"The narcissism of small differences
" was Freud's 1917 term
for his observation that people with minor differences between them can be more combative and hateful than those with major differences. It is a handy concept.
He viewed this as a narcissistic issue because the distress comes from looking in the mirror, as it were, and seeing a pimple.
What it is about is that we want all of "us" to think exactly like us - that is, perfectly, and the "others" be damned - who cares? Until the "others" give us big trouble.
Freud's psychoanalytic "movement" was repeatedly fractured by such things. Pioneers advanced into the human unconscious, and focused on different aspects, and fought and lost friendships over it. In the end, Freud was usually correct, because he had the courage to tell the often-unpleasant, unpopular, and uncivilized truths about deep human nature.
Of course, the narcissism of small differences often applies to politics. But my best joke on the subject concerns religion:
I was walking across a bridge one sunny day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: 'Stop. Don't do it.'
'Why shouldn't I?' he asked.
'Well, there's so much to live for!'
'Are you religious?'
He said: 'Yes.'
I said. 'Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?'
'Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?''
'Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?'
'Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?'
'Baptist Church of God.'
'Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?'
'Reformed Baptist Church of God.'
'Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?'
He said: 'Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915.'
I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off the bridge.
As a one-time Episcopalian-Anglican before I was found, all of this both tickles me and saddens me. Is it what Dr. Bliss could term "the narcisissism of small differences", or is it about following Christ first and foremost? Are the primates ri
Tracked: Feb 21, 12:22
The last few weeks have seen an enormous outpouring of verbiage decrying the potential coup committed by the liberal John McCain, stealing the Republican party from the true Conservative Republicans. William Kistol summarizes the anger, bordering on MDS (McCain Derangement
Tracked: Feb 04, 12:30
Brit media snobs look down their noses at Palin. But it's not just Eurosnobs. We hear the same thing around here - entirely from women. (Is this about the Narcissism of Small Differences?) Some examples we've heard lately:- She's too feminine- She didn't
Tracked: Oct 05, 09:00