News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Leo Strauss Waxes Poetic About Fascism

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Leo Strauss Waxes Poetic About Fascism

Here's an interesting discussion of Leo Strauss (via Leiter via Balkin), the father of neoconism. The posting features a letter from Strauss wherein he waxes poetic about what's right with fascism and how much he despises the democratic notion of the rule of law. Sound familiar?

The influence of thinkers on everyday life is often thought to be ridiculous. What do thinkers have to say that affects what Joe or Jill in the street think and feel and carry out their lives?

Tell that to those who suffered from Nazism or Communism--both of which were cobbled together from the books and ideas of thinkers.

Of course, for a philosopher the very thought that their ideas can have an impact on everyday life is somehow conformation of their life's work. Too many scholars and thinkers live in that proverbial ivory tower, often hermetically sealed off from the rough and tumble of "real things."

Yet, given the track record for recent philsophers--from Marx to Nietzsche--and their ideas translated into the real world is not so sanguine. The barbarities and atrocities committed in the name of their ideas should certainly make us leery of following one more thinker.

As the posting above makes clear. Strauss' ideas flirt with fascism at best or embody the fascist world-view at worst. To think that major neoconservatives have the ear of the President should cause concern.

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