Chapter

WWLSD; or, What Would Leo Strauss Do?

in Reading Leo Strauss

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780226764023
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226763903 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226763903.003.0009
WWLSD; or, What Would Leo Strauss Do?

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A central tenet of Strauss's political teaching is that the defense of liberal democracy is today the highest act of statesmanship. Strauss was deeply resistant to the kind of cosmopolitanism or global citizenship whose ultimate end is the withering away of the sovereign state. His conception of the autonomy of statecraft, at least its independence from theoretical philosophy, became a theme in Natural Right and History in his treatment of the Aristotelian conception of natural right. Strauss's statement that there are “no assignable limits” to how a just society may respond to provocation is neither an invitation to all-out warfare nor a call for global domination, but is actually a call for restraint. The essence of politics for Strauss is moderation. He was a skeptic who cautioned against the twin dangers of “visionary expectations” and “unmanly contempt” for politics.

Keywords: Leo Strauss; Natural Right; Aristotelian; politics; democracy

Chapter.  7697 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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