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Thread: Henry Kissinger

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    Default Henry Kissinger

    Rick asked me here for my thoughts on Henry Kissinger.





    I have read a lot of stuff on the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Ford period, but not all of it is online, nor can I put into a few sentences all the thoughts I had that led me to think of his likely type, but I will give an overview.

    My own conclusion is that Kissinger is ENTp.

    First, Kissinger started out as an academic, with brilliant grades, and he was always careful to maintain his credibility in that area, publishing books and articles.

    He enjoys being a celebrity, being in the spotlight, privileges, dating actressses (when he's not married), etc.

    Rick thought he might be ESFp. However, his (very thick) books of memoirs are also very analytical; he does not avoid giving his own opinions and analysis, and that has been the case with his articles generally, so I don't think he's uncomfortable with (I'm not saying that ENFps or ESFps can't be analytical, but he chooses that as being "himself").

    I have read memoirs of people who had close dealings with him, and part of his being a diplomat is that he chose to use when talking with others, in the sense "I am sorry that history has put your country in that position, I am personally very grieved and I wish it could be otherwise" etc etc.

    In the Nixon administration, he would often express dismay at leaks to the press - and then leak to his own preferred journalists, as Nixon's own close assistants discovered.

    To me this suggests over , and a quote on an Booknotes interview of Walter Isaacson, author of a biograpy of Kissinger, is particularly revealing:

    LAMB: How irritated is he about this book?

    ISAACSON: Well, he's upset about the portrayal of his personality, the fact that his methods were secretive, that he had a reputation for being duplicitous as a Secretary of State. And these all come from the tales in the book. I think that he's very upset about that.
    PoLR hit? It does look like it.

    Also, there is agreement that Nixon was Gamma (I say ENTj; Rick and the Russians say ISFj; but never mind) and I also type Nixon's inner circle as Beta - - Haldeman (ISTj), Ehrlichman (ENFj) and Al Haig (ESTp). That Nixon chose to surround himself with Beta people is interesting; but the point is, Kissinger was never in the inner circle, he was often mocked by the others.

    Nixon and Kissinger basically used each other, respecting each other's abilities but not really in a relationship.

    From the same interview:

    And you could tell this ambivalence he felt towards Kissinger. I mean, [Nixon] is a man who admires Kissinger's mind enormously but is very wary of Kissinger's personality and very jealous of the acclaim Henry Kissinger got for things that Nixon feels was -- you know, the credit should go to Nixon. And so he would -- all of Nixon's sentences about Kissinger would have spin on them, if you know what I mean. He would say, "Well, I'm not one to say that Henry Kissinger is paranoid, and some people do, of course, say he's paranoid" -- that's Nixon talking -- "but" -- and then he would go on to tell some tale about Kissinger doing something or Kissinger losing his temper. But he was always admiring of Kissinger's mind.
    This is also interesting:

    he was a devious with his peers, obsequious to his superiors, and domineering towards his subordinates. And that's the aspect of Kissinger's personality I found very unattractive.

    He was always playing people off against each other, degenerating people, talking about people behind their backs. He wasn't necessarily outright duplicitous, saying one thing to one side and one thing to the other side -- another thing to the other side, but he came close. He would allow one side to believe the doves or the liberals -- that he agreed with them, and then he'd go talk to conservatives and hawks. He'd let them feel that he agreed with that side, so he got a reputation for being duplicitous.
    Here he sounds more like ESTp.

    But, you know, you look at what James Schlesinger says about Kissinger in the book. I mean, he says that -- I think one of his quotes was, "Most people when they lie look to shame, but when Henry Kissinger lies, he does it as a matter of his own nature, because it's like an Arabesque to him." Or Helmut Sonnenfeldt, who worked for Kissinger, who said, you know, "Kissinger doesn't lie because it's in his interest. He lies because it's in his nature."
    ISAACSON: I was very eager to try to explain certain things and, you know, you get into -- and it is like Kissinger. I mean, Kissinger is a man who, when you ask him about things, he's convinced that you're not going to understand them and that he's got to get you to understand what he did in Cambodia, what he did in the Middle East, why he had to cut the State Department out of certain things. And he has sort of that eager quality to make you understand, and I guess like any biographer, you can see some of yourself in the person you're writing about.
    I think the above points toward EXTp, but more like ENTp due to his academic inclinations - -

    Moreover, when seeing him talk, I doubt many would see him as dominant.

    Apart from him being the odd man out in the Beta inner circle of the Nixon administration.

    Finally, by all accounts, he did develop a close relationship with Gerald Ford. So Ford's type would provide a clue, and I think that ESFj does fit Ford.

    My case for Kissinger as ENTp rests for the moment.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Good analysis. I lean towards ILE after reading that, too. Especially his "eagerness to get others to understand why he did things." That is very , if we are understanding the context right.

    Also, his relationship with Nixon is telling, if what we read here is consistent with other sources. If Nixon is LIE, we would expect a general lack of interest in each other or a failure to recognize the other's achievements. If he is ESI, we would expect to find mutual distrust and avoidance.

    The fact that Nixon vastly admired Kissinger for his mind definitely speaks in favor of ILE, who are mental people by nature (though this does not necessarily mean they are "smart"). We are almost always most admired and remembered by others for our greatest strengths.

    This statement here -- "all of Nixon's sentences about Kissinger would have spin on them, if you know what I mean." -- might be saying that Nixon couldn't talk about Kissinger without betraying his subjective attitude towards him. I know that isn't at all conclusive, but I see that all the time in ESIs.

    As an ILE, however, some of this connivingness and political maneuvering need some explanation. For example,

    "he was a devious with his peers, obsequious to his superiors, and domineering towards his subordinates. And that's the aspect of Kissinger's personality I found very unattractive."

    I'm not sure what this all means. These are traits of someone who is very ambitious and eager to rise up the hierarchy. I don't know too much about ILEs in politics (except for one of the recent U.S. ambassadors to Ukraine), so I can't tell if this is typical.

    In regards to Kissinger's lying, we need to know what kind of lying they are talking about. There are different kinds of lying or hiding information, and they are typical of different types.

    More pictures would be nice as well, especially from his younger and middle-aged years.

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    By the way, one other type we might look at is ESE. ESEs can be surprisingly academic and erudite, and their inconsistent logic often gets them into trouble for changing their tune or simply lying.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Kissinger was somewhat of a womanizer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick
    Also, his relationship with Nixon is telling, if what we read here is consistent with other sources. If Nixon is LIE, we would expect a general lack of interest in each other or a failure to recognize the other's achievements. If he is ESI, we would expect to find mutual distrust and avoidance.
    In their writings, they pay lip service to each other's achievements, but it is clear to me that Nixon thought that Kissinger was just implementing policy decisions made by Nixon, and Kissinger thought that Nixon couldn't have done it without him. Also, when Kissinger wanted to get Nixon to do something, he often said "you'll be seen as a weakling if we don't do this".

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick
    This statement here -- "all of Nixon's sentences about Kissinger would have spin on them, if you know what I mean." -- might be saying that Nixon couldn't talk about Kissinger without betraying his subjective attitude towards him. I know that isn't at all conclusive, but I see that all the time in ESIs.
    No, what he referred to, as in "I would never say that he was paranoid, but there are people who say that" etc was a common Nixon trick to say something negative about someone without actually "saying" it. It seems to me a politician's reflex.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    What's the deal with his wife being a head taller:

    Well I am back. How's everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.

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    bigger trophies are better!
    asd

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    hahahaha yes bigger trophies are better.

    BTW entp's supervise, benefit, beta, so we are quite comfortable with betas. The other 2 relations are illusionary and lookalike so it's not a bad combo. An entp would be seen as having a useful and benevolent outside perspective.
    Entp
    ILE

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    Bewilderment.

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    she looks ISTj imo
    SEE-Se, 852 sx/so

    Check out my Socionics group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1546362349012193/

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    I personally think that ENTj is the only type which can unite both the restelss drive for personal power through cunning manipulation (at its worst, of course) and the interest and proficiency in intellectual matters. I don't see any incoherence with most of his relationships: If Nixon was ISFj, then there would be both the appreciation of mental qualities of the dual along with the attempts at correcting unethicalities. As for Beta gangs: I do not know if the phenomenon is common, but Betas seem to always find me dangerous, especially the ST mirror pair, especially when coupled.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG
    I personally think that ENTj is the only type which can unite both the restelss drive for personal power through cunning manipulation (at its worst, of course) and the interest and proficiency in intellectual matters.
    I don't think Kissinger's career is really evidence of "restless drive for personal power through cunning manipulation". This applies much better to Nixon, if you look at his whole career, which is why I get frustrated with that common ISFj typing.

    Kissinger was essentially an intellectual and academic who caught the attention of a major Republican, Nelson Rockefeller, to help him on foreign policy; from there he was co-opted by Nixon.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG
    I don't see any incoherence with most of his relationships: If Nixon was ISFj, then there would be both the appreciation of mental qualities of the dual along with the attempts at correcting unethicalities. As for Beta gangs: I do not know if the phenomenon is common, but Betas seem to always find me dangerous, especially the ST mirror pair, especially when coupled.
    Nixon did not attempt to correct Kissinger's unethicaliaties - - regarding the IMO Beta gang around Nixon, actually Blaze made a good point and it is perhaps more useful that the isolation of Kissinger from the inner circle was driven more by Nixon himself than Kissinger.

    Nixon saw the "Beta gang" of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Haig as their loyal servants; he saw Kissinger more as a rival whose loyalty couldn't be trusted.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Still on that - -

    Perhaps "Beta gang" is exaggerated. It was actually only Haldeman and Ehrlichman, Haig was at first Kissinger's deputy. I'm fairly "sure" of Haldeman's type as ISTj and above all Haig's as ESTp, but less so of Ehrlichman as ENFj; so perhaps the concept of a Beta gang is exaggerated. I do think that Nixon liked to have Beta people working for him.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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