Thursday, July 14, 2005

Relativism (Part 4)

I have been slightly distracted by doing the previous post and by replying to SIAW here. So, to conclude this series (previous here).

Beneath the opposition to 'relativism' is a distrust of democracy and freedom of thought and a belief that absolute truth or absolute good can be discerned, or divined, by wise men or priests or a party elite, who are therefore best-fitted to rule. In this, Leo Strauss follows in an tradition. I don't know if it's right to implicate the whole of Greek philosophy, but certainly Plato is well-known as a model for totalitarianism. The irony is that Strauss invokes all this to defend against another totalitarianism, Soviet Communism.

To conclude from this, however, that because Paul Wolfowitz was taught by someone who was taught by  Strauss, this proves that all the neo-conservatives think the same as him and their profession of belief in democracy is hypocritical, is the kind of stretched logic we saw in the 'Power of Nightmares' (a sentiment already expressed here - see comments).


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