Getting around Hegel’s historicism via Nietzsche via Heidegger? Another [European] emigre to America who didn’t quite understand its liberal traditions?
“Strauss wrote that Friedrich Nietzsche was the first philosopher to properly understand relativism, an idea grounded in a general acceptance of Hegelian historicism.”
“Strauss taught that liberalism in its modern form contained within it an intrinsic tendency towards extreme relativism, which in turn led to two types of nihilism. The first was a “brutal” nihilism, expressed in Nazi and Marxist regimes. In On Tyranny, he wrote that these ideologies, both descendants of Enlightenmentthought, tried to destroy all traditions, history, ethics, and moral standards and replace them by force under which nature and mankind are subjugated and conquered. The second type – the “gentle” nihilism expressed in Western liberal democracies – was a kind of value-free aimlessness and a hedonistic”permissive egalitarianism”, which he saw as permeating the fabric of contemporary American society.”
So…if you take Plato on board, is The Republic an accurate representation of the course of the city and the man? Is that necessarily applicable to a current American excess of egalitarianism and individualism? An antidote to historicism?
Did our individualism get corrupted by Hegelian historicism which Nietzsche and Heidegger (and maybe Strauss?) all follow to its many logical conclusions?
“Indeed, Strauss wrote that Heidegger’s thinking must be understood and confronted before any complete formulation of modern political theory is possible. For Strauss, Plato could match Heidegger.”
Any thoughts and comments are welcome as I just had an interesting conversation with a Straussian.
Also On This Site: How might Nietzsche figure in the discussion (was he most after freeing art from a few thousand years of Christianity, monarchy and aristocracy…something deeper?), at least with regard to Camille Paglia. See the comments: Repost-Camille Paglia At Arion: Why Break, Blow, Burn Was Successful