Let’s define our terms. By “leftism” I mean the operationalizing – in political or ideological programs – of superbia, the outsized human pride that drives man to worship himself instead of God. While the term “leftism” as applied to politics has been around only since the 18th century (see Hertz and others), the orientation has been described in mythological terms since the beginning of time. Think, Adam and the Serpent in Genesis 3 and the story of Prometheus as told by Aeschylus. Call it the “Promethean Impulse” or self-divinization, which is theological and fundamental and lies too deep for mere science.
So, here’s the rub: if you’re Promethean and a self-proclaimed deity, you’re a narcissist by definition.
Freud first named the disorder in his 1914 paper and identified the cosmic grandiosity that’s characteristic of the narcissistic person. The various DSMs over the years have continued the description. In The Rebel, Camus discussed ‘metaphysical rebellion’ and various leftists, including Trotsky, have proclaimed their ability – apart from God – to transform the world, spiritually and physically.
So, back to the question: is Leftism inherently narcissistic? Well, if you’re a self-styled god, engaged in metaphysical rebellion and believe that you can by an act of will transform reality itself, then I’d say you’ve won the narcissist merit-badge.