Nietzsche's Aristocratic Project: A Philosophy of the Future and the Past. . . .

Jeffrey Neuzil

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2007
Notes From the Secretary to the Grand Inquisitor (see "History of Political Philosophy," Strauss, Cropsey,73): Heinrich Meier, Leo Strauss, and “Death as God”—A Pre-review of “Leo Strauss and the Thologico-Political Problem”
A new book by Hienrich Meir, "Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem," promises to be a great read for any student of Leo Strauss' who shares the founder's penchant for shunning surfaces and penetrating the depths of his subject: for this is the very essence of philosophy's erotic intention—striving desperately, not always sucessfully, for a return to the origin—to the experience of the "whole" through "knowledge" of the "part," or "parts."
My favorite contribution of this volume to Strauss studies is the way in which it "responsibly" and unswervingly defines the tenets of Strauss' "sophrosterion," or his "thinkery" (I felt as if I were there, in the "Clouds" as it were, with Socrates, swooping down on the demos, and affably begining a dialogic testing of the waters.). Meir authoritatively claims that Strauss founded a "School" at the University of Chicago. Meir means this in a quite high-minded sense.
I do not disagree with him, and his clarification of this fact does more than a little to aid one in comprehending Strauss' "eternal" concerns. Some who have heretofore been unclear on the relation of terms like "political-philosophy" to "political theology" now have no excuse for not perceiving the radical difference of each, even while one perceives a continuity as well.
It is a creative tension, but one that does not foreclose dialogue (taking into account, of course, the many different varieties of dialogues that can be commenced).
Meir further provides his already well-profited reader with two heretofore unpublished lectures of Strauss', one " The Living issues of German Post-war Philosophy" (1940), and, secondly, "Reason and Revelation" (1948). I should note en passant that the latter lecture date is significant, for in that same year, Mr. Strauss published, for incidental reasons, his study on Xenophon's "Heiro" in French—that charming and much bethumbed volume, which graces my shelf, my little red book. Mr. Mier's book, by contrast, is jacketed most pleasingly with a charming photograph of Leo Strauss. But if you were unfortunate enough to receive the book through a college library, you will not have the pleasure of seeing this charming photograph—but instead the book beneath the cover, which is of the darkest hue; it is black.
All in all, Mr Meir has succeeded admirably in capturing the fundamental intention of Leo Strauss as I understand that intention—to promote philosophy in the highest sense and to make clear wherein it differs fundamentally from its rivals to the throne: If philosophy in modernity has become a weeping Heccuba, the thought of Leo Strauss and Heinrich Mier is surely directed at redressing this lacrimony; philosophy must learn how to laugh and by this route to philosophically forge a new horizon. My hat goes off to Mr. Meir for enriching our understanding of the revolutionary thought of Leo Strauss, if one can even speak of revolution in connection with a thinker whose only revolution consisted in a revolutionary defense of moderation.
JN, it's fine that you post your essays but I'm going to have to ask you to get involved with some other threads if you would like to continue to post them here.