American Narcissism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War

During the 1960s three of the most narcissistic Presidents in US history came to power – John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. During this period the myth of American exceptionalism became a dominant theme in U.S. politics. America now viewed itself as the world’s policeman and as the defender of global freedom. As a consequence, the U.S. became embroiled in a series of catastrophes including the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and the bombing and invasion of Cambodia. In a world full of psychopaths, the US increasingly acted like them.     Continue reading

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Psychology of Evil – The Role of Religion

After watching the evening news, it’s hard to make the argument that religion makes us kinder to one another.

ISIS in Iraq is murdering Christians and Shia Muslims alike under the guise of a Holy War. Israel’s merciless bombardment of Gaza has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of women and children- the youngest to be killed was ten days old, the oldest was 100. In Uganda, evangelical Christians are vowing to campaign to reinstate the death penalty for gay men. And in Burma, Buddhist monks preach hate against that country’s persecuted Muslim minority.

Amidst this whirlwind of sectarian hatred, it is time to finally recognise that not only is morality possible without god, morality is infinitely better without god.    Continue reading

Freud and the Evening News – The Madness Within

A cursory glance at the evening news reveals a picture of humanity violently at odds with itself – the violence of ISIS, the unending war in Syria, and the erosion of democracy in the U.S. typified by the hated filled campaign of Donald Trump. But the everyday reporting of the major news channels hides a deeper division still – the division of humanity based on disorders of personality.    Continue reading

DR Congo – Understanding Africa’s Largest War 3

The story of the Congo wars is one of state weakness and failure – the weakness and failure of Congo to defend its borders, impose law and order in its eastern provinces, and build the institutions of state necessary to improve the impoverished conditions in which the Congolese population live.

The weakness of the Congolese state explains why the Congo wars have no simple narrative. In the absence of a strong power in Kinshasa, rival factions have been able to proliferate, adding a layer of confusion to an already complex picture. At various times in the conflict, there have been up to forty different armed groups in Eastern Congo alone.    Continue reading

The Psychology of Evil – Mao’s Famine

The famine which occurred in China during the Great Leap Forward was perhaps the greatest crime in history. Between 1958 and 1962 at least 45 million people died[1]. This figure is much higher than the number killed in World War One. The real death toll could be higher, and may even exceed the number killed during World War Two.

Calling it a famine muddies the picture of what actually happened. Unlike during a natural famine, disease was remarkably absent as a cause of death. The reason is both easy to comprehend and terrifying to grasp.     Continue reading

Psychopaths as Predators of the Poor

This blog first appeared on Facts and Arts and is based on the important book The Locust Effect.

History is the story of the struggle of the psychologically normal majority of humanity to free ourselves from the tyranny of a psychologically disordered minority who are marked by their innate propensity for violence and greed. This minority is comprised of psychopaths whose psychology excludes the possibility of empathy, and narcissists and paranoids, whose minds are frozen into states of perpetual superiority and fear.

In this long historical struggle, previous generations have crafted a number of essential safeguards to protect us against this tyrannical minority. The most fundamental of these is the rule of law. In the absence of effective law enforcement, citizens are left at the mercy of those of a psychopathic disposition. Today, those who suffer most are the world’s poor.     Continue reading

Dispelling the Myths of Narcissism

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Freud’s essay ‘On Narcissism’ – one hundred years in which the concept of narcissism has been a central focus for successive generations of psychoanalysts. Yet in the public mind, misperceptions persist.    Continue reading