Neoconservatism

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Neoconservatism

  1. 1. U.S.U.S. Neoconservatism, Education andNeoconservatism, Education and the Critique of Liberalismthe Critique of Liberalism Michael A. Peters & Tina (A.C.) BesleyMichael A. Peters & Tina (A.C.) Besley University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Cal State at San BernardinoCal State at San Bernardino Humanities Symposium 2007Humanities Symposium 2007 Columbia University, New YorkColumbia University, New York 24-26 February24-26 February
  2. 2. SummarySummary 1.1. Neoconservatism is a US phenomenon that at one level representsNeoconservatism is a US phenomenon that at one level represents a historical and ideological reaction to the sixties counter culturala historical and ideological reaction to the sixties counter cultural revolution that established new freedoms for Blacks, students,revolution that established new freedoms for Blacks, students, women, gays, and 'cultural minorities'.women, gays, and 'cultural minorities'. 2.2. These movements involved the struggle for civil rights and rightsThese movements involved the struggle for civil rights and rights for members of new social movements. The neoconservativefor members of new social movements. The neoconservative reaction is a roll back and repeal of these rights issuing in areaction is a roll back and repeal of these rights issuing in a critique of liberalism and the alleged 'social disorder' andcritique of liberalism and the alleged 'social disorder' and 'anarchy' that resulted from the counter-culture.'anarchy' that resulted from the counter-culture. 3.3. Central to this critique is a revision of the status of the VietnamCentral to this critique is a revision of the status of the Vietnam War in American history and a new attitude to the aggressiveWar in American history and a new attitude to the aggressive assertion of American values in foreign policy.assertion of American values in foreign policy. 4.4. This presentation analyses these elements by reference to theThis presentation analyses these elements by reference to the political thought of Leo Strauss who taught at the University ofpolitical thought of Leo Strauss who taught at the University of Chicago from 1948-67 and influenced scholars like Allan BloomChicago from 1948-67 and influenced scholars like Allan Bloom and Albert Wohlsetter, and through them, key personnel inand Albert Wohlsetter, and through them, key personnel in second generation neoconservatism like Paul Wolfowitz andsecond generation neoconservatism like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearle.Richard Pearle. 5.5. The presentation also charts the significance of education as aThe presentation also charts the significance of education as a battleground against multiculturalism and as a basis for abattleground against multiculturalism and as a basis for a resocialization and neoconservative remoralisation of education.resocialization and neoconservative remoralisation of education.
  3. 3. Structure of presentationStructure of presentation 1.1. IntroductionIntroduction 2.2. The sixties counter-cultureThe sixties counter-culture 3.3. The status of Vietnam inThe status of Vietnam in neoconservatismneoconservatism 4.4. Leo Strauss & StraussianismLeo Strauss & Straussianism 5.5. Strauss on educationStrauss on education 6.6. Neoconservative educationNeoconservative education
  4. 4. IntroductionIntroduction 1.1. The term ‘neoconservatism’, and its diminutive ‘neocons’,The term ‘neoconservatism’, and its diminutive ‘neocons’, has been used in American politics, first, as a pejorativehas been used in American politics, first, as a pejorative description that later was taken up affirmatively as adescription that later was taken up affirmatively as a badge of political identity by those it was intended tobadge of political identity by those it was intended to disparage. Exactly when the term emerged is unclear.disparage. Exactly when the term emerged is unclear. 2.2. What is evident and, perhaps, surprising, is thatWhat is evident and, perhaps, surprising, is that neoconservatism as a political movement, ideology orneoconservatism as a political movement, ideology or persuasion, is now well over thirty years old, with itspersuasion, is now well over thirty years old, with its theoretical roots in both the reaffirmation of classicaltheoretical roots in both the reaffirmation of classical political theory and the critique of modern liberalism, onpolitical theory and the critique of modern liberalism, on the one hand, and reactions to recent events in Americanthe one hand, and reactions to recent events in American foreign policy, on the other.foreign policy, on the other. 3.3. In this respect, the reactions to the 1960s counter-cultureIn this respect, the reactions to the 1960s counter-culture and the politics of the New Left by the first generation ofand the politics of the New Left by the first generation of neoconservative intellectuals, including Irving Kristol,neoconservative intellectuals, including Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan,Daniel Bell, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Peter Berger, Nathan Glazer,Gertrude Himmelfarb, Peter Berger, Nathan Glazer, Edward Shils and Seymour Martin Lipset, provide theEdward Shils and Seymour Martin Lipset, provide the historical grounds for the rejection of many features ofhistorical grounds for the rejection of many features of modern liberal society and politics.modern liberal society and politics.
  5. 5. Americanism & American valuesAmericanism & American values 1.Many of these thinkers, who flirted with1.Many of these thinkers, who flirted with Trotskyism and Marxism during the 1930s andTrotskyism and Marxism during the 1930s and ‘40s, only to move to the right thereafter, were‘40s, only to move to the right thereafter, were motivated by the question of values in relation tomotivated by the question of values in relation to Americanism, to American identity and theAmericanism, to American identity and the American way of life, and, later, to the assertionAmerican way of life, and, later, to the assertion of values (as opposed to national interests) inof values (as opposed to national interests) in foreign policy and national security.foreign policy and national security. 2. Hence the strong interest in the realm of2. Hence the strong interest in the realm of education as the principal area to reasserteducation as the principal area to reassert American values, revitalizing the western canon,American values, revitalizing the western canon, recolonizing the curriculum (againstrecolonizing the curriculum (against ‘postmodernism’ and Marxism), re-establishing‘postmodernism’ and Marxism), re-establishing faith-based schools, re-revaluating science infaith-based schools, re-revaluating science in relation to classical culture.relation to classical culture.
  6. 6. The Geography of NeoconservatismThe Geography of Neoconservatism 1.1. In the same way that the first generationIn the same way that the first generation clustered around each other at City College ofclustered around each other at City College of New York; many of the second generation—New York; many of the second generation— including Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle—wereincluding Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle—were products of Albert Wohlstetter and Allan Bloom atproducts of Albert Wohlstetter and Allan Bloom at the University of Chicago, who, in turn, werethe University of Chicago, who, in turn, were protégés of the German Jew émigré politicalprotégés of the German Jew émigré political theorist, Leo Strauss.theorist, Leo Strauss. 2.2. As part of my move to the University of Illinois IAs part of my move to the University of Illinois I determined to teach courses on political economydetermined to teach courses on political economy and to highlight both the origins of U.S.and to highlight both the origins of U.S. neoliberalism and neoconservatism ‘just twoneoliberalism and neoconservatism ‘just two hours down the road at the University ofhours down the road at the University of Chicago’.Chicago’.
  7. 7. 1960s Counterculture1960s Counterculture  Neoconservatism in broad measure is aNeoconservatism in broad measure is a historical reaction and backlash to the headyhistorical reaction and backlash to the heady days of the 1960s and early ‘70s--to thedays of the 1960s and early ‘70s--to the freedoms that were asserted and reassertedfreedoms that were asserted and reasserted in those decades and the new socialin those decades and the new social movements that established themselvesmovements that established themselves permanently altering U.S. society and politics.permanently altering U.S. society and politics.  The decade of the 1960s is the historicalThe decade of the 1960s is the historical ground for understanding theground for understanding the neoconservative backlash and critique ofneoconservative backlash and critique of liberalism in American society; it is also toliberalism in American society; it is also to understand that one source for renewal of theunderstand that one source for renewal of the Left also resides in an historical excavation ofLeft also resides in an historical excavation of the philosophical elements of that time.the philosophical elements of that time.
  8. 8. Revisiting the 1960sRevisiting the 1960s  The 1960s counter-culture revolution was notThe 1960s counter-culture revolution was not confined to the U.S. or the West; movements thatconfined to the U.S. or the West; movements that began in the U.S. and elsewhere spread rapidly tobegan in the U.S. and elsewhere spread rapidly to South America and the Eastern bloc.South America and the Eastern bloc.  American civil rights movement under Martin LutherAmerican civil rights movement under Martin Luther King Jr initiated protest action to end the officialKing Jr initiated protest action to end the official segregation and disenfranchisement of African-segregation and disenfranchisement of African- Americans, and later produced radical groups such asAmericans, and later produced radical groups such as Black Power movement, Black Panther Party andBlack Power movement, Black Panther Party and Black Muslims.Black Muslims.  We should not forget the ‘race riots’ in Watts (34We should not forget the ‘race riots’ in Watts (34 people killed in 1966), Detroit (1967), and Cleveland.people killed in 1966), Detroit (1967), and Cleveland. [1][1] It was the beginning of the official recognition ofIt was the beginning of the official recognition of multiculturalism as a policy (although actual policiesmulticulturalism as a policy (although actual policies did not emerge until the 1970s).did not emerge until the 1970s).  [1][1] This was the age of ‘postcolonialism’ at least in the sense that many countries in Africa and Asia received their independence. It was also theThis was the age of ‘postcolonialism’ at least in the sense that many countries in Africa and Asia received their independence. It was also the beginning of protest against apartheid in South Africa.beginning of protest against apartheid in South Africa.
  9. 9. New Social Movements: StudentsNew Social Movements: Students  The 1960s also heralded an age of mass protest against theThe 1960s also heralded an age of mass protest against the Vietnam War and U.S. foreign policy in the late 1960s whichVietnam War and U.S. foreign policy in the late 1960s which grew out of the 1950s ‘peace movement’ and CND andgrew out of the 1950s ‘peace movement’ and CND and radicalized a generation of student-youth, based mostly inradicalized a generation of student-youth, based mostly in universities, that led to the shootings at Kent Stateuniversities, that led to the shootings at Kent State University in May, 1970 (where 4 students were killed andUniversity in May, 1970 (where 4 students were killed and many others wounded by the National Guard). In thismany others wounded by the National Guard). In this connection, we should also note the Free Speech movementconnection, we should also note the Free Speech movement that began at Berkeley in 1964 emphasizing student’s rightsthat began at Berkeley in 1964 emphasizing student’s rights to free speech and academic freedom, and protestingto free speech and academic freedom, and protesting against a ban limiting political activities.against a ban limiting political activities.[1][1]  Associated with these movements—Black and studentAssociated with these movements—Black and student movements—the sixties also saw the birth of the New Left,movements—the sixties also saw the birth of the New Left, which was an imported rhetoric that had little basis in thewhich was an imported rhetoric that had little basis in the labor movement or, indeed, Marxist politics on the groundlabor movement or, indeed, Marxist politics on the ground but, nevertheless inspired student protest and linked thebut, nevertheless inspired student protest and linked the U.S. with movements elsewhere developing a significantU.S. with movements elsewhere developing a significant global civic awareness.global civic awareness.  [1][1] This was a violent period in U.S. politics--the age of political assassination: J.F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963; and his brother Robert in 1968, the same year as Martin Luther King Jr. MalcolmThis was a violent period in U.S. politics--the age of political assassination: J.F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963; and his brother Robert in 1968, the same year as Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X had been assassinated in 1965.X had been assassinated in 1965.
  10. 10. Second-Wave Feminism & Gay RightsSecond-Wave Feminism & Gay Rights 1.1. Second-wave feminism took root and initiated action toSecond-wave feminism took root and initiated action to improve women’s rights and gender equality. This period inimprove women’s rights and gender equality. This period in feminism saw the development of radical feminist theoryfeminism saw the development of radical feminist theory that theorized patriarchy and held CR groups among womenthat theorized patriarchy and held CR groups among women across class divisions to focus not only on economicacross class divisions to focus not only on economic equality, sexual harassment, maternity leave, andequality, sexual harassment, maternity leave, and affirmative action but also greater control over women’saffirmative action but also greater control over women’s health and sexuality, including ‘reproduction politics’, ‘pro-health and sexuality, including ‘reproduction politics’, ‘pro- choice’, radical lesbianism and sexual experimentation.choice’, radical lesbianism and sexual experimentation. 2.2. The women’s movement coincided with the birth of the gayThe women’s movement coincided with the birth of the gay rights movement which sought greater equality forrights movement which sought greater equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. The Stonewalllesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. The Stonewall riots in New York in 1969, involving violent conflict betweenriots in New York in 1969, involving violent conflict between police and homosexuals in a Greenwich Village gay bar ispolice and homosexuals in a Greenwich Village gay bar is generally taken as the beginning of modern gay rights,generally taken as the beginning of modern gay rights, leading to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, gayleading to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, gay pride celebrations and marches, and a new era of sexualpride celebrations and marches, and a new era of sexual politics that questioned gender identity, ‘normalcy’ ofpolitics that questioned gender identity, ‘normalcy’ of sexual orientation and the extent of societal homophobia.sexual orientation and the extent of societal homophobia.
  11. 11. Emergent Cultural FormsEmergent Cultural Forms 1.1. Informing these movements and being shaped by them, the sixties becameInforming these movements and being shaped by them, the sixties became synonymous with emergent cultural forms, especially revolving popular musicsynonymous with emergent cultural forms, especially revolving popular music and the rapid growth of youth subcultures.and the rapid growth of youth subcultures. 2.2. This ‘alternative culture’ was to some extent the inheritor of the 1950sThis ‘alternative culture’ was to some extent the inheritor of the 1950s experimentation, Beat Generation, and perceived ‘teenage crisis’. Musically,experimentation, Beat Generation, and perceived ‘teenage crisis’. Musically, the era is perhaps best symbolized by Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-the era is perhaps best symbolized by Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A- Changing’ which served a rallying cry. (Joan Biaz’ concert in Bristol)Changing’ which served a rallying cry. (Joan Biaz’ concert in Bristol) 3.3. Dylan, drawing on the American folk tradition symbolized by Woody Guthrie,Dylan, drawing on the American folk tradition symbolized by Woody Guthrie, provided a new lyricism combining poetic and philosophical elements thatprovided a new lyricism combining poetic and philosophical elements that commented on what was happening and challenged the political status quo.commented on what was happening and challenged the political status quo. His folk protest music gave way to rock ‘n’ roll, a genre that developed in theHis folk protest music gave way to rock ‘n’ roll, a genre that developed in the South during the 1950s combining elements of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues,South during the 1950s combining elements of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, boogie woogie and also aspects of gospel, and country and western.boogie woogie and also aspects of gospel, and country and western. 4.4. The first generation of Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Little Richard,The first generation of Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee LewisChuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis of the later 1950s gave way during the 1960sof the later 1950s gave way during the 1960s to the British rock invasion of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the proliferationto the British rock invasion of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the proliferation of youth subcultures, a youthful rebelliousness and experimentation withof youth subcultures, a youthful rebelliousness and experimentation with drugs, sex and music.drugs, sex and music. 5.5. These developments in music were, of course, echoed in the whole range ofThese developments in music were, of course, echoed in the whole range of arts, architecture, humanities, TV, film and the new communicationarts, architecture, humanities, TV, film and the new communication technologies, and, indeed, the social sciences. These new freedoms and rights,technologies, and, indeed, the social sciences. These new freedoms and rights, above all, appeared in the form of a new curriculum in higher education withabove all, appeared in the form of a new curriculum in higher education with the development world-wide of ‘studies’– Black studies and later indigenousthe development world-wide of ‘studies’– Black studies and later indigenous studies; feminst, women and gender studies; media studies; psychanalyticstudies; feminst, women and gender studies; media studies; psychanalytic studies; and, the dubious area studies that originated as part of Cold Warstudies; and, the dubious area studies that originated as part of Cold War intelligence (beginnings of ‘democracy promotion’?).intelligence (beginnings of ‘democracy promotion’?).
  12. 12. Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and the U.S.Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and the U.S. UniversityUniversity  During the 1980s and 1990s the liberal university in the U.S.During the 1980s and 1990s the liberal university in the U.S. increasingly found itself caught in a pincer movement betweenincreasingly found itself caught in a pincer movement between neoliberal economic policies and the technical demands of theneoliberal economic policies and the technical demands of the market, on the one hand, and the bitterness and acrimony of themarket, on the one hand, and the bitterness and acrimony of the culture and science wars that emanated from the neoconservativeculture and science wars that emanated from the neoconservative critique of liberalism and liberal institutions, on the other.critique of liberalism and liberal institutions, on the other.  Allan Bloom’s (1987)Allan Bloom’s (1987) Closing of the American MindClosing of the American Mind seemed to fuelseemed to fuel a spate of different works from the Right aimed at the so-calleda spate of different works from the Right aimed at the so-called ‘illiberal university’ that was untrue to its Platonic origins and‘illiberal university’ that was untrue to its Platonic origins and infected by Marx and Nietzsche and their intellectual progeny.infected by Marx and Nietzsche and their intellectual progeny. Bloom’sBloom’s conservative critique signalled for him not only a crisis ofconservative critique signalled for him not only a crisis of the university and a devaluation of thethe university and a devaluation of the Great Books of WesternGreat Books of Western Thought but more broadly a crisis of U.S. society which hadThought but more broadly a crisis of U.S. society which had become afflicted with moral and cultural relativism.become afflicted with moral and cultural relativism. Bloom’s bookBloom’s book appeared at the beginning of a period of renewed controversyappeared at the beginning of a period of renewed controversy regarding the politics of universities and their effects on theregarding the politics of universities and their effects on the ‘American mind’, and therefore not just American politics and‘American mind’, and therefore not just American politics and culture but American identity and values.culture but American identity and values.
  13. 13. The Neoconservative Attack on HigherThe Neoconservative Attack on Higher EducationEducation 1. Many of the conservative critiques that emerged in the 1980s and1. Many of the conservative critiques that emerged in the 1980s and 1990’s constituted a savage and deliberate reaction against the1990’s constituted a savage and deliberate reaction against the counter-culture of the sixties and its consolidation in U.S. studentcounter-culture of the sixties and its consolidation in U.S. student and academic cultures in the 1970s.and academic cultures in the 1970s. 2. A wave of popular neoconservatism generated a notion of crisis2. A wave of popular neoconservatism generated a notion of crisis based upon the state of the humanities. One example was thebased upon the state of the humanities. One example was the publication of Lynne V. Cheney's (wife of current vice-president)publication of Lynne V. Cheney's (wife of current vice-president) first report as the Chairman of the National Endowment for thefirst report as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities,Humanities, The Humanities and the American PromiseThe Humanities and the American Promise (1987).(1987). 3. Cheney was concerned about the state of the humanities because he3. Cheney was concerned about the state of the humanities because he saw a variety of approaches, including feminist criticism, Marxism,saw a variety of approaches, including feminist criticism, Marxism, various forms of poststructuralism, coming to bear on the conceptvarious forms of poststructuralism, coming to bear on the concept of western civilisation and threatening to displace it.of western civilisation and threatening to displace it. 4. The displacement of the concept of western civilisation -- attacked4. The displacement of the concept of western civilisation -- attacked for being elitist, sexist, racist, and Eurocentric -- Cheneyfor being elitist, sexist, racist, and Eurocentric -- Cheney maintained also threatened the American education system andmaintained also threatened the American education system and American intellectual heritage for which the concept was a centralAmerican intellectual heritage for which the concept was a central and sustaining idea.and sustaining idea.
  14. 14. The Professors: The 101 Most DangerousThe Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in AmericaAcademics in America  Much attention focused on political correctness, the culture wars, relativism,Much attention focused on political correctness, the culture wars, relativism, feminism, rock music, race and ethnicity, and identity politics.feminism, rock music, race and ethnicity, and identity politics. The Closing ofThe Closing of the American Mindthe American Mind bloomed into a thousand flowers on the Right includingbloomed into a thousand flowers on the Right including - Roger Kimball’s (1990)- Roger Kimball’s (1990) Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted OurTenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher EducationHigher Education - E.D. Hirsch's (1987)- E.D. Hirsch's (1987) Cultural LiteracyCultural Literacy - Dinesh D'Souza’s (1991)- Dinesh D'Souza’s (1991) Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and SexIlliberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex On CampusOn Campus - Richard J. Ellis (2000)- Richard J. Ellis (2000) The Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism inThe Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in AmericaAmerica - David Horowitz’s (2003)- David Horowitz’s (2003) Left Illusions: An Intellectual OdysseyLeft Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey andand TheThe Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in AmericaProfessors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006).(2006).  These critiquesThese critiques attacked not only the new curriculum but also the set ofattacked not only the new curriculum but also the set of academic practices that had resulted as part of the counter-culturalacademic practices that had resulted as part of the counter-cultural movement. It was alleged, for instance, that affirmative action policiesmovement. It was alleged, for instance, that affirmative action policies virtually guaranteed the future of minority students. It was argued that thevirtually guaranteed the future of minority students. It was argued that the emphasis on ‘multiculturalism’ denigrates the western tradition andemphasis on ‘multiculturalism’ denigrates the western tradition and encourages a form of democracy that deviates from liberal pluralism. Itencourages a form of democracy that deviates from liberal pluralism. It attacked identity politics and the influence of cultural studies thatattacked identity politics and the influence of cultural studies that questioned western science and culture. It questioned views of the westernquestioned western science and culture. It questioned views of the western tradition that attributed its Greek origins to black Africa. It railed againsttradition that attributed its Greek origins to black Africa. It railed against the prohibition of free speech and coined a whole literature againstthe prohibition of free speech and coined a whole literature against ‘politically correctness.’ It chastised the onslaught against moral and‘politically correctness.’ It chastised the onslaught against moral and cultural values associated with the west under the guise of impartiality tocultural values associated with the west under the guise of impartiality to differing points of view.differing points of view.
  15. 15. The Revised Status of VietnamThe Revised Status of Vietnam 1.1. For both first and second generations of neoconservatives, theFor both first and second generations of neoconservatives, the Vietnam War took on momentous significance not only as a recentVietnam War took on momentous significance not only as a recent and defining episode of U.S. contemporary history and the growthand defining episode of U.S. contemporary history and the growth of postwar anti-Americanism (and counter-Americanism) at homeof postwar anti-Americanism (and counter-Americanism) at home and abroad but also in terms of strategic value in relation ‘theand abroad but also in terms of strategic value in relation ‘the lessons of Vietnam’, U.S. foreign policy, ‘neo-war’lessons of Vietnam’, U.S. foreign policy, ‘neo-war’[1][1], and a global, and a global unilateralism based on American virtue and the willingness to useunilateralism based on American virtue and the willingness to use preemptive military force.preemptive military force. 2.2. U.S. neoconservatism, thus, has a historic dynamic that hasU.S. neoconservatism, thus, has a historic dynamic that has changed over the years and transformed itself and its self-image.changed over the years and transformed itself and its self-image. Even with George W. Bush’s lowest ever popularity ratings (inEven with George W. Bush’s lowest ever popularity ratings (in early December 2005), ‘neocons’ are assuming positions ofearly December 2005), ‘neocons’ are assuming positions of significance—Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank and Bolton assignificance—Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank and Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—in world organizationsU.S. ambassador to the United Nations—in world organizations that signal a new international phase.that signal a new international phase. 3.3. One thing is clear neoconservatism is uniquely American and tiedOne thing is clear neoconservatism is uniquely American and tied to Americanism and to American’s future role in world affairs. Into Americanism and to American’s future role in world affairs. In this sense, it is different from both conservatism at home andthis sense, it is different from both conservatism at home and political traditions in Europe.political traditions in Europe.  [1][1] ‘Neo-war’ denotes changed conditions both of war (under globalization) and of the technology of war that minimizes collateral damage (and U.S. military, and civilian deaths in theaters) while‘Neo-war’ denotes changed conditions both of war (under globalization) and of the technology of war that minimizes collateral damage (and U.S. military, and civilian deaths in theaters) while maximizing strike capability.maximizing strike capability.
  16. 16. Three Interpretations of VietnamThree Interpretations of Vietnam ‘‘Two sharply differentiated views emerged in that first wave ofTwo sharply differentiated views emerged in that first wave of scholarship about the Vietnam War, views that continue to bescholarship about the Vietnam War, views that continue to be echoed in today's debates. The first characterizes Americanechoed in today's debates. The first characterizes American involvement in the war as an avoidable tragedy. Americaninvolvement in the war as an avoidable tragedy. American policymakers, according to this liberal realist perspective, foolishlypolicymakers, according to this liberal realist perspective, foolishly exaggerated Vietnam's importance to the United States.’exaggerated Vietnam's importance to the United States.’  ‘‘The other major interpretive approach offers a far more radicalThe other major interpretive approach offers a far more radical critique of American intentions and behavior. It depicts the Unitedcritique of American intentions and behavior. It depicts the United States as a global hegemony, concerned primarily with its ownStates as a global hegemony, concerned primarily with its own economic expansion, and reflexively opposed to communism,economic expansion, and reflexively opposed to communism, indigenous revolution, or any other challenge to its authority.indigenous revolution, or any other challenge to its authority. Authors writing from this perspective typically characterizeAuthors writing from this perspective typically characterize American intervention in Indochina as the necessary and logicalAmerican intervention in Indochina as the necessary and logical consequence of a rapacious superpower's drive for worldconsequence of a rapacious superpower's drive for world dominance.’dominance.’  Neoconservative ‘Lessons of Vietnam’Neoconservative ‘Lessons of Vietnam’ Vietnam ‘a failure of circumstance, not motive or morality’.Vietnam ‘a failure of circumstance, not motive or morality’. Podhoretz – Vietnam served to delegitimize US military commitmentPodhoretz – Vietnam served to delegitimize US military commitment abroad in general. The debate served also to identify anti-abroad in general. The debate served also to identify anti- Americans, undermining the will toward the use of force andAmericans, undermining the will toward the use of force and embrace ‘lessons’ of Munich’ interpreted as the virtues ofembrace ‘lessons’ of Munich’ interpreted as the virtues of preemptive military action (Halper & Clarke, 2004: 52-3, 11).preemptive military action (Halper & Clarke, 2004: 52-3, 11).
  17. 17. Leo Strauss – Brief BiographyLeo Strauss – Brief Biography It would be wrong to overestimate the extent of the directIt would be wrong to overestimate the extent of the direct influence of Strauss as some commentators have done andinfluence of Strauss as some commentators have done and yet his biography, his teaching in classical political theoryyet his biography, his teaching in classical political theory and written work indirectly has led to the formulation of aand written work indirectly has led to the formulation of a very persuasive critique of liberal modernity that hasvery persuasive critique of liberal modernity that has formulated a basis for neoconservative political philosophyformulated a basis for neoconservative political philosophy in the U.S. and a guide to the best political order andin the U.S. and a guide to the best political order and ethical form of life.ethical form of life. Strauss taught at the New School for Social Research in theStrauss taught at the New School for Social Research in the decade 1938-48, and thereafter at the University ofdecade 1938-48, and thereafter at the University of Chicago from 1948 to 1967. Strauss was a strong Zionist inChicago from 1948 to 1967. Strauss was a strong Zionist in his youth and also addressed himself to the question ofhis youth and also addressed himself to the question of Nazism (Heidegger’s Nazism) and the theological-politicalNazism (Heidegger’s Nazism) and the theological-political problem of the good life through engagement with Islamicproblem of the good life through engagement with Islamic and Jewish philosophy, including the thought Maimonides,and Jewish philosophy, including the thought Maimonides, the mutual influence of theology and philosophy, andthe mutual influence of theology and philosophy, and Spinoza’s Critique of Religion (1930). This goes some waySpinoza’s Critique of Religion (1930). This goes some way to understanding the importance of religion toto understanding the importance of religion to neoconservatism, including forms of Christianneoconservatism, including forms of Christian fundamentalism, and the significance of Israel tofundamentalism, and the significance of Israel to neoconservative foreign policy.neoconservative foreign policy.
  18. 18. Strauss and the Revival of Classical PoliticalStrauss and the Revival of Classical Political PhilosophyPhilosophy  Strauss is responsible for the revival of classical political philosophyStrauss is responsible for the revival of classical political philosophy as it was practiced by Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes & Montesquieu.as it was practiced by Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes & Montesquieu.  Strauss almost single-handedly was also responsible for importingStrauss almost single-handedly was also responsible for importing the European conception of the ‘crisis of modernity’ into the U.S.the European conception of the ‘crisis of modernity’ into the U.S. and making it a central problem in political theory.and making it a central problem in political theory.  Strauss traces the origin of modern political philosophy as a scienceStrauss traces the origin of modern political philosophy as a science to Machiavelli and Hobbes – Hobbes on a science of politics thatto Machiavelli and Hobbes – Hobbes on a science of politics that deserved a place alongside the achievements of Copernicus, Keplerdeserved a place alongside the achievements of Copernicus, Kepler & Galileo.& Galileo.  A new science of politics associated with belief in ‘progress’ andA new science of politics associated with belief in ‘progress’ and beneficial social effects.beneficial social effects.  Efforts to found a new science of politics continued in the present-Efforts to found a new science of politics continued in the present- day attempt to sustain the distinction between facts and valuesday attempt to sustain the distinction between facts and values that Strauss thought untenable.that Strauss thought untenable.  Neo-positivist repudiation of traditional or classical politicalNeo-positivist repudiation of traditional or classical political philosophy.philosophy.  Strauss defends classical political philosophy from antidemocracyStrauss defends classical political philosophy from antidemocracy objection and the claim that it is based on classical naturalobjection and the claim that it is based on classical natural philosophy or cosmologyphilosophy or cosmology Source: ‘Leo Strauss ‘What is political philosophy?’ 1954.Source: ‘Leo Strauss ‘What is political philosophy?’ 1954.
  19. 19. The Crisis of ModernityThe Crisis of Modernity  Strauss writes ‘The Three Waves of Modernity’ inStrauss writes ‘The Three Waves of Modernity’ in An Introduction toAn Introduction to Political PhilosophyPolitical Philosophy (1989) originally in(1989) originally in Political PhilosophyPolitical Philosophy (1975)(1975)  Begins with Spengler’sBegins with Spengler’s The Decline of the WestThe Decline of the West to assertto assert ‘‘crisis’crisis’ ‘‘To understand the crisis of modernity, we must first understand theTo understand the crisis of modernity, we must first understand the character of modernity. The crisis of modernity reveals itself in the fact …character of modernity. The crisis of modernity reveals itself in the fact … that modern western man no longer knows what he wants—that he nothat modern western man no longer knows what he wants—that he no longer believes that he knows what is good and bad, what is right andlonger believes that he knows what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. Until a few generations ago, it was generally taken for grantedwrong. Until a few generations ago, it was generally taken for granted that a man can know what is right and wrong, what is just or good or thethat a man can know what is right and wrong, what is just or good or the best order of society—in a word that political philosophy is possible andbest order of society—in a word that political philosophy is possible and necessary. In our time this faith has lost its power. According to thenecessary. In our time this faith has lost its power. According to the predominant view, political philosophy is impossible: it was a dream,predominant view, political philosophy is impossible: it was a dream, perhaps a noble dream, but at any rate a dream’ (p. 81).perhaps a noble dream, but at any rate a dream’ (p. 81).  ‘‘Modern culture is emphatically rationalistic, believing in the powerModern culture is emphatically rationalistic, believing in the power of reason; surely if such a culture loses its faith in reasons ability toof reason; surely if such a culture loses its faith in reasons ability to validate its highest aims, it is in crisis’ (P. 82).validate its highest aims, it is in crisis’ (P. 82).  ‘‘modernity is secularized biblical faith,’ ‘secularization means … themodernity is secularized biblical faith,’ ‘secularization means … the preservation of thoughts, feelings, or habits of biblical origin afterpreservation of thoughts, feelings, or habits of biblical origin after the loss or atrophy of biblical faith (p. 83)the loss or atrophy of biblical faith (p. 83)  Note the Nietzschean thematic here and links with Lyotard’s NietzscheanNote the Nietzschean thematic here and links with Lyotard’s Nietzschean analysis of the ‘postmodern’ as ‘incredulity of metanarratives’analysis of the ‘postmodern’ as ‘incredulity of metanarratives’
  20. 20. ‘‘The Three Waves of Modernity’The Three Waves of Modernity’ Strauss divides modernity into three stages or "waves."Strauss divides modernity into three stages or "waves." 1. The first wave began with Machiavelli and was crucially1. The first wave began with Machiavelli and was crucially modified by Hobbes and Locke to produce the modernmodified by Hobbes and Locke to produce the modern doctrine of natural right. Its contemporary correlate isdoctrine of natural right. Its contemporary correlate is capitalist liberalism, the acquisitive consumer societycapitalist liberalism, the acquisitive consumer society dedicated to fulfilling human needs.dedicated to fulfilling human needs. 2. The second wave, initiated by Rousseau, absorbed nature2. The second wave, initiated by Rousseau, absorbed nature as a standard by taking it into human history which nowas a standard by taking it into human history which now served as the source of moral and political guidance. Freedserved as the source of moral and political guidance. Freed from notions of a natural necessity, this wave produced afrom notions of a natural necessity, this wave produced a more radically utopian--and hence more deeply alienated--more radically utopian--and hence more deeply alienated-- form of humanism. Its contemporary correlate isform of humanism. Its contemporary correlate is communism.communism. 3. The third wave, which Strauss sees as our contemporary3. The third wave, which Strauss sees as our contemporary crisis, began with Nietzsche's questioning of the rationalitycrisis, began with Nietzsche's questioning of the rationality or "humanity" of both history and nature: humanity findsor "humanity" of both history and nature: humanity finds itself in the midst of a terrifying existence, free to createitself in the midst of a terrifying existence, free to create the values by which to live. The contemporary correlate ofthe values by which to live. The contemporary correlate of this wave is fascism.this wave is fascism.
  21. 21. Strauss, Heidegger, and the Crisis of WesternStrauss, Heidegger, and the Crisis of Western CivilizationCivilization  Yet Strauss can not be understood except through his engagements withYet Strauss can not be understood except through his engagements with the thought of Heidegger, whom he regarded as the then greatest modernthe thought of Heidegger, whom he regarded as the then greatest modern philosopher, (and Nietzsche), who talked of nihilism and the history ofphilosopher, (and Nietzsche), who talked of nihilism and the history of European nihilism, and provided an existentialist and historicist response toEuropean nihilism, and provided an existentialist and historicist response to ‘the crisis of Western civilization’.‘the crisis of Western civilization’.  Strauss returns to classical political philosophy—to the thought of Plato—Strauss returns to classical political philosophy—to the thought of Plato— was inspired and mediated by Heidegger’s attempted recovery of classicalwas inspired and mediated by Heidegger’s attempted recovery of classical ideals and Greek ontology. Classical political philosophy provided Strauss aideals and Greek ontology. Classical political philosophy provided Strauss a means to find a way out of the relativism of modern liberal society andmeans to find a way out of the relativism of modern liberal society and democracy that put the freedom of the individual above societal order,democracy that put the freedom of the individual above societal order, virtue and natural right.virtue and natural right.  ‘‘Like Nietzsche and Heidegger, Strauss sees that the West is in the grip of aLike Nietzsche and Heidegger, Strauss sees that the West is in the grip of a profound spiritual crisis. And following Nietzsche and Heidegger, Straussprofound spiritual crisis. And following Nietzsche and Heidegger, Strauss sees that this crisis itself opens up the possibility of a release fromsees that this crisis itself opens up the possibility of a release from modernity. This release both brings to light a principle that is beyond, butmodernity. This release both brings to light a principle that is beyond, but forgotten by, modernity, and points to a return to origins, free from andforgotten by, modernity, and points to a return to origins, free from and prior to the sources of modernity….prior to the sources of modernity….  Unlike these two thinkers, Strauss does not trace modernity to theUnlike these two thinkers, Strauss does not trace modernity to the metaphysical turn which began with Socrates and Plato, nor to the slavemetaphysical turn which began with Socrates and Plato, nor to the slave revolt of morality that received its most decisive impetus from Judaism.revolt of morality that received its most decisive impetus from Judaism. Rather, Strauss sees the roots of contemporary nihilism in the deliberateRather, Strauss sees the roots of contemporary nihilism in the deliberate reformulation of political philosophy achieved by the great early modernreformulation of political philosophy achieved by the great early modern thinkers, above all Machiavelli and Hobbes’thinkers, above all Machiavelli and Hobbes’ Source: RobinsonSource: Robinson
  22. 22. The Philosopher and the CitizenThe Philosopher and the Citizen  Strauss argues that the practices that establish the virtuousStrauss argues that the practices that establish the virtuous life arise, not out of the spontaneity of humanlife arise, not out of the spontaneity of human communality, but out of the work of legislators who havecommunality, but out of the work of legislators who have the wisdom or foresight to establish those practices thatthe wisdom or foresight to establish those practices that most fully bring forth human sociality. In this, Straussmost fully bring forth human sociality. In this, Strauss takes up the Nietzschean principle that there is atakes up the Nietzschean principle that there is a fundamental difference in the ranks of human beings.fundamental difference in the ranks of human beings.  The way of the philosopher is utterly in contrast to, andThe way of the philosopher is utterly in contrast to, and destructive of, the way of the citizen. The philosopher leadsdestructive of, the way of the citizen. The philosopher leads a life open to the whole; the citizen's virtue and nobilitya life open to the whole; the citizen's virtue and nobility depend upon his attachment to the closed world of his city.depend upon his attachment to the closed world of his city. The citizen requires of the philosopher that he confirm asThe citizen requires of the philosopher that he confirm as natural the virtues by which he, the citizen, lives. Thenatural the virtues by which he, the citizen, lives. The philosopher knows those virtues to be groundless in thephilosopher knows those virtues to be groundless in the sense intended by the citizen.sense intended by the citizen.  Source: RobinsonSource: Robinson
  23. 23. Strauss, Multiculturalism & PostmodernismStrauss, Multiculturalism & Postmodernism ‘‘Besides his teaching activities, Strauss rather skillfullyBesides his teaching activities, Strauss rather skillfully turned his attention, after he got to the University ofturned his attention, after he got to the University of Chicago, to struggles within academe rather than strugglesChicago, to struggles within academe rather than struggles in the popular, political arena. Positioned in a social sciencein the popular, political arena. Positioned in a social science department, he started attacking social science for its valuedepartment, he started attacking social science for its value neutrality. He and his associates began attacking elementsneutrality. He and his associates began attacking elements of contemporary society through their supposedof contemporary society through their supposed representation in social science and other academicrepresentation in social science and other academic disciplines rather than out in the open as a direct politicaldisciplines rather than out in the open as a direct political attack, and doing it in a way that made it seem that he andattack, and doing it in a way that made it seem that he and his students and friends were defending the principles ofhis students and friends were defending the principles of liberal-democratic society at the same time. This collectiveliberal-democratic society at the same time. This collective struggle was another element in the building of astruggle was another element in the building of a Straussian network, one that continued after his deathStraussian network, one that continued after his death primarily through attacks on so-called multiculturalism andprimarily through attacks on so-called multiculturalism and post-modernism.’post-modernism.’ Nicholas Xenos,Nicholas Xenos, ‘Leo Strauss and the Rhetoric of the War on Terror’‘Leo Strauss and the Rhetoric of the War on Terror’
  24. 24. Strauss & the Critique of LiberalismStrauss & the Critique of Liberalism In 1932, he wrote an extended review of a book by the German legalIn 1932, he wrote an extended review of a book by the German legal and political theorist Carl Schmitt entitledand political theorist Carl Schmitt entitled The Concept of theThe Concept of the PoliticalPolitical, in which Schmitt articulated his notion that the core of the, in which Schmitt articulated his notion that the core of the political problem is the distinction between friends and enemies.political problem is the distinction between friends and enemies.  Schmitt later became a member of the Nazi party and a leadingSchmitt later became a member of the Nazi party and a leading figure in the main legal organization of the Third Reich. In Strauss’sfigure in the main legal organization of the Third Reich. In Strauss’s review, he criticized Schmitt from the political right. He argued thatreview, he criticized Schmitt from the political right. He argued that ‘the critique introduced by Schmitt against liberalism can . . . be‘the critique introduced by Schmitt against liberalism can . . . be completed only if one succeeds in gaining a horizon beyondcompleted only if one succeeds in gaining a horizon beyond liberalism. In such a horizon Hobbes completed the foundation ofliberalism. In such a horizon Hobbes completed the foundation of liberalism. A radical critique of liberalism is thus possible only on theliberalism. A radical critique of liberalism is thus possible only on the basis of an adequate understanding of Hobbes.’basis of an adequate understanding of Hobbes.’  His point was that Schmitt was, in his criticisms of liberalism,His point was that Schmitt was, in his criticisms of liberalism, working within the bounds of liberal society because liberalism hadworking within the bounds of liberal society because liberalism had become so dominant that it was difficult see beyond it anymore, andbecome so dominant that it was difficult see beyond it anymore, and it was thus necessary to go back to Hobbes to see what was thereit was thus necessary to go back to Hobbes to see what was there before.before.  Strauss wrote to Löwith in May 1933, five months after Hitler’sStrauss wrote to Löwith in May 1933, five months after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor and a month after implementation of theappointment as Chancellor and a month after implementation of the first anti-Jewish legislation, that ‘Just because Germany has turnedfirst anti-Jewish legislation, that ‘Just because Germany has turned to the right and has expelled us,’ meaning Jews, ‘it simply does notto the right and has expelled us,’ meaning Jews, ‘it simply does not follow that the principles of the right are therefore to be rejected. Tofollow that the principles of the right are therefore to be rejected. To the contrary, only on the basis of principles of the right—fascist,the contrary, only on the basis of principles of the right—fascist, authoritarian,authoritarian, imperialimperial [emphasis in original]—is it possible in a[emphasis in original]—is it possible in a dignified manner, without the ridiculous and pitiful appeal to “thedignified manner, without the ridiculous and pitiful appeal to “the inalienable rights of man” to protest against the mean nonentity’inalienable rights of man” to protest against the mean nonentity’ Source: XenosSource: Xenos
  25. 25. Some distinguishing aspects of a StraussianSome distinguishing aspects of a Straussian approach to political philosophyapproach to political philosophy    (1) A return to treating old books (1) A return to treating old books seriouslyseriously, reading them , reading them slowlyslowly and with an  and with an  effort to understand them as their effort to understand them as their authorsauthors did, rather than as History does.did, rather than as History does. (2) A recognition of the (2) A recognition of the politicalpolitical nature of philosophy, that most philosophers who  nature of philosophy, that most philosophers who  wrote did so with a political purpose. wrote did so with a political purpose.  (3) A recognition that the greatest thinkers often wrote with both (3) A recognition that the greatest thinkers often wrote with both exotericexoteric and  and  esotericesoteric teachings, either out of fear of persecution or a general desire to  teachings, either out of fear of persecution or a general desire to  present their most important teachings to those most receptive to them. This present their most important teachings to those most receptive to them. This  leads to an attempt to discern the leads to an attempt to discern the esotericesoteric teachings of the great philosophers  teachings of the great philosophers  from the clues they left in their writings for careful readers to find. from the clues they left in their writings for careful readers to find.  (4) A recognition of the dangers that historicism, relativism, eclecticism, (4) A recognition of the dangers that historicism, relativism, eclecticism,  scientism, and nihilism pose to philosophy and to Western culture generally, scientism, and nihilism pose to philosophy and to Western culture generally,  and an effort to steer philosophy away from these devastating influences and an effort to steer philosophy away from these devastating influences  through a return to the seminal texts of Western thought. through a return to the seminal texts of Western thought.  (5) Careful attention paid to the dialogue throughout the development of Western (5) Careful attention paid to the dialogue throughout the development of Western  culture between its two points of departure: Athens and Jerusalem. The culture between its two points of departure: Athens and Jerusalem. The  recognition that Reason and Revelation, originating from these two points recognition that Reason and Revelation, originating from these two points  respectively, are the two distinct sources of knowledge in the Western respectively, are the two distinct sources of knowledge in the Western  tradition, and can be used neither to support nor refute the other, since tradition, and can be used neither to support nor refute the other, since  neither claims to be based on the other's terms. neither claims to be based on the other's terms.  (6) A constant examination of the most drastic of philosophic distinctions: that (6) A constant examination of the most drastic of philosophic distinctions: that  between the Ancients and the Moderns. An attempt to better understand between the Ancients and the Moderns. An attempt to better understand  philosophers of every age in relation to this distinction, and to learn philosophers of every age in relation to this distinction, and to learn  everything that we as moderns can learn about ourselves by studying both everything that we as moderns can learn about ourselves by studying both  eras.eras. Source:Source: http://www.straussian.net/straussianism.htmlhttp://www.straussian.net/straussianism.html
  26. 26. Strauss & EducationStrauss & Education  "What Is Liberal Education?" Commencement address at University"What Is Liberal Education?" Commencement address at University College, University of Chicago, 6 June. Chicago: University ofCollege, University of Chicago, 6 June. Chicago: University of Chicago. Reprinted inChicago. Reprinted in Education for Public ResponsibilityEducation for Public Responsibility, edited by, edited by C. Scott Fletcher, 43-51. New York: Norton, 1961. Also inC. Scott Fletcher, 43-51. New York: Norton, 1961. Also in Liberalism Ancient and ModernLiberalism Ancient and Modern, 3-8, 1968., 3-8, 1968.  "Liberal Education and Responsibility." In"Liberal Education and Responsibility." In Education: The ChallengeEducation: The Challenge AheadAhead, edited by C. Scott Fletcher, 49-70. New York: Norton., edited by C. Scott Fletcher, 49-70. New York: Norton. Reprinted inReprinted in Liberalism Ancient and ModernLiberalism Ancient and Modern, 9-25, 1968., 9-25, 1968.  "Liberal Education and Mass Democracy." In"Liberal Education and Mass Democracy." In Higher Education andHigher Education and Modern DemocracyModern Democracy, edited by Robert A. Goidwin, 73-96. Chicago:, edited by Robert A. Goidwin, 73-96. Chicago: Rand McNally. (A composite of "What Is Liberal Education?" andRand McNally. (A composite of "What Is Liberal Education?" and "Liberal Education and Responsibility.")"Liberal Education and Responsibility.")  "Exoteric Teaching." Edited by Kenneth Hart Green."Exoteric Teaching." Edited by Kenneth Hart Green. InterpretationInterpretation 14, no. 1 (January 1986): 51-59.14, no. 1 (January 1986): 51-59.  Writings of Straussians like Allan Bloom (see Reading The ClosingWritings of Straussians like Allan Bloom (see Reading The Closing of the American Mind at:of the American Mind at: http://www2.bc.edu/~wilsonop/discus/messages/25/25.html?113164315http://www2.bc.edu/~wilsonop/discus/messages/25/25.html?113164315 ).).  Accounts of Strauss’ and Straussian pedagogy – e.g., Norton, Anne,Accounts of Strauss’ and Straussian pedagogy – e.g., Norton, Anne, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American EmpireLeo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire. Yale University. Yale University Press, 2004.Press, 2004.
  27. 27. ‘‘What is Liberal Education?’What is Liberal Education?’ Liberal education is education in culture (Liberal education is education in culture (culturacultura – as– as cultivation of the mind)cultivation of the mind)  Access to the greatest minds only through the great booksAccess to the greatest minds only through the great books  ‘‘Liberal education will then consist in studying with theLiberal education will then consist in studying with the proper care the great books which the greatest minds haveproper care the great books which the greatest minds have left behind’ (pp. 311-12)left behind’ (pp. 311-12)  Discussion of cultures and ‘democracy’Discussion of cultures and ‘democracy’  ‘‘Liberal education is the counterpoison to mass culture, toLiberal education is the counterpoison to mass culture, to the corroding effects of mass culture’ (p. 314) (Cf.the corroding effects of mass culture’ (p. 314) (Cf. Horkheimer & Adorno)Horkheimer & Adorno)  ‘‘The greatest minds to whom we ought to listen are by noThe greatest minds to whom we ought to listen are by no means exclusively the greatest minds of the West’ (p. 317)means exclusively the greatest minds of the West’ (p. 317)  Paradox: ‘Since the greatest minds contradict one anotherParadox: ‘Since the greatest minds contradict one another …they compel us to judge…; yet we are not competent to be…they compel us to judge…; yet we are not competent to be judges’judges’  ‘‘we have lost all simply authoritative traditions in which wewe have lost all simply authoritative traditions in which we could trust, thecould trust, the nomosnomos which gave us authoritativewhich gave us authoritative guidance’ (p. 318)guidance’ (p. 318)
  28. 28. Neoconservative EducationNeoconservative Education  The conservative critique of the counterculture, from RonaldThe conservative critique of the counterculture, from Ronald Reagan to Newt Gingrich, saw it leaving a legacy ofReagan to Newt Gingrich, saw it leaving a legacy of individualism and consumerism, leading to nihilism.individualism and consumerism, leading to nihilism.  Education must be re-moralized at all levels to anchorEducation must be re-moralized at all levels to anchor American values & identity and overcome the problem ofAmerican values & identity and overcome the problem of disorder.disorder.  Attack on multiculturalism & cultural relativismAttack on multiculturalism & cultural relativism  Attack on ‘postmodernism’; repeal of ‘rights culture’Attack on ‘postmodernism’; repeal of ‘rights culture’  New religious fundamentalism and emergence of ‘faith’New religious fundamentalism and emergence of ‘faith’ schools with restyled curriculum, e.g., creation scienceschools with restyled curriculum, e.g., creation science  Re-assertion of American values and identity:Re-assertion of American values and identity: • Re-establishing the American canon and WASP values as aRe-establishing the American canon and WASP values as a basis for American identity (Bloom; Huntington);basis for American identity (Bloom; Huntington); • Export of American values e.g., as a basis for culturalExport of American values e.g., as a basis for cultural ‘reconstruction’ in Iraq‘reconstruction’ in Iraq
  29. 29. Neoconservatism and NeoliberalismNeoconservatism and Neoliberalism  From the neoliberal to the neoconservativeFrom the neoliberal to the neoconservative state (Harvey, 2005,state (Harvey, 2005, A brief history ofA brief history of neoliberalismneoliberalism))  Is there an economic theory?Is there an economic theory?  Globalization of American values throughGlobalization of American values through educationeducation  Americanization of world institutions:Americanization of world institutions: –– appointment of Bolton & rejection of UNappointment of Bolton & rejection of UN as moral arbiteras moral arbiter - appointment of Wolfowitz to World Bank- appointment of Wolfowitz to World Bank
  30. 30. ReferencesReferences  Shadia DruryShadia Drury, The Political Thought of Leo Strauss, The Political Thought of Leo Strauss, Revised Edition. , Revised Edition.  New York: St. Martin's Press,(originally published in 1988) 2005.New York: St. Martin's Press,(originally published in 1988) 2005.  Shadia DruryShadia Drury, Leo Strauss and the American Right, Leo Strauss and the American Right. Palgrave . Palgrave  Macmillan. 1999. Macmillan. 1999.   Norton, Anne, Norton, Anne, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American EmpireLeo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire. .  Yale University Press, 2004. Yale University Press, 2004.   Kochin, Michael S., "Morality, Nature, and Esotericism in Leo Kochin, Michael S., "Morality, Nature, and Esotericism in Leo  Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing." Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing." The Review ofThe Review of PoliticsPolitics 64 (Spring 2002):261-283.  64 (Spring 2002):261-283.   Ted V. McAllister, 1996. Ted V. McAllister, 1996. Revolt Against Modernity : Leo Strauss,Revolt Against Modernity : Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin & the Search for Postliberal OrderEric Voegelin & the Search for Postliberal Order. Lawrence, KS: . Lawrence, KS:  University Press of Kansas. University Press of Kansas.   Mark Lewis Taylor, ‘Mark Lewis Taylor, ‘Liberation, Neocons and the Christian Right: Liberation, Neocons and the Christian Right:  Options for Pro-Active Christian Witness in Post-9/11’, Options for Pro-Active Christian Witness in Post-9/11’,  Constellation, Fall, 2003. Constellation, Fall, 2003.   Political Philosophy in the Tradition of Leo Strauss , at Political Philosophy in the Tradition of Leo Strauss , at  http://www.straussian.net/http://www.straussian.net/  

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