I'm not sure what the great political philosopher Leo Strauss would have thought of the Internet (he was a skeptic about progress, but also a skeptic about reaction). I personally think he would have appreciated aspects of it. Perhaps he would have even written an essay on "Persecution and the Art of Tweeting." Or not.
In any case, I trust he'd be pleased to have his work more easily and readily accessible to students today. So perhaps he'd approve of the new website, LeoStraussOnline.org, produced by the Foundation for Constitutional Government (full disclosure: I'm on the board). It's an online resource for the study of Strauss, presented in a catalogued, searchable format, with a curated bibliography of his writings, video and audio content, and links to other online resources for the study of Strauss.
Visit LeoStraussOnline.org early and often. Let others know of its existence. Read and learn. And feel free to be in touch with the FCG with suggestions, corrections and objections through the "Contact Us" page on the website.
We'll all be discussing for quite a while the substance, context, and implications of yesterday's speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I thought I might just offer a personal note on what most struck me yesterday, sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives.
Leo Strauss wrote of the “all men are created equal” sentence in the Declaration of Independence, “The passage has frequently been quoted, but, by its weight and its elevation, it is made immune to the degrading effects of the excessive familiarity which breeds contempt and of misuse which breeds disgust.” Doesn’t this also hold for the closing lines of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach?
"Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us,” we are told. So we take this occasion to praise three admirable individuals who died in the past two weeks. Each of them was extraordinary in his or her own right, but each of them also exemplified the virtues of a remarkable generation.
A poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life this fall finds that 43 percent of Jews do not know that Moses Maimonides, codifier of Jewish law, author of the Thirteen Principles of Faith, physician, and philosopher extraordinaire, was Jewish.
John McCain's "Worth the Fighting For" and Behnegar on Leo Strauss.
Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By
BOOKS IN BRIEF
Worth the Fighting For: A Memoir
by John McCain, with Mark Salter
Random House, 396 pp., $25.95
AS A RECOVERING McCainiac, I hesitated to pick up the new John McCain-Mark Salter volume. Their previous effort, McCain's war memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," was so good that I expected "Worth the Fighting For" to be a disappointment.
FINDING A NEW BOOK by the political philosopher Leo Strauss more than a generation after his death in 1973 is as startling and unexpected as discovering a lost manuscript by Bach in some dark and remote German basement. Strauss has become famous among American conservatives as an opponent of relativism or historicism and as a friend of natural right or law. His rediscovery of natural standards led to a fresh and salutary look by some of his students at how equal natural rights, not arbitrary power or chance, form the bedrock of the United States.