Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Have Powers You Know Not Of...

For an obscure (and boring) sect in political theory/philosophy, the Straussians have never been bigger. My local MP just sent me a letter claiming:

Prime Minister Harper is a follower of a mid-twentieth century American political philosopher called Leo Strauss. Professor Strauss believed that the best form of government is one where a small number of people, who are pre-destined to lead, tell everybody else what to do. He did not believe in the power of citizens exercising their wishes through their elected officials.

I took some political theory courses at U. of T. when it was a hotbed of Straussianism. As someone whose philosophical sensibilities were analytic and whose political sensibilities were leftist, I didn't take to them. As I recall it, they exhibited an excessively pious attitude to the texts, and seemed impervious to what I though of as rational argument.

What they did not strike me as was effective conspirators for power. But I guess genuinely effective conspirators wouldn't look it. Maybe if this stuff really percolates down to the water cooler, I can use the fact I took courses from genuine students of Leo Strauss himself to enhance my reputation for sinister power at work -- might be helpful if a better office comes up.

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