Moral narcissists are helping to make sure America’s COVID-19 lockdown continues in full force, shaming anyone who objects, refuses, questions, or even simply voices concerns or complaints.
I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already is the title of Roger Simon’s fascinating 2016 book on the subject of moral narcissism. Simon described this particular kind of narcissism as a “far more lethal form” that is destroying “our families, friendships, workplace atmosphere, and democratic republic.” That kind of lethality infecting the “cure” for a pandemic could certainly produce an outcome much worse than that of the virus itself.
Simon describes the feelings of the moral narcissist this way:
What you believe, or claim to believe or say you believe—not what you do or how you act or what the results of your actions may be—defines you as a person and makes you “good.” It is how your life will be judged by others and by yourself…
If your intentions are good, if they conform to the general received values of your friends, family, and co-workers, what a person of your class and social milieu is supposed to think, everything is fine. You are that “good” person. You are ratified. You can do anything you wish. It doesn’t matter in the slightest what the results of those ideas and beliefs are, or how society, the country, and in some cases, the world suffers from them. It doesn’t matter that they misfire completely, cause terror attacks, illness, death, riots in the inner city, or national bankruptcy. You will be applauded and approved of.
We’re supposed to think that the continued shutdowns over the coronavirus are good. Those who dare to ask about the science and models behind lockdown orders, the increasing collateral damage to our economy, or the difference between dying with or dying of the virus, much less the deaths that are happening because of the shutdown—receive swift judgment from the moral narcissists. Not in the form of factual or intelligent answers, but rather, questions framed to shame:
Don’t you care about granny? Do you want more people to die? Is the economy more important to you than people’s lives?