Leo Strauss on the Three Waves of Modernity

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was one of the most important historians of political philosophy in the 20th century.  A Jewish emigre to America in the 1930s, Strauss made his name as an exegete of the classics (Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides especially; Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Maimonides among Arab-Islamic and Jewish medieval philosophers, and Sts. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas … Continue reading Leo Strauss on the Three Waves of Modernity

New Money Liberalism vs. The Working Class

Unless you really, truly, believe the old and warn out canard that moneyed-interest is “conservative” you are probably attuned to the shifting realities of money/wealth in politics.  First, conservatism has never been the philosophy of money—from Aristotle to Edmund Burke to G.K. Chesterton, there has always been a skepticism to economic doctrines promoting the free … Continue reading New Money Liberalism vs. The Working Class

The Suicide of Conservatism: Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West”

Jonah Goldberg is the most recent of a cadre of popular writers and academics, all of a decisively neo-Whig orientation and consciousness, who has written a defense of the greatest myth ever told since the publication of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum. Goldberg’s tale of the “suicide of the West” is nothing new. It is just … Continue reading The Suicide of Conservatism: Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West”

Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Human Action, originally published in 1949, is regarded as Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus. The work is gripping and engaging, and its commentary is wide reaching. Mises intersplices his famous work of political economy and action theory (praxeology), where he considers economics as a sub-discipline of praxeology), with evolutionary science, philosophy, political commentary, and literature. … Continue reading Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Tale of Two Analyses

Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics

Leo Strauss was famous for his reading of Western culture, history, and politics as a division between Athens and Jerusalem. Borrowing from the Christian philosopher and theologian Tertullian, who famously bemused “What has Athens got to do with Jerusalem?”, Strauss recontextualized the question and thesis of Tertullian as one of oppositional antagonism which, nevertheless, is … Continue reading Athens, Jerusalem, and Leftwing Politics

Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

Athens was undoubtedly an exceptional polity. The Athenians are evidently aware of this fact. In the speeches leading up to the declaration of war between Athens and Sparta the Athenian representatives highlight their long and noble history which had brought them up to this moment in history. The much-remembered funeral oration of Pericles equally praises … Continue reading Athenian Exceptionalism and Pericles’ Funeral Oration

The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

One of the key aspects of Rousseau’s social contract theory is that, unlike with Hobbes and Locke, he really doesn’t explain why men embrace the social contract.  This is, again, because Rousseau takes the idealistic picture of humanity in the state of nature.  Man is born naturally good.  He is pure.  He is a moral … Continue reading The Poison of Rousseau’s Social Contract Vision

Liberalism and the Economic Man

What is liberalism?  What is the relationship between liberalism and economism?  Why did the Second International condemn social democracy and social liberalism, those philosophies that are often publicly proclaimed as “radical” and “socialist” by philosophical dilettantes, though not having any relationship to actual socialism?  Also, is liberalism about “natural rights” or is it actually a … Continue reading Liberalism and the Economic Man