When societies turn toward individualism, they have already lost agreement on a goal and now become focused on risks to what they already have. As a result, the focus turns toward managing other people in order to avoid bad behavior.
Eventually this becomes self-interested behavior because the society has moved from realism toward rationalism. It no longer seeks to adapt to reality, but manage itself, and each “new” idea simply increases the complexity of what must be managed.
For any society to get back to the reset point, it needs to end the complexity of managing people and focus on natural selection instead. Reward the good, and the good rise, causing others to join in the good; manage people, and you force bad people to behave as if they were good.
That means essentially abolishing all functions except the most basic from government, dialing back the complexity of life, and focusing on culture, which requires ethno-nationalism. If you do this, your society rebirths itself from its immutable core, its founding people.
Standing in the way, however, are people like Joe Biden. They do not mean to be corrupt; they see themselves as businessmen who do favors. Those favors involve quid pro quo that spends government money in exchange for solidifying government power.
That is how political machines work. These are criminal enterprises which use the power of their host to enrich those involved in the political machine, treating it as if selling influence was a product like any other.
In a strange way, they view themselves as patriots. They see a system that is fundamentally flawed, as democracy is, and they work around it. Their favors can do a lot of good, for those who are loyal to the machine. So they pretend to be Mother Theresa and carry on, but really are common criminals.
To work in a political machine, you must be an utter narcissist, which is a nice way of describing someone who is part sociopath and solipsist like most criminals. To them, their needs come first before anything else possibly could, and whatever is left over goes to everyone else.
Narcissism represents the pathology of democracy. In a democracy, you no longer care about results, but how things appear to others, which means that you get accustomed to manipulating other people. You become good at it in order to avoid losing out yourself.
Multiply that by a group, and you get the average political machine. The boss makes sure that only those who support him get rewarded, and then hands out free money to buy off the voters. The soldiers suppress anyone who might give up the game. Everyone comes to him for favors.
As weird as it sounds, most human societies run on some variation of this premise. There are local bigshots who have control over what is valuable, which is better than owning it since there is no accountability. They trade on this with favors and make everyone rich.
At some point, they inevitably transition from ownership to direct control, which is how bureaucracies move from democracy to socialism to the end-state of tyranny. At this point, the local warlord simply tells everyone what to do, and if the economy collapses, they need him even more.
To be in that role, a person needs to be a narcissist, which means that to them the world in which they live is a large object to be manipulated for their personal wealth, power, and prestige. They are businessmen, after all, and everyone wants a payout.
Ironically they succeed by failing. If they make a successful society, a middle class will rise and depose them. If they make a society where everyone is on the edge of starvation and terrorized by crime, the warlord will always be needed and therefore, always have favors in trade.
Narcissists are consummate actors. In their mind, only they matter, and everyone else must simply be manipulated. For this reason, nothing they say is sincere, but it is designed to alternately terrorize and make guilt-ridden those that they manipulate.
They take over democratic open societies easily because they are willing to promise the people whatever they want and then implement it via their own methods. That is, they figure out what is popular, promise it, and then set up a branch of government to do it, then use that to provide more favors for sale.
Given a few generations, the democratic society makes all of its citizens into narcissists. Image matters more than results in reality, and other people are unmotivated, so manipulation becomes the norm. This converts people into devious, insincere narcissists if they were not already there.
Generation X grew up under the first full generation which had been altered in this way. Those people grew up in turn under a Dale Carnegie environment where making the sale, having people like you, and presenting data with spin were more important than being actually effective.
Any time you set up a system, it trains people to manipulate it, and that in turn trains them into being narcissists. They specialize in finding exceptions to rule, justifications, rationalizations, and other methods of manipulation.
For example, your average narcissist loves to find a tiny detail wrong with some change he opposes. That detail, usually a rare exception to the normal rule, gets hyped into a crisis and is presumed to invalidate the system, something only fixed by doing what the narcissist wants.
If you propose that all politician finances be made open, for example, he finds one politician whose finances would reveal that he pays for an aunt at the Betty Ford clinic and a brother who is in an abnormal psych ward.
The narcissist then tells you that these are the types of abuses that will happen in this system, despite afflicting only one person, and therefore that the new plan is bad. There is a crisis in the leaks of personal data! This will bring down the government… unless you change your plan.
Narcissists know from experience that you never kill any program. Each program added means more complexity and paperwork to hide behind, so they adopt it, but they kill it. Now the financial disclosures are voluntary, and there is a check box to opt out if private information would be revealed.
Of course, in reality that means that every politician looks through his spending until he finds something that arguably fits into the definition of “private,” and if not, he starts spending some money on an aunt in a sleep ward or nephew in a padded cell.
That ends the utility of the program but not its validity, so now it switches roles. Instead of being used to snuff out corrupt politicians, it now serves to validate them because they have complied with all the paperwork requirements. That puts the voters back to sleep.
If things are going well, a narcissist warns of phantom fears until the money flows in. If things are going badly, he finds someone to blame so that he can style himself as the victim along with his voters, and by sacrificing the scapegoat, he restores order for the voters.
Narcissists do not stop until they are stopped. When that happens, they play the victim. If that fails and they are busted, they find themselves surprised, but quickly adapt. After all, there are things to steal and favors to trade in prison, too.
Generation X readers will be unsurprised to read the revelations of narcissism in the Biden family which are going to grace us with some weeks of ugly but widely ignored headlines:
‘I have always been boy crazy,’ she wrote. ‘Hyper-sexualized @ a young age … I remember somewhat being sexualized with [a family member]; I remember having sex with friends @ a young age; showers w/ my dad (probably not appropriate).’
‘My dad cried on the phone saying he has the debate in a week + ‘now has to worry about you.’ she wrote in a July 27 entry.
‘And he cried. Maybe he knows what he is doing + it’s worked but my feelings of guilt often are overwhelming.’
She added that her finances were ‘down to the wire’ and under a list headed with the word ‘Resentful’ she wrote ‘Dad – $, control’. Under a second list titled ‘Hurt’, she wrote ‘Dad – hurting self, lying’.
This is classic narcissist behavior. The parents control her with money, and when she does not do what they want, start playing the victim. They hurt themselves, whatever that means, in order to guilt-trip her into obedience.
Despite having plenty of cash floating around, they keep her poor, so that she must come to them for favors. They cry when things go wrong, jerking her heart-strings and keeping her in line. To the narcissist, everyone else is a burden, since this makes those people feel bad and thus, obey.
On top of that we can look into the weird sexual abuse. Narcissists understand how to manipulate people through shared secrets. The best of these are sexual or excretory, or ideally both, because the victim is ashamed and afraid to reveal them.
If your Dad makes you take creepy nude showers with him, and maybe makes you touch his genitals, then you are for the rest of your life locked into that secret with him (unless you “forget” your diary and Project Veritas leaks the contents). He owns you with that act.
The narcissist repeats the behavior because it reinforces the control he has over the victim. “Do not forget,” he is saying, “that I can do this to you and get away with it, and you have no voice and no power. I am your only source of favors and you must obey me.”
Should you start breaking free of his control, he will play the victim, much as he will find an “exception” to a rule, and then demand that you do something to make him feel better. That renews the bond and strengthens his control.
Our children in the modern West are familiar with this pathology because their parents use it on them. The parents learned it at their workplaces and schools, or from their parents. When the president acts this way, how do we expect the citizens to behave any differently?
Much of the Right-wing woo about pedophiles, adrenochrome, Satanism, and secret societies serves as a series of symbols that express the basic truth about what narcissists do. They do not have to actually abuse children, just make them embarrassed enough to conform.
They do not need to harvest adrenochrome from children because they are doing something even worse, namely destroying childhoods by introducing manipulation into the picture. Democracy is play-acting, where you promise pleasant images and win the vote, and manipulation is its real currency.
They are not engaging in the blood libel of the twenty-first century but instead, destroying the innocence and hope of children by introducing them to the dark adult world of scheming and trading favors, including sex, for influence and vice-versa.
In the early days of society, people have light hearts because function is straightforward. As soon as society thrives enough to take over, people start rationalizing from what is already accepted instead of paying attention to reality, and manipulating in order to get their way.
This makes people worse than any “Satanist” (in reality, there are few of these) could imagine. They turn hopeless and fatalistic. They give up on anything but material reality. They see others as threats and, in preemptive retaliation, become narcissists who take all they can and give nothing back.