The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Consequences for Education, Science and PoliticsOrekhovsky Petr, Razumov Vladimir
Scientists and teachers have been discussing the peculiarities of dissemination of postmodernism in different areas of society, usually ignoring universities and scientific organizations. During the dominance period of the rationally-oriented intellectual culture, the communication methods among specialists have been developed, assisting to describe any phenomena. Postmodernism, factually revolutionizing communication and discourses, radically changes the communities producing them. Without understanding the essence of these changes, it becomes almost impossible to comprehend what, how and why they are engaged in universities and scientific organizations, and what is happening in economy and in politics? The mentioned transformations have been identified in the article as a phenomenon of the onset of narcissistic culture. Accepting the concept of high culture and a multitude of local cultures, it is reasonable to note the increasing processes of the cultural patterns, which transfer between different areas of private and public life, which more and more complicate being of an individual in culture, when, in particular, the expansion of human freedom is accompanied by enhancing the control over him. Imagine a carnival unfolding in a space arranged like a rhizome (fractal). In this way, from the deconstruction of concepts we move on to the deconstruction of slogans, which, presumably, served as a source for a new type of public perturbation from the end of the 80s of the 20th century till the present time. In modern universities, research institutes, entrepreneurship, politics along with liberal values a large-scale dissemination of narcissistic culture took place. The slogan Science Must Serve the People is being deconstructed. Thus, narcissistic culture unfolds beyond the boundaries of this slogan. At the same time, the carriers of narcissistic culture belonging to different generations, educational and academic statuses become not only carriers of new patterns of behavior, but pose themselves in a very special way in society. Individualization beats the standards, including professional ones. Recognizing that culture is an external factor to subjects, mainly predetermining collective memory, as well as collective thinking and imagination (expectations), and the transition from mass to narcissistic culture changes the social roles and transforms the society. Even in elite universities professionalism is squeezed out in order to achieve the needs for convenience and comfort. The loss of the importance of professionalism in the environment causes a response - self-isolation (absenteeism) of specialists. In the field of entrepreneurship, replacing mass culture with a narcissistic one required new artistic models, a change in behavior style, and legitimization of hedonism and egocentrism. Perhaps this is the reason for the decline in the world economic growth rates. Under the prevailing conditions a healthy lifestyle becomes a necessary setting for meeting certain social and political indicators. There has been a dramatic cultural shift in electoral democracy. It is no longer important to ‘enrapture the hearts and souls’, but to be in admiration of yourself and your close environment. Absenteeism is an immanent feature of narcissistic culture, leading the individual to alienation from the political life of the society. Narcissistic culture has always existed, but postmodernism served as a unique medium for its dissemination. Despite numerous criticisms of narcissistic culture, it brings a high diversity to all areas where it penetrates, and this diversity can act as a trigger mechanism to the beginning of a new round for the development of mankind. Narcissistic culture in the 20th century is an external factor changing the flow of all social processes, including economic, political, and social ones. A project ignoring the peculiarities of cultural narcissism discussed above is doomed to failure.