died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Friday, October 15, 2004


I was reading an article about how a documentary is being made describing the war on terror as a farce. Towards the end of the article, there is a reference to Straussian Propaganda.

Now I put this term into google, and couldn't really find what I was looking for. Then I put Leo Strauss in, and came up with this page. I then looked at this next page , which clearly has a anti-straussian edge to it.

NOW, politics ASIDE, I want to talk about the straussian beliefs, NOT there believers. It seems to me that these two websites very in stating straussian beliefs. The first page simply states that strauss was an anti modern philosopher, and thought that ancient philosophy should be viewed in the context of the period it was thought of, counter to modernists who believe in reletivising it, and adapting it to modern paradigms. It also says that, due to political oppression of different kinds in different places, that in order to read philosophy, one must understand that there were esoteric meanings in the writings of philosophers so as to be allowed to publish, not be killed, which whose followers would have been able to interpret and be receptive to. There is a quote describing:' The resolution of this conflict is that the philosophers should, and in fact did, keep their teachings secret, passing them on by the esoteric art of writing "between the lines." Strauss believed that he alone had recovered the true, hidden message contained in the "Great Tradition" of philosophy from Plato to Hobbes and Locke: the message that there are no gods, that morality is ungrounded prejudice, and that society is not grounded in nature.'

The SECOND article I think is simply a social interpretation of what the media has found as a label for the current war happy American political system. They have LABELED the president as a Straussian. I think this is inappropriate, and a bad name for Straussianists. The above quote talks about 'no god', completely contradictory to the ideas of fighting 'evil'.Religion is mentioned in an entirely different context. Strauss says that LACK of a god leads to nihilism which is bad. Creating a god to opiate the masses is not in his writings. Strauss would argue for a need of structure, not christianity.

I often wonder why people become lazy and let things become buzz words. I dislike the current American policy, but to describe them as Straussian is simply incorrect. Neo-conservative, yes. Religious right, yes. But not Straussian. If there are neo-conservatives that believe that there agenda is Straussian, then they too misunderstand Strauss's philosophy.


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