Linking to this as part of a riff from thinking about something that came up in an earlier post and in the comments: to wit, the notion that in fact, besides ordinary human failings, poor communication, the System as being more inhuman than the sum of its human parts; also, that a hefty percentage of the world's human-caused problems might just be
that more than half (I'd say 80% in terms of totality) of the major problems in the world i.e. poverty, pollution, availability of water, war, anarchy, corruption, etc. are due to fucknuts like [asshead fuckstain in question] spread liberally throughout financial and governmental institutions throughout the world. --eponymous (no, not eponymously the subject of the post!...anyway)
So, the link:
NARCISSISM is distinguished from true leadership (which shares attention) by narcissism’s use, abuse and exploitation of people, as opposed to enhancing and facilitating the value of others. Sustainability is dependent on collaborative, mutually complementary group efforts that seek to maximize benefits for the largest amount of people without exploiting each other or the integrity of the environment. This is offensive to narcissism because it is in direct contradiction to narcissism’s values of dominance, exploitation and control.
So what does narcissism do in the presence of sustainability proponents? It resists. It resists in a methodical, calculated way toward the end of either distracting, derailing, or simply stopping whatever program the sustainability contingent is seeking to implement. Character assassination, misinformation, and blocking access to funding and other resources are commonly employed methods.
Before we discuss how narcissism can be detected and engaged effectively, it is important to review factors which contribute to narcissism being able to effectively control situations and relationships. First, if a person or a group is unaware of his or its narcissism, they will often be unable to recognize the presence of a narcissistic force. It is a well known dynamic in most psychological circles that if one is denying or cut off from an aspect of the self, it is very difficult position to recognize this aspect in others.
Second, many people have the fantasy that if they try hard, "do it right," be reasonable, logical, and have goodwill and a team approach, these factors will generate a positive outcome in interpersonal or group settings. This is about as deep a fantasy as one could possibly have, as it is not based in reality. Why is this? It is not based in reality because a narcissist survival is dependent on having control, or the perception of control. When a narcissist's control is challenged (and this is what efforts toward sustainability do by definition), he becomes threatened, and responds like his survival is at stake, transforming the environment into a veritable jungle. This is not the friendly environment of Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood! In addition narcissism is disdainful of such attitudes (fantasies).
A third factor which reinforces the stranglehold narcissism can have is when people are committed to being "nice" or fair, and as a result are unwilling or unprepared to hold the narcissist accountable for positions or behaviors. Finally, an unwillingness to "go for the throat," as champions do in sporting events, only allows narcissism to recycle and feed off its commitment to domination...
I think it's that last part that's anathema to a lot of goodhearted people. Don't you become the thing you fight? they wonder. Isn't it best to assume everyone means well, deep down? Where will it all end?
My own answers to that, tentatively:
1) Sometimes, yes, and it's important to watch out for that
2) Yes, at first; but when certain specific people repeatedly prove that assumption wrong, it's best to assume that those people do not, in fact, mean well, or at least don't mean you well
3) Don't know.
All I do know is that for whatever reasons buried in my own psyche and past, it is a particular grievance of mine when I see fuckheads getting away with all kinds of exploitive shit because people not only are (justifiably, often) afraid of pissing them off, but for reasons of their own (ideological, personal, whatever) can't or won't see that some people, hermetically sealed as they are, simply can't be reached by love or logic.
You can't get blood from a stone; instead what happens is a transaction where everyone else provides the blood, and thus the illusion is maintained that the stone is a heart, not a drain.