Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Grandiose Self and Muslims or Jihadism

You know the ad where the thoroughly nerdy guy says 'I am .. (whovever the big deal is)!' Heinz Kohut wrote an accessible book on narcissistic transferences. Transferences are the relationships that a person develops with others based on their state of psychological development. In a psychoanalysis, which involves one person, the patient, saying whatever comes to mind and there not being external contingencies in the relationship, a person tends to go to type, to the person he or she is. This might be a narcissistic transference. One of the transferences is the grandiose transference, the other is the mirror transference. In the grandiose transference, the self feels 'I am everything' and as necessary corollary to that 'You are nothing.' In the mirror transference, the self idealizes the other and, though nothing, has value due to the idealization. One could view, psychologically, communism as an idealization of 'The Working Class' in either or both transferences. I cite this to give some sense of how one might adapt this transference idea to a social or political context historically. The odd thing is that we 'just had the end of history' and immediately, it seems, we have another set of people seeming to claim, "I am the Grandiose Self!"

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