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Study: Radical leftism linked to narcissism and psychopathy
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Study: Radical leftism linked to narcissism and psychopathy

Radical leftism is linked to both psychopathic tendencies and narcissism, according to a new study out of Switzerland.

"Individuals with dark personalities – such as high narcissistic and psychopathic traits – are attracted to certain ideologies and forms of political activism," said the researchers, citing the 2020 BLM riots as one example.

Those whose authoritarian reflex predisposes them to leftist causes reportedly tend not to care about social justice or equality, contrary to whatever rhetoric they deal in; rather, they gladly partake in coercion, censorship, and violence to satisfy their own "ego-focused needs."

What are the details?

Researchers Ann Krispenz and Alex Bertrams from the University of Bern noted that past research into authoritarianism and the corresponding mindsets has focused almost entirely on rightist political formations.

Past attempts to investigate left-wing authoritarianism have, on the other hand, been downplayed or met with skepticism in the leftist-dominated academy, "even though some empirical studies found evidence for the existence of authoritarianism also on the left side of the political spectrum."

It appears social scientists chose to gloss over the evidence of LWA piled up like cordwood during Vladimir Lenin's Red Terror, Joseph Stalin's Great Purge, Pol Pot's Year Zero, Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward, and Fidel Castro's various bloodlettings.

Krispenz and Bertrams turned their attention to LWA after the ruinous 2020 BLM riots, during which leftists championed by Democratic politicians torched American courthouses, police stations, and entire city blocks, incurring nearly $2 billion in damage; killed between 6 and 20 people; killed one police officer and assaulted or injured 2,037 more; and engaged in at least 574 violent acts in over 140 cities.

The makings of a leftist

The researchers defined LWA to be a "tripartite construct comprising of three correlated dimensions: (1) anticonventionalism, (2) top-down censorship, and (3) antihierarchical aggression."

Anticonventionalism is characterized "by the absolute endorsement of progressive moral values," such that leftist authoritarians are not only intolerant of differing points of view but keen on imposing their own values on others.

Top-down censorship amounts to leftists' desire to wield governmental and/or institutional authority to "deal with opposition and ... suppress any speech that is considered as offensive and intolerant."

Antihierarchical aggression, as seen in the use of violence "to fight for social justice," entails "the motivation to forcefully overthrow the established hierarchy and punish those in power."

The researchers noted that the censorious, coercive, and punitive leftist authoritarian simultaneously expresses hostility "towards the present social and moral authorities while feeling morally superior and endorsing the use of violence to reach one’s own political goals."

Bloodthirsty narcissists

Krispenz and Bertrams conducted two studies with 391 American participants in the first and 377 in the second.

The first study indicated there was a strong association between LWA and neurotic narcissism, defined as "individuals who strongly care about what others might think about them, who experience high levels of shame, and have a strong need for admiration."

To the researchers' surprise, they also found that there was no evidence of a relationship between LWA and altruism.

When variables such as age and sex were controlled, the researchers discovered that instead of a neurotic narcissistic link, there was instead a "robust relationship" between LWA and antihierarchical aggression and antagonistic narcissism. "The results of Study 1 suggest that this motivation can be more likely found in individuals who exploit others for their own interests, lack empathy, have a sense of entitlement, are arrogant and manipulative, demonstrate reactive anger and distrust others while at the same time seeking thrill."

The researchers' chief takeaway from the first study appears to have been that "a strong ideological view, according to which a violent revolution against existing societal structures is legitimate is ... endorsed by individuals with ego-focused motives."

The second study showed that "LWA antihierarchical aggression was predicted by psychopathy again above and beyond individuals’ prosocial dispositions (i.e., social justice commitment)."

On the basis of both studies, Krispenz and Bertrams claimed that "individuals with dark personalities – such as high narcissistic and psychopathic traits – are attracted to certain ideologies and forms of political activism" on both the right and left.

Accordingly, certain individuals' engagements in violent political theater serve only to boost their ego and emotional needs.

"For example, a highly narcissistic/psychopathic person may participate in a pro-BLM protest pretending to fight against racism while actually using such protesting activities to meet their own aggressive motives and thrills," they wrote.

The radical left is not just populated with narcissistic psychopaths.

TheBlaze previously detailed a Columbia University study that found that liberals tend to be far more depressed and mentally unwell than their conservative counterparts.

The study, entitled, "The politics of depression: Diverging trends in internalizing symptoms among US adolescents by political beliefs," was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine – Mental Health in December. It revealed "conservatives reported lower average depressive affect, self-derogation, and loneliness scores and higher self-esteem scores than all other groups."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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