When his book ‘The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations’ was published in 1979, Christopher Lasch was hailed by Time Magazine as a “biblical prophet.”

Lasch saw narcissism not just as an individual ailment but also as a burgeoning social epidemic. Goodreads’ review of Lasch’s groundbreaking book asserts, “His diagnosis of American culture is even more relevant today, predicting the limitless expansion of the anxious and grasping narcissistic self into every part of American life.”

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized as a long-term pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy toward other people. Imagine an entire culture in which powerful manipulators of public opinion can gin up a literal army of narcissists willing to impose the will of the elites upon society.

In his book Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited, psychologist Sam Vaknin says that narcissists are easily identifiable and easily manipulable. Thus, it is easy for puppet masters to control their destructive tendencies to accomplish their own ends by turning their pit bull tendencies toward intimidation and control of ordinary people.

Gilbert T. Sewall, in a 2016 article in The American Conservative, cited another book by Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites. Sewall’s piece, entitled “Donald Trump And The Ghost Of Christopher Lasch,” stated that “America’s elites have devoted so much energy to building their collective moral system that they expect ideological obedience.”

Sewall praised Lasch for his prescience, as he wrote these words just prior to his death in 1995:

“Middle Americans, as they appear to the makers of educated opinion, are hopelessly shabby, unfashionable, and provincial, ill-informed about changes in taste or intellectual trends, addicted to trashy novels of romance and adventure, and stupefied by prolonged exposure to television. They are at once absurd and vaguely menacing.”

And you thought Hillary Clinton invented the term “deplorables”?

A quick look around the world shows how narcissism is driving the “climate change’ movement today. For example, Sam Dornan (Fox News) reported on November 30 that “protesters around the world disrupted Black Friday shopping in order to draw attention to climate change days before the United Nations met to discuss the issue in Madrid.”

These public protests, which at the least inconvenience ordinary citizens, are only one aspect of a culture that demands conformity or else. While many find themselves irritated at best from these intrusions into their comfort zones, others blatantly seek attention to their virtuous service to the Hive Mind.

You may have heard about the disruption of an American classic – the Harvard-Yale football game, which began its rivalry back in 1875 – by a horde of students from both universities carrying climate change banners. As some protesters shouted, “Hey Hey Ho Ho. Fossil fuels have got to go,” hundreds more people streamed onto the field, delaying the game until order was restored.

A recent article by Brian Kahn in Gizmoto announced that “Climate Change Is Even Ruining Pokemon Now.” The newest character in Pokemon Sword and Shield, he tells us, is called Cursola, a ghost version of the once vibrant Corsola. The new Pokemon is the product of runaway climate change and the coral bleaching that came with it.

Governments, too, have gotten into the act. The German government recently warned it citizens that leaf blowers are fatal to insects and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. The action was taken days after  a study published in the journal PLOS ONE warned that an ongoing “insect armageddon” threatens all life on Earth.

Is it possible that the scary headline was merely cribbed from the popular video game, “Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon” [developed by Vicious Cycle Software, and published by D3 Publisher, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows]?

And then there is Coldplay – whose members, in true Rockstar fashion announced they will not be touring with their new album, citing “concerns over the environmental impact of concerts.” Frontman Chris Martin told BBC News that, “We’re taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial.”

Is Coldplay being altruistic (saving their fans the cost of tickets, for example) or canny? Eamonn Forde, writing in The Guardian in 2017 entitled, “Where concert ticket money goes: Who’s getting rich off live music’s golden age?”, laid out the high costs of touring today. Forde reports that, “One huge act’s manager reportedly said it cost them $750,000 a day to be on the road, whether they were playing a show or not.”

It becomes increasingly easy to see the narcissism behind the climate change movement. That’s what the comment section on this page is for!

Author

  • Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."