you say you are a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit
stones ~ sweet neo con
Several months ago, I mentioned -- in the usual elliptically discursive and maddeningly en passant manner that substitutes for style on this blog (see, even I know it) -- something I'd read in The New York Times Book Review about a book about Leo Strauss. As I recall, the review -- and reportedly the book -- basically said that it was weird that Leo Strauss kept being associated with the neoconservative Bush League in Washington, DC. Since then, I've read a bit more about Leo Strauss, who died 30+ years ago, and have discovered that all the neocons say the same thing about him: They respect him tremendously, he was a hell of a guy, and he really liked Plato a lot, so what could be bad? But none of that has anything to with -- are you kidding? -- politics.
The only reason I even bothered reading that review was that I'd just read somewhere else that Hannah Arendt refused to go out with lovable ol' Leo because, and I quote, "she didn't date Nazis." As a matter of fact, as I later read in the NY Times ($), she did. The Times review of Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger (Yale University Press) notes...
Referring to the death of Husserl in a letter in 1946 to the philosopher Karl Jaspers, Arendt called Heidegger "a potential murderer." But almost from the moment she was reunited with Heidegger in 1950, Professor Ettinger said, Arendt forgave him everything.
In other words, your usual tangled web. But as this is the web I've lately been tangling with, that's probably why Leo Strauss and the American Right recently popped up in my Amazon recommendations. It's by Shadia B. Drury, of whom I'd never heard, so I was somewhat amazed (further demonstrating my deep ignorance of these waters) to find she has a page on Wikipedia. My interest might have ended there, had I not read that she "has called Strauss himself 'a Jewish Nazi'" -- especially as some attentive Wikieditor has added the tag "citation needed." Well goodness, I should say so!
So I went haring off to find one. There's a reference to the quote on plastic.com, but as that site is now defunct, the page 404s. However, the Google cache page is still there, and it mentions The Boston Globe. After paying the Globe $2.95 to read "The Philosopher" by one Jeet Heer (May 11, 2003), I kicked myself, because once I had the guy's name it was easy to find his site where the article is available gratis. Here's the relevant bit...
Clifford Orwin, a professor at the University of Toronto strongly influenced by Strauss, describes him as a wise teacher who counseled prudence and moderation. But Shadia Drury, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary and the author of "Leo Strauss and the American Right," completely disagrees. For her, Strauss was nothing less than "a Jewish Nazi" whose pretense of American patriotism and piety hid a cynical and extremist antidemocratic ideology.
Still wondering where she said or wrote that, I emailed Jeet Heer. He responded with blinding speed: "The phrase came from an interview I did with Drury, conducted about a week before the article was published."
So: citation supplied.
For this and other such assessments, professor Drury has been called "the bitch of Calgary" by the neo-con-men -- a label of which she is evidently quite proud (though I forgot now where I read that). Here's an excellent audio interview with her on the subject.
However, you might want to save that one for later, because what follows is a three-hour BBC documentary about Leo Strauss, the American neoconservative movement, and "al Qaeda terrorist networks." These three segments are also available on DVD.
I can't imagine a better way to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11 -- and I can't recommend these films highly enough. You'll see.
The Power of Nightmares
Part I: Baby It's Cold Outside
Part II: The Phantom Victory
Part III: The Shadows in the Cave
Further reading, as suggested by writer, producer and narrator Adam Curtis.
the unlikely story of how America slipped the surly bonds of earth & came to
believe in signs & portents that would make the middle ages blush
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SPECIAL THANKS TO
New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)
Monday, September 11