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Political psycho-patho-economy of narcissism: From human capital to social aggression

The main purpose of the article is to highlight the problem of today’s psycho-pathology of narcissism, with is defined by Austrian philosopher Robert Pfaller as a psychic element which fits contemporary neoliberal ascetic ideology. In the first part, the article focuses on the economic context in which neoliberal hegemony arose (the period after the crisis in the 70s and the shift toward financial expansion) and in particular on the role of the theory of human capital in Foucault’s reading of American neoliberal authors. Here, the article shows that the narcissistic culture of intimacy suits the neoliberal ideology which operates the transformation of labour force into human capital in which the investments can be made. Yet, contrary to neoliberal convictions, the investments into human capital cannot solve the problem of what Marx defined as a tendency of the rate of profit to fall. This inadequacy is shown above all by the outbreak of the crisis in 2008, which according to neoliberal predictions should never have happened. In the second part the author devotes himself to the analysis to the inherent connection between narcissism and aggressiveness and in particular to the spatial dimension of aggressiveness. The article then concludes by showing how today’s right-wing populism and its aggressiveness toward the Others (refugees, migrants, social minorities etc.) is actually a logical continuation of the narcissistic culture of intimacy, within which there is by definition no room for the Other or he is reduced at the level of the external gaze of the narcissistic subject upon himself.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 266 - Social Psychopathology and Paranoia
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2016 , volume volume 44 , issue issue 266
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