Exhibitionism

I was struck by the realization that self-centered persons seem to be lacking in self-awareness. They see, but do not recognize themselves as (moral?) persons. I suppose that would describe the narcissist. Narcissus is described as falling in love with his own image/reflection in a pool. But what if the story teller merely jumped to a conclusion to explain a fixation that had/has no emotional content? Perhaps the stare is an empty artifact.

I am remembering that my mother used to stare without seeing in the sense that she did not know what she was looking at. I assumed it was because she was in a strange culture and tried to provide explanations.After about fifty years I realized she did not know me either. It took more than sixty years for me to realize she was face-blind. But then that condition was not widely known.

What I am wondering now is whether people whom we identify as exhibitionists are not motivated by a desire to be seen, but exhibit themselves because they are simply not aware of themselves. I am considering this hypothesis as a way to explain why so many of the rioters at the capitol recorded themselves without any awareness of what others would see or even that they would be seen. Unconscious exhibitionism. It reflects the unconscious for no purpose.

Is there a difference between instinct-driven and pure instinct? We assume the instinctive brain is direct by survival–that survival is the objective. But what if being, absent the sense of time, is indeterminate and mindless existence is liable to being stopped at any time? Does that account for the obviously self-destructive behavior going on all around us?

Poor Donald called out a horde of mindless lemmings and they flowed into the Capitol buildings because somebody opened the doors. Yes, there was planning, but not be the hordes that got suckered.

One more thing I have been puzzling over. “Populism.” What does that word stand for when employed by Republican elitists? Judd Gregg used it when he rejected Obama’s offer to appoint him Secretary of Commerce. Now it is being increasingly used to dismiss the radical right. Is it just a matter of elitist disdain for the people when “the people” includes the entire population of the nation?

How are the elite to be designated?