Leo Strauss and His Neoconservative Disciples (on the Problem of the Sources and Genesis of Neoconservatism)

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Abstract


The article discusses the problem of Leo Strauss’ influence on the political culture of the United States and analyzes the current historiographic situation pertaining to the problem. The authors demonstrate that both in the USA and in modern Russia the question of the degree and nature of L. Strauss’s influence on the neocons remains open. Meanwhile, it is obvious that Strauss had a significant impact on the formation of neoconservative ideology, which is manifested in the similarity of the basic ideas of the philosopher and his disciples. The formation of the philosopher’s views took place during the crisis of the Weimar Republic and the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany, which postulated Strauss’ idea about the need for strong democracy and its ability to defend itself against tyranny. The concept of strong democracy that can withstand totalitarianism and authoritarianism is one of the key ideas of neo-conservatism. The similarity of Strauss’ philosophical views to those of the neoconservatives is seen in criticism of the liberal world order and moral foundations of the West, which gave rise to relativism and nihilism. The conformity of neoconservative worldview, including and its variants, such as straussianism, to the ideas of Strauss is manifested in advocating the interests of Israel, which the founders of neo-conservatism view as an outpost of the Western world.


About the authors

Konstantin V. Blokhin

Center of Security Problems of Russian Academy of Science

Author for correspondence.
Email: Constantinos1@rambler.ru
Garibaldi str., 21 B, Moscow, Russian Federation, 117335

PhD in History, Leading Research Fellow of The Center of Security Problems of Russian Academy of Science

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