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By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"

Incrementally, but noticeably, the United States is shedding its democracy. Hard-won civil liberties are willingly sacrificed for the sake of illusory added security. Institutions are stacked with political, partisan appointees who do their puppetmaster's bidding. Laws are openly broken and the Constitution flaunted with breathtaking callousness and an ease that would have been considered unthinkable on September 10, 2001. I wouldn't be surprised if the forthcoming presidential elections are suspended due to this perpetual "state of emergency".

Largely ignorant of history and thus devoid of any meaningful or helpful perspective, people shrug off this doomsday scenario. They forget that Rome - a four hundred years old republic with venerable institutions like the Roman Senate - gave in to tyranny in the space of four years. The same goes for ancient Athens, the first truly participatory democracy on earth, transformed by wars into a hideous dictatorship.

America's is a malignantly narcissistic culture. Its denizens believe counterfactually that it is the richest, most virtuous, freest, society on earth. Reasonably, they are convinced that everyone is destructively envious of them. This renders them paranoid and violent. An early and observant traveler, Alexis de Tocqueville, noted this siege mentality and warned that the United States is walking a thin line between freedom and authoritarianism.

It is this ingrained belief that the world is hostile and harsh that will likely undo the American experiment. Psychology teaches us about projective identification - a defense mechanism that forces people around you to behave the way you are accustomed and expect them to. Treating everyone as a potential enemy usually turns them into ones.

AUTHOR BIO (must be included with the article)

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

Visit Sam's Web site at

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The following comments are for "America, the Dictatorship"
by samvak

Rambling ....
This is an article that started off good, but has ended badly. As quickly as you raise one issue you fade to another before fully developing it. The facts, no matter how true they may be, are only held together loosely with words designed more to elicit an emotional response than to support a finding of fact. In the end it sounds like just the ramblings of another fanatic.

Thanks for posting,


( Posted by: elmojackson [Member] On: February 27, 2006 )

Other articles
Hi, Elmo,

Not denying my visceral fanaticism where the United States and its denizens are concerned (laughing).

You may find these articles far more detailed and well-supported:



( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

Proud to be an American
elmojackson picked up on the same kind of emotionalism within this article that I too have found to be distracting and rambling. I'm sure you have some good reference sources but the writing itself is filled with subjective emotionally judgemental conclusions.

On a personal note I disagree with your conclusions. You seem to have a personal dislike towards the United States and it comes across in your writing as very stilted and one sided. In my opinion America is not the problem. The biggest problem in the world today is fanatical terrorism and insane government dictators such as what is going on in Iran.
How about that kind of "malignancy" and "tyranny"? How about a little analysis of that kind of "paranoia and violence"?

( Posted by: Ashmedai [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

Read the articles!
Ashmedai (Ashmedai is Satan in ebrew, did you know that??? A strange choice of moniker...:o))

Evidently, you didn't read a single one of my articles before you wrote your sweeping critique.

I agree that militant Islam is a threat to world peace - but only as a remote second. By far the greater menace is the United States.

Militant Islam should be eradicated and resisted. The United States should be isolated and punished for its conduct (hopefully to the point that it disintegrates back into its constituent states).

Again, I am not hiding my feelings about the USA, its denizens, and its "culture". Read the links above!

More than 500 (!) articles I wrote about world affairs here:

Articles i wrote for United Press International (UPI) here:



( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

I still disagree
No need to become upset. I still disagree with your conclusions. In my opinion America is not a greater menace and threat to world peace than militant Islam. I don't have to read your articles in order to come to that conclusion. When I have more time I will take a look at your articles.

Why are you questioning my moniker? I have an interest in mythology and folklore. How is that relevant to you? Since you brought it up I feel I need to correct you. You are wrong about the meaning of Ashmedai. Ashmedai is not Hebrew for Satan. Satan is called Satan in Hebrew.
Ashmedai is from Cabalistic folklore. He is known as the King of Jewish Demons, many of whom study Torah. Ashmedai himself is said to ascend to Heaven to study. Ashmedai's demons are subject to God, and are sometimes found in His service to punish the impious or evil.

( Posted by: Ashmedai [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

Not upset at all! Sorry if I conveyed this impression.

You are wrong about Asmadeus (ASHMEDAI in Hebrew). In the Talmud and late rabbinical literature it is one of the names of Satan. Another name of Satan is Samael.

Only later did ASHMEDAI acquire the extra meaning of King of the Demons (Jewish and non-Jewish alike).

I am a Jew and an Israeli and have spent years at school studying the Talmud, so I should know.

You should have read my articles before posting this sentence:

"How about a little analysis of that kind of "paranoia and violence"?

Because I have more than 40 articles precisely dedicated to this kind of analysis.

But you are an American. I expect this kind of behavior from you. And you are a proud American which makes future conversation with you fultile.


( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

My Apologies To You Sir...
I meant no offense in my critique of your article. I will certainly get to it and read your other articles. If you have 40 articles devoted to that kind of analysis then I was wrong to judge you as being bias against America, but since you "expect this kind of behavior" from me because I am an American, then I suspect that perhaps I am not so far off base. I doubt that you will change my mind regarding America. I do not believe there is anything you can say about America that will make me believe that America is a greater threat to world peace than are the militant Muslims. However, I do respect your right to your opinion and your theoretical conclusions.

I had no idea that you were Jewish or an Israeli, but that does not necessarily make you an expert on all things Jewish. I don't claim any expertise in that area, and I certainly don't want to argue with a scholar of the Talmud. Have you also studied the Zohar? Are you a Kabbalist or are you one who does not believe or support Kabbalistic beliefs? I've known a few Rabbis who are scholars of the Talmud and experts on Kabbalah and I have always been told that Satan is Satan, and has nothing to do with Ashmedai. Ashmedai was not one of Satan's demons. Ashmedai worked for God. Ashmedai's was King of the Jewish demons who protected scholars of the Torah. One of his demons was in charge of punishing those who mistreated the Torah and other holy books. Of course, these Rabbis might have been wrong, and you may be right. If so, then I apologize.

I found one source online, but I'm sure there are many more. I don't have the time to research this any further;

( Posted by: Ashmedai [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

Sam, must say I haven't commented, as I regret, I should have enlighted me with your extensive, overwhelming very impressive, are a great asset to this two cents, gratefully...

( Posted by: Robinbird [Member] On: February 28, 2006 )

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