Elizabeth Mika posits that the process through which the tyrant gains popularity and power usually baffles the outside observers and historians looking at it from the perspective of time, as its main ingredient, narcissism, somehow remains invisible to both participants and observers.

The tyrant's narcissism is the main attractor of his followers, who project their hopes and dreams onto him.  Through the process of identification, the tyrant's followers absorb his omnipotence and glory and imagine themselves as powerful as he is, the winners in the game of life.  This identification heals the followers' narcissistic wounds, but also tends to shut down their reason and conscience, allowing them to engage in immoral and criminal behaviors with a sense of impunity engendered by this identification.  Without the support of his narcissistic followers, who see in the tyrant a reflection and vindication of their long-nursed dreams of glory, the tyrant would remain a middling nobody.

The interplay of grandiose hopes and expectations between the tyrant-in-the-making and his supporters that suffuses him with power and helps propel him to a position of political authority is an example of narcissistic collusion: a meshing of mutually compatible narcissistic needs.  The people see in him their long-awaited savior and a father substitute, hinting at the narcissistic abuse implicated in the authoritarian upbringing that demands obedience and worship of the all-powerful parental figure.  In their faith and unquestioning admiration, he in turn receives a ready line of narcissistic supply, thousands of mirrors reflecting his greatness.

On Point Listens From Iowa: The Way Ahead For America

We're in Ames, Iowa, the last stop on our year-long national listening tour. We'll be talking with Iowans about the way ahead for America.

Tom Ashbrook broadcasts Friday morning, November 10, 2017, from Ames, Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. He is joined by a panel of Iowans, speaking about the political and cultural climate in Iowa. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)Tom Ashbrook broadcasts Friday morning, November 10, 2017, from Ames, Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. He is joined by a panel of Iowans, speaking about the political and cultural climate in Iowa. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

This show always travels.  This year, we’ve traveled a lot.  After Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, we wanted to get as close as we could to hear what people in communities around this country were saying about our politics and shared lives now.  About where the country stands.  Where it’s headed. We’ve called it our national listening tour, and today is our final stop.  Ames, Iowa – in the state where it will all start up again.  This hour, On Point:  We are in Iowa.  Paying attention.  Listening. --Tom Ashbrook


Cheryl Johnson, farmer.

John Scheppler, owner of Orning Glass.

Marlu Abarca, bilingual services assistant at the Des Moines Public Library and marketing and community outreach specialist for Hola America Media.

Jill Niswander, director of communications and development at Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center.

Tom Ashbrook broadcasts Friday morning, November 10, 2017, from Ames, Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)Tom Ashbrook broadcasts Friday morning, November 10, 2017, from Ames, Iowa on Iowa Public Radio. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

This program aired on November 10, 2017.

The tyrant makes many good-sounding--but also openly unrealistic, bordering on delusional--promises to his supporters, and usually has no intention or ability to fulfill most of them (if any).  He holds his supporters in contempt, as he does "weaker" human beings in general, and uses them only as props in his domination- and adulation-oriented schemes.

The Paradise Papers keep delivering. A trove of leaked documents on the world’s elite. The commerce secretary. Apple. More. We’ll dive in.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears before Congress in October. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears before Congress in October. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The massive leak of offshore financial records called the Paradise Papers is causing heartburn in super-rich circles this week.  Billions and billions of dollars stashed in tax havens, brought to light.  Some strange bedfellows, too.  The Queen of England is in there. And Madonna. Bono. But also the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, with lucrative ties to Vladimir Putin’s circle. Apple, with a huge stash abroad.  This hour, On Point:  troubling ties and tax avoidance revealed in the Paradise Papers. --Tom Ashbrook


Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. (@RyleGerard)

Jesse Drucker, reporter for the New York Times. (@JesseDrucker)

Sasha Chavkin, reporter, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. (@sashachavkin)

From Tom's Reading List:

International Consortium Of Investigative Journalists: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Benefits From Ties To Putin's Inner ... — "U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle."

New York Times: After A Tax Crackdown, Apple Found New Shelter For Its Profits — "Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion in profits offshore, and probably much more, that is untaxed by the United States and hardly touched by any other country. Nearly all of that was made over the past decade. The previously undisclosed story of Apple’s search for a new tax haven and its use of Jersey is among the findings emerging from a cache of secret corporate records from Appleby, a Bermuda-based law firm that caters to businesses and the wealthy elite."

BBC: Apple's Secret Tax Bolthole Revealed — "The world's most profitable firm has a secretive new structure that would enable it to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show. They reveal how Apple sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax practices by actively shopping around for a tax haven. It then moved the firm holding most of its untaxed offshore cash, now $252bn, to the Channel Island of Jersey."

New York Times: Kremlin Cash Behind Billionaire's Twitter And Facebook Investments — "Behind Mr. Milner’s investments in Facebook and Twitter were hundreds of millions of dollars from the Kremlin. Obscured by a maze of offshore shell companies, the Twitter investment was backed by VTB, a Russian state-controlled bank often used for politically strategic deals."

This program aired on November 8, 2017.

Is A Corporate Tax Cut Really What The Economy Needs Right Now?


Republicans in Congress have proposed a large cut in the tax rate that U.S. corporations pay. The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., is seen here on March 31.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republicans in Congress say cutting corporate taxes would improve the balance sheet for U.S. businesses, giving them more money to spend on jobs and investment.

But how does anyone know that's what will happen?

It's the question at the heart of the debate taking place on Capitol Hill right now about whether to lower corporate taxes, and by how much.

U.S. corporations pay an effective tax rate of 35 percent, although most manage to lower that through various loopholes, exemptions and tax credits. The GOP plan would reduce the effective rate to 20 percent, bringing it more in line with other advanced economies.

To hear President Trump and other Republicans describe it, such a cut would be the magic elixir the U.S. economy needs.

The thinking is that by paying lower taxes, businesses would have more money to spend. Companies such as Apple could bring back some of the billions of dollars they've stashed overseas and use the money to hire more and invest in factories and equipment.

"When our businesses pay less in taxes, they reinvest that money into their companies," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, on Fox News last week.

"They create new jobs. They save and secure jobs that exist. They start paying more in benefits and different benefits, and they invest in inventory," she said.

When companies invest more in plants and equipment, they become more productive, which leads to higher wages, even for low-skilled workers, according to a recent report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

How much would wages increase? The report predicted that cutting corporate taxes would raise annual household incomes $4,000, on average, and probably even more than that.

Economist Kimberly Clausing of Reed College says on the surface the logic sounds airtight.

"The principle makes a lot of sense, the thought that you increase investment and that investment increases the productivity of your workers and then your workers get paid more in consequence," she says.

But Clausing says the reality is a lot more complicated.

"There's no evidence that corporate tax cuts unleash a big wave of economic growth or wage increases," she says.

Clausing says predicting the impact of corporate tax changes on growth is notoriously difficult, because an economy the size of the United States simply has too many moving parts. A surge in growth could be due to tax cuts, or it may be something else entirely.

"The trouble is, we really don't have a good way to measure what the effects on growth are, because once we have the rate cut, other things start happening over time," says Jennifer Blouin, professor of accounting at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

"We have natural disasters. We have failures in commodity markets. The whole credit crisis. And so once you mix that into the fold, how can you predict what the aggregate effect of just that piece of tax legislation is? And I would argue we really don't know," Blouin says.

Economists Alexander Ljungqvist of New York University's Stern School of Business and Michael Smolyansky of the Federal Reserve recently tried to answer the question by looking at fluctuations in corporate tax rates at the state level.

Some large metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia and St. Louis, overlap two or more states. The study looked at what happens when one of those states changes its corporate tax rate, and how it affects different parts of the region.

Their conclusion: Tax increases can hurt a region's economy, but no evidence exists that tax cuts spur growth.

Ljungqvist and Smolyansky say the one exception to that rule is during recessions. When an economy is contracting, corporate profits fall and loans are harder to get. Businesses have trouble getting money to invest. At times like that, a tax cut can be just what businesses need.

But the U.S. economy isn't in a recession right now. It's in the longest postwar economic expansion on record, with very low interest rates and very high corporate profits.

In fact, most corporations have access to pretty much all the money they need right now, says Josh Bivens, director of research at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute. But they're not investing all that much or increasing wages.

"So we have exactly what the corporate tax cut is trying to engineer — really high post-tax profit rates. And yet it has not resulted in more investment.

"So the idea that we just want to do more of the same thing that has not spurred investment strikes me as not correct," Bivens says.

Clausing says, "The reason firms aren't investing is because of a lack of investment opportunities, not because they need more tax incentives to do so."

That points to a much larger and more formidable problem for the economy, one that the U.S. and other advanced economies have struggled to explain.

After a record economic expansion, companies still don't see a lot of reasons to invest out there. Giving them even more money by cutting their taxes, Bivens says, isn't going to address the real problems the economy faces.

The narcissistic collusion between the tyrant and his supporters is also driven by the latter's need for revenge, for the tyrant is always chosen to perform this psychically restorative function: to avenge the humiliations (narcissistic wounds) of his followers and punish those who inflict them.

Narcissistic wounds often date to the supporters' personal ancient past and more often than not are perceived rather than real, the choice of the object of this vengeful punishment is not based on reality.  Rather, it is based on the displacement and projection characteristic of the scapegoating process that becomes an inextricable part of the narcissistic collusion between the tyrant and his followers.

The tyrant and his followers typically choose as vessels for their negative projections and aggression the members of society who are not just different but weaker.  The tyrant fuels the aggression in order to solidify his power but also to deflect it from himself, shield his own narcissism, and repair his own narcissistic injuries dating to his childhood.  The figure of narcissistic parental abuser/tyrant is protected through the scapegoating and the return to the authoritarian, order-and obedience-based mode of social functioning promised by the tyrant, as he himself assumes the mantle of father-protector and directs his own and his supporters' aggression onto the Others, who have nothing to do with those supporters' real and perceived wounds.

The tyrant's own narcissism hints at the level of woundedness in his supporters.  The greater their narcissistic injury, the more grandiose the leader require to repair it.  While his grandiosity appears grotesque to non-narcissistic people who do not share his agenda, to his followers he represents all their denied and thwarted greatness, which now, under his rule, will finally flourish.

Narcissism is blind to itself.

The natural consequence of scapegoating that stems from the projections of the narcissist's devalued parts of himself is dehumanization of the Others, which then justifies all kinds of atrocities perpetrated on them.  The ease with which this attitude spreads in narcissistic groups is frightening, and indicative of a narcissistic rage that fuels it, a rage focused on purging, psychically and physically, all that is weak and undesirable from the narcissists' inner and external worlds.

That rage, along with dreams of glory, is what makes the bond between the tyrant and his followers so strong that it remains impervious to reality.  It also makes the tyrant's rule easier, as he does not have to exert himself much to infect his followers with contempt for the dehumanized Other and incite aggression against them.  In fact, the tyrant's permission for such aggression appears to be a large part of his appeal to his blood-and revenge-thirsty followers.

Once we dehumanize the Others and imbue them with a murderous motivation directed at us, we can easily rationalize any act of violence we perpetrate upon them as self-defense.

It must be noted that the tyrant's supporters and especially sycophants within his closest circle tend to share his character defect.  The sycophantic echo chamber around the tyrant magnifies but also hides his pathology.  His surrogates usually serve as ego substitutes to his rampaging id, and are responsible for introducing and implementing his destructive plans in ways that would seem rational and acceptable to the public.

President Trump Meets With Duterte On Last Leg Of Asia Tour


Views: 53

Comment by Arthur James on November 14, 2017 at 2:05pm



fishy as a can  of  stinky

sardines with Red and

Yellow Mustard Sauce.




Comment by mary gravitt on November 15, 2017 at 1:24pm

Perhaps Mr. James , you need to change your tampon.

Comment by Arthur James on November 15, 2017 at 4:39pm


Comment by Arthur James on November 15, 2017 at 5:00pm

` ?`


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