Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Daddy Issues

Has FLG mentioned his theory that most, if not all, truly ambitious men are driven to succeed because of deep-seeded daddy issues? At first, FLG thought this was a case of everybody has a father, and therefore all people have issues with them. But many of the truly ambitious had dastardly or entirely absent fathers. FLG is talking about profound issues here. From Alexander to many of our recent presidents, many, FLG would say most, leaders were motivated to win the admiration of their father.


The Ancient said...

I'm choking on the admiration aspect of your theory. Some men -- maybe many more -- are driven to surpass their fathers, to do more, to win greater glory or accumulate greater wealth, etc.

It's the same theory, in a way, with a different mouse running the fly-wheel.

P.S. Off-topic: David Brooks isn't the only NYT columnist stealing from FLG:


FLG said...

Ah, but how does one win the admiration of a dastardly or absent father other than to surpass him?

Andrew Stevens said...

I don't think I buy it. I don't think it's nearly as universal as you seem to think. Warren Buffett cites his father as the major influence in his life and one of his personal heroes. Bill Gates still has a close relationship with his father.

I suppose it might be true for political ambition. There is Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Ronald Reagan (whose father was neither absent nor dastardly, but was an alcoholic). On the other hand, Jimmy Carter got along well with his father and this is true for many aspirants as well. We won't count the two Bushes since neither of them probably count as "truly ambitious" given that politics was just the family business for both of them.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Count me among those who think "win the ambition of" is not a category that encompasses the common motivation of "surpass, eclipse, prove to the world and oneself that one didn't need the absent sonofabitch anyways." It's still a father issue, but it's one to which the state of mind of the actual father is irrelevant.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.