Over fours ago, I wrote a piece about how Critical Social Justice activism, colloquially known as ‘woke’ ideology, was a haven for narcissists, giving rise to collective narcissism. Following the horrific events in Auckland on the 25th March, it seemed this was the right time to revisit my earlier notions concerning these thoughts. The group that has catapulted themselves into the spotlight and, therefore, worthy of scrutiny are Trans Rights Activists. My original article primarily centered on events at Evergreen State College, the witch-hunt of a Professor of evolutionary biology, Brett Weinstein and the apparent self involved arrogance found within these movements. This notably was driven generally by accusations of racism towards members of the teaching staff. However, we need not look so far geographically for a more recent example. In this article, I shall turn my attention towards the events in Auckland, plus the media and government collusion with the Trans Rights Activists.
Prior to 2013 nobody really knew much about this group or their grievances. However, within just 10 years they have managed to capture all principal mechanisms of control, across all primary English speaking countries. Including, government, traditional media, academia, schooling, social media, plus the film and the entertainment industry as a whole. Understanding the origins, finances and the power brokers involved are important in their own right, but this will be left for another day. Instead, I will focus on the primary mechanism of control used by these groups to determine the narrative and the societal agenda. This tool, consciously or otherwise is narcissism, both on a individual and group level.
Firstly, it’s important that we map out the ‘woke‘ worldview, to fully appreciate how narcissism seemingly melds well with this. Woke ideology, can formally be called Critical Social Justice theory, which is viewed as an identarian perspective, whereby immutable characteristics, such as, race, sexuality, gender and ability are assigned moral value. This creates an in group/out group split between the victim or oppressed and the perpetrator or oppressor. The in group are assigned collective innocence, while the out group are saddled with the role of guilty party. This template is then utilised to judge every interaction on an individual level, which includes characteristics, emotions, judgements, actions and intentions. This manifests in the splitting of groups into entirely good or bad. It is interesting to note that this way of viewing the world is primarily seen in infants, regressed people and among certain personality disorders.
Splitting allows the in group to devalue and dehumanise the oppressor. Viewing them as inhuman, evil and cruel, thus, giving rise to feelings of hatred towards them. The oppressed group now emboldened, feel they have a right to destroy and eradicate the oppressor group by considering them inherently evil. In contrast, the in group is blessed with unparalleled moral purity and total innocence while simultaneously perceiving themselves as utterly vulnerable. It’s worth noting that the ‘woke’ in group perform exactly the same acts of which they readily accuse the so called oppressors of doing; reputation destruction, the suppressing of free speech, violence, death threats and public humiliation, among many other methods.
Dichotomous thinking is indulged upon by both woke members and narcissists. This absence of tolerance for nuance is guided by part object representation. Psychoanalytically, object relations is a way to explain how an individual perceives the world, based on the beliefs and expectations one may have of themselves and others, unconsciously affecting how we relate to one another. Narcissists have a particular inclination with regards to these mechanisms by relating to themselves and others as parts. Therefore, a person can be deemed totally good or bad, purely by reason of aspects or parts that the narcissist decides as good or bad. For example, if an individual has an opposing viewpoint to the narcissist, this one thing would be enough for the person to be considered deplorable. It’s this suspect cognitive process that permits members of this group to engage in moral self justification, online mobbing, destruction of property and violence towards another human.
Narcissists demand total obedience, approval, agreement and affirmation. This is suggested to be owing to the narcissist, due to being fused in their object relations. Meaning, that they assume the thoughts, feelings and beliefs they hold are the same set of values others subscribe to. Demonstrating a distinct lack of ability to recognise that subjective experiences in others may differ. Compounding this, the narcissist remains cocooned in an echo chamber, whereby, their beliefs and perceptions are continually affirmed, while they celebrate any perceived achievement. In the case of a woke activist, this echo chamber could comprise of, web pages, political allegiances, people who share ideological positions, certain social groups and friends. This process is referred to as the narcissistic extension of the self, with those facets of their life becoming objects of narcissistic attachment.
Narcissists possess another characteristic of object relations, that of defensive splitting. On the idealistic all-good side of the split, the narcissist perceive themselves to be for example; adored, morally infallible, aesthetically beautiful, special and highly intelligent. Further to this, they are intertwined with an omnipotent Other who provides them with interest, admiration, approval, while constantly putting the narcissist first. However, if this idealised world is threatened and narcissistic supply is not adequately obtained, their very sense of self is exposed, giving rise to what can be described as a narcissistic injury. This may occur from a tepid disagreement, criticism, a perceived lack of admiration or simply being made fun of. What ensues is a switch to the all-bad state, with the narcissist viewing the world as a hostile, aggressive and vindictive place, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. Resorting to what’s termed as narcissistic rage, they engage in aggression, a need to destroy the now devalued Other, or to dismantle the worthless self, in order to restore the grandiose self and omnipotent other.
Narcissists demonstrate clear issues with facts and objectivity. This starts to shed light as to why many have gravitated to an ideology which is firmly grounded in a simplistic view of postmodernism, thus being skeptical of all meta narratives, such as science. How many times have you heard the phrase “my truth” when conversing with members of these groups? A narcissist revels in the manipulation of facts, thus, ensuring their reality prevails. This is achieved via the use of vague or ambiguous language (word salad), selective amnesia, emotional control, passive aggressive conduct, a re-imagining of the truth and a reinterpretation of an Other’s motives. The goal is to assert their perception of reality, one that is created in their own vision.
For the narcissist’s target, this behaviour results in confusion, self-doubt and disorientation. Many techniques are used to create a parallel universe, however, initially bait and switch is often utilised to obtain new narcissistic supply. Using this approach, the narcissist is initially incredibly charming in order to lure the victim in. Historical and event revision is another tactic that is commonly imposed, re-creating a version of events that meets their needs, while leaving the target bewildered and questioning their own sanity. Combined, these can be categorised under the phenomenon of gaslighting and is one of the primary hallmarks of narcissism. However, not all narcissists are the same. There are as many as 5 different types, but for our purposes, we will highlight 3.
These three broad types of narcissists have varying names, dependent on who you read, however, I will use; overt (grandiose/exhibitionistic), covert (vulnerable/shy/closet) and malignant (devaluing) narcissist. Each have many similarities, but all require narcissistic supply, a propensity to look at things in black and terms terms, such as all-good or all-bad and every type will be sensitive towards a narcissistic injury to some degree. What distinguishes each one in particular, is how they respond to and defend themselves during a perceived narcissistic injury.
The overt narcissist is usually what most people expect when this topic is discussed in the media. This type has an exaggerated self-image, a feeling of superiority over others, a need to be admired and a sense of entitlement. They will appear extroverted, viewed as overbearing and arrogant, while exhibiting an exaggerated sense of self. Likely overts will be competitive and exploitative, but with an innate need to be praised and admired (narcissistic supply). A key highlight of many narcissists, particularly overts, is a distinct lack of empathy.
A sub type of overt narcissism is antagonistic narcissism. These are people who tend to focus on rivalry and competition. They possess a propensity to take advantage of others and are inclined to exhibit disagreeability, characterised by arguing. Out of all the variants related to narcissism, antagonistics are less likely to forgive or trust people more than any other type.
In contrast to the previous type, covert narcissists show introversion, low self-esteem, insecurity, or are low in confidence and display a strong need to defend themselves. Covert narcissists will often use avoidance and have a penchant for playing the victim. A personality type thought to be the main driver of covert narcissism is neuroticism. One way to describe a covert is, they feel they deserve love, adulation and acclaim from the world. However, there is a mismatch between what they believe and how the world reacts to them. Chiefly, this is exemplified by them finding it incredibly difficult to receive criticism, often taking this personally, interpreting any form of critique more harshly than intended. A feature of this type is that they have a habit of living vicariously through the lives of others to obtain narcissistic supply, primarily but not limited to family members.
The final type is the malignant narcissist, otherwise known as the devaluing narcissist. Regarded as the most severe form of narcissism, this has significant impacts not only on their targets but also on the person living with it. A malignant narcissist will exhibit many of the overlapping common traits found in the other types, however, they possess high levels of vindictiveness, sadism and will obtain a certain amount of enjoyment from the pain of others. Additionally, they will be aggressive and dominating whilst interacting with others. Furthermore, malignants will display paranoia or increased levels of worry regarding potential threats. It is documented that this type share traits with those of anti-social personality disorder, meaning these people are more likely out of all the other groups to encounter legal troubles.
Group or collective narcissism fosters the belief that their group or organisation is superior to others. Furthermore, it is coupled with the shared assumption that their group’s preeminence is unjustly ignored or overlooked by outsiders. Many types of collectives share this mindset, including;
- religious group
- academic groups
- political parties
- activist groups
- social clubs
- sports teams
- fan followings
- cultural groups
- charity organisations
For the interest of this article, I will focus on activist groups and expand on how the Critical Social Justice ideology and narcissism link together. As with individual narcissism, an activist group, such as Trans Activists, are split into 3 narcissistic groups. Arguably, the most obvious one to examine is the victim group, which is strongly linked to the individual overt narcissist category. As a collective, they resort to excessive self idealisation, using their valued assortment of identity markers (sex, sexuality, race) as a way to award themselves with protective victim privilege. They project themselves as eternally vulnerable and oppressed while imbuing essential innocence. As a result of scoring highly on the victimhood scorecard, privilege and superior status are perpetually guaranteed.
Owing to their seemingly elevated status accrued from “lived experience,” demands and arguments are assumed to go unchallenged, thus granting immunity from all forms of criticism or disagreement. This revered position is secured not by any tangible accomplishments. On the contrary, it is entirely linked to their identity-based vulnerability status. Ensuring a competitive edge and perceived moral advantage over all other groups, in particular; white, heterosexual, able bodied males.
By virtue of this group’s elevated moral self-idealisation; total obedience, affirmation and mirroring ensure constant narcissistic supply. All other groups are expected to show tolerance, inclusion and diversity. Despite this, these values are not required for this exulted victim group, particularly in relation to diversity of thought. Standards such as merit, objectivity, and facts are despised, as this may usher in an external standard that could conceivably bypass, threaten and even challenge the narcissistic group’s claim to moral immunity.
The individual overt narcissist and the collective victim group respond to scrutiny, debate and discord in exactly the same way. Employing vicious aggression towards the non-affirming, objectionable perpetrators. Preferred common strategies are de-platforming, cancelling, doxing, public humiliation, defaming and online pile-ons. Vocabulary such as; hateful, phobic (use appropriate prefix), bigoted, racist, alt right, far right and Nazi are used (il)liberally in repeated, deliberate attacks in response to any perceived slight. In true narcissistic fashion, these ploys are completely denied by both the group itself and by their allies. One of the hallmarks of this group is crybullying. This is defined by vicious aggression, followed by playing victim, once fire has been returned.
As with individual narcissism, the aforementioned defensive split serves to develop tribal lines, in which the out-group is devalued and dammed, following perceived group narcissistic injury. What commonly follows is a period of grievance signaling and outrage, at which the vicitm group insists on a confession, an explanation and an apology from the evil oppressor group. Obviously, this is used as further fuel to demonise, distort, falsify and gaslight the out-group. This perverse cycle only subsides once the victim group has derived enough sadistic pleasure from this event, which could result in a, sacking, public humiliation, resignation, public apology and even suicide.
There is no doubt that the ‘woke’ revolution would not have gotten off the ground without this next collective. They too have embraced Critical Social Justice ideology, known more handily as ‘woke’ dogma, that has swept through the anglosphere. It’s a group that primarily consists of the oppressor class, that being white, heterosexual and are often but not exclusively women. It is a cohort chiefly found within the professional and management class, which is driven by emotions such as guilt and the selfish need to be on the right side of history, regardless of any collateral damage this may incur. They can be described as the woke saviour group and are the collective embodiment of covert narcissists.
The idealisation and devotion towards the activists, who are purveyed as morally pure, serves two primary functions. In stark contrast to the victim group, the saviour group is recognised as the epitome of original sin. Unfortunately, unlike religion, according to the woke gospel, there is no redemption to be found through repentance, only a life-long subservient deference to the victim group. With this in mind, the quest to provide narcissistic supply to the victim group at every conceivable moment helps to alleviate any pernicious guilt. This is executed by parasitically reveling in the victories accomplished by the victim group, in effect acquiring ‘second hand’ narcissistic supply, while feeling virtuous and superior.
This symbiotic relationship between these two groups is vital for this ideology to continue. Predominantly, because the saviour group comprised of, university administrators, lecturers, teachers, parents, policy makers, MP’s, health professionals, HR departments, business leaders, media, entertainment, plus many others from the so called professional and managerial class. Organisations such as Trans Activists claim to fight against the establishment. However, they are the establishment, with the primary mechanisms of many nations largely captured. Examples of this can be observed by the number of policies adopted especially for these groups, often to the detriment of the vast majority of the population, particularly women.
The grievance industry is big business, with no end in sight. An ever changing array of rules, formal or otherwise, continues unabated, regulating thoughts, speech and actions. All the while, self censorship has sharply increased as the general public, bewildered and disorientated, stagger aimlessly, desperate not to tread on a ‘woke’ landmine. Ultimately, it could lead to job dismissal, humiliation, or character assassination. This authoritarian control is perpetuated by the evil twins of an overtly narcissistic victim group and an extremely ambitious covertly narcissistic saviour group, who unite to maintain a tight grip over the moral direction of a nation.
Our final focus will be a group that, in many ways, is quite distinct from the ugly sisters of the victim and saviour groups. This new group is more akin to the devaluing narcissist and is named the militant group. Unlike the lash out and cry tactics of the victim group or the self-righteous arrogance of the saviour group, this third bunch aims to destroy the Oppressor class. An example of this is through the ‘work’ of (anti)racist grifter Robin DiAngelo, in her book White Fragility, she states; “[A] positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy… Rather, I strive to be ‘less white’”. These sentiments were echoed by Green Party MP Marama Davidson, stating on the 25th March, “I am a prevention violence minister. I know who causes violence in the world. It is white cis men. That is white cis men who cause violence in the world”.
In true narcissistic fashion, Trans Activists in New Zealand are claiming that they are under the threat of genocide, but from what I can see there has been no reported killing of someone who is transgender in this country. That is not to say murder doesn’t occur among this group. In 2021, 375 trans people were murdered, primarily in South America (70%), but alas not in New Zealand. In Cambodia, between 1.5-2 million were killed between 1975-1979 by the Khmer Rouge. During the Second World War, approximately 6 million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazi’s and in Rwanda, over a 100-day period, approximately 600,000, mainly Tutsi people were massacred by rival Hutu factions. As tragic as any death is, Trans people are not in the midst or are threatened by genocide and by claiming this, places the movement further into this narcissistic spotlight.
It is important to note that these hyperbolic claims are then condoned or are allowed to go unchallenged by the media and government, offering a certain amount of legitimacy for groups such as the Trans Activists to behave in a violent manner. This was evident prior to the event on 25th March, when the media fanned the flames of fury, claiming Kellie Jay Keen-Minshull was associated with far-right groups, which incidentally has never been proved. Meanwhile, the Police on the day stood back, as women were attacked, including Keen Minshull, with one lady sustaining a fractured skull.
People leading this Trans Activists charge, such as Shaleel Lal are symbols of this most severe level of narcissism, engaging in constant trolling, gaslighting and intimidation towards anybody who may mildly signal any form of discord regarding their ideology. This type of malignancy, both individually and as a group, develops when corrective features that are found in the benign form of narcissism do not exist. With regards to Shaleel Lal, New Zealand’s ruling cultural elite have chosen to celebrate this figure. Lal is currently an opinion writer for the New Zealand Herald, whilst being chosen as Young New Zealander of the Year, which was awarded shortly after the civil unrest at Auckland. Here are some inspiring words from the 2023 Young New Zealander of the year.
It’s fair to say this has been a much longer piece than previously anticipated, but it felt important to robustly link the ‘woke’ ideology with both individual and collective narcissism. I’m sure when people look back on March the 25th and ponder over the cast of characters involved, many of which may well have thoughts as to who fits in which group. Shaleel Lal, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Auckland Police Force, Eliana Rubashkyn and the man who viciously punched a 70 year old women repeatedly in the face have all played their part in this narcissistic drama. Critical Social Justice ideology may not have directly produced narcissists, but it has created a perfect home for those who seek to destroy society under the pretense of kindness.