blessed be my enemies; they bring out the best in me

Shocking News of the Day – 2011-01-13

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The plague of constantly “unexpected” bad economic news coming out seemingly every other week for the past two years and catching supposed economic “experts” completely by surprise seems to have metastasized into a different field—that of psychology. (Imagine those in “hard sciences”, such as physics, chemistry, engineering, etc., got things so completely wrong so consistently as their peers in the “soft sciences”—economics, sociology, psychology, etc. Reminds me of [personal hero] Dr. Alan Sokal, physics professor at NYU, and his 1996 paper entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. Ah, good times…)

Headline from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41022931/ns/health-behavior/

Young people crave self-esteem more than sex
Researchers surprised that college students prefer compliments over other pleasures

So, after two generations of kids raised on “spirit awards” (“social justice!”), with the obsessive-compulsively, “fixing”-what-ain’t-broke progressives in society seeking to eliminate all notions of competition and the resulting “anachronisms” like success (“greed!”) and failure (“mean!”), and focusing solely on boosting kids’ self-esteem (“because, unlike conservatives, we
care!“), researchers are surprised to find that these kids are obsessed with…self-esteem?

Yes…shocking. Who on earth would have seen that coming?

And, of course, let’s not forget why self-esteem was stressed by progressives as the cure-all for society’s ills…because, we were promised, our superiorly brilliant, compassionate, caring progressives would finally solve that seemingly intractable problem of low aptitude, low academic success, low employment, and ridiculously high crime rates of black “youth”!

So…how’d that all work out?

For the heck of it, here are some quotes to add a little color to yet another liberal/progressive/leftist Utopian scheme and its attendant unanticipated—and typically horrendous—consequences…


“Bushman added that there is a fine line between self-esteem and narcissism. Over the top self-esteem becomes narcissism.”
Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication and Psychology, Ohio State University


“Every society reproduces its culture — its norms, its underlying assumptions, its modes of organizing experience — in the individual, in the form of personality.

To live for the moment is the prevailing passion — to live for yourself, not for your predecessors or posterity.

The narcissist divides society into two groups: the rich, great, and famous on the one hand and the common herd on the other. Narcissistic patients, according to Kernburg, ‘are afraid of not belonging to the company of the great, rich, and powerful, and of belonging instead to the ”mediocre”, by which they mean the worthless and despicable rather than ”average” in the ordinary sense of the term.’ They worship heroes only to turn against them when their heroes disappoint them.”
– Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations


“How can this be a surprise? Raising children used to be about teaching them to be independent. We wanted children to grow up confident because they knew they could achieve. Within the past generation or two, it became all about raising their self esteem. It makes absolutely no sense to criticize the younger generation for learning the lesson we’ve been teaching them.”
– There Goes The Neighborhood, Commenter at Hot Air


“The interdependence between celebrities and the media is a dangerous bargain. The more a celebrity attracts the attention of the media, the more famous he or she becomes. The more dysfunctionally the celebrity behaves, the more interest he or she generates from the tabloids. The more the audience finds out, the more we want to know. And the cost of it all – to the vulnerable celebrities on one side of the mirror, and the impressionable viewers on the other – is impossible to estimate.”
– Dr. Drew Pinsky, The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America


“Criminologists distinguish between serial killers like Bundy, whose crimes occur one at a time and who try hard to avoid capture, and mass killers like Cho. But the central role of narcissism plainly connects them. Only a narcissist could decide that his alienation should be underlined in the blood of strangers.

There’s a telling moment in Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine, in which singer Marilyn Manson dismisses the idea that listening to his lyrics contributed to the disintegration of Harris and Klebold. What the Columbine killers needed, Manson suggests, was for someone to listen to them. This is the narcissist’s view of narcissism: everything would be fine if only he received more attention. The real problem can be found in the killer’s mirror.”
– David von Drehle, “It’s All About Him“, Time Magazine


“Might our various safety net programs, such as welfare and food stamps, serve to infantilize their recipients, breeding a sense of entitlement, followed by narcissism, followed by a descent into crime? The ‘Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act’ did not happen in a vacuum, of course. And it should be common sense that giving people other people’s money for not doing anything is going to create problems. And studies have borne this out, such as the research done by Dr. June O’Neill’s and Anne Hill of Baruch College in their work ‘Underclass Behaviors in the United States: Measurement and Analysis of Determinants,’ which found a 117% increase in crime corresponding to a 50% increase in AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children)/Food Stamps.”
– Arma Virumque, “More on ‘The Tipping Point’: Broken Windows (& a Little Heresy)


“As even the rich lose the sense of place and historical continuity, the subjective feeling of ‘entitlement’, which takes inherited advantages for granted, gives way to what clinicians call ‘narcissistic entitlement’ — grandiose illusions, inner emptiness.”
– Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations


“Gimme more self esteem Big Government, or I’m gonna burn it down.
I think we’ve found the Loughner’s political ideology.”
– Saltysam, Commenter on HotAir


Written by Ex Machina

January 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

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