Narcissists: Evil?

Uploaded 7/30/2010, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

In his bestselling book People of the Lie, the author, Scott Peck, claims that narcissists are evil. But are they evil? Are tornadoes evil? Are tigers evil? All three, tornadoes, tigers and narcissists, hurt people. But do they hurt people because they are malicious or malevolent? Or do they hurt people because of who or what they are?

In this age of moral relativism, the concept of evil is slippery and very ambiguous. In the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, evil is defined as the suffering which results from morally wrong human choices.

This means that to qualify as an evil person, one must meet two requirements.

One, that the evil person can and does consciously choose the morally wrong over the morally right. And that the evil person acts on this choice, irrespective of the consequences to himself and to others.

In other words, he cannot help being evil. So clearly evil must be premeditated.

Philosophers such as Francis Hutchison and Joseph Butler argued that evil is merely the byproduct of the pursuit of one's interest and cause over other people's interests and causes.

But this is too reductive, too limited. It ignores the critical element of conscious choice among equally efficacious alternatives of action.

Moreover, often people pursue evil even when it jeopardizes their well-being and obstructs their interests.

Ask any criminal or say domesticus.

Narcissists satisfy the two conditions for evilness only partly. The narcissist's evil conduct, the narcissist's alleged evilness, is utilitarian.

Narcissists are evil only when being malevolent secures a favorable outcome. Sometimes they consciously choose the morally wrong, but not invariably so. They are not compelled to be evil. They choose to act in a certain way to maximize profits or benefits. And if it is evil, it's evil.

Narcissists act on their choice even if it inflicts pain or misery on others.

But they never opt for evil if they are the ones to bear the consequences.

So they act maliciously only because it is expedient to do so, not because it is in their nature.

The narcissist is able to tell right from wrong and to distinguish between good and evil.

In the pursuit of his interests and causes, the narcissist sometimes chooses to act wickedly.

Lacking empathy is rarely remorseful for his conduct.

And because if he is entitled, exploiting others comes as a second nature. The narcissist abuses others, sort of absentmindedly, offhandedly, as a matter of fact.

Narcissists generally objectify people. They treat them as expendable commodities to be discounted after use.

And admittedly, this kind of attitude and this kind of treatment of others is evil.

Yet it is the mechanical, faultless, heartless face of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic abuse.

The narcissist's evil or evilness is automatic. It is devoid of human passions and familiar emotions.

And this is what renders the narcissist so alien, so frightening, so repellent.

But also, this is what makes the narcissist more like a tiger or a bacterium or a virus or a tornado. He inflicts damage, he hurts people, causes pain, but he does it as if he were a force of nature.

We are often shocked by the actions of the narcissist, but we are usually more startled and taken aback by the way he acts rather than by what he does.

In the absence of a vocabulary rich enough to capture the subtle use and gradations of the spectrum of narcissistic depravity, we default and resort to habitual adjectives such as good and evil.

Never mind that I don't fit the narcissist. We don't have other words. We don't have an extended vocabulary.

This is, in my view, intellectual laziness, and it does this pernicious phenomenon and its victims little justice.

In the pursuit of the study of narcissism, we need to invent a new language to capture this phenomenon and what it does to people.

Thank you.

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


Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of evil in relation to narcissism and other personality disorders. He identifies three types of evil behavior: goal-oriented evil, pleasure-seeking evil, and indifferent or off-handed evil. Narcissists typically fall into the category of indifferent evil, as they inflict pain and hurt on others as a byproduct of their actions and choices, rather than intentionally seeking to cause harm. Vaknin also explores the reasons why people may engage in evil behavior, such as a lack of empathy, a desire to conform, or a need to exert control over their lives.

Victimhood Movements Hijacked by Narcissists and Psychopaths

Social justice movements are often infiltrated by psychopaths and narcissists who rise to the top and become the public face of the movement. These individuals seek attention, power, and narcissistic supply. The movements start with legitimate grievances, but often deteriorate into identity politics and grandiosity. Left-leaning movements tend to be more entitled and grandiose, while right-leaning movements are more conspiracy-minded and psychopathic. Narcissists and psychopaths flock to these movements and become leaders, ultimately taking over the movement.

Vaccinate Yourself Against Narcissism Virus NOW: It Evades Your Immunity! Real Pandemic Is Here!

Narcissism is a global pandemic that affects people across cultures and societies. To protect oneself from narcissism, one should educate themselves about it, maintain boundaries, and expose themselves to weakened versions of narcissism to build psychological immunity. As herd immunity against narcissism develops, the virus is under pressure to evolve into psychopathy. By following the same steps of education, distancing, and vaccination, humanity can ultimately win the war against narcissism and psychopathy.

How I Experience My False Self

The speaker describes being held hostage by a false self, created as a coping mechanism in response to childhood trauma. The false self gradually took over, leaving the speaker feeling empty and disconnected from their true self. They developed a deceptive persona to protect themselves and cope with their experiences, but ultimately feel imprisoned by it. The speaker longs for love and understanding, hoping it will set them free, but ultimately feels there is nothing left of their true self.

Evil Rubs Off: Cleanse Yourself!

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of evil and how it is multifaceted. Evil can be found in power plays, self-contempt, self-loathing, self-hatred, and emotional dysregulation. Negative emotions such as fear, envy, hatred, and greed pave the road to evil. Evil is contagious and can infect and possess you. To avoid evil, you must cleanse yourself and avoid it at all costs.

Consumption as a Narcissistic Religion

Professor Sam Vaknin argues that narcissism is a reaction to an abusive or traumatizing environment, and that consumerism is a form of secular religion that has replaced classic, God-centered religion. He believes that consumerism is addictive and leads to a rat race that is nightmarish and unrealistic, ultimately leading to an overdose. The pursuit of money as the foundation of happiness in consumerism leads to a morally neutral world that prioritizes selfishness and egotism over empathy and altruism.

8 Ways to Survive the Narcissist (ENGLISH Excerpts)

The lecture is divided into two parts, with the first 15 minutes outlining the eight proven ways to manipulate a narcissist, with the most effective being no contact. The other seven techniques include gray rock, deflection, mirroring, shared psychosis, high-grade narcissistic supply, withholding, and intermittent reinforcement. However, the speaker warns that these techniques can lead to the development of narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in the victim. The lecture concludes with an invitation to explore the narcissist's mind.

How to Raise a Narcissistic Child, Winner in a Sick World

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how to raise a child to be a narcissist, arguing that narcissism can be a positive adaptation for success in life. He explains that pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or adolescence. Vaknin then lists 20 ways to raise a narcissistic child, including being a toxic parent, criticizing the child constantly, making the child feel guilty, and fostering sibling rivalry. He concludes by stating that narcissists are winners in today's society, and parents who raise their children to be narcissists have done their best for them.

Self-destructive Narcissist = Masochist? (Compilation)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concepts of anti-narcissism, masochism, and sexual self-trashing, and how they interrelate. Anti-narcissism is not about being altruistic or nice, but rather a form of narcissism that involves externalizing one's emotional investment, leading to self-generated narcissistic supply. This can manifest in behaviors that appear benevolent but are actually self-serving. Anti-narcissists are often masochistic, engaging in self-trashing behaviors, especially sexual ones, to generate a sense of supply from within. They may appear to give and help others, but their actions are driven by an internal need for self-sufficiency and self-supply, rather than genuine empathy or connection with others.

YOUR LOVE, Intimacy FEARED: Narcissist’s Perfectionism, Envy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the narcissist's hatred towards others and how it is linked to perfectionism. The narcissist's fear of failure drives them to be perfect, and they believe they are infallible. The narcissist idealizes only internal objects and internalizes external objects to eliminate competition. In this section, Professor Sam Vaknin explains that the narcissist believes they are the only good object in the world and that they have internalized this object. Therefore, they do not need to envy anyone else. The narcissist becomes immune to envy and talks to their envy, telling it not to direct itself at them because they are the good object.

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