Narcissism has real world consequences. When a threshold is reached in an individual where their investment in their own self-esteem regulation overpowers their interest and relatedness to others, they begin to show all the features of the Narcissistic character traits I have been describing. They tend to be arrogant, self centered, exquisitely sensitive to being hurt while exceptionally insensitive3 to how they hurt others, and generally unappealing. When the person in question is a parent, their children suffer. When they have positions of authority, many people can suffer. Some of the worst monsters in human history have exhibited all the hallmarks of the Malignant Narcissism I described here. There is every indication that Kim Jong Il fits right in with his predecessors, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as well as his contemporaries, Mugabe, Assad, Ahmadinejad, and Hussein (and please do not try to convince me that there is a difference between Mao and Hitler because one was a fascist and one a communist; they were both totalitarians and their similarities far outweigh the rationalizations they derived from their competing political philosophies.)
A post by Betsy today links to this article by William F. Buckley in which he describes how Christians who are caught practicing their religion are horribly persecuted, tortured (real torture, not "abu Graib" torture), and murdered. Betsy asks the question:
I don't know why there isn't a bigger outrage all over the world about what is going on in that country. People would rather protest American efforts to bring democracy to Iraq than against unbelievable atrocities in North Korea. And then there is China which persecutes Christians and sends leaders who don't follow the official Chinese line on religion to labor camps.
The "leaders" of the opposition to our efforts in Iraq have an over-representation of Narcissists in their ranks. Since the Narcissist cares only for his own needs (and he often confuses and conflates his own needs with what others need), if a particular atrocity does not fit into a narrative that makes him either feel better about himself or advance his agenda, it literally does not appear on his attentional radar.
The once progressive movement, which might more properly be thought of as reactionary at this point, will never attack a third world despot who tortures his own people. After all, as long as they say the right things (opposing American colonialism) they are considered allies and one's allies can never be questioned. Part of this is also racist; the unspoken meme that non-Caucasians can ever really handle democracy and need to be ruled with an iron fist. [This meme, by the way, has been stated explicitly by some of the opposition to Bush's policies in the Middle East.] Additionally, for too many of the left, by definition Christian and Jews cannot be victims, but can only be oppressors.
The agenda driven press do not care about the fate of individuals (except those, like Mumia, whose story can be spun to fit their oppressor/victim narrative); they are concerned about much greater things. The Bush administration has little energy left to deal with the fate of Christians (and the attacks on them for trying to support Christians anywhere in the world would be unmerciful and so slanted as to be impossible to engage without tremendous effort.) Finally, and most sadly, our elites are so provincial in their smug certainty that they know what is best for everyone, that the fate of poor, suffering people in the worker's paradise of North Korea does not move them; indeed the fate of persecuted Christians does not even interest them in the least.