I am not sure they have quite taken over the world but there are many who seek power and control that's for sure. This has been the position for hundreds of years. The church controlled society and the state to the detriment of many. All for their own personal feed and greed with no conscience -- at the expense of the quality of life and sometimes life and mental health of the ordinary person. Is it possible that the state in many ways took their leadership style from the church and became narcissistic in approach too, leading to the normalising of the control and silencing of vulnerable voices? This history is still being revealed to this day in many TV, programmes I.e. the sex abuse cover up by the church and the abuse revelations in the mother and baby homes etc. However sadly it continues i.e.the holding back of the cervical smear results from so many women whose lives could have been saved. These institutions perhaps unconsciously have normalised narcissism and coersive control. But the ordinary person is speaking up more. We owe so much to people like whistle blowers who have the courage to not be silenced when they see wrong doings continuing. However if the system was operating fairly, perhaps they would not have had to become whistle blowers in the first place. Our parents were programmed to fear church and state and in turn authority in general i.e. teachers in schools, bosses in work etc. or what ever form it took. We have inherited this conditioning leaving many of us unconsciously fearful and codependent often aparent from our first day at school.
We may have been raised in codependent family environments where our parents were fearful of doing the wrong thing which may have made us anxious. Narcissists can spot this vulnerability and they feed on it. This history has lead to many from our past generations being compliant and fearful around authority which has impacted on family system formation which in turn has lead to our tolerance of narcissism.
Codependent family systems are just as dysfunctional as narcissistic family systems. As in both the child's needs are not centre stage. Because of the fear of the parents in the codependent family system, the parents are seeking external approval so the outside world's needs are met first. They will then be safe and not be rejected, and no trouble will come to their door.
What partner, friends, or boss might children from these systems choose? Might they be anxious too? Might they be vulnerable to being controlled too? Might they seek external approval too? Or might they go completely opposite in behaviour to their parents out of anger at their needs not being met and develop narcissistic traits?
In the narcissistic family the needs are also centered around the parents. Yet again the child's needs are not met. Again the same questions might be asked about the outcome for the children of this family system. In the narcissistic family system one parent is narcissistic and perhaps the other colluding or in some cases both are narcissistic.
In a healthy family system the needs are centered around the child. A common pattern between the family systems discussed appears to be that of competition to look good to the external environment. To be well we must free ourselves from the competitive systems that our unwell institutions (i.e. educational, organisational etc ) have set up all for their own gain and which we fall into.
They create narcissistic competition rather than loving cooperation, where we have schools, students, work colleagues all competing against each other for points instead of working together. What does this teach the next generation? Perhaps this has also caused the growth of the narcissism you refer to in your question.
Such a system must impact on the person already struggling with dysfunctional family system experiences. It might make them feed into this unhealthy competitive system to prove themselves externally at all costs, thus perpetuating the narcissistic cycle.
For those who develop controlling and coersive tendencies our unhealthy institutions and organisations are great environments for them to thrive and grow in their narcissism. We can free ourselves of the narcissist’s coercive control if we work on strengthening our inner selves, by working on our codependency/our need for external approval. They cannot control us if we do not play their games. Narcissism and codependency are two sides of the same coin. Like honey and the bee. We must not provide the honey.
We must take back our power not by expecting the narcissist to change because they never will but by changing ourselves. By always speaking our truth and being true to our spirit, letting go of their response and walking away (with a safety plan in place) if our mental health is in danger or if we are in physical danger. You must get help from a professional who understands these dynamics if you struggle with this.
By taking our power back we can be a role model for our children and their children. We all can move forward from narcissistic slavery by not accepting coercive control, and narcissistic or physical abuse from anyone in any area of our life.