Monday, January 22, 2007

Leo Strauss vs Nietzsche

Strauss and Nietzsche share striking similarities. Both are political conservatives of an aristocratic bent. Both Strauss and Nietzsche share the same view of truth. Nietzsche says truth is "a word for the will to power." Third, both recognize that this insight is dangerous and detrimental to human existence, which requires illusion and myth, the "noble lie." If the "truth" were to be known, that existence is meaningless and without ground, the result would be universal nihilism. Fourth, Strauss's conception of the philosopher is modeled after Nietzsche's conception of the Superman. He is the creator of necessary truths that

"ensure the survival of the herd in a condition of peace and tranquility. The Philosopher, like the Superman, fashions opinions, attitudes, and sensibilities of the vulgar; he or she creates the consumption for the herd. They are noble liars who don't decieve themselves; they know their truths to be fabrications with no correspondence to reality. This latter activity is the 'political' aspect of philosophy; it is political philosophy"

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