Leo Strauss and Neo-Conservatism

The scene:? A police car drives down a busy main street during the early Monday morning rush. The officer driving deliberately maintains a speed 10 mph below the posted speed limit. He knows nobody will pass him, and indeed, nobody does.

The drivers who would otherwise press 10 to 15 mph faster than the posted speed limit are constrained by their fear of the police officer’s power of authority. The man wearing his police uniform, driving his police car and exerting his power to slow the drivers around him takes his authority from the consensus of those other drivers. Everybody seeing the uniform, the badge, the police cruiser buys into the idea that this man is a figure of authority, and with this consensus, the illusion is made real. ??Later, this police officer will park his police cruiser, change into his civilian clothes and drive his own car to wherever he lives. There, he will eat his dinner just like each of his neighbors. He will take off his shoes just like each of his neighbors.

He will take off his clothes, and climb, naked into his shower, just like each of his neighbors. His body will metabolize the food he ate, and in the morning he brush his teeth, depilate, and defecate just like each of the other human beings living in the houses adjacent to his. ??When the city this man lives in raises his property taxes by $ 1000 per year, he will pay, just like each of his neighbours. Like them, he has subscribed to the consensus in which everybody agrees that “the city” has the authority and power to exact tribute from each person living under the city’s “authority”.

How is it that anyone, or any group of people in civil society have “power” to regulate, restrict the actions of, or to extract a portion of the income of other members of that civil society? It would be easy to imagine this is through force, the threat of penalty or violence or arrest. The real reason is that “authority” exists only by consensus.

During a theatrical magic performance, members of the audience don’t really believe the magician’s assistant is in actual danger of being sawn in half. They understand that the woman being cut in half is an illusion. So with this understanding, does the magician’s audience resent their deception by the magician? Of course not, a member of magician’s audience participates in their own deception by willfully suspending their disbelief. ??An unspoken consensus between the performer and the audience is established in which everybody present agrees that the magician “really can” cut his assistant in half.

The audience, through mutual consensus confers the illusion of power and authority on the magician. ??Aside from the willing consensus of the magician’s audience, he employs a continuous routine of misdirection, disinformation and manipulation on his audience. ??Like the magician’s atmosphere, proselytism and disinformation form a major component of the engineered consensus which maintains an accepted status quo in civil society.

At no point does a competent magician stop in the middle of his routine and break the illusion of his “power”. The magician’s intimation of his own authority and power must be maintained throughout the performance without letup. The performer who breaks the audience’s perception of that  power will not be popular.

For the same reason, the “information” fed to the public must be continuous, to prop up the accepted public consensus of political and social reality. Just as a magician cannot break character midway through his act and keep his audience, political and social mythology which civil society accepts as “real” relies on the non-interrupted program of public narrative.
Myth: International finance is mysterious, complicated, and difficult to understand.

Almost every single television “news” station runs across the bottom of your TV screen a constant scrolling ticker filled with cryptic, complicated and intimidating financial market indexes and statistics during their “news” broadcast. Clearly, the information conveyed by these scrolling tickers is important, urgent, and deeply complicated.

These stations also bring in “experts” to “explain” the vagaries of the economic scene to us, the poor benighted viewers. These financial experts will intimidate us with a somewhat comprehensible description. The implication is of the viewer’s lack of background understanding of the complex and important fundamentals. ??This is all misdirection and bullshit.??Reality: International finance works like this:

The Central Bank (Federal Reserve) creates imaginary money by typing a large number into a computer.

The Central Bank (Federal Reserve) loans that imaginary money, at interest to your government, and to your banks.

Your government spends the money, and makes it into “real” money by forcing you to pay it back through taxation on your labor.

Your bank helps in the game of shifting that debt onto you by loaning some to you and increasing the interest rate of your repayment.

Everything else in finance is slight-of-hand to distract you.

Myth: A collection of disenfranchised fanatical Moslems are a credible threat to the largest military superpower in the world.

Reality: Politicians and news readers selling this story are counting on the audience never examining this absurd premise, and counting on members of the public to swallow whole the “boogeyman” of terrorism.

Myth: There is a difference between the Democratic and Republican parties.

Myth: You as an individual lack real power in civil society.

Myth: You as an individual are incapable of understanding the real world without the parental guidance of government or external authority.

There are a lot more of these subtle falsehoods, but listing and individually debunking them all is not the point of this article. Some of these lies are thousands of years old.

The lie of personal powerlessness is a re-framing of the biblical admonition to surrender control of your life to the self-appointed intermediaries to “god”; the church.

The myth of your personal inability to comprehend the big complicated world is a retelling of the biblical edict to surrender your personal accountability to an imaginary supernatural redeemer-figure.

These false “truths” are parts of the droning, hypnotizing message which permeates modern media-saturated western culture. As a mythology which underlies almost all content fed to the public through television and movies, the message is impossible to avoid. Understanding that a droning message permeates all of corporate created media gives one a tool to distinguish manufactured “truth” from observable reality.

The present culture of public deception promoted and maintained through corporate-controlled media is very real, and has it’s recent origin in the neo-conservative philosophy of Leo Strauss.

Strauss was a political philosopher who arrived in the United States in 1938. Strauss taught at several major universities, including University of Chicago. Among Strauss’s students were the architects of the neo-conservatism which has dominated and defined the agenda of the democratic and the republican parties of the past several decades.

Strauss saw the use of deception in politics as a necessity. While outwardly professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical; divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow. Unlike philosophical elitists such as Plato, he was unconcerned with the moral character of these leaders.

“Those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.”

Shadia Drury, Professor of political science at the University of Calgary described this philosophy as one which requires an environment of “perpetual deception” in which the people are indoctrinated to a manufactured mythology, of simplistic character appropriate to their meagre powers of comprehension.

According to Drury, Straussian philosophy requires: “perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what’s good for them.”

In Straussian philosophy, the “elite” believe that there is no morality and the only natural right is that of the superior to rule over the inferior”

This philosophy of neo-conservatism also holds that: “While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, the masses could not cope. If exposed to the absence of absolute truth, they would quickly fall into nihilism or anarchy”

Strauss also believed that “Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed . Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united and they can only be united against other people.”

A Straussian society then, requires a state of perpetual war.

Senator John McCain (a member of the council of Foreign Relations) was asked a question during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on January 3 2008

Q: “President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years..”
(McCain cut the questioner off to reply)
A: “Make it a hundred , we’ve been in Japan for 60 years, we’ve been in South Korea for 50 years, it’s fine by me”

It’s easy to dismiss McCain’s callous reply as the ranting of a man who’s gone completely bug-fuck crazy. Easy, until we realize that under a Straussian philosophy, a state of perpetual war is required to keep the dis-informed public under a social control.

Mr. McCain, only 100 years? Surely you can be more ambitious. McCain’s fellow Straussian; William Kristol is a co-founder of the Project the New American Century, but perhaps a longer view can be taken. Possibly even a Reich of a thousand years.

The list of Strauss’s students include:

Paul Wolfowitz
Donald Rumsfeld
William Kristol, founder of the Project for the New American Century
Abram Shulsky, former head of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans
Stephen Cambone, former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
Richard Perle, former Defense Policy Board chairman.
Dick Cheney

Once we recognize this twisted philosophy, and that the followers of Strauss are the architects of modern neo-conservatism in both parties, as well as the CRF, the Project for a New American Century, it is easy to see that the apparent incompetence of the Bush administration is something entirely other than incompetence.

To describe Straussian philosophy, in such a way that it can be discussed without lengthy and repetitive explanations to the uninitiated, it requires a name or an adjective. Straussian philosophy is in every respect that matters, a philosophy of evil.

When individuals come to realize what is encompassed by the paradigm of political thought driving neo-conservative policy in America, a sea-change in public perception will occur. This is not just a possibility, the information is available, and people will find it, just as you have found this article.

Sea Change: Noun – a profound transformation.

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