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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Thursday, April 9

liar liar 2: self as brand

Lifting from Enchanté, my post of 29 August 2005, wherein I quoted from Philip Cushman's Constructing the Self, Constructing America: A Cultural History of Psychotherapy...

In a later chapter called "Self-Liberation Through Consumerism" -- the section is titled "Heinz Kohut and the Valorization of Narcissism: The Self Takes Center Stage" -- Cushman talks about Kohut's "self psychology" and theory of narcissism, writing (p. 270) that Kohut confused appearance for essence, that is, taking culturally conditioned psychological dynamics for universal human truths. He says that Kohut

...saw the whole mid- to late twentieth-century clearing -- the appearance of emptiness, confusion, isolation, the commodification of human life -- and called it essence. By doing so he reified the given, gave it a scientific justification, and encouraged its continuation. Ultimately, this is the source of his limitation, and ours as well.
And there's this a page later...
......self structure is both built (through psychologically taking in and metabolizing the parent's qualities) and liberated (through the unfolding plan of the nuclear self). The consumer language in [Kohut's] formulation should be obvious. The two characteristic elements of twentieth-century American consumerism -- individual salvation through the consuming of commodities and the liberation of the enchanted interior -- are clearly evident.

Relationships Are Tools

Other people are viewed as objects or tools in the quest for distinction, and the narcissistic patient expends a great deal of mental energy comparing him- or herself and judging the worth of others. If others have the potential to advance the narcissist in some way, they will be idealized and pursued. If others are perceived as ordinary or inferior, they will he dismissed, or perhaps exploited for some gain, then discarded.

Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders Aaron Beck et al, 2nd edition, p. 250

The Brand YU Life - Chapter 6: Be Authentic