Sunday, May 08, 2016

Andrew Sullivan apologizes to Leo Strauss

Sullivan, 4 years ago --

But the real trouble, I'd argue, is with Strauss's 1930s-driven lack of faith in modernity, his insistence that unimpeachable truths (not insights, eternal truths) about human nature could be gleaned by close reading of ancient texts by a few in the elite, and his followers' need to disguise their disdain for democracy and religion (making them insufferable cynics). It was hard to find a Straussian scholar who wasn't obsessed with domestic politics and who wasn't a neoconservative, itching for a new war for freedom somewhere.

Sullivan's much-cited late-stage democracy=Trump New York Magazine article this week --

Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life. It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyperdemocratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.

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