A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.
[T]here is no part of society in which people don’t look towards some sort of magic to strengthen themselves against the vicissitudes of life. Middle class people are, for instance, often fanatically wedded to all kinds of belief in magic ranging from prosperity cults organised, oddly enough, in the name of a Palestinian carpenter who scorned wealth to various kinds of quackery, the fantasy that the possession of commodities can miraculously transform us at the level of our essential being and actual belief in concepts as entirely divorced from reality as the fiction that we inhabit an ongoing ‘national democratic revolution’, that there could be a ‘Zuma moment’ to match the ‘Lula moment’ or that ‘the free market’ could liberate us all. – Richard Pithouse at SACSISBACK TO TOP