William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Welcome to the Age of Narcissism

    Humans have always been an extremely narcissistic bunch. Look at religion. A large swathe of humanity believes that there is a God - an actual God - who knows their name, address and Social Security number. And this God - with all the options of a God open - chooses to spend its time thinking about them.


    Now that's having a high opinion of oneself. 


    The United States was born on the concept of narcissism. Right after the “in order to form a more perfect union” part, it's all “me, me, me.” Rugged individualism may have meant a little more in centuries previous, but now it just means you make a lot of money. That combination of individualism and capitalism has kept the U.S. staring into mirrors for going on two-and-a-half centuries.


    Mind you, this is no screed against capitalism. We're pretty well bought into that as an economic system, and it can work out decently if you pay attention to it. Essentially, it's the best of a lot of crummy options. Provided it's not obsessed over with ideological fervor.


    The high-stakes cut-throat capitalism that's all the rage with kids today, will kill us all, of course. But it fits the Age of Narcissism. The writing is on the wall. A handful of rugged individuals now own most the money and are rapidly consolidating power. But we continue stumbling forward, dreaming of that day when we'll be rich. That day won't come, of course, but – like heaven – it's a nice unobtainable individual reward to go after.


    The hyper-powerful continue on their merry way as they've put an ideological head-lock on part of the nation who believe that the human experience should be a contest based on rules that favor a tiny percentage of humanity. Plus, there's another segment of society seems too busy taking pictures of themselves and pretending to be rich to care.


    Selfies have managed to go from adorable to heinous faster than anything except Justin Bieber. And while this could very well devolve into a “get-off-my-lawn” type whine about kids today, there just is something oddly unsettling about an entire generation photographing itself.


    That is America and Western Civilization today – Fantasizing about being rich while having a God watch over you taking pictures of yourself is the height of modernity. And collectivism is being buried under a pile of discarded selfies.


    Over the years, Americans have shown some remarkable abilities to come together. They built highways and spaceships and dams. But today that just seems quaint, if not foolish. Because today is about how far you can go, not how far we can.


    Welcome to the Age of Narcissism, it's all about you.





    I'm just trying to figure out how this observation benefits me, but I'm not seeing it.

    It seems most have forgotten the 3 simple words "we the people", and there ain't no "I" in there.  

    I love the smell of American Exceptionalism in the morning....


    That is America and Western Civilization today – Fantasizing about being rich while having a God watch over you taking pictures of yourself is the height of modernity. 

    Are you telling me that this statement is not true?

    All I know is that We must always remember that:



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