More Drury on Strauss

This is a text version of a talk Drury had on Strauss with Michael Enright of the CBC. It's worth reading in it's entirety.

Money quote:

"ME: Do you, in your studies, have you seen any impact of any evidence of Straussian influence in the political landscape of Canada?

SD: Only insofar as Strauss has influenced the Neo-Conservatives. Neo-Conservatism is a rising phenomena certainly Neo-Conservatism is the inspiration behind the Reform & Alliance Party. Now it is a component, but not the entire part, of what is now the Conservative Party in Canada. It’s an American import, Neo-Conservatism. We like to Canadianize it and call it the Calgary School, but it’s really the same old thing. Some of the Straussians in Canada, and there are a lot of Straussians in Canada, it’s a big phenomena in Canada. Whenever I travel in the States and give lectures, people always ask me how it is that a Canadian came to write the only two books that are critical of analysis of Leo Strauss. The answer is simple—Alan Bloom, who was Strauss’ most famous disciple, who wrote The Closing of the American Mind, spent most of his academic career at the University of Toronto which produces 90% of the Ph.D.’s in Canada. As a result, there are Straussians in every University in Canada."

At the U of C in my time you couldn't swing a dead hamster without clubbing a Straussian.

By my modest suspicion there are at least 5 and those are just the profs I had a reasonable suspicion of (cuz afterall, it's not like they wear signs or labels that indicate it).


Anonymous said...

Judging by Drury's and your "suspicions", it sounds like you and her are more straussian than the Straussians. By her definition, there are no Straussians at the UC poli sci dept. There is not a single person at the UofC, not even among the ones you mentioned in your post, who got his PhD with Bloom. You are making stuff up. You must have been one of those class mates I had that spend their time in the corridors swinging dead hamsters.

I noticed that your original post was...

"At the U of C you couldn't swing a dead hamster without clubbing a Straussian. Of just the profs I studied under;

Barry Cooper
Tom Flanagan
Rainer Knopff
Ted Morton (who just happens to be the 'Senator elect' from Ab!)

and in the History dept. David Becusson

...were all Straussians. And those are just the profs I had a reasonable suspicion of (cuz afterall, it's not like they wear signs or labels that indicate it). "

All Straussians, eh? What a crock! Why did you change it?

Cameron said...

I changed it for the simple reason that I cannot 'prove' they are Straussians.

Remember that obscurantism is part and parcel of the Straussian methodology, and as such, they not only don't wear signs indicating their political lineage, they can plausibly deny membership without controversy.

We used to joke that Straussians were like the Rosicrucians in Eco's 'Foucault's Pendulum', that is, the way you idenitfy a Straussian is by who most vehemently objects to the label.

As for the notion that I am 'making stuff up' well, I can say that is definitely not the case.

Knopff and Morton both subscribe to the Neo-con agenda of attacking the judiciary for it's 'activism' and 'un-elected' policy making - straight out of the Straussian playbook on influence of politics not through the elected branch, but through influence on the un-elected branches.

Cooper's use of greek texts in political theory courses is also right out of the Strauss obscurantist playbook (and I admit I lump Bercuson in with him less because of any particular philosophy he espoused than from his close intellectual association with Cooper).

Flanagan was one of the key architects behind the Reform party start up, and one of the intellectual supporters of Stockwell Day's ascension to the top rung of the Reform party. He's the Karl Rove to Day's Bush.

That all said, you can come on back anytime to comment, if only so I can hit you with a dead hamster.