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The Narcissist's Vocation and the Economic Debacle
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century it is beginning to dawn on more and more people that things changed dramatically over the prior three decades. The worldwide financial debacle was a wake up call that these changes are real, and they are significant. The decline in the stock market from the fiasco of asset-backed commercial paper is a...
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century it is beginning to dawn on more and more people that things changed dramatically over the prior three decades. The worldwide financial debacle was a wake up call that these changes are real, and they are significant. The decline in the stock market from the fiasco of asset-backed commercial paper is a consequence of a culture that peddles entitlement, greed and self-centeredness. These characteristics are associated with extreme individualism. The problem is not about the fundamentals of capitalism; it is about culture. Individualism is a balance between self-reliance, personal responsibility and egotism. The rise of individualism is about people living and acting as individuals rather than as members of a larger group. In addition, the belief that one must do whatever he can to achieve positive self-esteem has become a movement with broad societal effects. Today, the cult of self-esteem has migrated from the schools into the workplace. In the culture of extreme individualism, a sense of entitlement gives people the perceived high ground; at the same time, they experience a declining sense of personal responsibility. Everyone and everything are mere instruments and objects available for pursuit of narcissistic gratification. The ‘narcissist’s vocation’ comprises the activities of a person with characteristics of a narcissistic personality who manipulates his daily environment and workplace, including financial services offices. This narcissism is fed by extreme individualism. The birth of individualism and its development can be traced through the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of capitalism. It was part of a radical ideological revolution that altered the face of the established church in the West. In the cult of self-esteem, individuals who avoid self-criticism react to events in various ways. Individuals nurtured on the cult of self-esteem, angry about the economic challenges facing the USA, have a high probability of responding to emotional debates. The individual living the narcissist’s vocation, and employed in the financial services industry, genuinely believes he is entitled to a high rate of compensation and will become enraged when challenged. The Narcissist’s Vocation and the Economic Debacle identifies the need for corporations to be accountable besides regulations, this requires a change in culture to prevent the next financial crisis.
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