Sunday, April 22, 2007

Leo Strauss - Father of Neo-Conservatism

The German-American philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973) is for many the father of Neo-Conservatism.

He was born in Hessen, Germany. He received his PhD in Hamburg under Ernst Cassirer. In 1937 he emigrated to the US, where twelve years later he gained the position of professor in Chicago. Here he taught and influenced many of today Neocon thinkers, among them Paul Wolfowitz.

Strauss was against relativism which he saw embodied in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. He saw himself as a follower of Plato.

Liberal relativism has its roots in the natural right tradition of tolerance or in the notion that everyone has a natural right to the pursuit of happiness as he understands happiness; but in itself it is a seminary of intolerance.
And this is really how one should understand his conservatism, as a reaction to modern 20th century philosophy.

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