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.