Page 1 of 1

Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the philosophy of mass decepti

Posted: May 28th, 2006, 4:42 am
by stilltrucking
If I could give you a little homework I would be very interested in your take on this article
from Harper's Magazine.

He talks about Plato and the noble lie, I know nothing about Plato.

Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the philosophy of mass deception –
Earl Shorris, Harpers’ Magazine, June 2004

One of the great services that Strauss and his disciples have performed for
the Bush regime has been the provision of a philosophy of the noble lie, the
conviction that lies, far from being simply a regrettable necessity of political
life, are instead virtuous and noble instruments of wise policy. The idea's
provenance could not be more elevated: Plato himself advised his nobles,
men with golden souls, to tell noble lies-political fables, much like the
specter of Saddam Hussein with a nuclear bombto keep the other levels of
human society (silver, iron, brass) in their proper places, loyal to the state
and willing to do its bidding. Strauss, too, advised the telling of noble lies in
the service of the national interest, and he held Plato's view of aristocrats as
persons so virtuous that such lies would be used only for the good, for
keeping order in the state and in the world. He defined the modern method
of the noble lie in the use of esoteric messages within an exoteric text, telling
the truth to the wise while at the same time conveying something quite
different to the many.

I would appreciate any feed back. It is also available as a html file if you don't have A Dopey Reader.

Posted: May 28th, 2006, 2:23 pm
by e_dog
post a link to the non-pdf version. will ya?

Posted: May 28th, 2006, 3:15 pm
by stilltrucking

Posted: June 7th, 2006, 3:43 am
by gypsyjoker
Too many big words?

Posted: June 7th, 2006, 6:27 pm
by e_dog
haven't read it yet but when i do ill post a response.


Posted: June 8th, 2006, 7:35 pm
by stilltrucking
He seems to go on about the Weimar Republic. That is the one thing that shapes his whole world view. It seems he has a very narrow world view. He lost faith in democracy because of its collapse. I don't think it was the a failure of democracy. It was doomed from the start because of the reparations. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject. Going to sit on my hands and be patient. Write when you get the time.

Posted: June 12th, 2006, 8:04 pm
by e_dog
the article is too vague and judgmental. one doesn't get a very clear impression of what Strauss says, only that the auther thinks him evil.

the premise thaty the Bush-Reagan policymakers are guided by a "philosophy" also gives them more credibility as intellectual figures than they deserve.

it wasinteresting but not very instructive.

Posted: June 12th, 2006, 8:13 pm
by stilltrucking
Yeah just on guy's opinions. But Strauss's students turn up all over the place. There fingerprints all over our Operation Iraqi freedom. Now the new prime minister of Canada is a Straussian too. And then there is Plato, Leo Strauss and Allan


I was hoping you would comment on Plato. What of his interpretation of Plato. Is he right about the Noble Lie?

Posted: June 12th, 2006, 9:30 pm
by e_dog
not one of Plato's finest moments. yeah, ancient Greeks are elitists. Aristotle justifies slavery; women are too irrational to think. the list goes on.

Posted: June 12th, 2006, 10:28 pm
by stilltrucking
I appreciate the come back.

One interesting factoid about Athenians that fascinated me was that the cops were slaves. They would not allow one citizen to have any police power over another citizen.

Posted: June 12th, 2006, 10:38 pm
by stilltrucking
not one of Plato's finest moments

I been thinking about submiting that for the quote of the week.