Fame and Friends (5-10-22)
Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships: "we tend to underestimate the significance of psychological wellbeing as the bedrock on which our success in life is founded. If our sense of wellbeing is significantly diminished for any length of time, we are likely to slide into depression, and that leads to a downward spiral into ill health. If our mood is positive and everything is upbeat, we are not only more willing to engage with others socially but we approach everything we do with optimism and enthusiasm. We’ll work harder to get even the most boring tasks done. It isn’t hard to see how happiness, a sense of positivity and a ‘can do’ attitude can spread rapidly through a population…" https://lukeford.net/blog/?p=143111
Fame, he said, also made him “less reliant on the good opinion of a circle of friends.” In 2004, he broke with his fellow neoconservatives over what he saw as their delusionally sunny assessment of the Iraq war.
In an article in The National Interest, he blasted people like the columnist Charles Krauthammer for promoting a reckless nation-building project untethered to reality, and betraying neoconservatism’s traditional wariness of grand social experiments.
Today, Fukuyama called the resulting schism “difficult” but liberating. “I could think on my own,” he said. He said he hasn’t spoken since to Wolfowitz (at the time, the deputy secretary of defense), though Fukuyama — a strong critic of Donald Trump — recently patched it up with another old neoconservative friend, William Kristol, following Kristol’s Never Trump turn.
Jacob Heilbrunn, the author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” and current editor of The National Interest, said Fukuyama had a more reality-based perspective than his ex-friends.
“Intellectuals have a predilection for extremism,” Heilbrun said. “He came out of an extreme movement, but I think he managed to keep his bearings.”
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