Pathological Entitlement and the Supremacist Mindset

Photograph Source: Marco Verch - CC BY 2.0

In recent days, the CPAC conference has brought us a number of most unusual spectacles. It has brought us (1) the militantly tawdry respawning of Donald Trump, (2) the platform constructed using the serif odal rune shape of the SS, (3) the golden calf cult idol (and laughs for all eternity), and (4) the inclusion of a member of Happy Science, a Japanese ‘new religious movement’ whose leader claims to be the incarnation of a 330 million-year-old deity.

The spirit of this deity, it is said, has transmogrified through every other deity known to humankind, and wound up, thanks to some superhuman (and therefore totally not self-serving) coincidence, manifest in the flesh as the founder of CPAC Japan. As another coincidence of mind-melting proportions, this deity is also deeply fiscally conservative and politically reactionary of a bent that views compassion as a weakness. If I didn’t know better, I would think Happy Science (as this ‘new religious movement’ is known) were pulling the entire thing out of their asses, like an even nastier L. Ron Hubbard.

This latter fact, in particular, must inevitably raise a few questions—principally, whether or not the GOP remains a gaggle of thieves willing to sell each other’s grandmothers out at a moment’s notice to save their own skin politically, an end-of-times spectacle of an increasingly unstable oligarchy too drunk on its own material excess to save itself from its own decadence and corruption? Another question that springs to mind is whether it’s now in fact degenerated even further into something even more horrible again—a raging collective psychosis of pathological entitlement, collective narcissism, hypernationalist tribalism and jingoism, and death-cult supremacism.

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Ben Debney is a PhD candidate in history at Western Sydney University, Bankstown. He is the author of The Oldest Trick in the Book: Panic-Driven Scapegoating in History and Recurring Patterns of Persecution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).    

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