Friday, April 11, 2003

Lord save us from the "chosen people"!

Matthew discusses the influence that Leo Strauss has on the neo-cons.
Strauss’s idea on this score, I think, is that a text (or maybe only a great text) has (or maybe should have) arguments that work on two different levels. One is the exoteric argument intended for mass consumption. The other, somehow hidden in the text, is an esoteric argument directed at the truly enlightened. It seems to me that there’s a certain similarity between this and the way Bush will put forth for public consumption a bunch of considerations about, say, WMDs, UN resolutions, and terrorism, while neocons writing in their small-circulation journals talk about bold visions for remaking the world.
This sounds eerily similar to the mystical traditions which devote themselves to finding hidden messages within sacred texts. This may be driven by a psychological belief that says: "I am better than the yahoos around me. God knows this. So he must be sending me messages that only my enlightened instincts can identify." Lord save us from the "chosen people"!


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6:31 PM  

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