Rinse and repeat ... Charles Johnson is a sociopathic narcissist.
See? Now you can pick on a hyper-sensitive looney like Charles Johnson too!
One of the most informative kind of posts an intelligent and common sense-filled blogger can publish is one where he or she feels compelled by some incident or action to write down and publish their thoughts at length on some issue or belief in a form greater than the typical one or two paragraph blog-bite.
As an example, when The Classic Liberal or Smitty or Irish Cicero get motivated on some issue of freedom and/or liberty, you know a mini-essay or treatise that is well-worth one’s time is going to spring forth in The Ether.
The best the best, the capo di tutti capi of blog philosophers as it were, in my opinion, is Robert Stacy McCain. When he lets loose the hard-won wisdom from his mind, you can be sure that you will be rewarded with right reason and common sense.
Because of my own experiences with Charles Johnson – who responded to my coverage of the 9/12 March on DC by smearing me as a “white supremacist blogger,” inciting a rather notorious two-week blog war – I think Mr. Prager might be interested in my perspective on the smear tactics used against conservatives. These may be summarized briefly:
* Bad Faith – The accusation that conservatives are motivated by bad faith (mala fides) is essential to the Left’s attacks. Stigmatizing and marginalizing conservatives is much easier than debating them. Cogent arguments about policy become unnecessary to advancing the Left’s political agenda if they can dismiss its opponents as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
* The Ransom Note Method – By carefully selecting “evidence” of bad faith, the Left is able to present a distorted image of its conservative targets. Out-of-context quotes and controversial biographical data are cherry-picked and re-assembled (in the manner of a kidnapper assembling a ransom note) to present the target in the most damning possible light. This method is particularly effective against conservative talk-radio personalities who engage in polemic battle with leftists. This is why Media Matters devotes such enormous resources to monitoring talk radio in hopes of grabbing a 40-second “gotcha” sound-bite.
* The ‘Links and Ties’ Method – More than simple guilt-by-association, the Links-and-Ties Method involves presenting a chain of incidental connections to suggest a sympathy of views that does not actually exist. To wit: Target A once spoke at Event B which was sponsored by Group C, co-founded by Person D who once made controversial statement E. By this method, it is implied that Target A actually endorses Statement E.
* Telescoping and Telepathy – The actions, statements and associations of a conservative target acquire a trans-temporal permanence in the smear attacks of the Left. Once a target is associated (however incidentally) with controversy, this association can be repeated endlessly as evidence of bad faith, no matter how many years intervene. Furthermore, if the target is associated in Year X with a respectable person or organization that becomes controversial in Year X+5, that association can be cited in Year X+10 as evidence against the target – even if the target had no involvement in the cause of controversy. Finally, all evidence of bad faith accumulated by these methods is presented as indicative of the target’s deepest and unwavering personal convictions, as if the accuser were possessed of telepathic mind-reading abilities.
* Deny, Denounce, Repudiate – The key to these attack methods is the presumption of the target’s guilt. The accuser, having carefully selected the evidence to be discussed in the manner of a prosecutor making an indictment, demands that the target deny the accusation, denounce the bad-faith views involved, and repudiate the persons and organizations to whom he has been connected by the links-and-ties method. As anyone who has been targeted by such attacks can attest, it’s rather like being accused in one of Stalin’s infamous Moscow “show trials.”
Repeated successful use of these tactics is tremendously advantageous to the Left, tending to prevent conservatives from cooperating effectively in their opposition to the Left’s agenda.
Sociopathic narcissist, or narcissistic sociopath? I’ve never been able to figure that one out.
All I can say if you run across these people in your life is run, don’t walk, right away from them as fast as you can.
There are varying degrees of narcissism. First is the narcissism that any healthy person has. Then we start getting into varying degrees of narcissism. At some point, you have to say someone has narcissistic traits, or is a narcissist. That doesn’t mean NPD. As one starts getting more pathological, we start moving into NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is an extremely serious condition in which the individual ends up causing harm to most of the significant people in their life. As I said above, get all the harmful narcissists out of your life.
Going even further, we get into malignant narcissism. This is getting worse and worse. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here, but we may be looking at the narcissist-sociopath. Ted Bundy was one, so was Jeffrey MacDonald, and so, in my opinion, is OJ Simpson . They differ from pure sociopaths in that they need and crave attention and go nuts when you criticize them.
The sociopath is not hurt by your criticism because there’s nothing there to hurt. It’s like yelling at a grizzly bear in a cage. The bear just looks up at you like, “Fuck you, human,” and goes back to whatever he was doing.
If the sociopath feels that the criticism may harm him or thwart his plans, he may become alarmed, because these are machines dedicated to carrying out their plans. Thwarted plans don’t get carried out. Not good. So criticism simply spins the sociopath into a dizzying performance of lying, more lying, lies upon lies layered upon more lies, show-business style performance, the Mother of All Personal Charm Shows, on and on.
This precious little story helps me segue into a topic that I have been meaning to discuss for some time, that relates to a form of narcissistic sociopathy (also called "malignant narcissism") that dominates the mind of the collectivist. The typical leftist collectivist, however, considers his or her sociopathy as a form of altruism, or "selflessness".
The narcissist, if I were to boil his style down to one sentence, is someone who demands that his sense of self (and self-importance) be propped-up on a continual basis. Without this support—in the form of validation, recognition, and experiences of idealization—the narcissist feels depleted, empty, depressed.
The narcissist struggles to define himself independently and sustainedly as significant and worthwhile. The fragility of his sense of self is no big news; it is how he manages his fragility, his insecurity, that is telling.
The narcissist, for instance, feels entitled to a sense of inner comfort and security. More specifically, he feels entitled to what he requires in order to experience an unbroken state of inner comfort.
The narcissist on pretty much a constant basis demands various forms of reassurance.
How about the sociopath? What's his deal?
To begin with, the sociopath lacks the narcissist's insatiable underlying neediness. Unlike the narcissist, the sociopath's violating behaviors stem less from a deep insecurity than from his impulsive or calculated greed, and especially his basic view of others as objects, as tools, to be exploited for his entertainment, amusement and ongoing acquisitive agenda.
The sociopath is a more purely exploitative individual than the narcissist. For the narcissist, others are desperately needed, and demanded, as validators. Athough the narcissist will use and exploit others, he does so typically with the ulterior motive of reassuring himself, on some level, of his persisting viability.
For the sociopath, others are his potential "play-things," their value a function of the gratification that can be extracted from them.
The less validating you are, the less worth you have for the narcissist.
The less exploitable you are, the less worth you have for the sociopath.