Mark McMinn, in an article for Christianity Today (back in 2004) wrote:
Karl Barth, the 20th-century Swiss theologian, shows the absurdity of [pride]. Our pride demonstrates how much we want to be like God. Meanwhile, God—the eternal and majestic Creator, filled with all power, knowledge, and goodness—empties himself in the form of Jesus, even to the point of a violent and horrific death on trumped-up charges. Humans are puffed up in pride as God is emptied in humility. It is absurd.
But it is nonetheless real. While pride blinds us spiritually, our defense mechanisms—the psychological armor we use to protect ourselves from seeing the truth about ourselves—keep us in the dark, and for good reason. If we live in a world without grace, then our defense mechanisms are the only things keeping us from the precipice of despair.