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Freud's Narcissist Revisited
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Freud's Narcissist Revisited


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Posted by Charlie (68.9.196.210) on July 01, 2003 at 21:23:20:

A new book just came out called The Productive Narcissist: The promise and perils of visionary leadership, written by a psychoanalyst Dr. Malcovy. I was wondering if any of you were familiar with it. Basically, skipping through all the personal analogies which keeps the book thick, it was a quick read.

He reinterprets Freud's Narcissist type, saying basically that a narcissist embodies two traits simultaneously, which are 1) a rejection of the status quo and 2) a need to change the world. From those two present traits, he explains what traits result as either strengths or weaknesses when it comes to leadership--i.e. vision, passion, motivation, emotional insensivity, individuality, thirst for knowledge, strategic thinking, risktaking, extreme perseverance, grandiosity, etc--that emerge as part of the narcissist's repertoire. Then he uses examples of past leaders and visionaries--from political, to business, to arts, etc...to show how their behaviors fit into this paradigm. And he also talks about Freud's theory on the narcissist's usual parental orientation--a weak, sometimes absent, underachieving father and a strong, supportive mother, and then goes on to show parallels in many of those leaders' childhoods.

What interested me was Freud's personality types--the erotic, the obsessive, the marketing, and the narcissist--and that Freud did not view narcissism as a pathological disorder as it is viewed today. Although there are only four types here, they make a lot of sense to me when I read about Freuds descriptions of them, and how they perceive the world in different ways. Obviously, mainstream psychology has rejected them for why I don't know. Probably because they are too broad. Maybe you know more than I do about that subject. Anyhow, I thought I would share this with you and get some reactions.

Charlie




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