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Failed Conservative Values: Louise Specht on Hierarchy Authoritarian Narcissism

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Originally Published on OpEdNews

 Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.  Todd Solondz

I asked Louise Specht about the the failure of conservative values. She addressed the hierarchal and authoritarian nature of conservativism and how this can lead  to narcissism for the people at the top. Steven Colbert does a great job of imitating a conservative on the Colbert Report. I just saw him begin his show lately by saying, "Did I tell you I love me lately?"  He hit's the nail on the head, as does Louise.
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Failed Conservative Values: Louise Specht on Hierarchy-Authoritarian-Narcissism


Conservatives seem to be very invested in hierarchy, so that what I want, is irrelevant to a conservative, and what you want, is also irrelevant.  What is relevant is where each of us fits in the overall scheme of things, and how well we fulfill our roles. 

When I get around conservatives, I feel like I’m going to suffocate.  I think it’s very undermining to moral values to have that kind of a system.  Because in a hierarchy, you have people who have too much authority over other people, and not enough questioning.  So that the person who has the authority does not have the opportunity to examine what they think the people under them should be doing.

It becomes very confused with their own ego.  I think the idea is that the people who are on top in the hierarchy are the better people who are more moral, just intrinsically or from their personal achievement. 

But the reality is that that’s not true.  That we are all morally fallible.  And it’s very dangerous for a person to be in charge of others with limited or no questioning – calling the person to critical thinking about what they are directing others to do.  And I’ve also seen that it leads to narcissism.

Narcissism is a sort of a personality disorder where there is a disturbance in an individuals sense of the self. A narcissistic person seeks and needs admiration of other people, while lacking empathy with their feelings or needs.  David Elkind

Narcissism at Wikipedia
Narcissism describes the trait of excessive self-love, based on self-image or ego. The term is derived from the Greek myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

Hierarchy  at Wikipedia

Many human organizations, such as governments, educational institutions, businesses, churches, armies and political movements are hierarchical organizations, at least officially; commonly seniors, called "bosses", have more power than their subordinates. Thus the relationship defining this hierarchy is "commands" or "has power over".


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Founder of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. The Culture of Empathy website is a growing portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, (more...)

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