Leo Strauss and the neocons
“Odd as this may sound, we live in a world increasingly shaped by Leo Strauss, a controversial philosopher who died in 1973. Although generally unknown to the wider population, Strauss has been one of the two or three most important intellectual influences on the conservative worldview now ascendant in George W. Bush’s Washington.
Steeped in ancient philosophy, he had dark forebodings about democracy, religion, technology, and nearly everything else that can claim the allegiance of the contemporary conservative (or liberal, for that matter)”
Strauss believed ancient philosophy was superior to modern philosophy, that modernism, egalitarianism were wrong-headed and dangerous, and he distrusted modern civilization. He posited that the society should be geared towards the elites not the populace, that the masses should be lied to and were too dumb to properly comprehend matters which only the elite truly understood. He also thought ancient philosophers hid secret meanings in their writings and that he had properly divined what they really meant. He followed their lead, hiding meaning in his writings so the rabble wouldn’t find it.
Well, this is a swell mixture. Reactionary elitism with a penchant for secrecy and contempt for the masses. Sounds like the neocons and the Bush administration, you say? Precisely.
Let the proudly reactionary FrontPage magazine explain
“Consider the following list of his <Strauss> students or students of his students: Justice Clarence Thomas; Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; former Assistant Secretary of State Alan Keyes; former Secretary of Education William Bennett; Weekly Standard editor and former Quayle Chief of Staff William Kristol; Allan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind; former New York Post editorials editor John Podhoretz, <and> former National Endowment for the Humanities Deputy Chairman John T. Agresto”
So, as you see, Strauss has gained quite a following among the neocons. In fact his philosophy is one of the main supports of their intellectual framework. As well it should be. It’s so convenient. Need to lie to the media or make up phony stories about Iraq having WMD’s? Heck, that’s ok because we the elites have secret inner knowledge, the masses are too ignorant to comprehend what’s happening, so lie to them.
Actually it’s more than ok to lie to them – and herein lies the true joy of Strauss for the neocons – Strauss said lying to the masses PROTECTS them. Aww, how thoughtful of the neocons to lie to us. See they’re just protecting us from dangerous ideas we are too dumb to understand. How noble of them.