Monday, February 11, 2008

Atlas, James. "The Nation: Leo-Cons; a Classicist's Legacy: New Empire Builders." NEW YORK TIMES May 4, 2003.

Strauss Redux: To intellectual-conspiracy theorists, the Bush administration's foreign policy is entirely a Straussian creation. Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, has been identified as a disciple of Strauss; William Kristol, founding editor of The Weekly Standard, a must-read in the White House, considers himself a Straussian; Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century, an influential foreign policy group started by Mr. Kristol, is firming in the Strauss camp. One is reminded of Asa Leventhal, the hero of Saul Bellow's novel 'The Victim,' who asks his oppressor, a mysterious figure named Kirby Allbee, ''Wait a minute, what's your idea of who runs things?'' For those who believe in the power of ideas, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to answer: the intellectual heirs of Leo Strauss. So how did it come to pass that a European-born émigré identified by the Harvard professor of government Harvey Mansfield (also a Straussian) as ''an obscure professor of political philosophy at the University of Chicago who died in 1973'' now occupies a position of such disproportionate influence? . . . The rest is here:

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