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The narcissistic leader prefers sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In aftermath of his regime - narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.
It is important to understand that use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with self-image of narcissist. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform with narcissistic narrative.
Thus, a narcissist who regards himself as benefactor of poor, a member of common folk, representative of disenfranchised, champion of dispossessed against corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first.
The pacific mask crumbles when narcissist has become convinced that very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain fiction underlying his chaotic personality, narcissist strives to explain away sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, military, elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc.
When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail - narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred.
This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To narcissist, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. A narcissistic leader is likely to justify butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo revolution, devastate economy, or country, etc.
The "small people", "rank and file", "loyal soldiers" of narcissist - his flock, his nation, his employees - they pay price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from ashes, of overcoming trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf erstwhile followers of narcissist. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.