Wednesday, January 1, 1997

January 1997

This is a placeholder post linking to this month's entries in the pre-Blogger format.



[Leo] Strauss's critique of the end of history thesis--long before Francis Fukuyama brought the subject to public attention--was simultaneously a critique of the modern, cosmopolitan aspirations of the dominant progressivism that accepted a cosmopolitan outcome as the only rational object of political and moral striving. Strauss's objections were taken as prima facie evidence of his anti-progressive and therefore reactionary and anti-democratic tendencies. It was assumed by proponents of progressivist cosmopolitanism that the only alternative to their view was a narrow, parochial, ethnic nationalism, which was defined as, in principle, fascistic. But Strauss did not accept that a cosmopolitan/fascist dichotomy exhausted the available options. He was a proponent of neither. Strauss becomes a reactionary, anti-Enlightenment conservative only for those incapable of escaping the cosmopolitan/fascist dichotomy--a dichotomy that unfortunately remains all too prevalent.

--Gregory Bruce Smith, "Who Was Leo Strauss?" The American Scholar Winter 1997 p. 103