Category Archives: self-regard

Trump, his fans and his foes on the couch

A psychiatrist writes

It is a discomfiting thought, notes Dalrymple, that

the very qualities that make Donald Trump so repellent a man even for many of those who voted for him should be the very qualities that others of his voters liked and admired. They liked him for his

  • crudity
  • vulgarity
  • boastfulness
  • insensitivity
  • shamelessness
  • ignorance

The still small voice within the orthodox

Yet, says the psychiatrist-essayist,

the vehemence directed against Mr Trump is, like his exaggerated self-regard, reaction formation. Except that in this case it is against an awareness that, in rejecting past orthodoxies, he is not only right but appeals to the still small voice within the orthodox themselves — the voice that tells them they were deluding themselves all along, or saying things that they knew not to be true but said nevertheless to establish their reputation as good, caring, generous-minded, liberal people.

The frenzy of their hatred for Mr Trump is

an inverted sign of their secret illicit agreement with him, which they repress by means of their continual insults.

Another great performance — this was pure Blair

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‘I feel deeply and sincerely — in a way that no words can properly convey — the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved’

Masterly self-exculpation over Chilcot

Tony Blair, writes Dalrymple,

plays upon the sensibilities of people as upon a pipe.

He suffers, however, Dalrymple points out, from

delusions of honesty.

Blair

keeps inviolable his belief in the existence of a purely beneficent essence of himself, a belief so strong that no quantity of untruthfulness, shady dealings, unscrupulousness, or impropriety can undermine or destroy it. He came into the world marked by Original Virtue.

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Honest as the day is long, with the straightforward truthfulness of a child, and authentic piety. He is, yes, pure, righteous and infinitely beneficent

Starting with an assumption of his infinite beneficence,

he assumes infinite responsibility.

It might be argued, Dalrymple says, that in a demotic age politicians must consent to indignities if they are to be elected.

If so, it is hardly surprising that we repeatedly elect nonentities distinguished only for their ambition and relentless pursuit of office. Unfortunately, mediocrity and ambition often combine with vast self-regard; and there is no better example of it than Blair.

The sorrowing penitent: 'I express more regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe'

The sorrowing and tormented great leader, close to tears: ‘I express more regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe’

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Pure genius: he came into the world marked by Original Virtue. To those who died in Iraq, and to their families, he says: ‘I will be with you, whatever.’ Or he may have said that to George W. Bush. No matter — such words are a comfort

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A saintly kind of essence: he is full of pity and understanding for the victims of infelicitous wars for which he cannot, in all reasonableness, be personally blamed but for which he is prepared to take responsibility out of largeness of spirit

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Manly, and at the same time unafraid to give voice to an almost feminine compassion for the wretched of the earth, such as those who, most unfortunately, may have found themselves in the path of his bombs: ‘I take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse. I express my profound regret at the loss of life and the grief it has caused the families, and I will set out the lessons I believe future leaders can learn from my experience’

The English Perón

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Always on the lookout for new worlds to ruin

A merciless enemy of liberty

The British repeatedly elect, writes Dalrymple,

nonentities distinguished only for their ambition and relentless pursuit of office. Mediocrity and ambition often combine with vast self-regard.

An example is Tony Blair. In the US it is not appreciated

how ferocious and inveterate an enemy of freedom Mr Blair is. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about him is that he doesn’t know it: he thinks of himself as a guardian of freedom, perhaps the greatest such guardian.

It would be almost correct to call Blair

a fascist, were it not for the fact that he is unaware of it.

Blair’s emphasis on youth as the source of all wisdom and strength

is reminiscent of Mussolini.

His notion of the Third Way

has fascistic overtones, and reminds one of Juan Perón.

Blair is

always on the lookout, not for new worlds to conquer, but for new worlds to poke his nose into and to ruin, or ruin further.

In Britain once, most people

had an idea of virtue that was intensely focused on their individual conduct, irrespective of whether they were rich or poor. People did not believe that poverty excused very much. One of the destructive consequences of the spread of sociological modes of thought is that it has transferred the notion of virtue from individuals to social structures, and in so doing has made personal striving for virtue (as against happiness) not merely unnecessary but ridiculous and even bad, insofar as it diverted attention from the real task at hand, that of creating the perfect society: the society so perfect, as T.S. Eliot put it, that no one will have to be good. It is that kind of society in which Mr Blair believes.

Blair’s purity

Smirking, heartless whore of the US neo-cons wants another war

Blair wants another war

Throughout his years in office, Dalrymple writes, Tony Blair

kept inviolable his belief in the existence of a purely beneficent essence of himself, a belief so strong that no quantity of untruthfulness, shady dealings, unscrupulousness, or constitutional impropriety could undermine or destroy it.

Help! I’m starved of self-esteem

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 03.55.57Our modern sages teach that this is one of the very gravest of afflictions, leading ineluctably to hidebound dysfunction and very often madness, and to all manner of enormities from torture to fascism to self-harm to uncontrollable habits of self-pollution to warlordism to sexism to unbridled lust to kidnapping to pedantry to pederasty to blood-soaked dreams of conquest to Islamophobia to drug addiction to suicide to violent abuse of minors to rape to murder and even to unconcealed, out-and-out racism.

Tony Blair: a ferocious and inveterate enemy of freedom

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 04.16.50It might be argued, writes Dalrymple, that in a demotic age politicians must consent to indignities if they are to be elected.

If so, it is hardly surprising that we repeatedly elect nonentities distinguished only for their ambition and relentless pursuit of office. Unfortunately, mediocrity and ambition often combine with vast self-regard; and there is no better example of it than Blair.

(2007)