Nathaniel Branden on Mastering the Six Pillars of Esteem and Honoring One's-Self
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Dr. Nathaniel Branden.
Introduction: Dr. Branden (left) is a practicing psychotherapist in Los Angeles and also does corporate consulting. Dr. Branden offers workshops, seminars, and conferences on applying self-esteem principles to the problems of modern business. He addresses the relationship between self-esteem and such issues as leadership, effective communication, and managing change. Dr. Branden has a PhD in psychology and a background in philosophy and has written 20 books, which have been translated into 18 languages. More than 4 million copies are in print, including the classic The Psychology of Self-Esteem, originally published in 1969. In it, he explains the need for self-esteem, the nature of that need, and how self-esteem-or lack of it-affects our values, responses, and goals. His many books include Honoring the Self, The Six Pillars of Self-esteem, The Art of Living Consciously, and a personal memoir, My Years with Ayn Rand. Many of his books have been translated in to foreign languages, and worldwide have sold over 4 million copies. His most recent book- Self-esteem at Work – deals with the application of his work in the field of self-esteem to the challenges of business in an information age economy. This is a follow-up interview to one conducted late last year which can be read by clicking here.
Daily Bell: Please answer these questions as if readers were not aware of your famous books, your articles or frequently quoted opinions. Thanks for this follow up interview.
Nathaniel Branden: My pleasure.
Daily Bell: In the past interview we spoke a lot about Ayn Rand, soliciting your thoughts and opinions. In this interview we would like to focus on your tremendously successful work and books. Tell us what Mastering Self-Esteem is all about and why have you made a special offer regarding it.
Nathaniel Branden: Mastering Self-Esteem is an interesting distillation of my ideas for personal growth. This was not prepared by me but by a number of people who wanted to support it so that different aspects of the psychology of self esteem were brought into play. It is complex weaving together of different books and articles all presented in an audio format to provide people with a very powerful way to build their self esteem and personal development.
Daily Bell: Why is self-esteem so important generally?
Nathaniel Branden: It has to do with what we think about ourselves. We tend to make our positives or our negatives true. So, if I don't feel, for example, worthy of love, I am very likely to behave in ways that will not make me feel happy in loved relationships. Business people get promotions and then get terrified because they don't think they can live up to it. They may then pursue behaviors that are self-defeating. There are a whole range of behaviors that are in part, influenced by where your level of self-esteem is.
I would like to take this time to make one very important clarification. One of the mistakes that many people make, who want to support the idea of self-esteem, is that they make absurd, exaggerating claims as to what they can do. It's one force among many in the psychological system. It is one factor among many. Self-esteem as I describe it, is the experience that we are competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and are worthy of happiness. I can be very strong or competent in the area of business but a disaster in my private life. It's not that I have no self-esteem, but flawed self-esteem, an under-developed self-esteem.
Daily Bell: How do you know, other than your own feelings?
Nathaniel Branden: If the majority of your interactions are positive for yourself and the other person, chances are you know quite a lot on how to have successful relationships. If however, a lot of the time, you are not satisfied or pleased with your interactions with other people, chances are you have a problem with your relationships.
Daily Bell: How does it help with leadership and managing change?
Nathaniel Branden: One of the big misunderstandings among leaders in the business world is the failure to realize the extent to which the people that work under them are continually reacting to the role that the leader is playing. Leaders are meant to be teachers and inspire a champion for whatever the job of the business is to be. They don't necessarily realize to what extent the people under them are watching and absorbing their way of handling stress or pressure, etc. So the self-esteem of the leader can have very profound effects on what people around them do.
Daily Bell: Poor self-esteem leads to self-aggrandizement?
Nathaniel Branden: One of the problems with poor self-esteem in leaders, is they try to make themselves big and the people they are talking to small. Leaders with good self-esteem will tend to inspire confidence in the people that work with them. If they deal with people civilly, kindly, benevolently, fairly, justly, and project that they expect the best from people, then they make an enormous positive contribution. The great genius of leaders or managers, is not the great things they do, but the great things the people under them do. This is made possible by their attitude. In that attitude self-esteem is very important element, it's not everything but an important element.
Now, regarding managing change, every change is a challenge to self-esteem, to our ability to manage what's being thrown at us. So much depends upon whether or not we believe in people and we believe in what they can do. As a leader, you won't get the best results by attacking your employees' self-esteem but by inspiring them.
Daily Bell: Tell us more about your book Honoring the Self.
Nathaniel Branden: That title came to me because in earlier books, I heard people say, isn't this just encouraging selfishness, an excessive self pre-occupation? Why aren't we talking about honoring the world or honoring other people? So I wanted to talk about the importance of self respect, the importance of self-esteem, the importance of personal autonomy.
Daily Bell: Which some people liken to navel gazing.
Nathaniel Branden: Suppose you saw someone running around the track or getting nutritional guidance in eating habits, you wouldn't say, look at him, that's so selfish of the person. But when it comes to psychological issues or philosophical issues, that sentiment certainly arises. Is a pre-occupation with one's personal development a sign of selfishness? I don't think there's anything to apologize for.
Daily Bell: Please explain how The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem fits into this.
Nathaniel Branden: Over the years, I was always fascinated by the differences between people who obviously had self-esteem and those that did not? Between continually asking questions and watching, I found and came up with six practices which seem to me essential contributors to healthy self-esteem.
Daily Bell: So this is a kind of success equation?
Nathaniel Branden: Again it doesn't imply that there is nothing else in the world that can be beneficial for self-esteem. But I have found these six ideas always proved useful and productive, especially within a practice setting. I will name them very specifically but not elaborate for purposes of this interview. The practice of living consciously; the practice of self acceptance; the practice of self-responsibly; the practice of self assertiveness; the practice of living purposely; the practice of self integrity.
Daily Bell: You mentioned in our past interview that Ayn Rand wanted to stress that a rational code of morality was possible. Is it?
Nathaniel Branden: Oh, yes. Emphatically, yes. That is what many people found in reading Atlas Shrugged. Not that Rand covered everything, but she provided a great foundation for a rational code of morality.
Daily Bell: Why are compassion, kindness and empathy enormously significant within a pro-life code of ethics?
Nathaniel Branden: Well ask yourself would you rather live in a world which these are regarded as values or would you prefer to be in a world where they are regarded, not as sins but only marginally significant or important? I think we realize that if people understood and accepted the value of simple kindness of compassion, of empathy, it works for human relationships, it works for the way people relate to each other. It makes for an altogether superior society.
Daily Bell: Why are your books so successful? What chord are you touching?
Nathaniel Branden: I suppose the thing I hear the most is that people are relating to the stories. This guy understands me. And I am proud of this clarity. I take very complex ideas and communicate in a very clear way.
Daily Bell: Ayn Rand held that teaching "others above self" is evil. Agree or disagree?
Nathaniel Branden: I don't use the word evil as frequently as Ayn Rand did. I would rather say it's destructive.
Daily Bell: You have also stated that people don't understand that altruism actually DOES mean others above self.
Nathaniel Branden: That's right. The word was coined by Auguste Comte in the 19th century. Others above self is what he meant by altruism.
Daily Bell: Why is self-sacrifice is our highest virtue? This seems to stand Rand on her head. Rand didn't provide much guidance on how to develop in a more rational and benevolent way. Why not?
Nathaniel Branden: Well, I think that she would first of all believe that she did. I think that she would believe that the applications in the direction of benevolence are obvious. And for some people it was. But it's not the best or the most powerful way to teach that particular method.
Daily Bell: What do you think of Ludwig von Mises great work, Human Action?
Nathaniel Branden: I think that it is a masterpiece. It was one of the first books I read under Rand's guidance, when I wanted to understand capitalism. I think he was an extraordinary mind, I don't mean I agreed with every sentence in the book but I agree with the majority of it. I think it is brilliantly illuminating for understanding how the world works.
Daily Bell: What is happening to the West today? Where is it headed?
Nathaniel Branden: I think there is an undeclared war going on for the destruction of the Western world. I think the whole drift politically is away from almost all the values that made America that great country that is was. I think the news today is bad. I don't know what the long term consequences are going to be. I haven't yet read Forbes book on 'how capitalism will save us' but I would like to know!
Daily Bell: What is your opinion on capitalism?
Nathaniel Branden: I think it is the only political system that's ever been developed that produces conditions of well being for everybody who participates. Remember for all the years until the 19th century, the default condition of the world was poverty. Only in the 19th and more so in the 20th century, was most of the world lifted out of poverty. No other system ever did that.
Daily Bell: Does capitalism produce wealth for all?
Nathaniel Branden: There is overwhelming evidence that there is a clear correlation between freedom, productivity and wealth. So that, I would say, if you look at the empirical evidence, and not what your fantasies might be, you have to realize there is no substitute for capitalism. Unfortunately my fear right now is that people may have to learn the hard way, but I hope I am unduly pessimistic. I guess Monday, Wednesday and Friday I worry if the end of the world is coming. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I'm more cheerful and optimistic we will land on our feet. That's a more honest statement on my position.
Daily Bell: How can people survive the current downturn psychologically?
Nathaniel Branden: They should be preoccupied with the question of their own options. It is important not to surrender to the feeling of being powerless. It takes great courage and great strength to keep going forward. I think self-esteem is very relevant there, too.
Daily Bell: What do you think of libertarian Congressman Ron Paul?
Nathaniel Branden: I don't follow him close enough but the one thing I will say about Ron Paul is that the interest in his message is a good sign. It's an interesting crack in the wall.
Daily Bell: Do you think President Barack Obama is doing a good job?
Nathaniel Branden: If his goal is to destroy Western civilization, then he's doing a good job. He is spreading poison. So much dishonesty goes into his presentations to the world, both in the little things and the big things. My hope is that more people will wake up and be aware to the extent that they are being lied to and seduced and have to break free of their political addictions.
Daily Bell: In the past 50 years, good or bad, what has been most significant in your mind regarding Western culture?
Nathaniel Branden: Firstly, in a negative sense, I can see the poisonous influence of the entitlement mentality, and the increasing abandonment of self-responsibility. So that comes to mind. Secondly, I can't think of anything worse than this administration we now live under.
Daily Bell: As the West turns increasingly authoritarian, how does this affect people's self-esteem?
Nathaniel Branden: That depends entirely upon what people conclude. If they see what the government is doing and they oppose it, they are in no way responsible for its destructiveness.
Daily Bell: What books would you recommend?
Nathaniel Branden: Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and Self-Esteem at Work. You will be glad I suggested it!
Daily Bell: Thank you, Dr. Branden.
Self-esteem is an interesting issue for people because those who do not have it are doomed to struggle with numerous personality disorders. Chief among these disorders is paralyzing fear that one is worthless and unworthy of any of the blessings that life can bestow. Ironically, one might be posit that the more self-esteem one has, the less one is apt to act-out in a socially divisive way.
Perhaps Nathaniel Branden might disagree with this but we see some congruence between his pillars of self-esteem and Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. For Maslow, people need to grapple with deficiencies to begin with: the need for friendship, love, security, and safety. But once these needs are fulfilled, the over-arching desire that remains is one for self-actualization – the attempt to realize one's full potential.
The strange thing about Maslow's hierarchy of needs however is that it does not necessarily sort through how one fulfills the need for self-actualization. We make this point because one of the role models that Maslow used was Eleanor Roosevelt.
Here's what Conservapedia.com points out about her: "The widely-read conservative columnist Westbrook Pegler assailed Eleanor (and FDR) regularly. In public Eleanor ignored him. In private in 1942 she asked the FBI to investigate Pegler suggestion a column he wrote involved 'sedition.' Her actions belied her public reputation as a champion of First Amendment rights when it came to leftists. In fact, she wielded her influence as First Lady to push the Bureau on this case. Dissatisfied with the FBI's initial report on the Pegler's column, she prodded J. Edgar Hoover to expand the investigation until it took on a voluminous scope. Recent scholars (including Betty Houchin Winfield, Kenneth O'Reilly, and Richard W. Steele) have exposed Franklin Roosevelt's political use of the FBI and traced how he ordered wartime sedition investigations of anti-New Deal newspaper publishers, such as William Randolph Hearst and the Chicago Tribune's Robert McCormick. In the Pegler's case, there was a willingness to use similar tactics against a prominent conservative columnist. Moreover, it also becomes clear that, despite her reputation as a champion of free speech rights, Eleanor Roosevelt resorted to similar methods against a media opponent."
Now it could well be that Eleanor Roosevelt suffered from a lack of self-esteem. Conversely, perhaps she was in a sense acting out because she suffered from a lack of love and physical closeness in her life. But the larger issue is one, in her case, of recorded behavior, which does not always seem to have been congruent with values attributed to her.
What great human observers like Nathaniel Branden and Abraham Maslow therefore offer us are tools. They are a skill set that we can work consciously to obtain with the idea that we shall be better-rounded persons after we have acquired the skills suggested. But can one be self-actualized and, in a sense, evil – manipulative and hurtful to those around him and or her? In order to make sure, one might have to use the precept of yet another fine thinker, Plato, who wrote, "Know thyself."
Posted by Walter Foddis on 02/24/11 05:10 PM
@Libertista (and whoever else following this thread :):
I'm a doctoral student in clinical psychology. For my dissertation, I measured people's sources or bases of self-esteem, in addition to measuring people's self-reported self-esteem level (i.e., questionnaire that asks you to rate on a 10-point scale, "I believe I'm a person of worth."). In measuring people's sources of self-esteem, I used Branden's theory, as well as a few other similar theories, for scoring people's responses.
My measure of self-esteem sources is a qualitative measure, that is, it asks people for open-ended responses (i.e., completing unfinished sentences). These responses are then scored depending how closely they fit "my" sources of self-esteem theory, which includes the "pillars" Branden explained in the article like self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, etc. In fact, the way I frame my theory is that it is a virtue-based self-esteem. Importantly, the virtues are not only interpersonal, but intrapersonal. So not only are you kind, honest, respectful, and accountable to others, for instance, but you are also kind, honest, respectful, and accountable in relation to yourself. Self-directed virtues, I believe, is the more difficult part for people. It requires the most self-awareness: "Know thyself," indeed!
More to your point on narcissism, I have also looked at narcissism as part of my research. What I found with narcissists is that they although they score high on a self-esteem measure, they score low on my measure of sources of self-esteem. That is, narcissists are less likely to endorse virtues as sources of self-esteem. Instead, narcissists were more likely to based their self-esteem on physical appearance, external praise for their achievements, outperforming others (i.e., downward social comparison). I submit that this way of differentiating narcissism from genuine self-esteem is supportive of Branden's theory.
As to the multitude of studies that implicate "self-esteem" as somehow destructive, if you dig deeper into them (e.g., what measures do the studies actually use), one will find narcissism is the culprit, not self-esteem. But my guess is that researchers like to make their articles sexy for press releases, so they use their findings to blast self-esteem.
I hope to get my dissertation published, so when that happens (I'm optimistic :), I'll be sure to post a link here to the article.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks, sounds interesting ...
Posted by Tom Rose on 11/29/10 06:34 PM
I greatly benefitted from reading Brandon's views concerning self-esteem, the competitive free-market(which he presented as "capitalism")and our need to effectively counter the destructive forces that have long been at work to destroy Western Civilization and to enslave us. I'm not generally a blogger, but I also appreciated reading the various blog resposes -- appreciating some good points, yet not accepting the (in my poinion) flawed views.
For many years I have lectured and written on the need for people "to think biblically, to think economically (meaning the thought process of mentally tracing cause-effect patterns), and finally to think constitutionally," and in the order given. (see: Click to view link).
A few years ago I wrote an article entitled "A Bit of Little-Known Monetary History." It was written in response to an economics seminar I attended at Monsanto's home office in St. Louis County, Missouri in 1963, while serving as the director of economic education for the Associated Industries of Missouri in St. Louis. The lecturer was a professor of economics from the Universsity of Chicago, with whom strongly I disagreed concerning the then looming issue of future disbasement of the American Dollar and the steps I was taking at that time to protect my family's welfare aainst planned inflation of the money supply.
I don't have the computer expertise to know how to attach the article to this message to you, but I will look it up on my list of articles and attempt to forward it to you as an attachment.
Do continue your good work!
Professor of Economics and Money and Banking (retired, from Grove City College, PA).
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. We look forward to your attachment.
Posted by S From Tennessee on 10/19/10 01:22 AM
DB, I think there may be a typo in one of the interview questions: "Why is self-sacrifice is our highest virtue?" That seems both gramatically incorrect, and I think, based on NB's answer, that the question conveys the opposite of what it's supposed to. Just lettin' ya know!
Posted by Keith on 09/18/10 01:26 AM
what a disappointment from such an other wise brilliant author you say obama is dishonest in his presentations can you prove that i wonder if there is something you haven't "accepted" maybe fear of change and if the bush administration didn't "wake u up" then god help the west. if self esteem means not having compassion for people who are trying then i'll keep my altruism it feels a lot less greedy.
Posted by Mark Humphrey on 09/13/10 01:36 PM
Thank you for publishing this interview with Nathaniel Branden.
Dr. Branden's article that the Daily Bell ran in June, 2010, entitled (parapharsing) "The Basis of a Free Society" is the most persuasive, enlightening and powerful essay on behalf of individual freedom that I have read in many years. I'll have to read it again to gain better insight into what makes Branden's essay so Click to view linkrtly, it is effective because he appeals to the interests and experience of the broadest possible array of individuals.
So often, when I blast off some comment, I would guess that I offend more than I persuade. In any event, I was thrilled to read his essay--the most illuminating presentation I've come across since reading Ayn Rand's "The Roots of War" decades ago.
Thank you again for presenting Branden's writing and interviews.
Posted by Linda Maddox on 09/13/10 08:13 AM
I guess this is a wake up call. We have a President that didn't have the most stable life growing up. Now he is President! What kind of self-esteem could be possibly have. He needs to read the books.
Posted by Mark Y on 09/07/10 03:57 PM
It would be interesting to have Dr. Branden expand on how what Obama is saying and doing is destroying our American (Western) culture. We need someone besides the suspect Glenn Beck to provide explanation and analysis of this so that perhaps we could awaken the sleeping masses from the spell of the "Snow Queen" and her soporific statism.
I believe that much of the reason Beck is so popular is that he discusses cultural issues, not just economics. Our economic success is dependent on our cultural health. The elites obviously know this and are using it to their tactical advantage. The freedom movement needs to recognize this as Nelson Hultberg has or we will lose our freedom.
Posted by John Danforth on 09/07/10 08:50 AM
Look up pseudo self esteem. You are arguing against a position that isn't advocated in Nathaniel's work. You are barking up the wrong tree.
Posted by Mijama on 09/06/10 12:39 PM
Thank you so much for this interview. I think this is more important and significant than people realize. If you've ever done his sentence-completion work, you know it's all about getting to the hidden roots of ourselves; what motivates us, what makes us tick.
How we view ourselves is inseparable from how we view the world. The way the world is now should be a huge wake-up call for everyone to really examine themselves. No, we can't control what goes on in Washington, but we can control ourselves. If we all produced one improved unit (ourselves) to society, if we did not accept the premise that we need leaders to order us around or tell us what's best for us, we would have a very different world indeed.
I think as things continue to deteriorate, more and more people will come to this conclusion. "We cannot make men free by getting rid of the state. but we can get rid of the state by making men free." " Stefan Molyneux
Posted by Bill Ross on 09/06/10 12:37 PM
"Thousands of self esteem books and articles that were more pop psychology than T & C's book came out in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and that line of thinking flooded schools and parenting advice outlets."
Yes, I call that the "search for the meaning of life" phase of the great manipulation and final overthrow of civilization and the "rule of law". Prior to the hippie (full disclosure: I was one) rejection of "reality", the majority knew the meaning of life was: to survive, which requires peaceful cooperation in division of labor, a work ethic, for mutual self interest. For once, our parents who looked on and futilely tried to warn us, were correct: we were heading for a train wreck and the only light at the end of the tunnel may be a nuclear flash:
Click to view link
Now, if you choose according to what is required to survive (refuse servitude), you are deemed an enemy of common interest.
Posted by Noone on 09/06/10 12:25 PM
One thing that is not often brought forth on the dialog about self esteem and the appropriateness of altruism is our long evolutionary history as a species.
For many hundreds of thousands of years, our human ancestors lived in small tribal groups. For all this time of genetic and social evolution the only way to survive was to be a part of a group or tribe, and to be as altruistic as possible toward the members of this group. It was absolutely impossible to survive as an "individual" in these primitive times. So turning toward the group survival was really the only way to ensure personal survival. Individuals that did not have this as a very basic instinct simply did not survive to procreate.
The modern civilization that we take for granted is really a very recent social invention, evolutionarily speaking. In it, we can entertain notions such as individualism, personal striving, etc. Yet we still have the group focus deeply imbedded in us at a very deep level.
I am not saying this is bad, I mostly agree with the individualist ideas presented here. I am just saying, the collectivist tendencies will probably not ever be eliminated. They are just too deeply a basic part of who we are.
Reply from The Daily Bell
There is no individualism at the deepest level of free-market thinking, only tribal/familial interactions. So you are in a sense misrepresenting the Bell's stance. We have written on this many times.
Posted by Libertista on 09/06/10 11:33 AM
Posting a quote from a reviewer on Amazon isn't quite the same as reading it yourself and making up your own mind. The book is better than he describes and draws on more research then he led on.
But at the most basic level, perhaps you and I disagree with where the focus of attention should be. I agree that self esteem is healthy, but it's certainly not a problem in the under 30 crowd. Thousands of self esteem books and articles that were more pop psychology than T & C's book came out in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and that line of thinking flooded schools and parenting advice outlets. With healthy application, encouraging self esteem is not the problem, but that's certainly not what happened. Not at all. The public education system, super liberals, and 10-cent experts perverted the process and mucked it up, producing a giant army of megalomaniacs who sincerely believe they deserve to receive everything they want, everything everyone else has, without actually having to work for it.
My litmus test for this is to sincerely look at the entire American public with the question: "Do they think they are entitled to MORE from government and society, or LESS from government and society?
IMO: The American public believes they deserve MORE, not less, and I find it hard to believe that's because of a self esteem problem. One could say it's human nature to always want MORE, but I don't think that's the problem here. There's something ugly and dysfunctional in their entitlement.
You looked at one side of the coin. Flip it over and look at the other side while reading that book. (One of many I've read on narcis and other personality disorders).
Reply from The Daily Bell
We think self esteem is important but has to be grounded in reality.
Posted by Jean-Pierre Monte on 09/06/10 09:41 AM
I am sorry for what I said, I didn't want to hurt anybody.
Kind regards, JPM
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Jean-Pierre Monte on 09/06/10 07:40 AM
If knowing thyself is... "What garbage. disappointed to see this on this website", then we are all lost.
I guess this site is for middle class Amerians with middle class education who bearly know that there is Life out side of one's own country. Bye Bye America.
Posted by Peter on 09/06/10 03:37 AM
But not Self-esteem at any cost:
We should be mindful of the dangers of miss-based "self-esteem" where there is good reason for low self-valuation, whilst conflict within the person is not without purpose, in forcing, when things are out of balance, potentially productive, self evaluation and positive change.
if this process is cut short by Prozac and other SSRI,s etc or the media, and replaced through synthetic intervention with mindless self satisfaction detached from reality. Many of the dangers that the Bell warn of are facilitated, providing foot soldiers and a ready ordinance for the bad and superficial message.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes, self esteem needs to be married to a larger sense of personal reality.
Posted by Greg Colvin on 09/06/10 12:30 AM
So we should stop sucking and starve to death?
Posted by Ian MacFarlane on 09/06/10 12:10 AM
@ unidentified Daily Bell respondent "No one forces you to read it"
And no one forces you or anyone else to write it.
Is the interest of this publication to pass along a form of propaganda and quell dissenting thought, or to seek truth through dialogue? While it is often very difficult to read what passes for reason published on this website, it is even more difficult to witness the response offered by the anonymous commentators.
Absolute, glaring, fallacies sandwiched between jingoistic rhetoric are offered, accepted, published and lauded. The vast majority of those who send in their written applause, rather than critique let alone question articles and authors, indicates a sheep like mentality so often applied to others.
It appears that the agenda of participants as well as moderators of this forum is not truth but what passes as a politicized version of it. There is clear intellect evidenced here but unfortunately too often untempered by much thought, let alone free thought.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"The vast majority of those who send in their written applause, rather than critique let alone question articles and authors, indicates a sheep like mentality so often applied to others."
Thank goodness for feedbackers like you, eh? Would you then insist on the efficacy of global warming, the reality of peak oil, the necessity of central banking, etc? People of your integrity ought to find similar lofty souls, perhaps at CNBC, CNN, FOX etc.
Really, leave the Bell to the "sheeple" it attracts. Stride forth boldly, acknowledging the elite's fear-based memes and promote them wherever you wish, free-thinker. We are not worthy of such patronage!
Posted by Jon Carlson on 09/05/10 11:58 PM
Is Obama a Thai Buddhist President?
Click to view link
Posted by Libertista on 09/05/10 11:43 PM
Whoa, you interviewed one of the fathers of the narcissist movement? I suggest you read The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. They shredded this movement, which dates back to the 70s, to pieces and flushed it down the toilet.
I suppose Branden wrote something stupid like: "you have to love yourself before you can love someone else."
Self esteem is a good thing, but Americans took it to far and now you have a nation of narcissists and psychopaths. Especially in the under 30 crowd.
Buy Twenge and Campbell's book. It gets to the core of the American personality and a lot of national social phenomena starts to make sense.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Amazon review of Twenge and Campbell's book ...
We pointed out that self esteem needs to be linked to a larger perception - "know thyself." See link:
Click to view link
" ... Truth be told, while there are a lot of good research studies on narcissism, both Twenge and Campbell are willing to go far beyond the data to extend their hypotheses to such areas as MySpace, online flamers, and dating websites. A wealth of social psychology and evolutionary psychology research explains these areas far better than Twenge and Campbell's thesis, yet this research is all but ignored by the authors. Many of the chapters rely on the tried-and-true anecdotal approach used in academic critiques of pop culture, often implying empirical support by associating them with unrelated research articles. ..."
Posted by Steven on 09/05/10 07:36 PM
Nathaniel is my favorite living Objectivist. For a long time I was reading psychology and self-help books, but not until I found Six Pillars of Self-Esteem did I really feel I was introduced to a comprehensive philosophy. His emphasis on realism, responsibility, and believing you deserve happiness was something that I was never taught in today's culture.