News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Bush the Narcissist

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bush the Narcissist

In a previous post, I adduced a relationship between the neocon effort to take over the world and the Freudian analysis of narcissism. My crude depiction of that world-negating enterprise reflects perhaps some lack of true understanding in an academic sense of the workings of narcissism.

Stephen Soldz (a psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Institute for the Study of Violence of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis) gives a more flattering rendering of the Bush soul--if only because it couches in psychoanalytic terms what should be said in words that even an illiterate can understand: Bush is a feces-smearing boob who fantasizes creating his own little voodoo doll to prick when he doesn't get his way.

At ZNet, Soldz writes:

As the weakness and vulnerability needs to be kept out of awareness, narcissism contributes to another process that poses dangers for narcissistic leaders like President Bush in that their narcissism contributes to an ignoring of reality, of possibility of error or other indicators of potential weakness. Bush doesn't appear to seriously consider that what he thinks may not accurately represent reality. Iraq will welcome his legions with flowers so there is no need for contingency planning just in case that assumption is wrong. Iraqis are valiantly struggling for pro-American "democracy" [whatever that means to him], so there is no need to consider that, just possibly, rival Iran is the big winner from Bush's Iraqi intervention. Harriet Miers is a convenient choice for Bush so there is no need to consider what others may think of her appointment. And Bush, like other tragic leaders throughout history, may actually believe the incredibly dangerous notion that there is no alternative to victory in an Iraqi conflict which, in all likelihood, has already been lost.

Bush's narcissism, thus, has provided the backbone of certainty which makes him appear as a strong leader to those so predisposed. But it also contributes to those character flaws that may ultimately lead to his undoing.

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