Richard Heinberg’s Powerdown: Options for a Post-Carbon World contains the following in a sidebar entitled “Who are the Neocons?”
According to Shadia Drury in Leo Strauss and the American Right, (Griffin, 1999), Strauss advocated an essentially Machiavellian approach to governance. He believed that:
- A leader must perpetually deceive those being ruled.
- Those who lead are accountable to no overarching system of morals, only to the right of the superior to rule the inferior.
- Religion is the force that binds society together, and is therefore the tool by which the ruler can manipulate the masses (any religion will do).
- Secularism in society is to be supressed, because it leads to critical thinking and dissent.
- A political system can be stable only if it is united against an external threat, and that if no real threat exists, one should be manufactured.
Among Strauss’s students was Paul Wolfowitz, one of the leading hawks in the US Defense Department, who urged the invasion of Iraq; second-generation students include Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas, Irving Kristol, William Bennet, John Ashcroft, and Michael Ledeen.
Ledeen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago (1999), is a policy advisor (via Karl Rove) to the Bush administration.
posted @ 12:40 PM EDT