In a democracy, the people rarely get what they deserve. But, having voted for this or that candidate, they always deserve what they get. In a democracy, things rarely get going, but the people, having elected bigots, narcissists, and demagogues to office, always had it coming.

(Sam Vaknin, )


Men are reacting with growing misogyny (women-hatred) to feminism, equal rights, and the general ascendance of women to their rightful place. Withholding is a favorite tactic: withholding of sex in sexless marriages or relationships and withholding of communication in the much dreaded “silent treatment”. Thus, with insidious and pernicious aggression, men seek to redress what they perceive to be an injurious, unfair imbalance.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


They say that Donald Trump should be the Republican presidential candidate because “The People Have Spoken”.

But The People have spoken before:

The People have spoken in Germany when they voted Adolf Hitler into office – THREE TIMES RUNNING!

The People have spoken in Russia when they deposed the Czar and replaced him with murderous communist thugs like Lenin and Stalin. The People thrice elected Putin, another destructive narcissist, to be their President.

In the USA, The People have spoken when they overwhelmingly voted to secede from the Union before the Civil War.

The People have spoken in Rwanda when they massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

The People have spoken in the South when they lynched and discriminated against and segregated blacks.

The People have spoken is not good enough. Justice, Historical Memory, Common Sense, Reasoning, and Cool Heads should also have a voice.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


His country was in an economic slump that squeezed the life out of the ruined, bitter middle class. In the wake of disastrous, costly wars, the nation’s infrastructure crumbled, manufacturing was decimated, and the unemployed wandered the streets, disoriented and rageful. He created jobs for all and an unprecedented prosperity. Millions adored him as the savior in mass rallies. He promised to make his nation great again, to make his people proud of their country, which, he believed, was the greatest polity on Earth. He went on to win three tough, contested elections. He was a great manager and organizer, charismatic, and a doer. To his fans, he was a winner, not a loser.

He hated the political establishment, the international banks, foreign powers which meddled in the internal affairs of his country and extracted numerous one-sided trade concessions, migrants who displaced local workers, and the intellectuals, pundits, and politicians who aided and abetted them. When he came to power, he brought with him hundreds of thousands of fresh faces from the ranks of the lower middle class and the working class, making them the new, incorruptible elite.

He inspired fervent loyalty in his employees who remained by his side for decades and who unanimously described him as nice, caring, empathic, compassionate, and with a great sense of humor. He was opinionated, but intelligent, they said.

He thought women’s place was at home and in church and as mothers. He adored his mother, but spoke rarely about his strict, high-achieving father.

He loved children and dogs, never smoked, drank, or did drugs. He was a vegetarian.

He slept little, working into the early hours of the morning.

His name was not Donald Trump. His name was Adolf Hitler.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


The American Dream has now become a nightmarish, narcissistic shared psychosis: a cultish, exclusionary exercise in self-deception, grounded in a faulty reality test, grandiose fantasies, and delusional or manipulative leadership. Read more here:

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Leisure time vs. time spent working is a misleading dichotomy. So is the differentiation between employee and employer. We all employ other people in our leisure time. When we read a book, we remunerate the author, the editor and the publisher. When we watch a film, we keep in business scores of professionals, including actors and directors, makeup artists and producers. When we sip on that latte, we gainfully employ the waitress and the cashier and numerous others. A far more accurate distinction would be between consumers and producers. Sometimes we are the former, at other times the latter.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Having to choose between the crooked and the cracked, I much prefer the former to the latter. Corrupt politicians rarely go unhinged, but lunatics in power often end up being corrupt as well as demented. You can reason with the venal, but there is no way to thwart the narcissistic psychopath or deflect him from his vile nature and cataclysmic misconduct.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


In November, if Donald Trump were to find himself in the same position like Al Gore 16 years ago, we are all doomed. Trump is not going to let a bunch of geriatrics in the Supreme Court decide who is the winner. He is not going to defer to their august and venerable judgment. He and his rabid supporters are going to declare war. Civil War.

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


The allegiance of Trump’s hardcore supporters is not to the Constitution or to any institution (Congress, the Supreme Court, the media). It is to Donald Trump. If he were to say tomorrow: “Folks, we’ve got to detain these traitors and enemies of our Great Again nation, we’ve got to arrest all Congressmen, journalists, and Supreme Court judges”, his followers will ask only one question: “Boss, should we also throw away the key?” (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Donald Trump IS a third-party candidate and he is on his way to being the next President of the United States.

Donald Trump is a third-party candidate. He is the candidate of the Trump Cult Party. He has put together a new coalition of the scared and the disgruntled that cuts across old, traditional political party lines. The Democrats cannot attack his policies because on many crucial issues he shares their views. The Republicans don’t dare to confront or shun him because he garnered millions of largely new votes.

So, his opponents, left and right alike, are reduced to impugning his personality: his narcissism, aggression, lability, ignorance, poor judgement, vindictiveness, and “thin skin” (hypervigilance).

But there are two problems with this strategy:

First, it is the pot (Clinton) calling the kettle (Trump) black. Clinton’s personality is far from perfect. There are good grounds to assume that she would have score high on psychopathy tests, such as the PCL-R (if she were to respond to the questionnaires and the structured interviews honestly, of course).

Second, the electorate seems to be engaging in something psychotherapists call “reframing”. Simply put: Trump is given the unlimited benefits of sempiternal doubt. His most blatant and egregious misconduct is invariably re-interpreted positively (reframed). Even those who are not his fans and supporters find it difficult to believe and to accept that people like Trump actually walk the earth: vile, raging, vengeful, dysempathic, and relentlessly exploitative. They prefer to try to “understand him” in their own, more humane and more human, terms.

Thus, Trump’s foul, profane, and violent language and harangues are reframed as “straight talk” or “talking truth to power”; His constant reversals of positions and compulsive lying are reframed as “flexibility, agility, and the art of the deal”; His paranoid racism is merely an attempt to protect Americans against the abuse heaped on them by foreigners and some minorities; He is uncouth and outlandishly ignorant? He lacks even a modicum of curiosity? He encourages a violent discourse of conflict, in both speech and action? He goes after critics and adversaries in ways that are both cruel and unfair? Just goes to show that he is the badass Americans need in order to fend off the threats posed by a hostile, deranged world.

Trump can do no wrong precisely because of this background process of reframing. His combustible temperament and character flaws are not handicaps – they are his main electoral assets! This is why he doesn’t do “Presidential”. People don’t want Presidential! They want a hellraiser, an iconoclast, a hater they can sympathize with and who can resonate with their basest anxieties and reflexes.

Donald Trump is also about another mega trend: disintermediation, dispensing with the intermediaries, the brokers, and the go-betweens. Aided and abetted by empowering technology, the “crowd” is contemptuously getting rid of the elites. Books are self-published without the beneficial involvement of editors;  encyclopaedias are written by the masses, having dispensed with academic scholars and intellectuals; Investments are made and currencies minted online while circumventing bankers and policymakers; news are published without gatekeepers such as editors and anchors. It is the age of the mob and mob rule (ochlocracy).

The well-heeled had been in control of the plutocracy aka United States ever since its inception. But the rich deployed puppeteered politicians to do their bidding and pull the levers of power on their behalf. Trump is simply dispensing with the intermediaries. No longer in need of politicians to do his dirty work for him, he is openly taking over the machinery of power. The billionaire class is now poised to rule America directly and openly as it did in its founding years, when a club of gentlemen ruled the nation. We have come full circle, albeit this time around, it is no gentleman, but a barbarian at the gates. Americans seem to be gleefully and suicidally handing him the keys.


At the tender age of 4, I was sentenced by a merciless judge and an invisible jury to life in a maximum security prison, without parole, and in solitary confinement. 51 years later, I am still there, laboriously etching these sanguine words on the surrounding, infinitely tall walls, all hopes of rescue long receded.

(Sam Vaknin, narcissist and author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited


Sexless relationships have acquired pandemic proportions. Legions of sex-starved women roam the streets, foraging for the ever-dwindling numbers of sexually active men. These few remnants of virility end up with ravenous harems whose morally conflicted inmates reluctantly seek extramarital intimacy and romance. Most men now prefer porn and its solitary aftermath to the dubious pleasure of modern female company. How have we come to that?

Read (free) "The Death of Sex and the Demise of Monogamy"


Modern Man is a narcissistic, porn-addicted misfit. Women have banished men from their lives: they raise their children alone; they educate their offspring on their own (90% of teachers are female); they are way more accomplished academically and they are breaching all the remaining glass ceilings forcefully. Men are on the retreat, hiding in cyber caves, self-medicating perilously, assiduously avoiding the dual threats of intimacy and sex with women, their newfound nemesis. It is War and all sides are losing it.

(Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" )

Read (free) "The Death of Sex and the Demise of Monogamy"


The role of the celebrity is to restore a sense of familiarity to an alienated, surrealistic, and plastic world of failed relationships, forced anonymity, passive-aggressiveness, narcissism, futility, atomization, broken communities, and lack of purpose. The celebrity is at once a substitute family, a prodigal loved one, and a lifelong friend. The celebrity offers ersatz intimacy and tantalizing glimpses of potentials and possibilities.

(Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" )

Read (free) “Addiction to Fame and Celebrity”


Slovakia split from the Czechoslovak Republic. A dozen countries spun out of the fearsome USSR. Scotland conducted a referendum on seceding from the United Kingdom. The British voted to leave the European Union. All these geopolitical divorces were amicable, orderly, and civilized. But, when a few states democratically chose to part ways with the United States, the outcome was a virtual dictatorship and a bloodied civil war with 3 million casualties. Americans are right: they are exceptional.

Read more here:

(Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


We are told not to worry too much about machines replacing jobs. Artificial intelligence, robots, and computers will generate even more employment than they destroy, we are assured. All it takes is re-skilling (teaching old dogs new tricks) and labor mobility (among workplaces and locations). History teaches us that machines lead to net job creation. But this is true only when the new skills to be acquired are manual, physical, and routine. Intellectual, cerebral, and scientific skills – the only ones in demand today - are not so easy to learn when you are in your forties or fifties and when you are not intellectually endowed. We are heading for an era of virulent disgruntlement, nihilistic violence, and disorienting dislocation among the working and middle classes. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Narcissism is the proof that the greater good often comes at the expense of individual welfare. Narcissists are frequently the engines of human progress - but they are also its fuel, burning out in the process and consuming everyone around them in a self-destructive conflagration, the twilight of these self-imputed gods. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Any observer of the 1930s in Germany should be more horrified by the democracy that gave rise to Hitler than by the man himself. Hitler, Putin, Erdogan, Chavez, and countless other dictators in human history have all been elected to office repeatedly. The masses have no place governing because they have little to lose and because they are driven by unfathomable ignorance, rage, hatred, spite, superstition, and fear. Universal suffrage is the dumbest, most dangerous idea ever.  (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


Everyone need to be needed and to overcome shame. These are the sources of both narcissism and codependence. (Lidija Rangelovska, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


People feel most liberated when they shoulder no responsibilities and do not have to make choices: in a dictatorship, in prison, in the army or at war, in a mental asylum, a cult, or a hospital. The existentialists understood how dread-inducing is the ineluctability or even spectre of choice. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


In the Darwinian reality show “The Apprentice”, Trump presented himself as an infallible judge of character and a consummate manager. Yet his campaign is a shambles, he had to fire its two managers within 60 days of each other, and he injects ill-advised chaos into every situation and circumstance. I used to be a businessman. I would have never hired Trump. He is a narcissistic loser, if I ever saw one. Absent his father’s lucre, he would have ended up as a homeless bum. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


2 lists keep getting longer as one gets older: the list of things you have already done and the list of things you will never do. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Had there been a global blanket ban on discussing religion, politics, and sports, the number of conflicts in the world would have declined precipitously. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


The cerebral narcissist’s grandiose celibacy is the sexual equivalent of “silent treatment”: a passive-aggressive behavior intended to denude you of femininity and personhood, to deny that you exist or that you are desirable. It is a potent, corrosive sadistic weapon. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


I do not have a problem with homosexuals, women, or Muslims. I have a problem with militant homosexualism, militant feminism, militant Islamism. I have a problem with militancy and ideologies - not with the welcome and beautiful diversity of the human experience. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


Women, blacks, and Jews have leveraged their respective horrible histories to extract material gains and to extort the communities and societies they reside in and ostensibly are a part of. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


When the elites realize that they can no longer use the figleaf of "democracy" to control and manipulate the masses - they will suspend and then abolish democracy altogether. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


We deceive ourselves into believing that connection is possible, that other people’s minds and hearts are accessible, and that we can fend off the existential loneliness that threatens to consume us by sharing via empathy. But this is a delusion founded on the rickety and ambiguous bridge of language. We are all trapped and imprisoned, held hostage by our solipsism. The truth is that we are all alone in life as we are in death. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Poverty is an organizing principle, a narrative that endows the lives of poor people with meaning, direction, and justification. It is akin to a religion or an ideology. Hence their pronounced reluctance to rid themselves of it. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


When one grieves for a broken relationship, for someone who is gone from one's life, one actually mourns what could have been gained, not what had been lost. But what could have been gained was never real. It was always in the realm of fantasy, not reality. In human affairs nothing is irreversible. Hopelessness is an illusion: there is always hope because there is always change. Panta rei. He who seems gone today is often back tomorrow - and on much better terms. Hope is an expression of trust: in life, in Nature, or in God if one is so inclined. Hopelessness, therefore, is the ultimate form of sacrilege and blasphemy and a direct antidote to spirituality.  (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


When the sexually healthy man watches porn, he says: "I wish my wife were like this." When the sexually inhibited man watches porn, he mutters: "God forbid my wife should ever be like this." (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Women in sexless, loveless marriages often behave like single women (go out alone, travel alone, drink alone in bars, associate with single women). I call this kind of women ‘virtual singles’. They send out signals (broadcasts) which are identical to the signals of single women. Men pick up on these signals and respond to them powerfully by aggressively courting the virtual single, by sexualising her behavior, and by reducing her to a sex object ("doll"). Additionally, other women react to virtual singles with resentment and fear because they consider them to be predatory. Every woman in the company of a virtual single is afraid that the virtual single will seduce her husband and abscond or elope with him (steal him away from her).


All the men around the virtual single assume that she is available for sex. They see that her mate or husband is not interested in her and is not even protecting her as "his property". They see that she is not interested in him as a man. Their conclusion is that she is hungry for love and sex and will accept any offer of either unconditionally. They allow themselves to misbehave because she is an abandoned, unprotected, sexually frustrated woman.


A woman who is in a bad relationship with her husband and whose husband doesn't even bother to protect her from the advances of other men - is fair game. All men ASSUME that she is sexually frustrated (and they are right) and that she is sexually available (where, sometimes, they are wrong). There is nothing the virtual single can do about it. It is all about rumors, gossip, reputation, and her mate's behavior towards her. The virtual single is like a woman without a man, single in effect, so all men try to get her to be with them. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )



Fantasy is the enemy of action. It is an addictive cocktail of imminent promise and procrastination. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


To him a woman was an intoxicating swirl of scents and tastes and textures; her face a topography of his desire; its smooth elevations and depressions, the delectable vicissitudes of hope and ineluctable despair; her eyes a drowning invitation, a shimmering freedom, a matching pair of wishing wells. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


Eternity is merely an infinite regression of reflections, a crystal veil of mirrored reference, the promise of water cast in marble basins, it is the march of seasons captured and immortalized in glass. (Sam Vaknin, Philosophical Musings )


The sadistic woman-lover (philogynist) is drawn to women, desires them, covets their traits, admires them, and, generally, prefers to spend his time with them. But it is precisely this inexorable pull that terrifies him: he is awed by women’s hold over him and mortified by his own resultant women-centred obsessions and compulsions. He is poorly equipped to deal with and is overwhelmed by the emotions that women provoke in him. In a desperate attempt to extricate himself, he adopts avoidant behaviors, shuns women and frustrates them, abuses them, tortures and humiliates them. This panoply of behaviors restores his sense of control, power, and superiority.

The sadistic woman-hater (misogynist) holds women in utter contempt, detests them, wishes them ill, and seeks to punish them. He displays the same range of behaviors as the sadistic women-lover but for an entirely different reason. The sadistic women-lover seeks to restore a semblance of balance of potency between himself and the women he finds so irresistible. The sadistic women-hater aims to annihilate women, remove them from his life, penalize them harshly for daring to intrude on his being with their demands for love, sex, and intimacy, (which he perceives as women’s self-interested manipulation). (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


In anomic societies, material goods serve as signals: they connote one’s place in the social order and a stratified hierarchy of haves and have-nots. (Sam Vaknin, World in Conflict and Transition )


As their children turn into adolescents, parents mourn them. They feel that the child was abducted, or possessed. The pubescent child, in turn, feels alienated from parents and society and apprehensive about the psychophyical changes he is enduring. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )


You have been mourning your marriage for many years now. And all these years of grief you were travelling and laughing and getting tipsy and making love to other men - even as your heart was bleeding inexorably and your tears were filling the infinite inward well of your depression. But there is hope. There is always life after the demise of a relationship. There is always love and rainbows and sunsets and beauty at the end of the day, the long day of our life. If we only learn to accept the bounty, the grace, and ourselves. If we only learn to let go and to embrace. If we stop rebelling against our happiness. (Sam Vaknin, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” )