Leo Strauss and the origins of Neo-Conservatism

I have been looking into the philosophy of Leo Strauss in more depth recently, and found the first episode of the BBC series, ‘The Power of Nightmares’ (60mins) quite helpful. It is worth a look. Some interesting stuff in there about the early days of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

This is related to a recent article by Robert Kagan in the Weekly Standard, denying that he is a Straussian.

4 thoughts on “Leo Strauss and the origins of Neo-Conservatism”

  1. If I were to boil down Straussianism to its essentials, it’s about keeping the great unwashed public swaddled in religion and nationalism while the intellectuals play their games of politics. As an example, try asking one of the breed to state unambiguously if they believe in God.

  2. Interesting stuff. Those neo-cons really seemed to believe all that ‘Evil Soviet Union’ business. As much as I am appalled to find myself agreeing with fundamentalist muslims, I do think that there might be some grain of truth in the idea that westerners are trapped and enslaved by desires. Even Buddists take this kind on line on the issue, i.e. that we’re never really satisfied with what we have, that we always want something more, etc…
    However, if it’s a choice between a western, desire-feuled world or a world where people are forced to slavish follow some ridiculous religion called ”submission”, then I’ll always opt for the first. Even if we have turned money into some form of deity in the west (and I certainly don’t believe that we have), then it’s still a better god that some mystical being who, even though he/she/it is omniscient, WE WILL NEVER ACTUALLY SEE!

Comments are closed.