G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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As many others have point out, Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism is a great book. As many passages in the book stuck out at me because I felt that they pretty well describe me and almost everyone I know, this one in the afterword is on point:
The proliferation of visual and auditory images in a “society of the spectacle,” as it has been described, encouraged a similar kind of preoccupation with the self. People responded to others as if their actions were being recorded and simultaneously transmitted to an unseen audience or stored up for close scrutiny at some later time. The prevailing social conditions thus brought out narcissistic personality traits that were present, in varying degrees, in everyone – a certain protective shallowness, a fear of binding commitments, a willingness to pull up roots whenever the need arose, a desire to keep one’s options open, a dislike of depending on anyone, an incapacity for loyalty or gratitude.