Rain Storm Ever wonder about the baseline assumptions that drive current political thought on the right, and by extension the Bushista administratio
May 4, 2005

Rain Storm

Ever wonder about the baseline assumptions that drive current political thought on the right, and by extension the Bushista administration. Read Billmon.

What strikes me most about the Straussians – and by extension, the neocons – is that they’ve pushed the traditional liberal/conservative dichotomy of American politics back about 150 years, and moved it roughly 4,000 miles to the east, to the far side of the Rhine River. Their grand existential struggle isn’t with the likes of Teddy Kennedy or even Franklin D. Roosevelt, it’s with the liberalism of Voltaire, John Locke and John Stuart Mill – not to mention the author of the Declaration of the Independence.

Strauss, in other words, wasn’t a neo anything. He was a conservative in the original European sense – fond of hierarchy, tradition and religious orthodoxy; deeply suspicious of newfangled ideas like egalitarianism, rationalism and a political theory based on enlightened self interest and the social contract. Nor was he impressed by Mill’s utilitarian adding machine – constantly calculating the greatest good for the greatest number...read on

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