The New Narcissism

Evaluation of Christopher Lasch’s Narcissism Culture In his book, Lasch begins by indicating that the moral contemporary American society can be defined by an intense preoccupying self-absorption. He goes further to indicate that such societies have therefore come to be motivated by self-preservation rather than self-improvement in their quest for earthly survival. Lasch uses the myth and a well cut out figure of Narcissus in bringing out his main themes that center on describing the American culture of the self. It can be depicted that Lasch intended theme was to explain the rise of the new psychospiritual therapies and their pursuit for self realization, which are perceived as a product and an end of a narcissist trait structure. In his view, the structure has gradually come to be prime psychological diagnosis in contemporary life.
Lasch expresses that most of modern societies tend to recognize individuals based on a hierarchical relationship that is usually expressed as in form of symbols such as material wealth and a self-indulgent lifestyle. In these societies, relationship to other is therefore based and determined by the ability to compete with others on acquiring these symbols. Consequently, these societies regard personality as a means to fostering communication as well as breeding callous competition. Similarly, due to the fact that every person in these societies is focused on acquiring the relationship symbols, most actions done are usually ignored irrespective of their legality thereby conforming to the Narcissist traits of neuroticism, passive aggressiveness or obsession to a point of being a bully or an opportunist (Lasch).
Another theme that is clearly presented in Lasch’s idea of narcissism in the society is that pertaining to disregard of the elderly within contemporary narcissist societies. This is possibly because such societies tend to perceive ageing as a sign of weakness in the competition that exists within such societies. The same case also applies to those having ill health. Their vast knowledge and wisdom of life is similarly ignored or is considered irrelevant, which is a pathway to their isolation within the society. In other words, such a culture tends to undervalue old experience and instead places more emphasis on physical strength and agility such that their definition of productivity exclude the old generation (Lasch).
Lasch also presents another issue of the perception of women by men in these new narcissists’ societies. He presents that most women have come to resent men perhaps sue to the constant discrimination that the latter subjects the former. These discriminations are usually manifested when men regard themselves as the soul property owners in their societies. The issue is even made worse when these narcissists’ men feel threatened by their womenfolk and more often they will tend to react irrationally when being confronted with issues pertaining to women liberation. At the end, this makes it difficult even for the feminist to intervene in sex-based conflicts (Lasch).
Additionally, Lasch also highlights on the how education systems in modern societies portray narcissist characteristics. In particular, he points out that quite often the government has betrayed its learners in the sense that although they usually demand that learners should be provided mandatory quality education, most industries do not recognize their knowledge. Thus, this implies that schools only serve to enrich the students with paper knowledge rather than aiding them to develop skills that will be essential in the future career paths. Lasch sums this issue up by indicating that the problem in a narcissism education system lies in the frustrations that the system has created to individuals.
Works Cited
Lasch, Christopher. The culture of narcissism: American life in an age of diminishing
expectations. London: Norton, 1991.