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March 05, 2006

Comments

Rufus

Hi,
can you help me track down this statement, which has been attributed to Hannah Arendt?

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

ludwig

Wow I had never heard Strauss was romantically interested in Arendt! Not suprising at all, however, if you look at photos of her as a young woman...

For myself, I'm pretty skeptical of the link often forged between american neocons (especially those in the administration) and Strauss. This link has been stressed to the point of sheer paranoia by the Larouchians. An entertaining commentary on this by Robert Kagan can be found here.....

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/656lwsoy.asp

Kagan's basic contention--that he never understood Strauss nor considered himself a follower--is probably also the case for the admin neocons. Yes, people like Jaffa and Bloom offered a intellectual justification for supporting the Reaganites and their rebellion against the liberalism. And yes, Strauss' embrace of America was an inspiration for the Likudites dominating American foreign policy today. But to find the intellectual justification of neo-imperialism, I would look instead towards Hobbes, Schmitt, and other apostles of power politics.

David

Ludwig,
You are probably correct. Strauss's writings are obscure and nearly indecipherable; however, the mediation provided by Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind" back in the 1980's contributed to Strauss's influence among the Reaganites.

Jabba the Tutt

I'm sorry, I simply do not believe that Leo Strauss advocated fascism. He's been the focus of lots of support and criticism for years. Only now do I hear this fascism charge.

The author ignores two Austrian scholars, who've had tremendous influence in the US and world: Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek. Hayek was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in economics. Both economists stood almost alone against the Keynesian nonsense which gave us the 70's stagflation. Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom' was a huge bestseller in 1944, even during the war. It's sold millions.

Well, they're not German, so maybe they don't count as 'german influence', but they both left to escape Hitler.

David

Jabba,
I am not familiar with von Mises, but I agree with you that Hayek is behind the unconditional worship of the free market which we find in neo-liberal economic policy. The neo-conservative theory of benign American hegemony, however, has its roots in Strauss.

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