The word Narcissist comes from a Greek myth in which a handsome young man named Narcissus sees his own reflection in a pool of water and falls in love with it.
I do not know how many of us have had similar feelings observing our reflections. I have seen myself in the mirror on many an occasion but have had no such gratification. However, the newspapers and the mass media in India and the USA do disclose that the leaders in these countries are downright narcissists ingrained. As a force of habit, I did an audit check to ascertain whether this is fake news or alternative fact. A study was undertaken by comparing known symptoms noticed in persons having narcissistic tendencies with the observed behaviour of the leaders in question. I propose to share my personal findings with everyone. You are very welcome to your own opinion which could be as debatable as my own. So, here we go with the symptoms about a narcissist and my answers on their relevance to the leaders (written in italics).
- Thinks about himself most of the time and talks about himself a lot.
- Craves attention and admiration.
- Exaggerates his talents and achievements.
- Believes he is special.
- Sets unrealistic goals.
- Has wide, fast mood swings.
- Has a hard time taking others’ feelings seriously.
- Strives to win, whatever it takes.
- Fantasizes about unlimited success, money, and power.
Whew! For once I have to agree with the media on such subjective related observations!
There are few more characteristics of a narcissistic reported by the media, which appear to be relevant specially after observing these leaders on the television and reading their messages in social media.
They appear to have high self-esteem, but the opposite is probably true. There is a deep sense of insecurity underneath that grand exterior. Though they want others to be envious, but often it is they that are the jealous one. Very competitive however they feel threatened by others’ achievements. Their relationships are often stormy and short-lived leaving a trail of hurt feelings in the wake.
They are easily hurt, but either choose not to show it or overreact in rage. They just can not stand criticism, warding it off by making excuses and forever refusing to take responsibility for their flaws and failures.
They see themself as a natural leader who can easily sway others. They do not listen and often interrupt, it is a one-way street, take all, no quarters given.
It is a travesty of nature and our gullibility that many persons are drawn towards these narcissists leaders and find them attractive, charismatic, and exciting. They become their ardent followers. They have confidence in them as being more assertive and demanding and consider them the one who can lead them successfully.
However, sadly these followers either are unaware or do not realise the harm such leaders in the past have caused to their countrymen. The list of such leaders of the past` is long, however a few are named below.
- He ruled democratically for three years, then threw aside democratic institutions to become the dictator or Il Duce. His black shirt police force brutally squashed any opposition – He was Benito Mussolini.
- He squashed all opponents within his party. Because of this the population lost all their freedom. He controlled much of the economy, outlawed all groups that were critical, kept a very close watch on the media through his propaganda chief. Fired teachers who were in any way critical in schools, rewrote textbooks, discriminated against any ethnic groups who were non-Aryan, and pushed nationalism above individuals’ rights. He was Adolf Hitler
- He rose to power during a bloody civil war where tens of thousands of opponents were murdered or executed by his followers. He controlled the press and suppressed various ethnic groups. – He was Francisco Franco
They were the Narcissist who through their democratic process came to power and embraced Fascism by abrogating their country’s constitution and instituting a single party under their leadership.
The word “fasces” comes from ancient Rome. Fasces are a bundle of sticks tied together, containing an axe. It was used by the bodyguards of a Roman ruler to protect him. They thought that one stick could easily break, but a number of them tied together would remain whole. Later, it became a term for a nation bound together under the will of a dictator who is in total control.
The Narcissist instituted fascist form of government which was run from the top down by one man or one party that had complete control. They controlled the population by spreading fear with strict laws and punishments. They controlled the economy and the media. They used propaganda to keep people believing in their leaders and approved of violence if needed. The ideals of democracy were a stumbling block to their plans and goals. They despised any form of government not run by a strongman or a small party and established one that restricts freedom and rules with an iron fist. Criticizing Nationalism and Patriotism was considered a crime punishable by treason, by them.
For the past few years shades of fascism has sprouted in our democracy. This certainly is ominous and terrifying. Please do note that fascism is not a ‘political ideology,’ as considered by historians and thinkers. They prefer to be more precise and appropriate to call fascism as a society level ‘mental disorder’ cloaked in political ideology.
Are our societies in ‘mental disorder’? You be the judge!