April 24, 2024

Gen N: The Narcissist Generation

A malignancy of young narcissists has emerged from the Gen Y and Gen Z age groups.

“It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage… If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.” —John Adams (1756)

Have you figured out what “social generation” to which you have been assigned?

I am not referring to familial generations, or learning about your ancestors. That generational knowledge is very important because a firm understanding of our predecessors and the historical context in which they lived provides valuable context for the present era. Whether fate has blessed you with being a descendant of those who were here at the dawn of American Liberty, or blessed you with being a first-generation immigrant who embraces the eternal spirit of Liberty, you are American. If you reject hyphenated-Americanism and the disunity of identity politics, you are American.

As George Washington said in his 1796 farewell address: “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”

Regardless of how many generations you and your family have been on American soil, today, we are all witness to a nation suffering historic social disunity, amplified by political disunity.

To discuss how this is manifesting in our youngest generation of “adults” (a term that I apply loosely with some of them), it is helpful to gain an understanding of social-generation groups, those groups of us who come of age in certain periods of recent history, and thus share common cultural experiences. Briefly, here is how those groups are divided…

In the West, the concept of generational groups gained currency in the 19th century, beginning with what repatriated novelist Gertrude Stein called “The Lost Generation,” those born after 1880 who experienced World War I and the Roaring Twenties. “The Greatest Generation” followed, and it included those born between 1900 and 1927, all of whom lived through the Great Depression, many of whom served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and who built businesses small and large resulting in unprecedented economic expansion that dominated all economies worldwide. That name was coined by Army Gen. James Van Fleet in 1953 but was popularized by Tom Brokaw’s 1998 bestselling book, The Greatest Generation.

Then rose the “Silent Generation,” born between 1928 and 1945 — about 23 million Americans who came of age in the post–World War II era. They were followed by the “Baby Boomers,” a massive group born from 1946 to 1964 during the post-war baby boom. Older Boomers came of age during the Vietnam War era, while younger Boomers reached adulthood post-Watergate during Jimmy Carter’s “great malaise.”

Generation X” includes those born between 1965 and 1980, followed by “Generation Y” (a.k.a. “Millennials”), those born from 1981 to 1996. For reference, by 2020, of a total population of 330 million Americans, there were about 71.6 million Boomers and 72.1 million Millennials. Finally, we have “Generation Z,” those born from 1997 to 2012, followed by “Generation Alpha, the latest cohort.”

But, there is a Gen Y and Gen Z subgroup that has become so dominant that it threatens to redefine the rest of their generations.

For the record, as for my cohort, I am classified as a “late Boomer,” but I reject the social generation assignment. I am, first and foremost, a card-carrying member of Gen L — the Liberty generation, which includes American Patriots of all generations — those who are devoted to the foundational principle that all people are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable Rights of Man.

My Liberty cohort is wholly antithetical to the emerging subgroup of Gen Y and Z now infesting America — and I have coined this cross generational group, “Gen N,” the Narcissist Generation. They are drawn from the youngest of the Gen Y Millennials (28 and 35), and the oldest of the Gen Z cohort (18 and 27).

Regarding the Gen N subgroup, I note that the popular social generation categories are generalized constructs fabricated to define groups only in the most general terms — and likewise the characteristics popularly attributed to Gen Y and Gen Z, whether positive or negative, are also generalizations.

No characteristics define a whole generation, but the “Generation Narcissist” subgroup of Gen Y and Gen Z are defined by some specific attributes.

In 2007, I penned an article, “Narcissistic Pathology on the Left,” about the emergence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) among leftist political icons — most notably, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and more recently, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Many would argue that Donald Trump suffers the same affliction, though historically, NPD is far more prevalent on the Left.

I defined NPD as follows: “Narcissism is characterized by a pathological need for praise, often rooted in broken family models, where there was a lack of appropriate affirmation leading to a sense of inadequacy and self-loathing. It manifests as an inflated sense of self-importance, an insatiable need for admiration, a strong sense of entitlement, a preoccupation with elitist utopian fantasies, and manipulative tendencies devoid of empathic capacity.”

In other words, it’s an extreme manifestation of the words commonly associated with another malady, “attention deficit disorder.”

Every generation has had its share of narcissists, but none as loud and socially depraved as some among the Gen Y and Gen Z cohorts.

There were red flags about rising numbers of Millennials manifesting NPD, the first being a 2010 book The Narcissism Epidemic. That was followed by a 2013 Time magazine generational profile, “The Me Me Me Generation,” and a much-too-kind 2019 New York Times article, “Attention Young People: This Narcissism Study Is All About You.”

A subset of Boomer and Gen X parents are largely responsible for the Millennial mess, and by extension, the Gen Z malcontents who are now rising. This cultural shift has serious real-world implications.

The youngest of the Gen Y Millennials are now between 28 and 35, and the oldest of the Gen Z cohort are between 18 and 27. Combined, they are the most educated generation in Western history, though you would not know that given some can’t figure out their pronouns while others identify as quadruped “furries.” (If you don’t know what “furries” are, don’t waste your time trying to find out.) Of course, a lot of their “higher education,” the financing of which they now insist you should pay for, is in degree program that have little economic applicability.

Emerging the combined Gen Y and Z 18-35-year olds is the Generation Narcissist subgroup.

How you can you distinguish the Gen N cadres from their more responsible and upstanding Gen Y and Gen Z peers?

Many come from distressed homes, which is often a causal factor in why they exhibit degraded family and faith values. They lack a grounded values set – their identities are transient and excessively emotive, which is why they embrace social and political identity groups. They often exhibit symptoms of arrested emotional development and are mired in adolescence regardless of their age. They promote themselves as special and self-entitled, are hyper sensitive and easily offended. Gen Ners think that everything must revolve around them, even to the extent that institutions and laws need to change to accommodate their social pathology.

This lost and disillusioned group seeks attention rather than respect, which is abundantly evident from a quick review of the unmitigated self-aggrandizement on their narcissist-promotion platforms Facebook/Instagram and TikTok.

Most in this subgroup lack an important attribute that was a staple of previous generations, courage. They are risk averse, believing they have an inherent right to be safe, comfortable and sheltered from reality. They are unable to take reasoned criticism of their choices, or challenges to their world views. They are historical revisionists and reject patriotism and devotion to something greater than their own self-interests. They embrace political correctness, suppression of free speech, cancel culture and woke inclusivity, promoting themselves as social justice warriors who espouse “progressive” (regressive) socialist/fascist political ideologies.

A factor among the youngest of these narcissists was the impact of the extreme COVID pandemic measures, forcing young people into isolation with the echo chambers of their social media screens. As one erudite educator observed: “A search for one topic establishes an algorithm that is fed by clicks…and more clicks…and group chats…affirming their viewpoint and their false sense of brilliance. The algorithm sends them deeper into their web of self-deception, with no dissenting voices. Without discernment or any accountability for interpreting content or think-through-the consequences-of-this-idea, they became emboldened. The only muscles they exercised involved finger tip clicks and swipes. All of this absolutely feeds the narcissistic beast.”

She added, “Both before and since the isolating shutdowns, the role of social media and chronic dependence these young people have on ‘all things internet’ tends to dissociate them from reality.”

Among them are the most disturbed narcissists, the gender confused, those who are so in love with themself that they only seek relationships with those of the same sex. This would include the so-called “transgender” individuals, men who invade women’s dressing rooms, pose as women competitors and even mutilate their bodies. These “science denier” assert they can actually transition to the opposite gender.

Predictably, those in this Generation Narcissists have more mental health issues that their Gen Y and Z peers, and when they have jobs, they are difficult as employees.

One indicator of how the trending Gen N subgroup focus on “me me me” manifests, is the precipitous decline in fertility rates, and the implications are dire. According to analysis in the Wall Street Journal: “The total fertility rate fell to 1.62 births per woman in 2023…the lowest rate recorded since the government began tracking it in the 1930s. The number of births last year was the lowest since 1979…” According to demographers: “A confluence of factors are at play. American women are having fewer children, later in life. Women are establishing fulfilling careers and have more access to contraception.”

Indeed, unplanned pregnancies have declined as contraception use has increased, also accounting for why the number of abortions have declined 40% over the last 30 years. And yes, responsible young people are concerned about their future economic prospects, their ability to afford a family, afford a home and educate their kids. This is particularly true in year four of post-pandemic America, when many young people are mired in Biden’s failed economy.

But what the demographers miss is implications of the broader cultural shift as it relates to families. Emmy Griffin reported last year, that support over all age groups for larger families was up, but the data on the lowest fertility rates in a century is a hard reality check on that support.

The elephant in the family room is, that raising children involves an enormous commitment of selfless dedication, and selflessness is antithetical to the Gen Narcissists. Arguably, families are bedrock foundation of Liberty, and the decline in those willing to commit to the sacrifices necessary to start and sustain families, is not a benign demographic footnote.

Beyond the that indicator is the growing malignancy of young narcissists, cadres of sociopaths who form a growing segment of what Harvard professor Arthur Brooks calls the “Dark Triad.” (I wrote about Brooks in a recent column, “The National ‘Happiness Deficit’.”)

The most visible, contemptible and dangerous of those narcissists emerged in force during the “summer of rage” ignited by Biden and his Demos just before the 2020 election. The most disruptive among them were the mostly white Black Lives Matter apologists and the antifa fascists.

Since then, other Gen Narcissist collectives have emerged in force, drawing attention to themselves by continuing to disrupt the lives of Americans across the nation. This would include recent protests to defund police and protests against so-called “climate change.”

In April of 2024, these disruptions took the form of insidious anti-Semitic protests to support Hamas terrorists, including such actions as shutting down the major thoroughfares, but the most significant disruptions have been in places with the largest concentrations of Gen Zers. That, of course, would be on college and university campuses, including at Obama’s alma mater, Columbia University, a.k.a. “The People’s University for Palestine,” where there have been hundreds of arrests.

Because of threats to Jewish students, Columbia President Minouche Shafik canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. Meanwhile, Barnard College President Laura Rosenbury has lifted suspensions of her students who participated in protests. Recall that in recent months, UPenn’s Liz Magill and Harvard’s Claudine Gay lost their jobs after appeasing the Jew haters on their campuses. Time to add Minouche Shafik and Laura Rosenbury to that list.

I suppose all the Ivy League protesters chanting “Death to America” would like America to pay their student loans first.

These protests form the templates that Gen Narcissist cadres will utilized to disrupt life in many locations this summer ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

For that reason, Biden, blurted a few words to appease the Gen N protestors, fearing that the campus disruptions are likely to devolve into another “summer of rage” that might engulf the August Democrat Party Convention in Chicago. Some Democrats have said out loud what others are whispering, that maybe they should cancel the Democrat Convention in order to avoid the 1968 optics of violent protestors battling police – recall that the worst of the J6 protest optics was Trump supporters in pitched battles with Capitol and District Police.

There are already significant Demo concerns about declining support among young voters, which accounts for Biden’s Hamas equivocation.

By the way, if you are wondering who is paying for all the Hamas campus festivities, the New York Post reports that funding is coming from some of Biden’s biggest backers of Biden and his “progressive causes”, including billionaire leftist George Soros and his Tides Foundation, David Rockefeller, Susan and Nick Pritzker, etc. And the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has determined that the so-called “Students for Justice in Palestine” cadres, now on 200 campuses, are funded primarily by the Islamist group American Muslims for Palestine.

To be clear, only a few of these campus Gen N narcissists are genuinely devoted to the “Palestinian Cause.” For most, Gaza is just their cause of the day, the latest “shiny thing” that these developmentally arrested adolescents have latched onto in order to draw attention to themselves. In pursuit of that attention, they have perfected their penchant to be “Useful Idiots,” Western apologists for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology. (May I suggest we get Israeli Defense Forces commandos to help with clearing some of these university encampments, and then give the squatters a one-way ticket to Gaza!)

And again, to be clear, because these narcissistic miscreants get a lot of media attention, the tendency is to assume their whole generation is cast in this mold, but these noxious Gen Narcissists are only a subgroup of Gen Y and Z, perhaps better described as a degeneration than a generation.

In fact, many young people have demonstrated the courage to stand for what is good and right on their campuses, even when it means standing alone. There are students who are rebuking the protestors, young people who are getting it right.

All said, in no generational cohort have there been so many pathological narcissists.

Ahead of the 2024 election this summer, as Trump Derangement Syndrome heats up, expect the Gen N cadres to find many ways to draw attention to themselves in addition to their strident anti-Semitism.

Up next — read the followup analysis, “Who Spawned the Current Generation of Narcissists?.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776


Follow Mark Alexander on X/Twitter.

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