Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Why is Narcissism Important?

All over the world, on a daily basis we see the horrible results of Narcissistic behavior. Individuals and groups; religions and nations act out their Narcissistic rage at various insults--real and imagined-- and people suffer and die for the purpose of the grandiosity of the tyrant, or the glory of the religion. It has been said that the 20th century was the “century of the Narcissist”, but the 21st is well on its way to outdoing the horrors of the past as a seeming epidemic of malignant Narcissism caused by a crushing of human nature and the human spirit--all for the purpose of serving the self-aggrandizing vision of the few.

Tim Hall of the NY Press writes:

"Narcissism is hot. In the wake of the dot-com implosion and recent business scandals, many are focusing their attention on what otherwise might have remained an obscure psychological disorder. Much of the New Economy bubble seems to have arisen from narcissism run amok: The grandiosity of crooked executives and their haughty contempt for business and accounting procedures; the relentless manipulation of (and by) investors, analysts, and employees; the utter lack of empathy for others; the complete and total denial of any wrongdoing when everything fell apart."

Executives, such as The Rigases of Adelphia Corp; Samuel D. Waksal, the socialite founder of ImClone Systems; Dennis Kozlowski, of Tyco International; Scott D. Sullivan of WorldCom; and Ken Lay of Enron, typify the ugly Narcissist of the business world with his or her extreme grandiosity; selfishness of unbelievable proportions; and complete lack of empathy towards the people they cheated. While the majority of businessmen are ethical and honest individuals, only a few “bad apples” are needed to demonstrate the havoc that malignant Narcissism in the business sector can wreak.

Pat Santy M.D.