Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Short, But Also. . .

The Quintessential Straussian Education
by Varied Authors Because This Subject Requires It

Leo Strauss: A Founding Father of the Neo-Con Ideology

"Leo Strauss has long been a cult figure within the North American academy.  And even though he had a profound antipathy to both liberalism and democracy, his disciples have gone to great lengths to conceal the fact.  And for the most part they have succeeded. . ."

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"The trouble with the Straussians is that they are compulsive liars.  But it is not altogether their fault.  Strauss was very pre-occupied with secrecy because he was convinced that the truth is too harsh for any society to bear; and that the truth-bearers are likely to be persecuted by society - specially a liberal society - because liberal democracy is about as far as one can get from the truth as Strauss understood it."

"Strauss's disciples have inherited a superiority complex as well as a persecution complex.  They are convinced that they are the superior few who know the truth and are entitled to rule.  But they are afraid to speak the truth openly, lest they are persecuted by the vulgar many who do not wish to be ruled by them."

Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception

"It's hardly surprising then why Strauss is so popular in an administration obsessed with secrecy, especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy.  Not only did Strauss have few qualms about using deception in politics, he saw it as a necessity."

"While professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical - divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow.  But unlike fellow elitists like Plato, he was less concerned with the moral character of these leaders."

"Strauss believed that 'those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right - the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.'"

"This dichotomy requires "perpetual deception" between the rulers and the ruled, according to Drury.  Robert Locke, another Strauss analyst says,"The people are told what they need to know and no more."  While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, Strauss thought, the masses could not cope."

"He also argued that Platonic truth is too hard for people to bear, and that the classical appeal to "virtue" as the object of human endeavor is unattainable.  Hence it has been necessary to tell lies to people about the nature of political reality.  An elite recognizes the truth, however, and keeps it to itself.  This gives it insight, and implicitly power that others do not possess.  This obviously is an important element in Strauss's appeal to America's neoconservatives."

"The ostensibly hidden truth is that expediency works; there is no certain God to punish wrongdoing; and virtue is unattainable by most people.  Machiavelli was right. There is a natural hierarchy of humans, and rulers must restrict free inquiry and exploit the mediocrity and vice of ordinary people so as to keep society in order."

"Despite its wild implausibility, the scenario is in one important respect true.  And that has to do with the influence of Leo Strauss on a generation of neoconservative thinkers, some of whom are active in our politics (and some of whom can even be found writing in these pages)."

"The new elite, whose driving force is the pursuit of power, believe they have a right to impose their rule by way of deceit.  As disciples of Machiavelli, they consider themselves to be free from the constraints of moral absolutes.  Their philosophy also encourages them to promote religious faith among the people, even though they themselves are not true believers."

"The ancient philosophers whom Strauss most cherished believed that the unwashed masses were not fit for either truth or liberty, and that giving them these sublime treasures would be like throwing pearls before swine."



At 3/02/2005 11:30 PM, Blogger Alan said...

My take on this is that during the twenties and thirties the oligarchy was enamored with Mousolini fascism. After the failed coup against FDR, Hitler, countless dictators, and much blowback around the world, they have adopted a new philosophy which is similar to the old except that it has the facade of democracy. It is simply facism with a democratic face. If you think about it, it has considerable advantages for the oligarchy. For one, they maintain coporatism and at the same time if the elected official is not doing their bidding they can replace him without havimg to invade or instigating a coup. This maybe somewhat simplified in thinking that the oligarchy is so organized they can act as a unity on all things but I believe it is close to a correct analysis.

At 3/03/2005 6:32 AM, Blogger The Old Hippie said...

And now, Paul Wolfowitz is being "named" to the top post of the World Bank - "Let's Go Global!" -

A full-blown worldwide neo-conned Fascist Global Democracy, George Orwell must be insanly laughing himself right out of Hell. . .


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