I posted the following as a comment to the Opium For You post and Dave asked me to repost it as a blog.
I’ve been researching the devotion of the neocons to the philosophy of Leo Strauss for a long time. If I haven’t posted anything about this here, I should have. He was a professor at the U. of Chicago, taken very seriously at the time by any number of bright young things who considered themselves intellectually elite. A lot of my friends considered themselves intellectually elite and went to the University of Chicago, which considered itself the most intellectually elite university, so this was the right place for Strauss. I wasn’t considered intellectually elite because I couldn’t afford to go there. It was a private school and very expensive. To be intellectually elite you had to be rich. Of course you also had to be a man, so I could only have become a second-class Straussian at best anyway.
Strauss himself was, well, nuts. No other way to put it. A victim of Nazi Germany’s persecution of the Jews, he spent his life wasting his considerable intellect finding secrets that didn’t exist hidden in ancient philosophers, using this to reconstruct Nazi style philosophy. Maybe he suffered from the Stockholm syndrome.
You had to be a member of the intellectual elite to be allowed to share those “secrets” and this created a vicious circle. Those who wanted to be considered elite were allowed into the inner sanctum and thus could forever consider themselves elite, and plenty of his former students are now in positions of power. I knew some of his followers. You couldn’t argue with them because, of course, they considered themselves the cream of the intellectual elite in possession of “secrets’ nobody else could grasp — or were even allowed to know about. Strauss’ writings contain their own hidden “secrets” only the initiated elite can interpret and understand. You have to have been given the Keys to the Kingdom or you can’t play. The Chosen Ones, the would-be modern Philosopher Kings. Combine this with their cynical manipulation of the Dominionists, who believe that God has appointed them to establish and rule the Kingdom of God on Earth and you’ve got as poisonously dangerous a brew as has ever existed.
We would do well to research and understand this.