“Strauss described himself as a skeptic for whom all alleged answers to philosophical problems were fundamentally contestable. From this perspective, Jaffa and Lampert are rival dogmatists. If Jaffa’s Strauss often sounds like a political zealot who sanctifies Jaffa’s own reading of America, Lampert’s sounds disarmingly like Nietzsche’s self-description as “the last unpolitical German.” Both could stand being reminded of Strauss’s statement: “Moderation will protect us against the twin dangers of visionary expectations from politics and unmanly contempt for politics.” This still seems like good advice for those who will listen.”
As one unfamiliar with Leo Strauss, Smith persuades me to begin with the Lawrence Lampert book. On the other hand, moderation does seem like a path of least resistance.
Books: The Enduring Importance of Leo Strauss (Laurence Lampert), Crisis of the Strauss Divided (Harry Jaffa).
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