successful, to leverage, to use asymmetric power, asymmetric power, to negate the separate autonomous identity of another.

So in an interpersonal relationship, if you're married to a narcissist or a psychopathic narcissist, he would accumulate power over you. He would isolate you from your friends. He would isolate you from your family. He would take over your finances. He would employ you. He would make sure that you don't have independent sources of income. He would take over your children and hold them as hostages. He would create a power asymmetry and then he would use this power asymmetry to deny your separate existence, your autonomous identity, your self efficacious agency. He would render you an extension, zombified extension of himself. He would remove your personal autonomy and, of course, your identity and he would also induce in you psychological effects and processes such as dissociation so that, for example, you lose many of your memories and without memories there's no continuous identity. He would gaslight you so that you doubt your judgment of reality and without proper judgment of reality you cannot form coherent memories and your identity is impacted.

Narcissistic abuse is the use of asymmetric power to counter, negate, vitiate and destroy another person's identity.

Same is happening today in Western society, but I repeat again before I continue. It's not the first time.

The whole feudal system was constructed on a power asymmetry. The entire feudal system was constructed on a power asymmetry where a select few negated, vitiated the identity of the masses.

Same is happening today and I call this neo-feudalism. I think we are transitioning from capitalism to neo-feudalism.

We have a select few, much fewer than during the feudal times, by the way.

The concentration of wealth today in the hands of the few is much higher than it was during the feudal time, comparable to the days before the French Revolution and today already higher than 1920s.

There's never been bigger income inequality in human history except on the days before the French Revolution and this creates a power asymmetry of course and the elites, the elites are comprised of course of politicians and politicians are puppets, but the oligarchy, the plutocracy, in plutodemocracies, these people shamelessly, unabashedly and totally openly leverage their power asymmetry to fight back and negate the identity of individuals and of collectives and they do this via homogenizing forces such as mass media, such as monopolizing retail platforms and their retail experience. The consumer experience is a crucial part of the identity of people today because we live in a materialistic society. Amazon monopolized the consumer experience so it monopolized a critical mental element.

So we have a situation where our identity is being deliberately, intentionally, and this is not a conspiracy theory, I hate conspiracies here, but it's an observation, deliberately and intentionally erased, our identity is erased, by self-interested elites who had monopolized power beyond the wildest dreams of humanity.

But there are two, there's one major difference here, while in the past the elites pretended to be pro-social, communal, or endowed by God deriving their authority from a higher being like the kings, yes. Today the elites are unashamed, they make use of fiction like the American dream to justify their unconscionable behavior, which is utterly psychopathic. These are psychopaths.

But you mean elites like global elites or in certain countries?

The 10,000 rich people who control 52% of the GDP of the world, simple. 100 people in the United States control more cumulative wealth than all the Blacks, all the Hispanics, and 15 million whites. 100 people, not families, 100 people, individuals, never been sub-delivered.

The thing is that in the past, these 100 people, they would tell you all kinds of stories, how they're doing it in society's favor, and how they are actually very charitable. But today it's open, they brag, fake it till you make it.

There are coaches who teach you how to join their ranks by being psychopathic in effect, by lying, by faking, by stealing, by backstabbing. In other words, psychopathy became the ideology of neo-feudalism.

Neo-feudalism goes with a psychopathic ideology, and the masses subscribe to this ideology. The masses love this ideology and subscribe to it because of two lies.

One, the ideology claims to be blind. In other words, your origin, your birth, your family, your initial wealth, your initial access to education and health care shouldn't matter. Social mobility is total. You can start from zero and be a hero. That's of course nonsense.

It's not true.

Not true.

Numerous sociological studies have shown that the lowest social mobility among industrial nations is in the United States. Actually, people cannot move. If you're born to the poor, you will die probably even poorer than your parents in today's generations.

So this is line number one. And line number two, you don't need much to make a fortune because you don't need really to invest and to learn to study.

So it's like it's magical thinking.

The psychopathic ideology contains magical thinking. It's like formula.

In classical magic, in witchcraft, in classical magic, in medieval Europe and so on, you needed to know formulas. You needed to repeat some words. And if you repeated them correctly, you changed the world. You had an effect on the world. It's the same in neo-feudalism.

If you say the right things in a job interview, you will get the job. If you repeat these formulas, you will get the girl. If you repeat many of these formulas, you become rich.

It's the promise of magical things. It's a form of magic. It's psychopathic magic.

This is the new world we live in. It's a total retreat to the Middle Ages.

And when you just with your permission, one more observation.

When you mentioned cyberspace, social media is an element of cyberspace. And by the way, there's been social media from the second cyberspace was invented. There was IRC. There was ICQ. These were platforms with millions of people corresponding and interacting long before social media.

So cyberspace.

Cyberspace, we went back to the Middle Ages. We are now going to have feudalism. We're going to have magical thinking, magic, feudalism, magic.

What's missing? What's missing is heaven and hell. Heaven and hell. Here you are.

Cyberspace is heaven. It's heaven. That's the equivalent of the medieval heaven. That's the kingdom of heaven, cyberspace. It provides you with an afterlife, you know, and it's also a kind of the place where all your wishes essentially can come true.

You can pick up the formulas, you can become rich, you can become famous, instantly famous. You can have 35 million views.

See, so you're in heaven.

But I was thinking about that. If cyberspace is a real heaven, I mean, you're absolutely right that you have all the choices. You can find everything. It's you can spend hours of hours, years in the internet.

But there is still death. So there is a limit. It's not heaven. You are not immortal by being in this cyberspace.

Not if you read the texts written by tech wizards and tech gurus because they claim that digital information is immortal. It will live forever.

They there's a whole philosophy around cyberspace. The digital information is replicable, replicable forever. And therefore is immortal, not perishing, etc, etc.

There's even websites dedicated to immortalizing the web, like the Wayback Machine on archive.org.

So there's a lot of and even for example, in many platforms like Google and Facebook, they ask you what to do with your information after you die. You have to sign some form that after you die, they will preserve your information. Of course, it's a but it's afterlife in the sense that here on this side of the screen is real life. And this is the afterlife in the sense that it's divorced from real life. And exactly like in the Middle Ages, where you could buy indulgences, you know.

And today, if you follow a set of rules, you will have the afterlife, you will have millions of viewers, you will have beautiful girls.

So this is the magic interface. This afterlife in medieval ages was interfaced with magic. The magic was called religion. This is the magical interface. It's a very frightening scene.

It's the second dark ages.

But in the first dark ages, in the first period of until the high Middle Ages, because the high Middle Ages, you started to have innovation, technological innovation, there was a transition to what later came to be known as Renaissance.

So the high Middle Ages were okay. But let's say between the fifth century and the ninth or 10th century, it was a horrible period. It was really horrible period.

In every possible way, institutions crumbled, people were dislocated, disoriented, horrible wars, not central authority, no, you know, it's possibly one of the worst periods in human or at least European history.

And we are going back there. We are not going to the high Middle Ages. We're going back to the Americans. No, we are not going back.

Yeah, we're not.

What characterised the early Middle Ages is a rejection of knowledge, a rejection of wisdom, a rejection of expertise, a rejection of institutions, a rejection of authority, a rejection of vocalisation in structure, a rejection of everything that makes up together society. It was an antisocial period, psychopathic period.

So we are going back there. And people say it's not true, because now we have technology and so on. People don't realise technological innovations stopped decades ago. Decades ago. We didn't mention everything I do and so on.

I have another PhD in physics. So I know the field of accurate sciences. Innovations stopped decades ago.

You look at your smartphone. There's not a single component in your smartphone that hadn't been invented in the 1960s. Not one. It's the assembly that is special. It's the miniaturisation. Yes, manufacturing processes are improving, but nothing new.

Similarly, in my discipline in physics, nothing new since the 1980s. In psychology, nothing substantially new since, depending how you want to define it, it's been created since the 1990s. We are dead in the water as far as innovation, new knowledge, generation, information, discoveries, we did for decades now. For decades.

But what is your answer then? I mean, how we can overcome these dark ages, middle ages, or you want that we, that me, the world should overcome this, or then at the very end, as Lenin said, what to do?

I started the conversation by implying that geography determines history. And I mentioned the Germanic tribes who are fighting to colonise Europe and have been fighting for 1500 years to colonise Europe in a variety of ways, with weapons, with contracts, doesn't matter which way. So geography determines history, and history determines character, and character determines destiny.

People are derivatives of context, social context, cultural context, historical context, and so on and so forth.

So Nazism is not a phenomenon that is divorced from context. One of the big sins of psychology was individualism. The concept of the individual, the concept of the personality, of total fictitious, self-sufficient container called human being or person. It's nonsense, of course, unmitigated nonsense.

So we need to go through these phases. These are phases of rearrangement, disassembly and reassembly, deconstruction, if you wish. We need to go through these phases. It doesn't make them, though, pleasant, and doesn't make me less frightened.

But it's inevitable phase. And we will go through this phase. I just hope it doesn't last 500 years, like the early Middle Ages. We'll go through this phase and we will emerge. And when we emerge, Nazism was declined, innovation will rise, respectful knowledge will increase, and everything will restart.

Again, within the framework of geography and the immutable signal of history. So I'm a deterministic. As far as history, I'm a determinist. As far as human reaction to history, I'm a determinist. There is nothing new under the sun, to quote the Bible. Nothing.

Nazism is a new name for a very, very old phenomenon. The New Testament describes the best text of Nazism ever written was Timothy in the New Testament. Best ever. You know, and there was a quote for us.

Well, it's a bit long, but he says people would be proud. People will be. It's the best text. And that was 2000 years ago. So nothing new under the sun.

We have to accept these cycles, these inevitable cycles, where rebellion against these cycles is futile, like in the movie, resistance is futile.

And it is this rebellion that creates all the friction and the violence and the aggression and the dysfunction and the mental health illness and so on.

Mental health illness is context dependent. That's why my philosophy is what I call nothingness. It's a philosophy. It's a Gandhian philosophy of non resistance.

Simply non resistance. I think you can reduce 99% of mental illnesses with the exception of biochemical illnesses like schizophrenia or depression. 99% of other illnesses. You can reduce them to futile resistance. Simply stop to resist and you will heal mentally.

Stop learn like Rudyard Kipling said, learn the distinction between what you can change and what you cannot change.

Isn't it too passive?

Yes, totally passive. Active is a modern western concept. It doesn't exist with the majority of humanity for the majority of history.

To be active. It was frowned upon in the majority of European history. It is still frowned upon in China, in India, in Africa, in the Middle East. To be active goes hand in hand with malignant individualism, which is an Anglo-Saxon invention. It's new.

All this is new. You were not expected to be active. In the time of religion, it was called not to defy God. You should not defy God. This is God's plan. History is God's plan. You're trying to interfere with it. You know, you are disobeying God.

So this was their way of saying resistance is futile. Don't fight, you know, things that are bigger than you.

The minute you stop resisting, the minute you stop fighting, the minute you stop fighting, you restore inner calm and inner peace and a lot of mental illness symptoms disappear.

These mental illness symptoms have to do with frustration, with expectation, with hope, with narratives, with derivatives of narratives like a prescriptive, you should do this, you shouldn't do this. It's all context related.

Mental illness is totally contextual. Remove the context, you remove the illness.

And when you say passive, it's a bit misleading because, as I said, the West created this counterfactual concept, organizing concept of individual, counterfactual, totally untrue, concept of individual, and consequently, we have individual psychology. We are not very good at mass psychology. We don't have so many writings on collective psychology. It's all about the individual.

So because we created this, we created the illusion that the individual possesses powers and capacities that are independent of anything and anyone. And if he doesn't or she doesn't use these powers and capacities, it's a dysfunction. It's a pathology.

To be passive is not to renounce your agency or to renounce your ability to act or your self-efficacy, is to regain the ground of reality, to regain reality, to exit and quit fantasy, to renounce delusions, to resign from all the narratives, all of which are counterfactual, to simply be with open eyes, not eyes wide shut, open eyes. Which can be also brutal.

I mean, it's facing mortality, it's facing fears, it's facing destiny and also like bad things happening in life, like chanting life.

Acceptance of reality restores calm and inner peace, any Indian guru will tell you. Acceptance of reality. It is the battle with reality that creates what you've just described.

If you accept reality, you accept your mortality.

In the past, we had a very intimate, cozy, happy relationship with death. That was an entire part of life. People didn't, you know.

Today we spend, I don't know, 90% of our time trying to avoid risks.

Try to avoid risk. We are risk averse, we are death averse.

We assume, really, I think maybe for the first time in human history, we have this nagging suspicion that we're going to live forever.

The death is some kind of lie told to other people. In other words, that the virus doesn't exist.

This is the denial that you're seeing today with COVID. It's not the virus. These people are saying death doesn't exist. Not the virus. Death doesn't exist.

There is a denial of death. This is the magical thinking that I described.

The psychopathic ideology of neo-feudalism is magical thinking. That's why I'm calling all this the afterlife. It's all intimately linked, the rejection of death, magical thinking, feudalism, and it's all a total return to the sixth century BC. Total return.

And of course, we are seeing an empire in decline, as we saw then, Rome, today is America.

What does all this mean for foreign relations, international relations? How we should cooperate?

I'm a very boring interviewee when it comes to foreign relations, because I'm a historical determinist. I believe that there are processes that are, first of all, that last for thousands of years, and they were different guises and disguises, and it's difficult. It's difficult to say, it's also politically very incorrect to say, that what the German General Stadt tried to do in 1914, what Hitler tried to do in the 1940s, and the European Union have the same project. It's politically incorrect to say this. It's a project of colonizing Europe.

Simple.

So when you're a historical determinist, you assume that historical processes last for thousands of years, even though they can shape shift and appear different, sometimes totally different, they're actually the same.

And the second thing is, as a determinist, there's nothing to be done. Mass dynamics are stronger than any single individual, and the creation of the nation-state and the institutions of the nation-state made this even more inexorable. These institutions are so gigantic, that no one and no group of people can change where they're going. The direction cannot be changed. These institutions are so enormous. The bureaucracies are mind-boggling.

In most countries, the state controls 50% of economic resources. So there's no way to change this.

Our world has become, ironically, much more deterministic than the world of Bismarck. In Bismarck's time, there was real individualism, because the state controlled 2.3% of economic resources. Today, the state controls, thanks to Bismarck in large degree, by the way, today the state controls, depending which country, 40 to 70%. The state is life, is the economy. We have outsourced functions that used to be in a family, in the family, like education. We have outsourced four functions that used to be in the community, like mutual support and mutual help. We have even outsourced functions that used to be among friends to the state. Today you feel bad. You don't go to your best friend. You don't go to your best friend. You go to a therapist. 70% of therapists are financed by the state. You go to the state if you feel bad. You used to go to your best friend. You used to educate your children. You used to go to the community when you needed support, charity. Today it's a state. State, state, state.

So end of story, we live in a totally determined world and no one and no group of people, even these issues.

And because they cannot change this, the answer to your question is boring.

This is essentially, I don't think there's much to be done.

There's an empire that is declining and disintegrating and COVID, one of the major effects of COVID would be to destroy the United States, the relative position of the United States compared to China.

So this plague is going to destroy one empire and elevate another empire. Probably China.

It's a safe case.

But even this is going back to history because the rise of the West, the rise of Western industrialist nations is a blip, is an aberration. It's 500 years.

Throughout history, China was far more dominant than the West. We're just going back to history. We've been away on a vacation. We've been on a vacation in a beautiful resort called Las Vegas. Bye-bye. We're going back home and home is Chinese. So we're just returning to history. Even this is predetermined. Germany will try to control Europe. China will become again, the major power. The United States is already a colony.

Do you know how colony is defined in mercantilism? In classical mercantilism, a colony is a country that produces raw materials and consumes finished products. It's an excellent definition of American economy. America has been a colony. Never stopped being a colony. Never.

So it's just everything going back to normal. Can we fight it? No. Should we fight it? No, of course not. Why should we fight it? It's futile. It will cause you mental illness. That's it.

So I advocate acceptance. And you know, there's a big religion that advocates the same. It's Islam.

Not that I'm, you know, I'm an Israeli and a Jew, so I'm not suspect when I say this. Islam, the word Islam in Arabic, which I speak means acceptance, in effect, submissive acceptance, like submit yourself to accept, accept by submitting. That's Islam.

The word salam is peace.

So in Arabic, when you say Islam, it also means that acceptance that brings peace, peace, inner peace and outer peace, which they make no distinction. It's the same word.

So in a way, it's if you wish a Muslim message, it's a message of acceptance.

The difference between Judaism and Christianity and Islam is that Judaism and Christianity are urban religions. Islam is a religion of lack of options. It was created in an environment which was unforgiving, ungiving, unrelenting, cruel, real. Islam is the religion of the real.

Christianity and Judaism are intellectual exercises and a lot of magical thinking.

So you expect Islam rising?

Is there any debate about this? Look at the statistics, the last 20 years.

Yeah, but as you described it, it's the perfect answer to understand, to accept the world.

I'm agnostic. I'm anti-religious. I'm equally anti-Christianity and anti-Islam and anti-anything.

I believe that religions are forms of mental illness because they involve magical thinking and they involve renouncing big parts of reality and so on. So I'm against religion, but people are not against religion.

In neurofudalism, with psychopathic ideology, it's everything I've described, one of the major options on the table would be religion.

And we see this.

So there's a return to religion. All the gains of the enlightenment have been erased. Enlightenment is dead. People believe in the occult, in astrology, in the supernatural, in ghosts, in reptiles, in religions, in prophets who were probably all psychotic. This is what people believe in.

They don't believe in science. They don't believe in medicine. Look around you. There has been overwhelming rejection of the enlightenment and all the fruits of the enlightenment, number one for most science. A small tiny sliver of elite still believe in science, still, you know, but they're vanishing. On the table will be magical thinking in its raw occult esoteric forms, sick forms, medieval forms and so on, and religion.

And of the religions, Islam is by far the best position. If I foresee two major changes for the next thousand years, is the rise of women. Women are by far better positioned to take advantage of the new world and the rise of Islam, which will become absolutely the predominant religion, obliterating Christianity and all the competition. Islam is far better positioned for a variety of reasons.

One of them is that Islam is much closer to reality, involves much less magical thinking.

This would have been my last question, not for the next thousand years, but for the next years, what you will expect even taking this impact of the Covid pandemic into consideration.

But I think you already answered all my questions.

I didn't answer, I gave indications.

But if you want, I will focus on gender.

Starting with the First World War, there has been a gradual decline in the relevance and importance of men, in their control of resources, in their access to education, in their health, in everything, in all the relevant parameters.

Men today are far less educated than women. They die much younger. They occupy disproportionately dead-end jobs, which involve muscle power, their very bad empathy, their very bad networking, which are critical skills with new technologies.

And so there is very little doubt in my mind that within the foreseeable future, women will come to dominate. And when I say dominate, I'm definitely talking about power and especially economic power, access to professions, and consequently politics and so on. It's a process, of course it's a process, it's long, because it's a major revolution.

In the agricultural revolution, men took over.

And before that, most societies were more or less equal. And some societies were matriarchal, but most societies hunt together as more or less balanced.

And then in the agricultural revolution, because initially muscle power was needed, men took over.

And now there's a counter-reaction, counter-revolution, and women are taking over. And women are going to leverage brain power, they're going to leverage technologies, they're going to leverage social skills, including empathy, they're going to leverage their far superior education levels, etc.

And they're going to take over.

This is not going to go, men are not going to take this line down. Men are not going to take this line down, they're going to develop a minority mentality.

And where women started to develop a common mentality, 200 years ago with the suffragists, they started violently, by the way, the initial, the first suffragists were very violent women.

But gradually, they kind of civilized the movement, and it became feminism and so on.

Men are not going to be like that. Men are violent, men are testosterone-laden, men are aggressive, and above all, men are psychopathic and narcissistic.

So there is still hope for one of us?

I think there's going to be, what we'll define the next 50-100 years is gender wars.

Gender wars, where it will cut across races, socioeconomic classes, cultures, societies, nation states, this is, I think this will be the defining feature in the future, gender wars.

Even work from home favors essentially women, because women are home-centered.

So I think gender wars, and I think of course men are going to lose, no doubt in my mind that they're going to lose.

Take the very, take a single fact. 61% of college graduates worldwide are women, 39% are men, end of story, I don't need to go further. College degree is the best predictor of lifetime wages, longevity, health, access to political power and other power, etc. The best predictor.

Now of course it will take 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, it's a process, but it's very clear where it's going. Manufacturing jobs are lost, men, masses are absolutely not needed. There are alternatives even to sex and even to fertilization and even to, so let's say biological functions can be outsourced very easily.

Now we're seeing a great version.

This, if I had to choose one thing with a gun to my head, the single thing for the future, it would be gender wars, I think.

Not COVID, not narcissism, not international relations, international relations, what is there to say? It's clear what's happening.

The Eurasian table is emerging as it always did, and the North American table is declining as it, you know, so there's nothing much of interest here and within each continent the same dynamics continue.

In Europe it's, I mean the new silk road of China is not new, of course, it's a recreation of everything, it's just reinventing the wheel, there's nothing new there.

So geopolitics, no offense, is a bit on the boring side, unless you tend to focus on the details, who did what to whom, and that's gothic, that's gothic.

Maybe where all politics is a form of psychopathy in foreign relations, if you wish, but it's, you need to look at social trends, social, psychological trends, human reactions, and conflate it and connect it to, for example, magical thinking is a thing that goes throughout human history and erupts and disappears and erupts and disappears and erupts and disappears and now it's erupting.

What does that mean? How people react to the world? How will they perceive themselves in society?

If magical thinking becomes the dominant ideology and is coupled with psychopathy, what's going to happen to us?

To families, to children, to, I mean you can take these very basic principles and apply them in a variety of ways and international relations are an extension of this, in effect.

Nothing much more.

Sam Vaknin, thank you so much for this journey. Thank you.

Starting from Donald Trump, impact of narcissism in our societies and about China, Islam, and ending with a little bit of hope that women will take over.

You're on the right side of history, what can I tell you? You see, you are the host.

That's good for me. This time it's good for me.

So thank you so much and I'm a happy new year and hope to see you in post-COVID times. Bye.

****REDACTED

So do I, bye.

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