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

The majority of worldwide respondents to the last two global Pew enter surveys (in 2002 and 2006) regarded the United States as the greatest menace to world peace - far greater than the likes of Iraq or China. Thinkers and scholars as diverse as Christopher Lasch in "The Cultural Narcissist" and Theodore Millon in "Personality Disorders of Everyday Life" have singled out the United States as the quintessential narcissistic society.

This pathology can be traced back and attributed to a confluence of historical events and processes, the equivalents of trauma and abuse in an individual's early childhood.

The United States of America started out as a series of loosely connected, remote, savage, and negligible colonial outposts. The denizens of these settlements were former victims of religious persecution, indentured servants, lapsed nobility, and other refugees. Their Declaration of Independence reads like a maudlin list of grievances coupled with desperate protestations of love and loyalty to their abuser, the King of Britain.

The inhabitants of the colonies defended against their perceived helplessness and very real inferiority with compensatory, imagined, and feigned superiority and fantasies of omnipotence. Hence the rough, immutable kernel of American narcissism.

The United States was (until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s) and still is, in some important respects, a pre-Enlightenment, white supremacist society. It is rife with superstition, prejudice, conspicuous religiosity, intolerance, philistinism, and lack of social solidarity. Its religiosity is overt, aggressive, virulent and ubiquitous. It is replete with an eschatology, which involves a changing cast of demonized "enemies", both political and cultural.

Americans' religion is a manifestation of their "Chosen People Syndrome". They are missionary, messianic, zealous, fanatical, and nauseatingly self-righteous, bigoted, and hypocritical. This is especially discernible in the double-speak and double-standard that underlies American foreign policy.

American altruism is misanthropic and compulsive. They often give merely in order to control, manipulate, and sadistically humiliate the recipients.

Narcissism is frequently comorbid with paranoia. Americans cultivate and nurture a siege mentality which leads to violent acting out and unbridled jingoism. Their persecutory delusions sit well with their adherence to social Darwinism (natural selection of the fittest, let the weaker fall by the wayside, might is right, etc.).

Consequently, the United states always finds itself in company with the least palatable regimes in the world: together with Nazi Germany it had a working eugenics program, together with the likes of Saudi Arabia it executes its prisoners, it was the last developed nation to abolish slavery, alone with South Africa it had instituted official apartheid in a vast swathe of its territory.

Add to this volatile mix an ethos of malignant individualism, racism both latent and overt, a trampling, "no holds barred" ambitiousness, competitiveness, frontier violence-based morality, and proud simple-mindedness - and an ominous portrait of the United States as a deeply disturbed polity emerges.

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 Narcissist"
by samvak

This is the absolute truth that no one can ever seem to get through to right-wing Americans: that they are intensely screwed up and are causing harm and death throughout the world while their insanely greedy and insular masters grow fatter and fatter. Americans are the slaves of the Eaters of the World, and you just PROVED IT AGAIN!!!


Please allow me to reprint this in my blog!

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: July 13, 2006 )

Permission to reprint
Thank you for your kind words.

There is a directory of my articles about the United States here:

Feel free to link to, reprint (on the Web) or quote (in a book or in a Web site) any article found on these Web sites (with appropriate credits and link back to the original):

Just kindly add this author bio to every article you reprint online:


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

Take care.


( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: July 13, 2006 )

The Bigger Picture
Sam, if you think about it, what you are describing pretty much fits every culture in the world at one time or another.

The only difference is the United States wields the most power at this point in history.

It's as though, at some time or another, every country and culture gets its chance to screw up. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Or something like that.

In the big picture of world history, your vision is narrow.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: July 13, 2006 )

The USA is different
I am not aware of any other country in world history who has been consistently so violent and narcissistic as the United States. Ask Mexico and Cuba. They have been victimized by the USA for well over 150 (Mexico) to 100 (Cuba) years now.

The United States has always been a pathological polity, from its inception. This cannot be said about any other country or nation.

This is why I hope the USA will disintegrate back to its constituent states (though I do hope it succeeds to avoid a second civil war). In its current size it is a menace to the rest of the world and, with one brief exception (WWII), always has been.


( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: July 14, 2006 )

The USA Splinter..

The US of A has long been ' the Empire on which the sun shall never set" ,and the one to which the term ' Thousand Year Reich.' can truly be applied.

Though as you've correctly put it " in its current size it is a menace to the rest of the world ' , there is virtually no likelihood of its ever "disintegrating back into its constituent states'.The very Gods themselves would never permit it . The impact, particularly in certain quarters ,would be nothing short of cataclysmic. Can you imagine the effect on its flunkey states like the EU , the UK and the State of Israel.

Never forget , the US of A is country that has always had ' God on our side' . Under the circumstances ,it always has to be right - no matter what.Papal infallibilty is nothing compared to Western infalliblity.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 14, 2006 )

who'll save your a*s Samvak?
what's with all the hatred towards the usa? are you paying attention to what's happening in Israel right now? who do you think will be the only country on earth that will step in and save Israel's ass if need be?

( Posted by: abdul030405 [Member] On: July 14, 2006 )

USA IS the Power

I fine your article to be full of self righteous opinion based on no factual information. You quote “thinkers and scholars” who think like you. Have you ever read anything written by Dr. William Bennet? Have you ever read anything written by Henry Kissenger? These are not only thinkers and scholars, but world renowned experts in their fields.

When you write passages like, “conspicuous religiosity, intolerance, philistinism, and lack of social solidarity. Its religiosity is overt, aggressive, virulent and ubiquitous“, you reveal that you are just another of the liberal elitists who believe that a large vocabulary is all that is necessary to prove a point. I guess it proves that you are not a philistine, but a little narcissistic.

Well, my opinion is:
The United States has a right to act like the leader of the free world (narcissist) because we are. We are a country of bold leaders, of visionaries who don’t make decisions to please global opinion. We use our status to influence other countries, and when necessary we use military power to back up what we stand for.

We came to Europe’s rescue in two world wars, we have opened south Florida up to Cuban refugees who flee Cuba to come to the USA – get the picture. And Mexican citizens are dying, literally dying, to have a chance to live in the USA. Their own government encourages them to enter the US illegally because they at least have a CHANCE of some opportunity.

We provide more money in aid to more poor countries around the world than the entire European Union – if you doubt that go to the library and look it up in the Congressional Record of Finances, under “Foreign Spending”.

That is why we have “American interests” in so many countries, because we are supporting them financially. Then, when their corrupt government decides to keep all the money and ignore their own citizens’ needs, for some reason the USA is to blame because we provided the financial support. I suppose it would be far better make shaky deals with the UN like France, Russia, and Spain did – have our leaders make millions on the oil for food scam. That is a more honorable alternative to narcissism. Yeah, we have our own corruption, without a doubt. What government, country, or civilization doesn’t?

We are the most generous nation on earth, with the most progressive educational system -- that is why people from all over the world attend medical schools, law schools, and business schools here and do internships with US companies. I do not ever recall hearing of any student or professional say they are going to Africa to finish their master’s degree, or to France to finish a PhD. Sure, people do accomplish those goals in other countries, but there are thousands who come to the US because education is available to anyone who can pass the entrance exams.

There really is an American dream; ask any LA shop owner from Korea, Jamaica, or Iraq. Until we see hordes of people fighting to leave this country instead of risking their lives to get in and become naturalized citizens, then yes we have a right, and a duty, to wave our banner of narcissism right along side Old Glory. Do you know what Old Glory is?

I sure hope I didn’t use too many one-syllable, oops, I mean mono-syllabic words. I don’t want my opinion to get confused with narcissism.

( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: July 15, 2006 )


No one doubts that everything that you've said is true ,beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt.

But then ,one should never lose sight of the fact that such awesome power and greatness does come at a price . In vast swathes of the under developed World , America is hated far ,far more than she is loved . In the Arab countries ,in particular ,she has ,for long ,been the lightning rod for hatreds vented by hundreds of millions.

However one has to concede that : even if he or she is a racist / white supremacist , your average white American ,is far more open and forthright about it - in stark contrast to your average Britisher or EU-wallah , who ,rather hypocritically, seems to go to great lengths to mask or paper over such racist feelings.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: July 15, 2006 )

What to expect from an American

Two recommendations:

1. Learn to spell (Kissinger, not Kissenger).

2. Check your facts. The United States is the LEAST charitable nation on Earth! Its foreign aid amounts to 0.12% of its GDP. The EU contributes 0.72% of its GDP. That's SIX times more than the Unites States.

But, because you are an American, both are to be expected: a poor education and a blatant disregard for the facts.

You will disintegrate as did other evil empires (recently, the USSR). Your years as a global thug and bully are numbered. No one can be so virulently hated by everyone and not pay the price for it! And you will. History says so.


( Posted by: samvak [Member] On: July 16, 2006 )

Pharisaism and the Rightwing
Having Native American blood, I can tell you that America is steeped in murder and rape. The American character as a nation is built on rape and murder and theft. These things are more American than anything else.

No one has the right to act like the policemen of the world, and these two writers above me proved everything Samvak said about narcissism and insular worldview.

Who needs to save Israel's a$$? Israel was built the same way Amerikkka was built, on the genocide of Palestinians.

We have God on our side? Did Jesus say in the Bible or anywhere else to decimate 30 million Natives, including my father's people the Cherokee? Did Jesus tell Ford and the other ubercapitalists, with the blessing of the US Government, to build up Hitler technologically and financially until he could kill millions upon millions? Did Jesus tell the US Government and its capitalist masters to play both sides in both world wars until it was more or less forced to take a side? Did Jesus tell Amerikkka to hold slavery longer than anyone else in the western world, and to have a slavery institution more brutal than any in modern history? Did Jesus tell America to allow a handful of people to own virtually all real wealth, manipulate the lives of virtually all working-class people (almost everybody on the planet) and to coerce governments (especially our own) to wage war on poor people as in Iraq and Somalia, only because the interests of the Monied demanded it?

What's the bouncing rationale on the Iraq war nowadays, you pontificating fools?

When America crashes its sins will be fully revealed, because it's about the most satanic thing on the planet, including its sick hyper-rightwing 'Christian' theology, which will be one of the first things Jesus Christ destroys should He actually return while these things are ongoing.

Truly, the Pharisees are ruling the earth, and Christ is murdered everyday, by fundamentalist rightwing monied 'Christians'. He'll truly come and they won't know Him. They'll try to kill Him and He'll sweep them away.

Try Liberation Theology. It makes a lot more sense in the light of the behavior of Christ.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: July 17, 2006 )

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