Leo Strauss and the Noble Lie: The Neo-Cons at War

Leo Strauss and the Noble Lie: The Neo-Cons at War

excerpt from John G. Mason’s article Leo Strauss and the Noble Lie: The Neo-Cons at War:

The Neo-Con Network and the Strauss School

In any case, Dury is quite right to point out that many of the most visible Neo Conservative figures within the ranks of the Bush Administration and among its house intellectuals who reside at the American Enterprise Institute and write for the Weekly Standard, have some kind of connection with Leo Strauss. Or if not with the Master himself, then at least with his most visible disciple, Allan Bloom, who taught at the University of Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s. Dury sums up her case about the Straussians connection to the Iraq war plainly: ” Leo Strauss was a great believer in the efficacy and usefulness of lies in politics. Public support for the Iraq war rested on lies about Iraq posing an imminent threat to the United State. Now that the lies have been exposed, Paul Wolfowitz and other in the war party are denying that these were the real reasons for the war.” Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense, and one of the accused, freely admits to having taken one course with Allan Bloom, but denounces the whole idea of a Neo-Straussian cabal as “the product of fevered minds who seem incapable of understanding that 9/11 changed a lot of things and who search for a conspiracy theory to explain it.”

But whatever their relation to the authentic thought of Strauss, the Straussians represent a distinct generational cohort. Among their alumni are other Pentagon officials, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, the Chair of the National Defense Policy Board, Stephen Cambone, the Under Secretary of Intelligence, Elliot Abrams of the National Security Council and Adam Shulsky already mentioned. These are members of coherent neo-conservative group of policy makers that have served together in since the Reagan administration and who often socialize together as well. And given their willingness to look out for one another’s offspring, the network has a multi-generational dimension that passes membership and ideological belief from father to son as is the case, for instance, with Irving Kristol of Commentary who begat William Kristol of the Weekly Standard.


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