My name is Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
The stupid and narcissists are everywhere, among the working classes of course, but increasingly you can find them displacing the erstwhile elites, spawning hordes of mindless politicians, idiot business tycoons, narcissistic media personalities, vacuous celebrities, illiterate best-selling authors, athletes with far more brawn and brain, repetitious pop singers and even ignorant academics. Their cacophony drowns the few voices of wisdom, expertise and experience and their sheer number overwhelms all systems of governance and all mechanisms of decision-making.
Imbeciles and Narcissists are a menace to the continual existence not only of our civilization but of our species. We may end up being all homo, no sapiens.
The percentage of stupid and narcissistic people in the general population may not have changed. It may even have decreased.
But in terms of absolute numbers, there are more stupid and narcissistic heads now than the entire human population only a century ago.
Modern medicine makes sure that the retarded, the narcissistic and the plain dim-witted live on to a ripe old age. That we are faced with the daunting prospect of idiocracy is the fault of the malignant transformation of the democratic ideal in the recent onslaught of media, both old and new.
Start with democracy. In the not too distant past, stupid people had the right to vote once in a while and thus express their completely inconsequential opinion were it met at least in the ballot box.
Alas, the inane idea of one person, one vote, never mind how pinheaded, unqualified, narcissistic or ignorant that person is, that idea has invaded and permeated hitherto hierarchical environments such as government, academe, the workplace and the military. With technology at their disposal, the stupid and the narcissistic repeatedly interfere with and disrupt the proper functioning of every system.
Even the generation and transfer of knowledge have been so-called democratized as crowdsourcing yielded enterprises such as Wikipedia, the so-called encyclopedia that anyone can edit, add to and delete from.
Internet search engines rank results not according to the merits and authority of the content but by the number of votes cast by, you guessed it, mostly dense people who now congregate on social networks.
This widespread and much-loaded vandalism reflects the utter collapse and disintegration of the education system, which turns out illiterate, nascent and irrational graduates having annihilated its standards in order to embrace them as students in the first place.
The stupid and the narcissistic, dimly aware of their innate inferiority, are instinctively anti-elitist, anti-intellectual and anti-excellence.
But while in the past these remained mere sentiments, today they have become an ethos, code of conduct, a set of values and ideals to live by.
It is politically incorrect and impolite to claim any type of expertise, advantage or superiority.
Equality is running amok. Everyone is equal, doctors and their patients, professors and their students, experts and laymen alike.
Continue with technology.
In an act of self-preservation, past civilizations had confined the stupid and the narcissistic to certain settlements replete with their drinking establishments, entertainments and sports arenas.
There, in these isolated enclaves, the intellectually challenged could safely torment each other with their vulgarities and rampant uninformed idiocy.
But the advent of radio, television and most egregiously the internet has changed all that.
Now stupid people have unmitigated access to the kind of technology that allows them to pollute the airwaves and contaminate the broadband with their inferior analytic capacity, low brow output, trivial observations, monosyllabic exclamations and hairbrained queries.
Thus, the new media have transformed stupidity and narcissism from mental endemics to viral epidemics.
Wise and knowledgeable, indeed may still broadcast.
And it is true that the stupid merely narrowcast, but the stupid have the upper hand.
What with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and YouTube, decimating the traditional print of electronic media.
This technological empowerment is the crux of the problem. There are no barriers to entry, no institutional filters and no irudite and experienced intermediaries to hold back the avalanche of doltish balderdash, the tsunami of nonsense, the flood of misinformation, factoids and conspiracies that now corrupt our intellectual space.
Commercial interests inevitably and invariably cite with brainless masses.
And why? Because these masses have a superior aggregate purchasing power. The privatization of education is one manifestation of this creeping materialistic decadence.
The mindless nature of television programming is another. The empty one liners that comprise most conversation on social networks are its culmination.
We are surrounded with clothes harassed by the lame-minded, criticized by narcissistic simpletons.
Welcome to the New Dark Ages.