Self-esteem is one of the worst of modern vices, and inculcating it in children by, for example, teaching them to love themselves regardless of their own behavior, should be grounds for execution, says Dalrymple (half-jokingly?) at Taki’s Magazine. It’s not difficult to demonstrate the uselessness of such an idea:
Criminals, especially the vicious rather than the merely pathetic ones, have very high self-esteem. They are generally proud of how awful they have been and positively swagger with satisfaction at their own competence in the matter of causing misery to others. They too have “core beliefs” about themselves, all of them highly flattering. They even think they are lovable as well as admirable.