Scott Barry Kaufman on Narcissists and Libertarians

The author of the new book Transcend updates Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs for an era of pandemics, racial strife, and extreme polarization.


Scott Barry Kaufman is a psychologist, a podcaster, and the bestselling author of the new book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, which updates Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs and his theories of personal fulfillment for a time of global pandemic, racial unrest, and polarized politics.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Kaufman discusses how self-actualization—fulfilling our personal potential and goals—intersects with contemporary debates about Black Lives Matter and racial strife, nastiness and bad-faith arguing in partisan politics, and rising rates of depression and anxiety during pandemic-related lockdowns. They also talk about how aspects of Maslow's thought map onto libertarian ideas about autonomy, individualism, freedom, and self-fulfillment.

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  1. Atheist Marxist Green Raw Deal Climate Change cultists are so desperate for their lives to have meaning, they want to join the struggle for social justice and to end systemic racism (even if that’s not the real problem), and want to see slightly more pleasant weather as an existential crisis for the planet that only they can fend off.

    1. Structural change used to advance one Sack of Rome at a time.
      Now it’s Seattle’s turn.

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…ERd after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

        Here’s what I do…>> Click here

  2. Gotta cling to something if you’re a secular humanist

    1. Why not Santa Claus?

      1. Santa Claus is bringing Tony his Star Trek future, dontchaknow. Of course we all have to pay for it and give up some freedoms so the world can be a “safer” and more “equitable” place.

        1. Santa Claus is letting Tony sit on his lap, and Tony is really happy about it.

  3. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…ZDs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

    Here’s what I do…>> Click here

  4. Narcissist:libertarian :: tomato:tomahto.

  5. Not one comment about the podcast or guest?


  6. I was excited to listen to this podcast, as vulnerable narcissism has been a core theory of mine in regards to what we’re seeing with the unrest in society today. Not just in the perpetuation, but also in the way the media has covered it – possibly even the media itself.

    Interestingly, he seemed to speak as though this is some hurdle that just needs to be handled in a certain way. The problem is that Narcissism is a VERY rigid form of self defense and is considered one of the hardest to treat, with very low success rates, even for those who commit to therapy. Which by the way, is very rare, because the condition itself does not lend to self reproach. In fact, it’s the antithesis.

    Narcs survive their painful existence by adhering to a particular version of reality and any challenge to this reality is not met with any true reflection. Rather, it’s often met with hostility.

    The important thing to keep in mind with any form of narcissism is that it’s a defense against shame – deserved or undeserved. Well, it always starts as underserved because it’s formed in very early adolescence when kids tend to take responsibility for things out of their control. A great example is a bitter divorce is often seen by the child as their fault, or the child who is molested often thinks they asked for it somehow. Ironically, this mechanism, which solely exists to defend them against feeling shame, leads to really fucked up behavior, which adds, subconsciously, to this shame. It is a vicious cycle that gets worse and worse throughout their life.

    The other thing I think he failed to mention was that narcissist have diminished empathy. In other words, there is no other side to a story – there is only theirs. The role that plays in what we’re seeing cannot be overstated, I believe.

    1. Good analysis AuspiciusOptimism. Indeed narcissism seems to be required for politicians and explains a lot about our current polarization. Team Blue’s identity politics are based on people defining themselves as members of various groups and what the government can do to protect them, while the MAGA crowd is another form of identity politics based on white “American” identity that also needs protection.

  7. thank you for the information at this news!

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