Dr. Pies on the Dearth of Civility

On December 3, 2015, Ronald Pies, MD, published Campus Protests, Narcissism, and the Dearth of Civility on Psychiatric Times.

The article is subtitled:  What can we do, as a society, to reduce the levels of incivility and narcissism that appear to be on the rise?

Here are some quotes:

“…I believe we are witnessing the gradual but steady erosion of civility in American culture.”

“As a psychiatrist, however, I am also interested in the psychological development of the child, and why some children seem to develop along a trajectory that leads to intense narcissism—the fertile soil, in my view, upon which incivility thrives. Indeed, there is good evidence that narcissism has been increasing among our young people in recent decades—a factor that cannot be overlooked as we view incivility on the college campus. Leaving aside various technical and psychoanalytic definitions of the term, we can think of narcissism, broadly, as the attitude that proclaims, ‘I should be able to do whatever the hell I please, and if other people don’t like it, that’s just too bad!'”

“In this regard, I believe our schools must play a more prominent role in the inculcation of communal and interpersonal values.”

“But in order to change the trajectory of our young people’s character development, we will need a concerted effort in which parents and teachers collaborate—a tall order for many schools struggling simply to maintain safety and order. Still, we need to start somewhere, if we are to create a culture in which mutual respect and civility are widely and deeply held values.”


But Dr. Pies makes no mention of the obvious fact that the past fifty years of increasing psychiatric “diagnosis” has been a major contributor to the increase in incivility which he laments.

In the fifties, and even into the tumultuous sixties, incivility in the school, home, workplace, or street, was regarded, quite simply as unacceptable behavior, and was addressed, with reasonable success, through various formal and informal sanctions, corrections, reprimands, etc…

But then psychiatry began its relentless drive to medicalize every conceivable human problem.  Expressions of rudeness, and inconsideration were gradually transformed, by psychiatric edict, into symptoms of illnesses, for which the perpetrators needed – not discipline and correction – but “medication”.

Here’s a short list of actions that used to be considered expressions of rudeness, incivility, and lack of consideration, that have, without the slightest evidence, been transformed into “symptoms of illness”.

incivility chart for Dr. Pies post

In former times, parents, teachers, and other significant adults routinely took steps to correct these sorts of behaviors as and when they occurred.  Today, thanks to psychiatry, these kinds of informal, but effective, measures have been stayed by psychiatry’s spurious and destructive message:  these children are ill; they need treatment.

In fact, psychiatry’s spurious medicalization of misbehavior has actually created a situation where teachers endeavoring to take appropriate action in matters of this kind could find themselves open to accusations of disability discrimination.

And to make matters worse, schools are effectively disincentivized to take appropriate action by the fact that they can receive additional funding for many of these “sick” children on their rolls.

And, in deference to their so-called illnesses, these children are given special concessions in examinations and other tests, a practice which effectively penalizes those children who, through personal effort and appropriate parental training, have overcome the limitations of infancy, and have progressively mastered age-appropriate behavioral expectations.


Dr. Pies expresses the belief that narcissism is the root of incivility.  He describes narcissism as “the fertile soil…upon which incivility thrives”.  Narcissism, incidentally, is also a “mental illness” (narcissistic personality disorder), provided certain arbitrary and vaguely defined measures of severity are met.  In the present article, Dr. Pies defines narcissism as:

“…the attitude that proclaims, ‘I should be able to do whatever the hell I please, and if other people don’t like it, that’s just too bad!'”

But to assert that this is the root cause of incivility is precisely the same kind of circular reasoning that characterizes all psychiatric explanations.

Question:         Why is my child so rude and inconsiderate?
Psychiatrist:     Because he is narcissistic.
Question:         How do you know he’s narcissistic?
Psychiatrist:     Because he’s so rude and inconsiderate!

Psychiatric labels (including narcissism) have no explanatory value.  They are merely labels created by psychiatrists to legitimize their drug-pushing activity.

The reason that some children are routinely rude and incivil is because they haven’t been effectively trained to be otherwise.  And the proliferation of psychiatry’s pseudo-diagnoses and ineffective “treatments” has served to discourage this kind of training for the past fifty years.

This is just one more area where psychiatry is destroying the very fabric of our culture, and replacing it with a culture of drug-induced powerlessness, dependency, and unaccountability.

  • bulbous1

    Gangs are the worse, mobs of fallen chimpanzees who congregate themselves into a group, whereupon they miraculously sprout a pair of balls.

    There’s a kind of culture of bad attitude and bravado abroad in such circles and they all speak, with the pathetic ovine pride that the lower forms of human life take in being normal, in this barbarous vernacular, the vernacular of the gutter. As for their gait, they don’t so much as walk as dance, and dance badly, dragging their knuckles behind them, their postures bowed under the weight of their huge jaws swinging in pendular movements between their stupid knees.

    Fanatic of the apocalypse that I am, I lull myself to sleep every night with the sweet vision of a flood of biblical proportions, washing all the degenerate simian hordes back down the sewer, where they belong

    Some romanticize these kind of people, easy to do when situated at a certain remove from their presence.

    That mother nature – that whore who takes all comers between her legs and allows the most scandalous specimens of humanity to proliferate out of all proportion to what is decent – gives life to such a gallery of grotesques, such a troop of obscene baboons, should be enough to make anti-natalists out of all of us. If there was such a thing as a benign providence, it would nip the little buggers in the bud, smother them in the womb, before they could scandalize the world with their presence. Enough to live amongst them for the desire to take root to seek out the community of some other gang of apes, to throw in one’s lot with some band of prelapsarian chimpanzees, bypassed by the fall into humanity.

    Yet as with all people who think themselves entitled to terrorize others, what a wave of indignation they ride when you fight back! How dare you object to my being vile to you! What’s your problem? Are you mad?

    So, for example, you tell these gangs of mindless thugs to hurry up before the zoo closes, to sod off back to their caves, or inquire as to whether they are on their way to audition for Planet of the Apes or something, and they take umbrage, as if they hadn’t just provoked you.

    The same goes with queue-jumpers, people who hurl abuse at you from their car windows, people who point and laugh etc.; you confront them and if they don’t just continue being vile, they act offended.

  • all too easy

    You are killing me Clyde!

  • all too easy

    these kinds of people

  • doppelganger

    this sort of person

  • all too easy

    claudius the doofus is growing a pair. i knew he could do it. how do they feel sweet-pea? not bad huh? ata girl. little macho anger never hurt nobody. soon, you may be able to contribute in the real world w/o dissolving is into a bowl of butter.

  • doppelganger

    Get a life, bernadette. ata girl. Jerk.

  • Cledwyn rat-rouser bulbs

    Dr Pies talks about the erosion of civility, as if civility was ever normal. Nah, I’m not buying that. The finer qualities are always like so many pearls scattered in an ocean of shit, contrary to what we are taught to believe by obscurantists and propagandists of a populist orientation, and whilst vileness is not the exclusive property of the masses, they nevertheless possess a preponderant share therein, and always have done. The truly uncivilized are always in the majority, who operate according to a principle the opposite of the golden rule; to wit, do unto others as you would not have them do to you, a rule which holds good both for the petty incivilities and enormities of men.

    As a general rule, people expect you to respect them roughly in proportion as they don’t respect you, much as people like to put on a pretense of offended virtue and humility whenever there is a perceived invasion of their prerogatives.

    At best, by setting beside the motive to be vile a stronger one to desist therefrom, one can rein in those vilenesses susceptible of control and force men to respect each other, such as can be achieved through the imposition of legal and moral sanctions, but try as we might to root out vileness, it is eminently adaptable.

    For example, you cannot possibly legislate for the uses to which men put their eyes, fastening them on you – in what is effectively a form of extrajudicial punishment for the crime of being different – like the fangs of a pack of vampires, sucking with their sinister stares the very lifeblood out of you, lynching you with their eyes, as they try to lynch you with their laughter, and lynch you with language.

    The misfit must always “beware of them that stare” (Nick Drake), these swine, who have nothing better do with their time, than entertain themselves at somebody else’s expense.

    One of the primary sources of incivility is the chief symptom of the mental murrain afflicting the herd in every age; their intolerance, their hatred of innovation, originality and irregularity. Everyone must walk like them, talk like them, think like them, dress like them, cut your hair like them, deviation from which is prohibited under pain of the most merciless ridicule and bullying and under pain of psychiatric sanctions. If the individual cannot be pressed into the Procrustean straitjacket into which society tries to force all its members, then he nevertheless, by virtue of his otherness, forfeits any claims to the sympathy of the mob, whose stupid brutality and malicious stupidity is never so apparent as when some “weirdo” is in its midst.

    “Most people can’t understand how others can blow their noses differently than they do.”


  • your old gym teacher

    how do yours feel sweet-pea? not bad huh?

  • all too easy

    “But Dr. Pies makes no mention of the obvious fact that the past fifty years of increasing psychiatric “diagnosis” has been a major contributor to the increase in incivility which he laments.” Brother Phil

    Have you thought much about what the Nazis perpetrated on the Jews from the 1930s to mid-1945? They were a tad more than just uncivil, wouldn’t you say?

    Bro, try this. Consider the ethyl alcohol you consume , how much and how often, which kills brain cells. You know how? It starves neurons of oxygen.

    “Lack of oxygen supply to the brain can kill tens of thousands of brain cells every time a person becomes intoxicated.”
    “One effect of drinking alcohol is “blood-sludging” where the red blood cells clump together causing the small blood vessels to plug up, starve the tissues of oxygen, and cause cell death. This cell death is most serious, and often unrecognized, in the brain.”

    Biological Impacts Of Alcohol Use:
    An Overview
    By: Michaele P. Dunlap, Psy.D, Clinical Psychologist

    My Lagan Love

  • Rob Bishop

    Don’t blame anyone for their drunken state! Alcoholism is a disease. A genetic defect and neuro-chemical disorder that causes a person to involuntarily guzzle booze repeatedly, to the point of stupidity.

  • doppelganger

    German psychiatrists were exterminating German mental patients (along with other “useless eaters”) as part of Aktion T-4 years before the Nazis started killing Jews in the death camps.
    Psychiatry – always on the forefront of incivility and dehumanizing humans!

  • all too easy

    Psychiatry is the Great Satan. It will draw us in to Armageddon. There is no evil on earth that didn’t emerge from the thoughts and plans of psychiatrists. Every pstrist is pure evil, determined to destroy all people. Soon.

  • all too easy

    Are you prepared for the end? Hurry. Life is ending any moment. Xtrsts decided to destroy everything. We know they intend to annihilate humanity so they can do drugs and have all the wealth. Say goodbye to your loved ones.

    Here it comes. All the evil in the universe is focused on ending it all as Xtrsts warned us. Take their pills or else. Paladapus told us. She will finally be put out of her misery. The only thing she ever really wanted. Bye Palady. Enjoy your ultimate wish to be no more! Bye L. Ron.

  • Cledwyn’s Pus Poetry

    Some of the worst culprits in this regards are babies.

    The unconscionable, incessant bawling of brats is bad enough even for the most uncultured and ineducable example of the species, homo boobiens, but for any man whose taste has developed to the point at which appreciation of a late string quartet by Schubert becomes possible, it constitutes actual physical torture and an incitement to violence.

    We should slap ASBOs on the anti-social scum.

  • all too easy

    Clydehopper the Paladapus has a point. Nero didn’t use Christians as candles to light up the night sky in 64 AD. Everyone was very civil before psychiatrists ruined everything. She’s a genius.

  • Cledwyn In Search of Lost Pus

    Some people really are scandalously vile. The uncivilized majority are too cowardly to commit actual crimes, but they are always trying their luck within the limits of the law, jumping queues, staring at people, pointing at people, braying like donkeys, hogging the pavement, trying to run you over at zebra crossings, bumping each other out of the way in the supermarkets to get at the price reduced products, like pigs jostling each other to get their snouts in the trough.

    No wonder people withdraw from society altogether. What a degrading, sick-making spectacle the society of our fellows afford! What a gallery of grotesques! I’d gladly leave them to their pigs wallowings, but you can’t escape them, and their incessant provocations and incitements to violence.

    If popular culture is anything to go by, people are getting worse, not better. You’ve now got games in which you can go around killing innocent people, games into which people can pour all their vileness. What next? A game in which you can go around raping kiddies perhaps, or molesting corpses?

    And look at the shite people are listening to! Some tosser called DJ Ass-Master, or MC Bitchslap.

    It’s bad attitude everywhere.