How To Waste Time

FF

Having nothing better to do Francis is reinventing himself

Fukuyama’s career as a public intellectual began with an essay that promised to distinguish between “what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history”. His own career, as he makes clear to me, was almost entirely a series of accidents. He took up ancient Greek under the influence of his charismatic freshman year teacher Allan Bloom,

AB

— a creepy gay fascist sleazoid
much admired by Sal Bellow

who inculcated him into the ideas of the emigre German philosopher Leo Strauss,

LS

–an evil “intellectual” greatly admired by others of his kind to this very day.

and to a network of aspiring young intellectuals that included men who would figure prominently in his later career,Paul Wolfowitz

–chief architect of our criminal attack on Iraq.

and I.Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

SL

–former adviser to Darth Cheney. Libby was disbarred after being convicted of a felony in the Valerie Plame affair. Plame, a top secret agent was “outed” as such thanks to her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, taking issue with Cheney-Bush “Foreign Policy” cha cha-cha. (Back to Francis)

There was a detour into the modish French philosophers of the day, as part of which he made a pilgrimage to Paris (where he also wrote a novel) to study with Jacques Derrida,

JD

Jacques Lacan

JL

and Roland Barthes

RB

But he soon concluded, while enduring an interminable session in which Barthes would riff, pun and free associate over random sequences of words pulled from the dictionary, that “this was total bullshit, and why was I wasting my time doing it?”

Really Francis? Maybe it was because Barthes wasn’t interested in slaughtering great numbers of people like your new pals.

Wiki sez —

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born October 27, 1952) is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. Fukuyama is known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government. However, his subsequent book Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity (1995) modified his earlier position to acknowledge that culture cannot be cleanly separated from economics. Fukuyama is also associated with the rise of the neoconservative movement, from which he has since distanced himself.
Fukuyama has been a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University since July 2010. Before that, he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University.
He’s one of council member of the International Forum for Democratic Studies founded by the National Endowment for Democracy and was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation.

The Death Star itself.

Fukuyama is a part-time photographer. He also has a keen interest in early-American furniture, which he reproduces by hand. He is keenly interested in sound recording and reproduction, saying, “These days I seem to spend as much time thinking about gear as I do analyzing politics for my day job.”
Fukuyama is married to Laura Holmgren, whom he met when she was a UCLA graduate student after he started working for the RAND Corporation He dedicated his book Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity to her. They live in California, with their three children, Julia, David, and John away in school.

“Conservative Family Values” in action.

“The End of History?” began as something of a recondite joke. Fukuyama was at the time a mid-level figure in the Reagan State Department witnessing the rapid unravelling of the Soviet mystique. “I remember there was a moment when Gorbachev said that the essence of communism was competition, and that’s when I picked up the phone, called my friend and said, ‘If he’s saying that, then it’s the end of history.’” Fukuyama is careful to point out that the coinage was not of his own making, but instead that of a Russian émigré professor named Alexander Kojève whose seminars on Hegel influenced postwar French existentialism.

And Michel Foucault.

But the triumphal eulogist of America at its world historical apogee never fell victim to the crude simplification of his own argument to which his neoconservative friends fell prey – and which his own rhetoric had done so much to invite. As he would later write in a 2006 book repudiating the neoconservativism of his youth, the misreading of the events of the 1989 led directly to the calamities of the early 21st century that, in his view, have forever discredited the neocon approach to the world. “There was a fundamental misreading of that event and an ensuing belief that if America just did what Reagan had done, and stood firm, and boosted military spending, and used American hard power to stand up to the bad people of the world, we could expect the same moral collapse of our enemies in all instances.” Fukuyama continues to credit Bloom and Strauss with broadening his intellectual horizons, but the adventure the adherents of those neocon thinkers embarked on, culminating in armed intervention in Baghdad, was, Fukuyama says, a bloody fiasco. “I don’t know how they can live with the consequences of their actions.”


Oh they live quite well, Francis. And so do you. As for where we go from here, Jean-Luc Godard asked that very same question back in 1966.
Take it away Anna . . .and Ludwig.

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